04.07.2014 2

Obamacare replaces Prohibition as most-hated federal law

we_want_beerBy Don Todd

Like President Carter who has lost his reputation as the worst President in recent times Andrew Volstead (R-MN) has lost his distinction as the author of the most hated legislation in modern history with a politician’s name attached to it.  The Volstead Act which implemented Prohibition has now been replaced by Obamacare and Congressman Volstead has been replaced by President Obama.  According to a recent Associated Press poll Obamacare has the approval of a resounding 26% of the American electorate.

Prohibition suffered a similar fate for similar reasons.  Like Obamacare, all of the major promises that were made with the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which was implemented by the Volstead Act of 1919, turn out to be lies or to be charitable mistaken.

Prohibition was touted as a victory for public morals and health.  It was neither.

Obamacare was going to let you keep your doctor and your health insurance.  It did not.

Like Obamacare, the Congress as well as the ruling class, exempted itself from the law.  Congress liked its’ health insurance and unlike the public got to keep it.  A bootlegger by the name of George Cassiday, also known as the Man in the Green Hat, set up operations in the Cannon House Office Building to supply Congress with what Congress had forbidden for the common folk.

Presidents Wilson and Harding laid in large stores of liquor in the White House.

The supporters of Prohibition also claimed as do the supporters of Obamacare that the law could not be repealed.  Obamacare proponents proclaim the law is here to stay.  It is the law of the land and cannot be repealed.  Chuck Todd (no relation) NBC News spokesman for the Obama Administration put it this way, “So at a minimum, the importance of hitting the six million….it means the law is unrepealable….It means that it’s here to stay.”  Similarly Senator Morris Sheppard (D-TX) said of Prohibition repeal, “There is as much chance of repealing the Eighteenth Amendment as there is for a humming-bird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its tail.”  Senator Sheppard meet Mr. Todd.

The psychology of Prohibition supporters was much the same as those of Obamacare proponents.  “Drink is the curse of the low income working class,” was their thought and we enlighten ones are going to fix it for them.  Lack of health insurance is the curse of lower income working class proclaimed the modern day left and they proposed to fix it.  As was predicted they made their perceived problem worse in both instances.

Obamacare will be repealed if we have anything left of a democratic republic.  A law supported by twenty-six percent of the public cannot stand.  Unfortunately, like Prohibition future generations will still suffer some consequences from its’ original passage.  The tax revenue generated by liquor sales had to be replaced and the prohibitionists had a solution for that.  It was the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, the Income Tax, which we still suffer with today.  While it preceded the Eighteenth Amendment it was championed by dry crusaders as a way to counter the argument that the Prohibition would be too costly to the federal government.

The repeal of Obamacare will cause a lot of disruption to the health care industry and in the lives of many Americans as has its passage.  How it will play out it largely unforeseeable at this time.

Prohibition is viewed by social historians as a, “Noble Experiment.”  That is where the similarity with Obamacare ends.

Don Todd is the director of research of Americans for Limited Government. 

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