By Stan Welch
Before I became a newspaperman more than thirty years ago, I actually worked for a living. I’ve done many things in my life to earn my way, including carpenter, freight handler, elephant trainer, and a few other things as well.
As a carpenter, I spent a fair amount of time around plumbers, and it was from them that I learned the three things you have to know to be a plumber. They are as follows: the stuff that modern plumbing is designed to transport runs downhill; you never put your hands in your mouth; and payday is Friday.
Since modern plumbing discovered PVC pipe, that’s about all there is to being a plumber. That first factoid – that certain things run downhill – has taken on a much greater significance in South Carolina lately than any plumbing issue. But Governor Haley and the S.C. House of Representatives have demonstrated a very clear understanding of that basic principle.
The social solid waste that is Obamacare has almost certainly run as far downhill in the Palmetto State as it is going to. There is a law, already passed by the S.C. House, and awaiting Senate Action in the coming weeks, that will essentially nullify (forgive me if I chuckle while typing this) the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
You see, while the federal government can pass just about any old law it wants to, established legal precedents, including Supreme Court rulings, have established that they cannot require state governments to fund the enforcement of those laws. In other words, if you folks several hundred miles away think you know better than us what’s good for us, then you pay the tab.
And South Carolina, or at least the House, has voted not to fund the implementation and enforcement of Obamacare. The Senate is expected to follow suit early next year.
So the flow of effluent from the federal government to the private citizen is about to be plumbed away from our borders. Georgia’s legislature is currently drafting a law to accomplish the same thing. Other states are expected to follow.
Elsewhere across the country, gun control laws are going unenforced by local and state agencies. Some claim the same justification – no funding from the feds – while others state plainly that they take their oaths to uphold the Constitution much more seriously than the Congress apparently does.
But as important as the defeat of Obamacare is, it is just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless unfunded federal mandates on the books. The EPA is the king of such impositions of federal power without federal funding. DHEC has persistently passed those mandates on to the counties and municipalities of the state, expecting them to absorb the usually exorbitant costs involved. The recently imposed storm water runoff regulations are an excellent example.
Perhaps the time has come to review those other countless intrusions by the federal government and decide which, if any, of their laws and regulations truly benefit the state of South Carolina and her people.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not in favor of total repeal of all federal regulation. I like knowing that someone besides the meat packer has inspected the food I’m going to eat. I appreciate knowing that the FDA has tested my heart and diabetes medications for quality and purity. While I think the TSA is a waste of money, I would take comfort in the knowledge that the FAA oversees air travel, if I ever planned to fly again, which I most certainly do NOT.
But there are literally thousands of federal laws and regulations that micromanage our lives; far beyond the point which any one can endure, and call themselves free. Simply ignoring, and when necessary, nullifying federal intrusion into our lives is a brilliant and workable strategy.
I’m proud of my Palmetto State folks and encourage them to look for every possible chance to repeat this coup.