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Thursday, Apr 24, 2014
Tom Jackson

The Right Stuff: Sometimes you gotta accentuate the obvious

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Tom Jackson’s conservative opinion column is published each Sunday. Read The Right Stuff on TBO.com at tbo.com/tomjackson/

Do we really have to point out we’d be in the midst of a constitutional crisis if, in his State of the Union speech, a Republican president had declared he was tired of waiting for the Congress to bend to his will, so he’d be carrying out the people’s business on his own?

Yeah, probably not.

Over at PowerLineBlog.com, John Hinderaker has been thinking along similar lines.

“Imagine this scenario: an American president announces that, rather than taking care that the laws be faithfully executed, as the Constitution requires, the federal government henceforth will enforce only those provisions of federal law with which he personally agrees. Not only that, if Congress declines to enact legislation that he demands, he will issue executive orders having the force of law as though such legislation were in effect.

“And if you oppose him, he will send the IRS to harass you and have his corrupt Department of Justice charge you with a bogus felony if he can come up with a pretext, or maybe even if he can’t. If that president were a Republican, he would have been impeached by now.

“Fortunately, he is a Democrat, so our ‘reporters’ and ‘editors’ can confine themselves to Chris Christie’s traffic jam, Justin Bieber and the upcoming Super Bowl.”

So we have distractions and circuses going for us, anyway. But just wait till the shoe is on the other foot. You may want to bookmark this to remind your lefty friends.

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So “medical” marijuana will be on the November ballot. Well, fine. Let’s have that debate. Let’s make it full-throated and no-holds-barred. Let’s make sure none of the pertinent facts are lost in the smoke.

Let’s lay out the alleged benefits of pot for certain folks suffering with certain maladies. Let’s also talk about equally effective treatments derived from cannabis’ active ingredients already available without creating pockets of legality for a drug that, when used as intended, has potential to do mighty harm.

Let’s understand, while the vast majority of doctors are painstaking with their prescription pads, some are less so, which was among the triggers for Florida’s recent oxy-plague. And doctors who are generous with their pot-writing orders will be no secret among those seeking wink-wink access to weed.

Let’s make sure we understand the state’s “pill-mill” database will miss a fair number of these abuses.

And finally, let’s make sure we understand if the measure is stitched into the state constitution, a certain number of your neighbors are going to self-select themselves right out of competition for that slot in graduate school your kid wants, or that job you’re after.

So it won’t be all bad, no matter what.

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The more I see commercials from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the more I like David Jolly, the Republican nominee in Florida’s District 13 congressional special election.

The ads seeking to cast the former lobbyist as some sort of K Street bogeyman, instead reveal someone who has supported common-sense reform for programs that, left to themselves (or, worse, subjected to lefty tweaks) threaten the country’s long-term financial health.

What are Jolly’s alleged crimes? The DCCC makes a sinister, if misleading, point: Jolly favors “privatizing” Social Security and, for Medicare, a “costly voucher program.”

More accurately, Jolly has been for shifting Social Security from a vague entitlement that Washington often plays for political gain into private, individual accounts immune from federal brinkmanship; and he’s touted converting Medicare into a premium-support program (as federal workers have), allowing seniors to choose the plan that best suits them, free from the one-size-fits-all rigors of the current single-payer behemoth.

Each reform is, by itself, better than the status quo as well as being radically superior to Democrat-backed changes that would shift more of the cost of looking after retirees onto working Americans while taking from those who spent their productive years making prudent savings and investment choices.

Taken together, investing future retirees with individual oversight of their golden years would unleash free-market creativity while slashing long-term national debt and, best of all, stoking an energetic, dynamic paradigm shift in the economics of aging.

That, upon further review, is what the DCCC ad says David Jolly is for and, conversely, Democratic candidate Alex Sink is not.

tjackson@tampatrib.com

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