The blogosphere and talk radio are awash with opinion that the healthcare bill just passed violates the Constitution. The 10th Amendment is suddenly back in the headlines for the first time since, oh, about 1791. Various attorneys general are signalling their intention to challenge this legislation on constitutional grounds — even before it has been signed into law.

For 220 years now, the federal government has been on a singular trajectory: MORE. This healthcare bill is not a change of direction in that regard; it is simply the latest instance. I can’t say whether that is, overall, a good thing or a bad thing. The empirical evidence is that we have two hundred plus years of federal expansion, during which we have become the greatest nation on earth. Apparently, at the very least, federal expansion does not preclude national greatness.

That being said, I would like to see something from our elected officials who have blasted this bill for being unconstitutional. They should consistently vote in opposition to the myriad of federal programs that have accumulated over the years which have no more constitutional validity than this healthcare package. If this new health bill is unconstitutional, then surely so too are Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. What’s the difference? Why do those programs deserve annual appropriations but this new one does not?