In Federal Paper No. 57 either Alexander Hamilton or James Madison explained why the House of Representatives would never exempt themselves from the laws they pass for the rest of us, saying “they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny. If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America, a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it. If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty. Such will be the relation between the House of Representatives and their constituents. Duty, gratitude, interest, ambition itself, are the chords by which they will be bound to fidelity and sympathy with the great mass of the people.”
So, why does the health care reform bill exempt Congress and the president? And will be prepared to tolerate it?
According to World Net Daily, during his presidential campaign, President Obama told an audience in Canton, Ohio, in October 2008: “If you don’t have health insurance, you’ll be able to get the same kind of health insurance that members of Congress give themselves.”
That was then. This is now.