In the aftermath of American victory in the Revolutionary War, times were tough in the new nation. In Massachusetts farmers faced financial ruin as merchants, concerned with the inflation, were demanding repayment of debts in hard currency which was in short supply. Governor John Hancock attempted to set an example by not demanding that his debtors pay him in hard currency, and he refused to authorize prosecution of those who failed to pay their taxes to the State. This was to no avail as more farmers began to lose their farms through foreclosure. That most of these farmers had fought in the Revolution made their plight more poignant, and also suggested that they would not stand idle as they were reduced to poverty.
Violence broke out after James Bowdoin, champion of the merchants, was elected Governor of the Bay State. On August 29, 1786 a rebellion broke out when a well organized force prevented the court from sitting in Northampton. Daniel Shays who had served in the Continental Army as a Captain, and who had receive a sword of honor from Lafayette that he had to sell to help pay his debts, participated in the Northampton action. His name became attached to the Rebellion, but he staunchly denied that he was one of the leaders of the movement.
The Massachusetts government now confronted the quandary of attempting to assert its authority when the only armed force at its disposal were militia levies and much of the militia sympathized with the rebels. The Federal government of the Articles of Confederation was deaf to appeals for aid, having no armed forces in any case to aid Massachusetts in putting down the Rebellion.
The solution was a 3000 man militia force under former Continental Major General Benjamin Lincoln. The force was paid for by 125 merchants who contributed 6000 pounds. With this force, Lincoln crushed the Rebellion in February 1787. Casualties were minor, five killed, a few dozen wounded, but the impact of the Rebellion was profound in convincing many of the leaders in the United States of the necessity of revising the weak Articles of Confederation and forming a stronger Federal government. Shays Rebellion had given rise to outbursts throughout New England, and although they had been quickly quashed, the alarm they raised reached Mount Vernon.
On October 31, 1786 in a letter to Henry Lee, George Washington demonstrated how deeply Shays’ Rebellion disturbed him:
[4 updates at the bottom of this post as of 8:08am CST]
If ObamaCare somehow passes through Congress and signed by President Obama, what can Americans look forward to?
Well the Republican Party’s very own potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney did just that as governor of Massachusetts, passing universal health coverage for the entire state.
The results are mixed at best, and scary at worst.
Here are some highlights from the op-ed titled Romneycare model a dud in the Boston Herald by Michael Graham where Massachusetts is “already glowing in the radioactive haze of Romneycare, aka “ObamaCare: The Beta Version.” [emphasesmine]:
Shouldn’t Obama have been bragging yesterday about bringing the benefits of Bay State reform to all of America?
As we prepare to wander into this coming nuclear winter of hyper-partisan politics – one in which we’re almost certain to see widespread political fatalities among congressional Democrats – I have to ask: If bringing Massachusetts-style “universal coverage” to America is worth this terrible price, why doesn’t Obama at least mention us once in awhile?
Maybe he thinks of us as the Manhattan Project of medical insurance reform. Too top secret to discuss. More likely, it has something to do with the nightmare results of this government-run debacle. Here are a few “highlights” of the current status of the Obamacare experiment in Massachusetts:
It’s exploding the budget: Our “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget[imagine it in trillions for American tax-payers] for 2010. Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.
“Make no mistake. This bill is so unpopular because it has all the characteristics that most Americans find so noxious about Washington.
It stinks of politics. Why is there such a rush to pass this bill now? It’s because the President of the United States recognizes that it is hurting his numbers, and he wants it off the agenda. It might not be ready to be passed. In fact, it’s obviously not ready! Yet that doesn’t matter. The President wants this out of the way by his State of the Union Address. This is nakedly self-interested political calculation by the President – nothing more and nothing less.
Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. As someone who received an undergraduate degree in the teaching of social studies, I am never very surprised when a school administration decides to engage in an act of public stupidity, however, this incident is in a class all by itself.
A second grade student at the Maxham Elementary School in Taunton, People’s Republic of Massachusetts, was sent home from school after drawing a picture of Jesus on the cross. The student made the drawing in response to a class assignment that the students draw something that reminded them of Christmas. Apparently the student’s dullard teacher decided that the drawing of the cross was too violent. The school administration, in a move which hearkens back to the old Soviet Union placing dissidents in psych wards, decreed that not only would the child be sent home, but that he would have to undergo a psych evaluation.
In their December 2007 report, AHIP reported that the average single premium at the end of 2006 for a nongroup product in the United States was $2,613. In a report issued just this week, AHIP found that the average single premium in mid-2009 was $2,985, or a 14 percent increase. That same report presents results for the nongroup markets in a set of states. One of those states is Massachusetts, which passed health-care reform similar to the one contemplated at the federal level in mid-2006. The major aspects of this reform took place in 2007, notably the introduction of large subsidies for low-income populations, a merged nongroup and small group insurance market, and a mandate on individuals to purchase health insurance. And the results have been an enormous reduction in the cost of nongroup insurance in the state: The average individual premium in the state fell from $8,537 at the end of 2006 to $5,143 in mid-2009, a 40 percent reduction, while the rest of the nation was seeing a 14 percent increase.