• A word on tyranny

    Aaron G comments:

    Doesn’t the fact that this is a unprecedented expansion of Federal power concern you at all if the mandate is ruled constitutional?

    Look at Floccina’s comments. We can now make hundreds of arguments in favor of forcing people to buy this or pay this tax or do this because it is in the “interest of the public”.

    Doesn’t that simple risk alone, which logically follows, concern you?

    No, it doesn’t.

    First of all, the hypocrisy is rampant in the number of Republicans still in office who supported the mandate until recently, and now decry it as tyranny. But the larger picture is that the government uses economic incentives to get us to do lots of stuff.

    Do you own a home? If so, you get a pretty big mortgage interest tax deduction. To pay for that deduction, we all pay taxes. So if you don’t buy a home, you pay in but get nothing back. I suppose it’s because the government wants us to buy homes.

    Do you have a child? Same deal. We all get taxed, but if you have a kid, you get a tax credit. I suppose it’s because the government wants us to have kids.

    Do you give money to charity? We all pay for your deduction. Own a home business? Ditto. I suppose it’s because the government wants to encourage us to do those things, too.

    Get my point? There are lots of things the government does to penalize us economically if we don’t do it. That’s how they encourage us to do it.

    So if you choose not to buy health insurance, you get penalized economically. You also get the right to buy it the moment you get sick, so it’s probably still worth it. That’s all. They aren’t going to put you in jail. And the mandate will affect a small proportion of people.

    And please, don’t come back to me with semantics of how this is not a tax deduction, but a penalty payment. If you tell me that you would be fine with this if the government raised everyone’s taxes the amount of the penalty, and then returned it to those who bought insurance, then I will listen to that argument. That policy would accomplish the same effect as the mandate, and be just as much tyranny as the mortgage interest deduction and child tax credit.

    But because the Democrats feared the tax label, they did it this way. You can dislike their lack of policy spine, but that’s not fascism. The individual mandate is a economic incentive. That’s all. If you don’t like it, feel free to elect people to reduce it or get rid of it. But it’s no more tyranny than any other tax deduction or tax credit. And no one seems particularly concerned about most of those.

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