Monday, July 2, 2012

Week of 07/02/2012

Hate The Healthcare Mandate? Blame The Sin Taxes!
– by David Matthews 2

I suppose I should stop being surprised at the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and the seemingly infinite ways they have of justifying and sustaining the cult of the status quo.

After years of hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing and the hysteria and the fear-mongering and the hypocrisy and the out-and-out lies being uttered over the Healthcare Reform Act, it finally fell to a 5-4 decision that couldn’t split a legal hair any finer if they used an electron microscope.

Can the government force you to buy healthcare insurance? According to the justices, no, it can’t. That’s supposedly a violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

But those same justices then said that the government can still tax you as a penalty if you don’t buy it.

It’s a stroke of brilliance (sarcastically speaking) if you think about it! Philosophically, they couldn’t allow the individual mandate to stand as a business requirement. But to get rid of it on that basis would then upend the new status quo as dictated by President Barack Obama and especially by the big insurance companies that secretly demanded it. They also refused to “punt” the decision until 2014, because that still meant that they would have to decide on it then.

So the status quo champions found a way to toss the requirement out but still keep it in place. It’s not “forced purchasing” anymore; now it’s a “tax” for those that don’t choose to purchase it. Genius!

Now, for the first few minutes when this legal mind-screw came out, I kept on wanting to curse out Obama and the justices for this duplicitous weaseling of the legal system. How can you say that something it’s “wrong” but still find a way to weasel it in?

But then I came to the realization that it’s neither Obama’s fault nor the fault of the Supreme Court for coming up with this backdoor method. They didn’t create the rationalization that they just used to screw over the citizens that can’t afford healthcare coverage. They just found a way to exploit an already-existing screwjob.

You want someone to blame for this decision? Don’t blame the executive or judicial branches of our government. They really didn’t create the screwjob result. Blame the ones who did.

Blame the legislature!

Let’s get brutally honest here… it is the legislative branch of government that came up with the asinine idea that they can tax anyone and anything for any amount and for any reason!

You don’t think the government hasn’t tried to tax behavior before? Think that this is somehow a “new form of tax”? Stop lying to yourself and think about the various “sin taxes” that out there today.

When politicians want you to stop smoking, what do they do? Do they outlaw cigarettes? No, of course not! What they do is they jack up the cigarette tax. And they don’t quibble about the justification behind it either! They don’t claim that it’s an “essential means to generate revenue”. They want to price cigarettes just high enough that smokers are forced to quit on their own, but in the meantime they’ll eagerly take all the money they can get from those smokers.

Several cities including Houston are imposing a so-called “Pole Tax” on strip clubs and other forms of legal and legitimate adult entertainment. Again, it’s not considered an “essential tax needed to generate revenue”. They intentionally are imposing a sadistic tax to gradually shut down those legal places of adult entertainment without looking like they’re “the bad guys”.

Look at the legal brothels in Nevada. They’ve been legal for generations, but the state and county governments certainly want to make them suffer for existing, so they slap them with huge tax bills in the hope that they will eventually drive those businesses into insolvency.

In fact I’m surprised that New York City’s Thug-Mayor Michael Bloomberg hasn’t tried this course yet in his ongoing crusade to turn the Big Apple into New Singapore. Instead of outlawing the Gallon-Gulp soda or so-called “trans-fats”, just hit the consumers with a $7-per serving “health tax”. The same could be said of some of the other asinine bans. Don’t ban the fois gras; just impose a $20-per plate “animal abuse tax” on the people that order it.

Ever hear of a windfall profits tax? You did if you ever won a big jackpot in the lottery or if you got a huge civil court award. Depending on the state and the amount, you could be forced to pay as high as a 100% tax on that award. Why? Because you’re not supposed to win in these things!

Sorry to hear that Acme Inc’s brakes were intentionally defective and you lost your whole family and two of your limbs, but, gosh darn it, the government thinks that you were never supposed to get that ten-million in compensation! And even if the attorneys drag out the case until the kinetic end of the universe, the government feels that you should pay that tax bill now. And the same applies if you won that Big-Mega-Power-Money jackpot you see all those ads for. You know, the ones designed to help out “education”. The cardboard check that you’re holding means absolutely nothing once Uncle Sam and his fifty spoiled brats gets wind of it. Enjoy the win, just don’t get used to the winnings.

And the justices have already said that this kind of tax is perfectly legal!

Even our income tax system was designed to “curb behavior” of sorts. By its very nature, the government penalizes you for making too much money! Find a way to supposedly beat it? The government then hits you with the “Alternative Minimum Tax”.

So, really, why should anyone be shocked when the highest court in the country uses the same justification to sustain Obama’s prized reform program? They’ve allowed all sorts of taxes be created in the name of “curbing behavior” or “penalizing conduct” in the past, so what’s one more tax to them?

And isn’t it funny that the people that scream and shout and proclaim “Unfair” at the top of their lungs over this kind of “tax” are not only silent about some of these other “controlling” taxes, but may even actually support them? Where is their “Tea Party” resistance when it comes to getting rid of the “sin taxes”? It’s one thing to complain when the taxes affect your personal bottom line, but what about when they affect someone else’s bottom line?

I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret: the same legislature that feels they can tax the business you hate into oblivion has no qualms going after your personal business next if they feel so inclined.

It’s clear that the people who want Obama’s healthcare program repealed need to do more than just get one law passed. There needs to be not just tax reform, but also tax limitations. The very idea that government at any level should be allowed to tax anyone and anything for any reason at any time is just as much of an abusive power as the idea that it can outlaw anything it wants. If the so-called “Tea Party” crowd is not willing to do this much, then not only will they have to deal with this problem again at some point in the future, but they are insulting the very spirit of rebellion that they claim they are trying to emulate.

1 comment:

Chuck Doswell said...

Fascinating analysis, as usual, D2! It is indeed typical of all 3 branches of government to prefer to make choices on the basis of technicalities rather than making meaningful decisions about important issues. We really need some new ways of thought to help this nation!