The Shutdown and the Rollout

Which presented more harm to human life and personal freedom?

Here is a quick pop quiz. Which presented more harm to human life and personal freedom: the four-week partial shutdown of the federal government last month or the rollout of Obamacare this month?

Obamacare is the greatest single expansion of federal regulatory authority in American history. In one stroke, it puts 16 percent of American economic activity -- virtually all of health care and health insurance -- under the thumb of federal bureaucrats. It dictates the minimum insurance coverage that everyone in the United States must have.

It punishes severely, without a hearing, anyone who deviates below the prescribed minimum. It forces nearly all Americans to acquire coverage in a one-size-fits-all policy, including coverage for events that cannot occur.

Obamacare was passed by both houses of Congress with support from Democrats only, using parliamentary tricks, rather than straight up or down votes. And all the Democrats voted for it after President Obama promised them and the American people ad nauseam that if they like their current doctor and if they like their current health insurance, they would be able to keep them under Obamacare.

The law was found constitutional by the Supreme Court only after the chief justice -- who acknowledged in his opinion in the case that Congress lacks the authority to compel people to engage in interstate commerce by forcing them to purchase a good they don't want -- changed his mind on the ultimate outcome of the challenge. In order to save the law from imminent constitutional extinction, he created a novel legal theory, and he persuaded the four progressives on the court to join him.

They ruled that the punishment for the failure to obtain the level of health care coverage that the law requires is actually a tax. Then the court ruled that because Congress can constitutionally tax any event, it can tax nonevents (like the failure to purchase health insurance), and so the entire scheme is constitutional because it is really just a tax law.

The Supreme Court, lawyers sometimes say, is infallible because it is final; it is not final because it is infallible. I am a student of the court, and I revere it. It can change the laws of the land, but it can't change the laws of economics. And so, when Obamacare ordered all insurance carriers in the land to cease offering health care plans that provide insurance coverage below the federally mandated minimum, they naturally began to cancel those plans. And when the new health care exchanges that Obamacare established failed to find coverage for those formerly insured by the substandard plans, those who had these plans and liked them suddenly were told that on Jan. 1, 2014, when Obamacare becomes effective, they will have no health insurance. The old insurance coverage will be illegal, and there is no new coverage for them.

Why were these substandard plans canceled when the president repeatedly promised that they could be kept? Didn't the president know that he was not being truthful when he signed a bill into law that mandated minimum coverage, yet promised that plans that failed to meet that minimum coverage could survive the law? How is it that emails from the West Wing to the White House and legal briefs filed by the Department of Justice defending Obamacare in various federal courts acknowledged that millions would lose the doctors and the coverage that they liked?

One of the reasons many Americans had their policies canceled this month is the failure of those policies to conform to the new federal minimum requirements. At the heart and soul of Obamacare is the power of bureaucrats to tell everyone what coverage to have. At the core of Obamacare is the removal of individual choice from the decision to purchase health care coverage. The goal of Obamacare is high-end coverage for everyone -- brought about by Soviet-style central planning, not in response to free market forces.

From the perspective of the central planners who concocted Obamacare, minimum insurance coverage is the sine qua non of the statute. They want you to pay for coverage you will not need or ever use, so that the insurance carriers will have extra cash on hand to fund coverage for those who cannot afford high-end policies. This is where the laws of economics enter. By forcing all carriers to offer only high-end policies, the statute forced the carriers to raise their rates. By raising rates, the substandard policies -- with their lower rates -- could no longer be offered. If the government forced everyone to buy a Mercedes, when most are perfectly happy with an Acura, soon the Acuras would disappear from the market and most of us would be walking to work.

Now back to our pop quiz. When Congress was unable to agree on a budget for this present fiscal year because tea party Republicans saw this mess coming and wanted to dull its sting and congressional Democrats refused to negotiate with them, the federal government partially shut down. The Democrats and the mainstream media went wild. They claimed the government would default on its obligations and millions would suffer without the conveniences normally offered by the federal government. Yet, the only inconvenience we really heard about was the inability of a few hundred folks to visit federal parks and monuments. All federal services -- defense, the courts, the airports, the TSA (ugh), customs, and meat inspectors -- continued to operate as before the shutdown.

Yet, when Obamacare was rolled out earlier this month, more than 5,500,000 innocent Americans lost their health insurance, and the president knew of this in advance and lied about it repeatedly, and caused it with the one-size-fits-all mentality of his signature piece of legislation. Last week he caved and said that folks who have the old substandard policies could keep them for another year. This was too little and too late. He can no more change federal law than he can change the laws of economics. And he knows that.

In modern times, we have endured great lies told in the White House. One great lie was about a third-rate burglary, and it ended in a presidential resignation. Another great lie was about a private sexual affair, and it ended in a presidential impeachment. The present great lies are about the health and freedom of 5,500,000 Americans. How will this mess end?

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And all the Democrats voted for it after President Obama promised them and the American people ad nauseam that if they like their current doctor and if they like their current health insurance, they would be able to keep them under Obamacare.

    It doesn't matter what Obama promised Congress. It was their responsibility to read and understand the legislation before voting for its passage.

  • WTF||

    The democrats knew damn well what they were voting for, they just didn't care because they didn't realize it would bite them in the ass so hard.

  • sarcasmic||

    they didn't realize it would bite them in the ass so hard.

    Say that again when 95% of the fuckers are reelected, as usual.

    Everyone hates Congress. They just hate your Congressman. Theirs are just fine.

  • anon||

    Everyone hates Congress. They just hate your Congressman. Theirs are just fine.

    Precisely. The rationalization goes something like "Well, my congressman was just doing it because (insert bullshit here). Yours is evil and icky and also ugly.

  • WTF||

    Well, 98% of the fuckers in safe districts will get reelected, for sure. The ones in close or even semi-close districts? I don't think so.

  • WTF||

    I mean, there's a reason the democrats lost control of the House in the 2010 elections. Look for a similar bloodbath in 2014, unless something unforeseen happens to forestall it.

    Then of course the Stupid Party will proceed to 'fix' Obamacare instead of just dumping it or letting it self-destruct.

  • anon||

    Look for a similar bloodbath in 2014, unless something unforeseen happens to forestall it.

    Because so much changed when that happened...

  • WTF||

    Because so much changed when that happened...

    Well, yeah, see my comment above re: the Stupid Party 'fixing' Obamacare.

  • John||

    Because controlling the house but not the senate or White House gives one side dictatorial powers.

  • anon||

    Because controlling the house but not the senate or White House gives one side dictatorial powers.

    When that particular branch happens to control spending, it kinda does.

  • larry hammond||

    Except when they fail to use those powers. They cede to the bully to avoid looking like a bully in the MSM. Not sure I even understand what I said, but that seems to be what happens.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Because so much changed when that happened...

    Well, to be fair, we're talking about the effect on individual congressmen, not the public. Many of them lost their seats because of Obamacare. So it did bite them in the ass, and some of who remained might have learned from that.

  • wareagle||

    Then of course the Stupid Party will proceed to 'fix' Obamacare instead of just dumping it or letting it self-destruct.

    every time I hear "repeal and replace" or something like it, makes me wonder if Repubs ever listen to their rhetoric against O-care. After a while, you get the sense that they have no objection with govt's fingeprints on the insurance market and health industry; they just want those prints to be Red because, well, because magic.

  • anon||

    After a while, you get the sense that they have no objection with govt's fingeprints on the insurance market and health industry; they just want those prints to be Red

    You're just now getting this?

    Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same except for the most minor of a difference: Dems want to tell me what I have to do and Republicans want to tell me what I can't do.

  • sarcasmic||

    Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same except for the most minor of a difference: Dems want to tell me what I have to do and Republicans want to tell me what I can't do.

    And here I thought the only difference was gays, guns, and abortion.

  • anon||

    And here I thought the only difference was gays, guns, and abortion.

    Right...

    Republicans (generalizing) don't want me to be able to fuck a guy in the ass or have a choice in having a kid.

    Democrats want to tell me that I have to get rid of X, Y, Z because COMMON GOOD.

  • wareagle||

    You're just now getting this?

    no, I just keep wondering when one of the Reds will actually say "hey, painting the turd a different color still leaves you with a turd."

  • Jan S.||

    Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same except for the most minor of a difference: Dems want to tell me what I have to do and Republicans want to tell me what I can't do.

    THIS.

  • Metazoan||

    Well, technically, repealing it and undoing the status quo before the ACA would be "replacing" it, in a sense, and that would be better than just a repeal.

  • ||

    Exactly. Look at NYC and Mass. who keep voting in Democrats for the most part.

  • Ballz||

    not just "Democrats";
    Schummer (schmuk),
    Clinton ( 1 HUGE bitch),
    Barney (pillow biter),
    Fat Teddy (murdering asshole),
    ...

  • Rach||

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/162.....ative.aspx

    your are right, the "well he is doing better than congress" is and always has been scatomancy. Most everyone has a 60+% favorable of their own elected officials, they dislike all the other other people sent from other districts.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, this is utter nonsense. Congress' job is to pass laws and to be a check on presidential and judicial power. They have no business trusting another branch or doing its bidding.

  • anon||

    Yes, this is utter nonsense. Congress' job is to pass laws and to be a check on presidential and judicial power.

    JERBZ? Where we're going, we won't need ... jerbz.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I think the judge was simply pointing out O's lie, not letting congress off the hook.

  • sarcasmic||

    They have no business trusting another branch or doing its bidding.

    Deference is a disgusting thing.

  • David Wall||

    No. Congress' job is the same job of the other two branches: protect individual rights. The three branches were set up to hopefully police each other into focusing on the all important function.

    I kinda worked, more or less, for 100 years or so. As the judge has pointed out, it is not working too well right now.

  • sarcasmic||

    They discovered that if the different branches colluded with each other they could achieve limitless power.

  • ||

    ^This.

    If only we had precedents for such a situation, then those geniuses could just look at history and see if that is a good idea or not.

  • JidaKida||

    Roll with the punches dude, roll with em.

    www.Privacy-Web.tk

  • WTF||

    He can no more change federal law than he can change the laws of economics. And he knows that.

    Pretty big assumption there, judge. I'm not really sure he does know either of those things.

  • Rich||

    How will this mess end?

    It's messes all the way down.

  • Drake||

    The Judge was awesome last night on the Fox panel.

    He blew Juan Williams' mind when he said the Federal Government should return its Constitutional boundaries and phase out the entire welfare state. I gave a cheer.

  • Drake||

    Around 13:00 it really kicks in. I swear Fox pays Williams to play a stereotypical liberal fool.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/285.....ne-112013/

  • ||

    Him and Bob Beckel. They are paid to defend the indefensible.

  • gimmeasammich||

    I always got the same impression with Hannity and Colmes. You have the "strong jawed, all American," and the "sickly looking, rat fucker libtard" argue on camera. It was pretty easy to know who would come out on top.

  • Ballz||

    oh, all this time I though "libtard" meant whiny libertarian.
    `:)

  • sarcasmic||

    It can change the laws of the land, but it can't change the laws of economics.

    But, but, but those "laws" of economics are unfeeling and mean! They must be changed for the greater good! Equality! Fairness!

  • WTF||

    Their plans only fail because of wreckers, hoarders and kulaks.

  • anon||

    and also jews.

  • Ballz||

    jews =/= jerbs

  • anon||

    Don't worry, the only "law" of economics you need to learn is that you can get rich if you borrow lots of money to spend.

  • sarcasmic||

    If I ran my household like government I'd spend myself into riches while borrowing myself out of debt.

  • anon||

    All while bullying your own children into giving you their lunch money.

  • some guy||

    While standing over a pile papers covered in red ink...

    "One day, son, all this will be yours."

  • Doctor Whom||

    We need protection from mindless economic forces. Yes, someone actually used the term "mindless economic forces." We are the government, and the government is us, but markets and economic forces are something completely separate.

  • anon||

    but markets and economic forces are something completely separate.

    And polar opposites.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, that's one of the key concepts a lot of progressives and people on the left completely miss.

    Market forces are people making choices.

    Market forces are people making choices.

    Market forces are people making choices.

    Really grokking that is half the battle.

  • sarcasmic||

    Market forces are people making choices.

    I think progressives understand this. They just disagree with the choices that people make when they are not the same choices that they would make, and their reaction is to use government to force people into making "the right" choices.

  • Metazoan||

    I think Milton Friedman had a great quote about this...

    Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
  • sarcasmic||

    "Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort."
    -Heinlein's Lazarus Long
  • Raven Nation||

    "Tyranny is forcing a man to pay for what he doesn't want because it would be good for him."

    Heinlein, source u/k

  • ||

    I think it could be argued that at least some among the latter also have motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. This just cannot be achieved by central control, which the former does not understand.

  • Ballz||

    woohoo!

  • ||

    Yup. My friend is a liberal and it all boils down to what he said for progs: People can't be trusted to make the right choices and decisions.

    It's INSANE.

  • sarcasmic||

    And they think it's insane to allow people to make their own choices.

    Because [insert appeal to emotion]!

  • Metazoan||

    Yet somehow people can make choices for others....

  • sarcasmic||

    Yet somehow people can make choices for others....

    Well, duh! Because [insert appeal to authority]!

  • Raven Nation||

    Exactly. So it's insane AND arrogant.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Yet somehow people can make choices for others....

    Of course they can. The voting booth is just like the Teacher in that episode of Star Trek.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "People can't be trusted to make the right choices and decisions."

    This is the real "Crisis of Confidence".

    It isn't that people don't have confidence in their government anymore; it's that people don't have confidence in themselves to make their own choices.

    ...and a lot of the time we're talking about qualitative choices they're making for us, and those are choices that no one else possibly could do a better job of making for you.

    How can you be wrong about your own qualitative preferences?

  • sarcasmic||

    It isn't that people don't have confidence in their government anymore; it's that people don't have confidence in themselves to make their own choices.

    Freedom is asking permission and obeying orders.

  • David Wall||

    Insane, yes. Let's put it this way. It is anti-reality and anti-reason. Since man's life depends upon reason, it is at the core anti-man and anti-life.

  • Ken Shultz||

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I think progressives understand this."

    Maybe their leadership understands that market forces are people making choices, but I don't their supporters understand it at all.

    They think market forces are a mathematical equation, and that the market forces equation happens to people--like bad weather.

    I don't think they realize that market forces aren't separate from people like weather--that they are people.

  • sarcasmic||

    I see what you're saying.

  • ||

    You are absolutely right Ken, except on one point. Their leadership does not understand it either.

    There are just too many bedrock concepts that they dont get for me to believe that get that one.

  • ||

    While we're at it, we must repeal gravity. It is holding us all back.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Impeachment is like a criminal proceeding, but a criminal proceeding isn't supposed to be a popularity contest. Impeachment is different in that way since the voters sit in judgement of the jury (Congress). Let's remember there is an election coming.

    If impeaching Obama lost in the court of public opinion, turned that loss into voter support for the Democrats, and gave Obama even less opposition in Congress, then we would be in even worse shape than we are now.

    The way things are now, given the Democrats' terrible record on ObamaCare, the Republicans will probably hold onto the House and have a decent chance to take the Senate if they play their cards right. I would hate to see them squander the opportunity to deprive Obama of his support in the Senate.

    Also, even if impeachment proceedings succeeded in removing Obama from office, I'm not sure having a President Biden would be better for America than a lame duck Obama with no support in Congress.

  • Metazoan||

    This. While I absolutely salivate at the thought of Obama's impeachment and removal (not in the least because it would be a demonstration of the limits of executive power), I think it would help the Dems and the Left in the long run, and hurt the entire Right (all of us get smeared as Republicans anyway).

  • Ken Shultz||

    The false charges of racism we experience now for opposing the president would be nothing compared to what the people who impeached him would experience.

    And, like I said, it's a different sort of a trial in that the jurors are elected by the voters. Removing a president isn't really about justice.

    I wish impeachment were thought of more like a vote of no confidence, but we have a vote like that! Congress could vote on a motion of no confidence. Doing so would probably help the Republicans in the upcoming election.

    Let's force the Democrats to go on the record and either show their lack of confidence in Barack Obama--or vote to show their confidence in his horrible leadership. I think the voters should know exactly where each Representative and Senator stands in the upcoming election.

  • some guy||

    I don't want to see him impeached. Even if 2014 gave the Senate to the GOP and they successfully ousted him, he'd just be a martyr to the Progressive cause. I want him to own this, in office, without being able to change the subject to the legality of his actions. People need to see him championing this clusterfuck for the next 3 years.

  • ||

    Yes and it is only going to get worse. It is going to be stratospherically absurd and ever so much fun to watch.

    I hope when he is finally put out to pasture he will be treated in a way that makes Nixon look like a beloved celebrity. Perhaps he will descend into insanity, alternately ranting to himself and drooling on himself, shunned like a leper.

  • WTF||

    "My mother believed and my father believed that if I wanted to be president of the United States, I could be, I could be Vice President!"

    --Joe Biden, campaigning in Youngstown, Ohio, May 16, 2012

  • ||

    I always wanted to be the first base coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers!

  • Raven Nation||

    "I'm not sure having a President Biden would be better for America than a lame duck Obama with no support in Congress."

    Probably not, but it most likely have a lot more hilarity involved.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It might be fun to watch him run against Hillary.

    Hillary would be mad as hell if she had to run against a sitting Democrat president.

  • LynchPin1477||

    f the government forced everyone to buy a Mercedes, when most are perfectly happy with an Acura

    Upper class problems...

  • mr simple||

    Seriously, I don't think the Judge knows that Acuras are also luxury cars and most people can't or afford or don't want to pay for those either.

  • sarcasmic||

    He probably thinks Subaru is an Australian brand.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Upper class problems...

    Actually, a lot of middle class, lower middle class, and working poor have lost their health insurance because of ObamaCare.

    Even the Teamsters union is against it!

    "Union Letter: Obamacare Will ‘Destroy The Very Health and Wellbeing’ of Workers"

    http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate.....f-workers/

    Regardless, dismissing the suffering of other people because they have more than you is morally obnoxious. Try to find some compassion in your heart for other people. You'll have more friends, and you might live longer.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Let's go ahead and kill those italics.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Death panels!

  • LynchPin1477||

    Relax, I was just making a joke because Acuras are still luxury cars.

  • ||

    "Obamacare is the greatest single expansion of federal regulatory authority in American history."

    I think when this trainwreck finally comes to its ignoble end there will be the precedent of govt forced economic activity still hanging over our heads. No one seems to be talking much about that as the pathetic spectacle of obamacare is currently taking the spotlight, but is still there like a small cancer waiting to metastasize. I wonder how many congresscritters are slobbering over the chance to use it.

    May John Roberts die a slow agonizing death and then rot in hell.

  • some guy||

    John Roberts may have done more damage than anyone in this whole story. SCOTUS precedent ranks right behind Constitutional amendment on the list of things that are hardest to undo. Repealing Obamacare will be easy by comparison.

  • ATXChappy||

    I'm probably be wrong here. But, Roberts may be a genius. By getting the majority of the justices to agree that the mandate is a tax and not a penalty. it's going to be hard to argue that the mandate was not designed to generate revenue in the next case dealing with the Origination Clause.

  • Raven Nation||

    "Why were these substandard plans canceled when the president repeatedly promised that they could be kept? Didn't the president know that he was not being truthful when he signed a bill into law that mandated minimum coverage, yet promised that plans that failed to meet that minimum coverage could survive the law? How is it that emails from the West Wing to the White House and legal briefs filed by the Department of Justice defending Obamacare in various federal courts acknowledged that millions would lose the doctors and the coverage that they liked?"

    Altogether now: FYTW

  • ||

    Can we undo the obamacare and change back the healthcare policy to where it was before? All rules are man-made and not God-made, for that, it should be changeable. And plus we have changed rules in the past, many of them.

  • Loki||

    How will this mess end?

    With the EVUL PROFIT SEEKING INSURANCE KKKORPORASHUNZ and the RACIST RETHUGLIKKKAN TEABAGGER WRECKERZ AND KULAKS blamed for ruining the God-King's signature achievement. That and HILLARY/ WARREN '16!!!!11!!!

  • ||

    The answer to the Great Question is finally at hand!

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Yes, National Heath Care Reform, Or Obamacare, or whatever the hell you want to call it turned out badly. Why, because the a hole politicians in both parties (the only ones really permitted in the U.S.) refused to cooperate. If they had, perhaps some plan beneficial to all Americans could have been worked out over time.

    However, you can be sure that the a wipes in Congress and elsewhere in the government will not hesitate to spend billions in keeping the war we are in going, or new wars planned for the future. Health care for millions is just horrible isn't it, but war is glorious and patriotic and all that bullshit isn't it? Sorry for the language but these are my true feeling.

  • Christophe||

    You still believe in TOP. MEN.

    Once you let go of the belief that having the right people in charge will fix things, you'll understand why bipartisanship isn't some magical fix-it.

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Since you seem to know everything, than what is it I am supposed to believe?

  • ||

    That initiating force is morally wrong. Not only that, it doesn't even produce the great consequences that you think it does.

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Than what "initiating force" in your opinion is morally right? If you don't like my comment than counter it with a response that makes some sense, instead of dismissing it with a tone of contempt as you have just done.

  • Sevo||

    On The Road To Mandalay|11.21.13 @ 6:30PM|#
    "Than what "initiating force" in your opinion is morally right? If you don't like my comment than counter it with a response that makes some sense, instead of dismissing it with a tone of contempt as you have just done."

    Uh, you're in the wrong place.
    People here presume you have some basic knowledge of libertarian thought; you have none.
    To put it bluntly, you're in over your head. Go read something like "Radicals for Capitalism" before you wander in here and expect to be taken seriously.
    If you chose not to, don't be surprised when the answers you get go right over your head and people toss random insults at you; you deserve it.
    It's not alan's job to educate you.

  • nanc528||

    Google is paying 75$/hour! Just work for few hours & spend more time with friends and family. On sunday I bought themselves a Alfa Romeo from having made $5637 this month. its the best-job Ive ever had.It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out www.Buzz95.com

  • Tamfang||

    In one stroke, it puts 16 percent of American economic activity -- virtually all of health care and health insurance -- under the thumb of federal bureaucrats.

    What part of health care and health insurance was not under the federal bureaucratic thumb before that latest stroke?

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