Obamacare

The Political Case Against Passing Health Care Reform

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I'll get you next time! [shakes fist]

Matthew Yglesias spells out the political case for passing health care reform:

If you've already voted for health reform, which a majority of House members and 59 Senators have, then you're already going to get hit with 100 percent of the hits that accrue to people who vote for Obamacare. Nobody is going to care about the fine nuances of "senate bill" versus "house bill" or whatever. It's Obamacare and you're going to get hit.

The question is whether you'd rather get hit for your participation in a discredited failure that's been abandoned by its own architects, or whether you'd rather get hit for participation in a controversial but successful effort to fulfill the decades-long promise of universal health care? I don't think it's even close. If the bill passes, that generates a positive narrative around the bill that can compete with the negative narrative. If it fails, then you've got all the negative narratives but you also add on a new bonus negative narrative of gridlock and failure.

I think Yglesias is basically right that Democrats who voted for a health care bill will take political hits for doing so regardless of whether or not it passes. The hits might be somewhat weaker if the bill doesn't pass, but yes, those attacks will come no matter what.

Where I'm less inclined to agree with Yglesias is on the second part of his argument. Granted, it's tough to predict how a year's political narrative will shape up months in advance, so he could be right. But he basically assumes that Democrats will be able to gin up some goodwill for the bill if they pass it. Yet given the bill's low and rapidly sinking popularity, I'm skeptical that that will happen.

Moreover, since the only way for the bill to pass at this point is to use the budget reconciliation process in the Senate, passing it would require relying on what will be portrayed as procedural trickery—a circumvention of the Senate's traditional process. Fair or not, I can't imagine that Republicans will talk about it any other way. And if we've learned anything about public opinion during this health care debate, it's that the public doesn't like either drawn out political debates or the messy details of the legislative process; passing the bill using reconciliation is only going to expose them to more of those details, and thus, I suspect, likely to make it even less popular.

So the choice for Democrats may actually be whether they want they want to be portrayed as so single-minded in their determination to push their unpopular agenda on the public that they are willing to use party-line voting and any sort of obscure procedural trickery they can come up with to get it passed, or whether they want to be able to make the argument that they responded to the public's clear concerns and backed off an incredibly unpopular piece of legislation when they had the chance.

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  1. Caption: “Your testicles will explode in my iron grip!”

    1. Caption:

      I’ve got your nose – now which orifice will I choose to ram it in?

    2. Caption: “Get your ass up here boy, they will be taking pictures soon.”

    3. “You don’t know the power of the Ditz Side!”

  2. Your first mistake was reading Yglesias. You know better than that, Suderman.

  3. Sort of off topic, but this guy has a good idea:

    An Orting man, apparently upset over the state’s taxes, has proposed some major changes to the Washington state seal.

    Jim Vaughn, a retired military officer, has proposed a new seal featuring “a tapeworm dressed in a three piece suit attached to the taxpayer’s rectum as the central figure” in place of George Washington with the words “committed to sucking the life blood out of each and every tax payer” surrounding the vignette.

    GOLD.

    1. Put it on the ballot!

    2. Somtimes I’m happy living in WA, sometimes not so much – this one brings temporary happiness!

  4. “Got your nose! I need its collagen for my next treament.”

    1. You dirty bastard!

  5. I think some might be overestimating Congresspersons’ powers of persuation to an electorate with a newly rekindled sense of stubborn independence. Passing the “damn bill” in and of itself will not win any new voters who weren’t going to vote D anyway.

    And, if they couldn’t convince the public all the “good” in the bill before people could read it, they sure as fuck weren’t going to persuade voters once it was passed and everyone was able to apart all the bullshit that’s actually in it.

    Without the bill, they at least have a slim chance of having some shiny new object out there for the public to concentrate on come November.

    1. once it was passed and everyone was able to apart all the bullshit that’s actually in it

      Bingo. Yglesias is such a dead-ender he just doesn’t see this. If the bill is passed tomorrow, what wonderful vote-winning benefits happen between now and November? Nada, except maybe for the hacks appointed to all the various new boards and commissions. Everybody else will just be learning that (e.g.) there’s a new tax on powered wheelchairs (which AFAIK is still in the bill). Then all the “yea” voters will have to explain why they voted for a bill containing such idiocies.

      1. pick apart all the bullshit”

        Curse you for pointing out my poor writing by agreeing with me.

  6. What Yglesias fails to discuss are the political ramifications of taking action based on the whims of Matthew Yglesias.

  7. Please, God, let the Democrats be stupid enough to pass the bill in reconciliation

    1. If they are, we might actually hope for some kind of change.

      I just wonder if it would be any good.

  8. “Nancy’s black lover stared off into space, as he often does at her events and wondered about the usual banal things to pass the time: grocery shopping lists, last night’s Lakers game, whether he can drink enough Pernod and vodka this time to quiet the stench of shame from servicing her sharp, skeletal frame once again.”

    1. Dude, I’m eating over here.

    2. I seriously thought that was a woman.

      1. How does that prevent her from being Nancy’s black lover?

        1. JW’s vignette clearly refers to a “he.”

          1. JW’s error need not be adopted by you. Stop with your sheeple ways and follow your own path.

  9. To the extent that there’s a constituency out there that’s been waiting for “Universal Health Care”, it’s looking for a euro-style single payer system, and when the chips are down, it will vote Democratic regardless. If something like the current bill passes, I don’t believe swing voters are going to feel privileged because they’re now legally required to buy health insurance. That’s not a “decades long promise” that anyone has been waiting for, and no one but the Democratic base is going to be impressed by a steamroller effort. “Demonstrating the courage of your convictions” generally only impresses people who share your convictions.

    If the Democrats had limited their “reform” call to dealing with the issue of pre-existing conditions, and restricting how insurance companies are permitted to increase premiums or deny coverage, it still might not have been a good idea, but at least the electorate would have been able to perceive the benefits, and imagine that it wasn’t going to be another budget-breaker/power grab. The package they’ve ended up with really has zero appeal outside the beltway.

    1. Or, as someone pointed out, a system of insurance vouchers similar to housing vouchers or food stamps, available to those who need it, instead of putting the whole healthcare system in a blender and hitting “Puree.” (Not that I’m advocating it, just saying that it would have been an easier sell.)

  10. GOP finds way to block reconciliation in Senate – The Hill

    As it turns out, Senate Democrats may not be able to force healthcare legislation through the chamber on a simple majority vote.

    Republicans say they have found a loophole in the budget reconciliation process that could allow them to offer an indefinite number of amendments.

    Though it has never been done, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says he’s prepared to test the Senate’s stamina to block the Democrats from using the process to expedite changes to the healthcare bill.

    Full story:

    http://thehill.com/homenews/se…..ation-ploy

    1. That is AWESOME. Petards. Hoisted. Etc.

      1. I’m willing to draft amendments for free. Anything to help throw a wrench in the system.

        1. Then start with my wench amendment. Hop to it lad!

        2. “In order to evaluate the effectiveness of this bill, it shall, for a period of five years, apply only to members of the House and Senate and all civilian employees of the federal government.”

        3. A bill to amend the Stupid Healthcare Deform Act [renamed in an earlier amendment], to provide for the declaration that William Shatner is now and henceforth shall ever be, a citizen of the United States, and for other purposes.

  11. Suderman, you are weak and misguided for adopting Yglesias’s flawed premise.

    He thinks Democrats will take “100% of the hit” if the bill doesn’t go through. That’s bullshit. People are afraid of new mandates, new costs, new restrictions, and even worse economic performance.

    Now, it’s very dangerous to do post hoc, ergo propter hoc stuff here. Either we pass the bill or we don’t. Then other stuff happens. It’s not clear what’s causal and what’s spurious.

    But, look, if the Democrats ram this shit down everyone’s throat and the economy still sucks in nine months (likely!) the Democrats are going to take a massive beating.

    They should portray this as a noble effort, made for a good cause, and say that they’ve learned their lessons and are ready to try again.

    1. Like I said, I think it’s possible that the Nov. 2010 hits will be weaker if the bill doesn’t pass. But Republicans are likely to attack Dems on this whether or not the bill get passed.

      1. Suderman, you are weak and misguided. for adopting Yglesias’s flawed premise.

  12. whether you’d rather get hit for participation in a controversial but successful effort to fulfill the decades-long promise of universal health care

    Well, that’s kind of begging the question, isn’t it? Yglesias thinks, against all existing evidence to the contrary, that whatever cocked-up mess that gets passed is going to be successful. And be universal. So far, every sign I’ve seen points to no on both questions. Maybe that Philosophy degree Yglesias has lets him see the truth behind the facts.

  13. The bill’s subsidies and such don’t take effect until 2014, which means there will be no constituency of beneficiaries until 2014. However, there will be people being taxed by the bill.

    That will prevent Obamacare from doing anything but declining in popularity from now through the 2012 elections. “Repeal Obamacare” will be a live issue, then, not just this fall, but for the 2012 election.

    Note the CBO scoring for a repeal in 2013 will be (with taxes already collected) that a repeal will reduce the deficit. Oh, and since it would have passed through reconciliation? It could be repealed in 2013 through reconciliation.

  14. What Iglesias is missing is this:

    Assume every Senator who voted for it the first time votes for whatever comes out of the conference committee.

    Result: health care fails, because they only have 59 votes for it now. So why the hell would they vote, again, for a bill that is even less popular now than it was the first time?

    Or, on the pong strategy (House swallows Senate bill whole, no conference bill):

    That bill would fail also, because the Senate bill doesn’t have the critical pro-life language needed to pass the first House bill. So why the hell, etc.?

  15. When Rahm Emmanuel called liberals “fucking retarded” and then apologized to retarded people for comparing them to liberals, he was talking about people Yglesias.

    Some liberal pundits are liars like Glenn Greenwald. Some liberal pundits are just vaucuous like Ezra Klein. A few liberal pundits are just bat shit crazy like Andrew Sullivan or Thomas Friedman. But some of them are neither dishonest, shallow nor crazy. They really are that fucking stupid and uninformed. Yglesias is the poster child for that group. He honestly seems to believe that the Obamacare bill will work. Shit, the Congresscritters who wrote it don’t even believe that.

  16. Dudes, the hand out will start getting popular as soon as we start handing the stuff out!

  17. What Iglesias is missing is this:

    He’s missing nothing. The astro-roots commentariat hive wants it passed because fuck you, that’s why.

    “That shit-caked boot you’re aiming at my face doesn’t look healthy for me, really. Maybe don’t do that? That thing it looks like you’re doing? With the boot? With shit all over it?”
    “YOU EAT IT FOREVER!!!”

    The rest is just boob bait.

  18. I usually caption that picture “We will annex the Sudetenland!!1!”

  19. Of course it’s inconceivable that some of those Senators actually think the house version is bad policy as well as bad politics, and vice versa.

    Vote for something you don’t like because you’re going to be blamed for it anyway? What’s the point of that?

  20. Long term: If they passed it, what are the odds of it getting repealed?

    If that is low, then a new entitlement (which is how the subsidization works out to be) will ultimately benefit democrats, as government entitlements usually do.

    So, the options are get utterly hosed in 2010 with long term benefits, or get really hosed in 2010 with no long term play.

    1. Toxic is right; once people start getting the free goodies, they will love the program. Alot of people opposed the New Deal and the Great Society when they were proposed, but those programs now have large constituencies that right wingers are scared of (or even reliant on, judging by the recent GOP pandering to Medicare recipients.) If the Demos can get ObamaCare passed it too will develop a powerful constituency and become as untouchable as Social Security and Medicare.

      1. Not without the public option. Without the public option it is just a collection of mandates and taxes. Mandates and taxes, unlike welfare programs, do get repealed. The insurance mandate wouldn’t last past the first general election after it passed.

    2. You’re right, toxic. If ObamaCare were to pass, in the long run it would benefit the Dems.

      However, not the Dems who actually warm those seats in Congress right now. They will be out on their asses, and are unwilling to selflessly sacrifice their cushy jobs for the benefit of future Dem candidates.

    3. Odds of repeal are actually remarkably high. Nobody gets any goodies until 2014. All that happens before then is higher taxes.

      The Republicans accordingly would get to run against the bill not just this year, but in 2012, without the Democrats seeing any popularity boost from the bill taking effect.

      And, if passed by any less-than-60-vote method, it can be repealed by the same such method.

      The biggest problem from an anti-bill perspective is that the 2012 election is unfortunately too unpredictable; a repeal President isn’t assured to be elected no matter how unpopular the health bill is.

  21. If reconciliation is “political trickery,” what do you call the unprecedented use of the filibuster in the current Congress?

    But I suppose once again Frank Luntz will be the one who decides how things are described in the media, as usual.

    1. The filibuster has been used for decades Tony. Just shut the fuck up. You are not getting healthcare and the Democratic majority in congress is toast come November. Face it no can stand people like you or the dumb ass theft schemes you call policies.

      1. John,

        The filibuster used to be used 6 or 7 times a Congress. It is now used well over 100 times a year. Its frequency is, indeed, unprecedented. It means the Senate is no longer just a cooling saucer for legislation, it is the body that obstructs ALL legislation any minority objects to. Sorry, that’s not regular order, it’s a major dysfunction.

        1. Tony,

          If I didn’t know that you will be singing the filibuster’s praises once your team in in the majority, I might listen to you. But since you and I both that is exactly what you will do come next January, spare us both.

          1. First of all, don’t soil yourself in a fit of joy prematurely. Democrats are unpopular, but the GOP is more unpopular. I am not predicting a takeover.

            Secondly, I now favor completely eliminating the filibuster. If the American people are dumb enough to give the GOP back control then they deserve what they get.

            1. Tony, anything that stops Congress from making new laws is good in my book.

              1. Of course it is, because you’re both a libertarian and a fascist. It’s practically the Hit&Run; standard.

                1. Tony,

                  Neither Libertarian or Fascist mean what you think they mean. Certainly Fascists, who were like law-passing meth-heads.

                  The Libertarian is the anti-Fascist, but you seem to be in denial of your National Socialist leanings.

                2. Fuck off, dipshit. As John pointed out, you have no idea what the fuck you are saying.

                  1. You want your fringe antigovernment ideology imposed on the rest of us. You express disdain for democracy itself because it doesn’t provide the society you want. You are a totalitarian libertarian. Of course it’s contradictory. But that’s just because your particular cult happens to claim to believe in freedom.

                    1. “”You want your fringe antigovernment ideology imposed on the rest of us.””

                      Perhaps you want to keep the filibuster around in case you need it to prevent the “fringe antigovernment ideology” away from becoming law when the majority supports it.

                      How is it that keeping government for forcing you to do things, is an imposition upon you?

                      “”You express disdain for democracy itself because it doesn’t provide the society you want.””

                      Are you looking in a mirror when you say that?

    2. “unprecedented” doesn’t mean what you think it means “everybody” (and neither does that other handle of yours)

    3. In what way is it “unprecedented”? The Repubs claimed the same thing about the Dems four years ago. Is this use even more unprecedented than that allegedly unprecedented use?

      1. Yes that’s exactly what I’m claiming. The Republicans have nearly doubled the Democrats old filibuster record from when they were in the minority.

        1. Ah, “unprecedented” means “not since the last time” to you. Like I said before, it really does not mean what you think it means.

          1. Never before has the filibuster been used as often. How simply do I have to spell this out for you?

            1. Try skipping your hysterical pussy words you learned in dramatic news writing class and use English. Bitch.

            2. “It is now used well over 100 times a year. Its frequency is, indeed, unprecedented.””

              Over 100 times a year? You got a source for that claim?

      2. The Democrat’s use of the filibuster was unprecedented because no one had ever used it against judicial nominations for purely ideological reasons. The GOP was not complaining about the normal legislative uses.

        1. Democrats didn’t use it as a routine measure as it is used now. They used it on judicial nominees who were total fringe whackjobs for the good of the country. Republicans use it because they want to destroy the Democratic agenda in its entirety for purely political reasons.

          1. Yes, and “political reasons” couldn’t possibly have anything to do with what the fucking VOTING PUBLIC wants.

            Er, sorry I forgot how logic works in your little universe. If the Republicans are representing people who don’t want this shit crammed down their throats, well THOSE people don’t know what’s good for them anyway so they don’t count.

            Democracy is only for EuroSocialist Democrats, the rest be damned.

            1. Newsflash dude, the majority of the country are not people who take everything Sean Hannity says as gospel truth.

              This “shove down throat” line is so ubiquitous on the right that, coupled with the teabagging, I’m starting to think you guys have some Freudian issues.

              Republicans are a minority for a reason. On top of that, the Senate is more conservative than the country as a whole because it overrepresents small states. So stop claiming that you speak for America dipshit.

  22. Since neither version deals with the Feds taking over insurance regulation from the states*, which I believe they can, I wonder how well the “pre-existing conditions” mandate will hold up.

    For the most part state insurance regulators are populist bastards who love to pile on the coverage mandates but I wonder if at least some may chafe under this incursion into their bailiwicks.

    *In fact, I would actually like to see them do it and create a truly national insurance market so that policies are portable. The rest of the dog’s breakfast they can keep.

  23. I wonder if the Democrats will just let the bill sit until November. Then after they get killed in the mid-terms, a lame duck house can pass the Senate bill in December. Obama can sign it and then the Democratic minority in the new congress can filabuster any changes to it.

    Sounds crazy I know. But most of the Dems in the House will be on their way out of office anyway or in safe seats. So what would they have to lose. It would just the kind of sleazy maneuver that creatures like Chait and Yglesias would love.

    1. I like the cut of your jib, John.

    2. John, that would require a lot of turnover in the House. You’re still going to have enough pro-life / public-option-or-bust / union-lackey Democrats in the House to block it. Remember, the Senate version includes the taxes on Cadillac health plans without exemptions for union workers.

  24. If the Senate weren’t a completely dysfunctional legislative body, say if it resembled any other legislature in the democratic world, we’d already have a strong health bill, perhaps almost as strong as the American people want it to be.

    1. Duct tape strong?

    2. Tony Tony Tony, I posted this this morning but you weren’t here so here it is again:

      brotherben|2.3.10 @ 8:58AM|#
      Family Research Center flack supports criminalizing homosexuality. (from today’s morning links)

      So if they get enough voters to pass such a thing into law then Tony will be just fine with it. Right? Democracy and the will of the people right?

      1. Healthcare legislation doesn’t violate anyone’s civil rights.

        And no, you don’t have the right not to be taxed, so don’t even start.

        1. I have a right not to be taxed to fund things the government has no business doing.

          1. Right, like violating people’s civil rights. On healthcare, you simply have a policy difference with the majority of Americans. Tough titties.

            1. I have the right to keep my property. If I don’t buy something, I don’t pay for it. Simple as that.

              1. Not quite as simple as that. Care to point me to a single provision of US constitutional law, international law, or political philosophy where the notion that taxes are a violation of civil rights exists?

                1. Ox before the cart. I can’t be taxed to fund something the government lacks the power to do. If single payer or mandated insurance had passed, betcha a good sum that the Court would’ve struck it down as unconstitutional.

                  1. Unlikely (maybe not so much with the current supreme court), but even if that happened I’d argue we should amend the constitution. Nobody said it was perfect. But I’m confident that fringe minimalist interpretations of the constitution that have scant case law backing them will prevail.

                2. “Not quite as simple as that. Care to point me to a single provision of US constitutional law, international law, or political philosophy where the notion that taxes are a violation of civil rights exists?”

                  Libertarian political philosophy. There’s also every single line of thought that defines theft as the taking of someone else’s property against their will. So yeah Tony, it is as simple as that.

                  1. It’s not against your will. You claim citizenship and the benefits that come with it, so you also claim the responsibilities, plus you have the right to vote. Doesn’t go your way? Try not having a fringe ideology.

                    And at any rate this country and planet face major problems and the great oppression you face by paying taxes is pretty low on the list. Whiny entitled children, I swear!

                3. Since when do you ascribe to the notion that law has any bearing on rights?

                  You’ve vigorously argued against that ad nausaum.

                  I have the natural right to keep what I earn.

            2. What civil rights? Like getting married? Or serving openly in the military? Do you really believe that if Americans were given the opportunity to vote on it, that these things would change? Hellfire man, do you have any idea just how many people down here think that your sexuality is a conscious decision you made?

              1. Tony, I am not a homophobe. I believe that our sexual orientation is something we are born with. I use it as a hyperbolic strawman to suggest to you that letting thye people vote for what they want isn’t always a good thing.

                1. Letting the people vote for what they want is the central principle that makes any government legitimate. On that basis people can democratically decide to make certain changes require supermajorities, like civil rights (which are particularly vulnerable to majority tyranny).

                  1. Letting the people vote for what they want is the central principle that makes any government legitimate.

                    In that case, since most people don’t want this health care bill to pass, any government that passes it is ipso facto illegitimate.

                    1. Nah. Your right is to vote for a representative, not legislation itself for the most part.

                    2. LOL, your thundering moral clarity just took a fatal hit. “letting the people vote in a heavily gerrymandered district for one of at most two major party candidates who may or may not vote for the things they want, is the central principle that makes government legitimate” doesn’t roll off the tongue quite so well, now does it.

            3. On healthcare, you simply have a policy difference with the majority of Americans.

              If the majority had your view this would have passed by an overwhelming majority. No need for pole-vaulting or parachuting over that wall.

              PL’s policy is in line with many of the Tea Party movement’s and that is the majority opinion, no matter what your little fascist ass wants to believe.

              1. You are truly delusional.

                The reason Congress’s plans are out of line with what the public wants is because Congress is to some extent owned by corporate interests. But poll after poll suggests that large majorities want serious reform. This bill is unpopular not just from teabaggers, but from the left and anyone else who thinks it’s too weak and compromised.

                I refuse to believe that a majority of Americans are so ignorant of the Boston Tea Party as to sign on to a movement using its name to push an agenda it has no relevance to.

                1. But poll after poll suggests that large majorities want serious reform.

                  Me too!

                  The problem is, poll after poll also suggests only a minority supports your end of the spectrum’s “serious reform”. Reform means many different and contradictory things to different people.

        2. And denying free health care to all is a civil rights violation, right Tony/everybody?

          1. With the caveat that this is not a moral commandment written in stone, it is now the norm of civilized countries on this planet that access to healthcare is a universal right. Except here. And it’s not because we’re smarter than the rest of the world. I think it should be a civil right, whether it was in the past or not.

    3. Dysfunctional? What happened to that tea-cooling saucer analogy you leftohaulics were spitting at us a couple of years ago?

      1. The same thing that happened to Bush’s “humble foreign policy” platform.

      2. That’s arguably the original purpose of the Senate, which until recent years never included routine use of the filibuster. There is no constitutional or rational justification for minority rule in the Senate or any other legislative body.

        1. The reason the filibuster wasn’t used as much in the past is because the Senate majority jamming controversial bills down the throat of the minority was also an uncommon occurrence. The Senate was always too clubby for that in the past. Yes, I know the Republicans of the early to mid 00’s were also guilty of this, but there’s your explanation.

          1. And it’s completely stupid.

            Also, can’t you wingnuts come up with some other analogy than the throat jamming? It would at least give the appearance that you don’t get all your ideas from Rush Limbaugh.

  25. Duh, people have no property rights, only civil rights.

  26. Re: Tony,

    If the Senate weren’t a completely dysfunctional legislative body, say if it resembled any other legislature in the democratic world, we’d already have a strong health bill, perhaps almost as strong as the American people want it to be.

    It’s a good thing this country is not a democracy.

    Letting the people vote for what they want is the central principle that makes any government legitimate.

    You seem to think that calling something “legitimate” somehow makes it right or moral. Without failure, the Cuban people have voted to keep their president ever since the triumph of the Cuban civil war, with 100% of the votes in favor. I guess that makes the Cuban government legitimate.

    1. OM,

      Well, it’s what gives it the surface appearance of legitimacy. Why else do dictatorships have elections? They don’t need them. They do it to claim legitimacy of their government.

      If the election process and ability of people to actually have choices are a sham, then it’s not really equivalent to a legitimate system is it?

      1. No. Not if you believe in the fundamental tenants of democracy.

        Now can you explain why it’s okay for the Democrats to jam ObamaCare down our collective throats when the polls show that the majority of Americans are against it?

        No, you can’t explain that kind of double-think. But I expect you’ll try using venom as a substitute for logic.

        1. Seriously, what’s with all the throat jamming?

  27. Most of the comments here as well as the original article serve to prove that the Legislature no longer really works. It probably is not the structure, but rather is the incumbents and the Parties who are at fault. Either side of the aisle should be able to see that the way things are going is unworkable in the long term, whatever the issue is.

    1. It’s not the existing incumbants, nor is it a problem with “the voters”.

      What’s unworkable is the fact that this is exactly where democracy has to end up. It’s the nature of the beast.

      Now if you will please come up with a better idea, we’ll all be grateful.

  28. Re: Tony,

    Not quite as simple as that. Care to point me to a single provision of US constitutional law, international law, or political philosophy where the notion that taxes are a violation of civil rights exists?

    Yes – thou shall not steal.

    What does it matter what the so-called “constitutional law” or international laws say about taxes? The fact that governments legislate theft does not make it any more moral.

    1. Yes – thou shall not steal.

      What does the Bible say about taxes, since that is your reference source?

      You’re just completely begging the question. Taxes aren’t stealing. For one thing, they are consented to in a legitimate system. Also, theft is defined legally if it’s to have any coercive relevance, and taxes are not defined as such. Theft isn’t whatever you say it is, it’s whatever the law says it is.

  29. Governments should not deal in moral or not moral. That sort of thing is a personal or societal issue, not an issue related to law.

    1. Mac,

      Just to be clear, us voluntarysts and libertarians use the term “moral” in the ethical sense, not the aestethical.

      1. Actually, I use the term “moral” in the sarcastical sense.

    2. Tell me how the implementation — let alone imposition — of government is anything but a moral issue.

      If a government does nothing beyond providing police, law courts, and a military to fend off invasion, this government is nonetheless imposing minimal moral standards on human behavior.

      To say that politics is or ever could be amoral is a contradiction in terms.

  30. Thank goodness the Republicans have not resorted to party line votes, procedural trickery, such as the filibuster, and mindless and hateful lies in thier opposiiton to HCR. Given the noble and selfless way in which Republicans have conducted themselves, they have the high ground in the debate. Just as FDR refused to deal with the Depression, Truman refused to deal with the cold war, and Lincoln allowed the South to secede, the Republicans are right in forcing us to kick this issue down the road. Far better for people to die and go bankrupt because of our health care system than for Democrats to dare to do something that might be called procedural trickery in doing something for the public good. Far better to follow the Republican example and put politics aside and doing nothing about health care reform. Doing nothing about big problems is what made America great.

  31. I have government run ‘socialist’ healthcare. I get the healthcare I need when I need it, and any medical emergencies I’ve had have been dealt with at the speed they’ve been needed to be dealt at. If I have a simple broken arm, the people who are bleeding and dieing get treated before me. So maybe I have to wait 1/2 an hour if I’m not on death’s door, but usually I get right in.
    What do I have to do for this service? I pay income tax, which I have no problem paying. I believe in the greater good, and my taxes go to pay for essential government services, so that the government can perform them without going into debt. I’m a student who doesn’t make that much money, so the Canadian government gives me back all the taxes I paid in the form of an income tax return every year. Because I pay for taxes, I don’t have to pay for things that cost Americans just as much, such as a Health Care Insurance Plan, or even smaller things, such as road tolls. It scares me to think of an insurance company controlling my health care, and I’ve heard the horror stories of the less fortunate people in America who have been fucked by their insurance provider. I am also aware of the fact that possibly up to 47 million American Citizens are without health care, and if this was the case in Canada, I would be outraged that my fellow human beings are not getting the proper care they deserve as human beings, and I would probably take physically violent action against my government. I would actually take violent action against my government if they took away universal health care, and I know many Canadians would also do this. I come from a rich family, and I of course, would have health insurance easily in the event of a private system, but this is against my beliefs.
    I will acknowledge that our system is not perfect either, and we are also seeking to reform ours as well. But, our flaws do not leave almost 16% of our population with zero health care, which is unacceptable.

    I hear people throw around the word socialist on here. I went to school, currently attend university, and most importantly, read books so I am aware that those using the word are actually ignorant of its meaning.
    I see people with a lot of fear who are posting. Are you not aware of universal health care being used in Canada and many of the industrialized countries in Europe, with success? I think the biggest problem with our health care system in Canada, is that Canadian citizens do not pay enough for it, therefore not giving it the funds it needs.

    Either way, I go to bed every day knowing that I get treated with equal importance for my health care as the man up the street who is a millionaire, and the homeless drug addict in my back alley – and this makes me feel good. Because I believe we are all equal as human beings, and that this is fair.
    I know that some of you see this differently, and I, along with many other people in the world find that disgusting.

  32. THE LYING ‘LIBERAL’ MEDIA:

    Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow: These Socialist-supporting, Communist-committed, Marxist-Loving, Nontransparent-Cheating, False-Hope Preaching, Progressive-idiots want the U.S. Constitution Abolished, and/or at least heading in that direction. When Socialist-Dictators from 3rd-World countries praise your economic achievements, you better “MEASURE TWICE, and CUT ONCE” your understanding of your countries future.

    MSNBC is BAD for Business in the U.S.A.!

    This is not CANADA! This is not a “HATE” speech from a ‘Right-Wing Nut,’ or even a ‘Right-Winger,’ this is an opinion from an AMERICAN who doesn’t need to think but UNDERSTAND that there is hate everywhere, against anyone, at anytime, about anything, from everywhere (there are BUSH haters on the left & OBAMA haters on the right).

    Anyone who agrees with the reigning Administration must want to know WHEN to piss, WHO to kiss, WHEN to play, WHERE to work, and WHERE to lay (live). Anyone who agrees with the reigning Administration must have bought, what they couldn’t afford; have trespassed, where they didn’t live; have barrowed, what they couldn’t pay back; listened, to what they didn’t understand, and are now preaching, what they know nothing of.

    MSNBC, CNN, and the Obama Administration worry more about the well-being and opinions of Domestic/Islomic Terrorist then they do about the well-being and majority, that represent the AMERICAN PEOPLE. They must be more worried about the well-being of 20% of the country, then they are about the well-being of the majority, 80% of the country.

    You can blame (President) Clinton for pushing away our ECONOMY’S past , (President) Bush for ignoring our ECONOMY’s Present, and (President) Obama for throwing away our ECONOMY’s Future.

    If you can’t read or understand the Constitution, then get out of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, quickly!

    So we just passed a Health Care Law in order to know what is in it; written by a committee whose chairman says he didn’t understand it; passed by a congress that didn’t read it and exempts themselves from it; Signed by a hypocritical-president who is a smoker; from funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes; all to be overseen by a sergeon general who by military standards is obese; all to be financed by a country that is broke.

    (WHAT IDIOTS)

    OUR INDEPENDENCE IS THE “BIG F@#?EN DEAL!” (Thank You Mr. Biden)

  33. you american are fucker

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