Immigration

And For Our Next Mandate….

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It's for your own good

Over at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, columnist A. Barton Hinkle says our new health care system is another yank in the "one-way ratchet that tightens the yoke of government around the public neck." What will the next squeeze look like?

[T]he increased federal involvement in health care will become a pretext for increased federal involvement in—well, everything. The reasoning will be that individual health affects health care, which is now a federal enterprise. And everything can be said, with more or less sophistry, to affect individual health. So "managing" the "system" will become the all-purpose excuse for dictating the manner in which you live your life. Witness the campaign against obesity: Because obesity causes health problems, and because the government spends money to treat those problems, you should put down that doughtnut, ma'am or sir. And hit the Stairmaster while you're at it.

And the logic of the "individual mandate," Hinkle argues, will not be limited to mere health care.

Congress will now begin debating whether to heap another indignity on the public for the sake of another ostensibly noble cause: preventing illegal immigration. Sens. Charles Schumer, a Democrat, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican, have introduced legislation proposing a spiffy new way to make sure undocumented aliens don't take jobs from U.S. residents who have their government papers in order. Schumer and Graham want to make every American citizen and legal immigrant carry a biometric identity card proving eligibility to work.

This is, in short, a national ID card. It is also a perfect distillation of Washington's approach to problem-solving[.]

Whole thing here. Reason on Real ID here.

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  1. Lindsey Graham is a menace. Not only is the dumb bastard signing up for the immigration reform, he is also signing up for Cap and Trade. I guess since Trent Lott is gone, he has decided to take up the mantle of the worst Republican Senator.

    1. Congressman Lindsey Graham seemed to have so much promise. Senator Lindsey Graham has been a complete sack of shit since the day he was sworn in.

      1. That seems to happen a lot. The Senate really brings out the worst in people.

        1. I know a good guy running for senate. I told him he was too nice to deal with those folks. He replied, “Elbows,friend,elbows!” I hope he puts some eyes out.

      2. The GOP in general had a lot of promise back when Graham was in the House, so it’s probably not just him.

    2. Because he’s not voting just to defeat Obama?

      What about immigration reform don’t you like?

      What about stopping destroying the planet don’t you like?

      Other than because Democrats are doing it, that is.

      1. What about immigration reform don’t you like?

        What about stopping destroying the planet don’t you like?

        Holy blatant strawman, Batman.

        1. What about stopping destroying the planet don’t you like?

          Have you ever tried hitting the thermal exhaust port of a Death Star? It’s fucking hard work without some disembodied voice helping you out and they’re in short supply! So, yeah, I’m kind of tired of stopping destroying the planet right now.

      2. What about immigration reform don’t you like?

        Me? The national ID card, as mentioned in the post.

      3. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

        I won’t wish ill upon you Tony, but I won’t grieve for you either.

      4. So, a national ID card is okay with you, because Obama is doing it?

        Would it still have been okay with you if Bush had done it?

        (Libertarians, watch and learn. Think about this whenever the foolish notion enters your head that liberals will make good allies in opposition to the police state.)

      5. What about immigration reform don’t you like?

        The last time they tried it the legislation was truly awful. And they seem to be starting off this time on the very worst foot they can.

        1. As a LEGAL immigrant who just got his citizenship last year after a few years on the green card and beaucoups of dollars and USCIS appointments later it is a slap in the face.

          Current proposals automagically grant illegal students the right to instate tuition while the rest of us law abiding individuals don’t. They then are on the fast track to citizenship for absolutely no reason other than they broke the initial immigration laws.

          Of course, politicians aren’t idiots. Whoever’s first past the post with amnesty will get the votes indefinitly from a grateful new group of citizens. It’s the same with any social program from the government. “I gave you money that you now cannot live without. You vote for the other guy and they’ll take it from you.” Every social program traps people into voting for bigger government. Just like conservatives who are stuck on Medicare/Medicaid. Those programs shouldn’t exist, but they’ll never vote against them because they are now reliant on them.

          Reset button.

          1. Current proposals automagically grant illegal students the right to instate tuition while the rest of us law abiding individuals don’t.

            Huh? Illegal immigrants have exactly the same right entitlement to instate tuition as law abiding individuals do: If they reside in the state, they get instate tuition.

          2. They then are on the fast track to citizenship for absolutely no reason other than they broke the initial immigration laws.

            Indeed, they should not be tracked toward citizenship. They should simply be allowed indefinite legal residency once they come forward and get an indefinite legal residency visa — just as anyone else who shows up at the border or a consulate and passes the background checks should.

            The restrictions, wait times, and quotas on citizenship-track visas don’t need to be touched at all by such reform. People who hold unlimited non-citizenship-track visas may move to citizenship-track visas as the rules and quotas allow it. The only difference is that the US no longer abrogates their individual rights by prohibiting their residence and labor while they wait in line.

      6. What about stopping destroying the planet don’t you like?

        The facts that (a) global warming will not destroy the planet and (b) the costs of stopping it are greater than the costs of not stopping it.

  2. As I recall, Michael Walzer, in “Spheres of Justice,” gives this as an argument in favor of socialism: when everything is common property, it becomes possible to moralize, scold, blame, and demand in contexts where previously it made little sense to do so.

  3. Each impingement becomes the justification for the next, does it not?

  4. It makes sense if you think about it. I don’t think it will be, but if, heaven help us, this individual mandate is allowed to stand as legal, it sets an immediate standard that there is virtually nothing that the feds CAN’T mandate that we buy or do.

    1. It pretty much sets the standard that your ass belongs to the State. You’re government property, GI, government issue.

      1. Once they decided that we can no longer take our property with us if we decide to leave, taking our asses was the logical next step. Nothing actually belongs to us anymore. Nothing.

        1. All your things are belong to us.

      2. I had an argument with some woman on some forum who claimed and believed that we are each owned by “society”, that we are, literally, not our own property. All people of both the left and the right are inclined to believe we are owned to some degree or another by society and are uncomfortable with the idea of genuine self ownership. I can hear it in my head “Yeah, you are free, but that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want!” This completely excluding behaviors which interfere with the lives and rights of others.

        1. The other possibility is that they like the idea of being “owned”.

          1. Why is it that I’m the one that feels “pwned”?

        2. So much progressivist drivel makes my head want to explode. I fear they are getting their way and that the Republicans won’t get organized or reasonable enough to fight it in time. Then agitprops like Glen Beck claim to be Libertarian. Ugh… Just threw up in my mouth a little.

        3. I had an argument with some woman on some forum who claimed and believed that we are each owned by “society”, that we are, literally, not our own property.

          Old progressive yarn which comes in many forms. Your labor(or some percentage thereof)is owned by society to the betterment and continuation of same.

          The only thing that makes it hard (for the time being) to forcefully oppose this stuff is that the goal seems to be to make us slaves with 100% employment and guaranteed access to healthcare. Who could be against that?

          Apropos of discussions on the net elsewhere, this healthcare issue is only another straw. With the combination of Republican straws in the realm of surveilance, warrantless wiretaps and indefinite detention policies to protect us from both domestic and foreign threats, combined with the continuation of those policies, but added federalization, nationalization (in part) and increased regulation in all matters economic by the Democrats, we’re sewing things up nicely.

      3. I owe my soul to the federal stores.

    2. Why not say that only GM cars meet the basic safety standards needed in the US?

      Either buy a GM car or pay a fine.

      Seems like it is just as justifiable as an insurance mandate.

  5. I was mulling over why they would attach student loans to the health care reconciliation. Has anyone seen if there is a mandate to be covered by health care in order to get a student loan under the new legislation? That would be a sneaky way to force parents to carry their kids and increase the health pool, one of the problems this shitastic idea has.

    1. Obama just believes that college education should be another entitlement, so he snuck it in there, and soon it’s yet another thing that the taxpaying suckers will be footing the bill for.

      And from a totalitarian standpoint, the government will have the added bonus of getting to decide which students do and don’t have to pay the loan back.

      1. Tuition is free if you sign up for Obama Studies.

        1. True. But the class is team taught by Tony and Choad.

        2. Exactly! The politburo ascends!

    2. I don’t know if there is anything about being required to have insurance for college. But, I think it’s a requirement in NY state.

    3. I could be completely wrong here, but my understanding is that the student loan package was added because the interest revenues from the added volume of new federal-monopoly loans sweetens the overall revenue of the whole pile of dung:

      A.) It’s a gimmick to improves the CBO score and provided cover to the squishes who claim to care about the fiscal aspects.

      and

      B.) It makes the whole bill more easily justifiable as a “budget measure” that is eligible for the reconciliation process.

      Then you also have the political convenience of bypassing the filibuster on the sure to be contentious student loan bill as well.

      Somebody tell me if I’m wrong on all of that. I could be.

      As far as your actual question about combining regulations under the two, I haven’t heard anything, but wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest that they didn’t do something like that.

      1. Somebody tell me if I’m wrong on all of that.

        *crickets*

      2. It was added so that come November, every Republican can be labeled anti-education because they voted against it.

    4. I was mulling over why they would attach student loans to the health care reconciliation.

      Purely because the student loans bill (so long as you ignore the risk of students defaulting) slightly reduces the deficit by its CBO score, so they could use that to add some more health spending. Their “fixes” to the Senate bill overall make the deficit worse compared to the Senate bill, but bills under reconciliation must (appear to) make the deficit better. In order to get the fixes through reconciliation, then, they had to add a bill that improves the deficit.

  6. The traditional left wing totalitarian reply to “we just want more freedom, man” is “the poor man is not free to dine at the Ritz.” This is a dishonest meme that Chony wheeled out on these boards (against me and others) just yesterday.

    I suppose in the new era of progressive totalitarianism, that phrase will be changed to “the poor man is not free to eat tofu at the State Cafeteria before using the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-provided Stairmaster.”

    1. Obama himself pushed that meme in the infamous 2001 radio interview.

      He specifically said that the civil rights era did not go far enough in producing actual equality because simply sitting at the lunch counter means nothing if the person sitting there still can’t pay for it.

      But yeah, he’s a post-partisan moderate who appeals to everyone, so maybe he misquoted himself.

    2. “the poor man is not free to dine at the Ritz.”

      He can eat at the Ritz if he gets a dishwasher job there.

  7. The individual mandate means that we are all now wards of the state. The rest is just details.

    1. I may be wrong, but I’m not worried about the individual mandate part of the bill. If it is still around in 2014, and a bunch of people get hit with the fines, it will go away soon thereafter.

      1. The individual mandate represents the death of autonomy. The state can tell you anything and everything you must do. Period.

      2. Maybe. Once the hurt kicks in, there will be screaming. But I wouldn’t be so quick that those screams will motivate change.

        My guess is those who complain about fines will be ridiculed because they don’t want to contribute to their health care. They may be labeled as freeloaders.

        1. I would bet at least a few truck bombs go off once people start having to face those fines.

          But then I think a lot more will happen well before 2014.

          1. “”I would bet at least a few truck bombs go off once people start having to face those fines.””

            Because it worked so well for McVeigh’s cause?

            1. McVeigh’s main PR mistake was blowing up a lot of little kids. If people start getting a lot of shit from the IRS, I doubt they’ll be all that broken up to hear that a crazy person blew some tax drones to hell.

              I’m not saying they’ll condone it or dance in the streets or pick up a gun or bomb themselves, but quite a few will file it away under “blowback” — you fuck with people long enough, one of them is probably crazy enough to kill you.

              1. OKC was a false flag attack. The government blew up the kids and blamed it on people who don’t like taxes. Pretty simple. What happened to the reports of multiple bombs?

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6B4vbO67Bp4

      3. That Congress is assuming the power for itself and believes it to be within its constitutional bounds is what’s scary about it. Not the actual mandate itself. I think that’s K’s point.

        1. When the supreme court upholds the individual mandate, the congress will have the authority to delve into every aspect of person’s life.

          1. That’s when we’re authorized to delve into the ending of their lives.

          2. That is correct, and unfortunately, I agree with you that it’s likely to be upheld. The plain words of the Constitution are no longer plain.

            Nancy Pelosi was just that many steps ahead of us when she fielded that question a couple of months ago.

        2. i don’t think that they necessarily ‘believe it to be within its constitutional bounds’ or not. they just don’t give a fuck.

        3. Come on, guys. The Constitution is a dead letter. Get over it.

          1. What part of Fundamental Transformation don’t you understand?

    2. Sorry to say, but such an outcome was virtually guaranteed when, some two-and-half centuries ago, a group of otherwise-intelligent men made the fatal decision to codify the loose association of their independent states in the form of an alterable document which would thenceforth define a central authority to represent and govern them all.

      Not even ten years later, the Constitution was ratified, clearly confirming the notion that the government they had created would never regard itself as possessing a sufficient level of power.

      The question for us today is: if one would not subjugate himself to a dictator, a master, or a king, why then should he regard himself as subject to an authority arbitrarily defined and established by his forefathers, to which he has neither consented nor condones?

      1. Your statements rest upon several presumptions, many of which are not factual.

        The framers of the Constitution hardly acted “arbitrarily” in laying out the structure of the federal government, and never intended nor purported to require anyone to subjugate himself to the federal government.

        The government was meant to be federal, not national or central. “The people” of the various states united and transferred a measured degree of sovereign power to the federal government, to empower it to perform those enumerated, limited functions they had set forth in the written Constitution.

        I do not fault the framers or the Constitution itself. I fault those who came after, who either knowingly, willfully or through ignorance or blindness (either of the latter two also could be willful) perverted, distorted, exaggerated or simply ignored those inherent limits and arrogated powers to the federal government it never had any right to.

        1. I fault the framers on one or two things. They certainly could have been clearer on some matters.

        2. I do hold the decision as arbitrary; they could just as well have decided to set up a constitutional monarchy, in which case we would likely be having a very different conversation.

          We are not, as you imply, in the realm of fact here, and I do not see where I stated any; it is simply my contention that the Articles, followed by the Constitution, represent fundamental mistakes, due to their explicit legitimization of the concept of central government in this land. I arrive at such an opinion through a further contention, based both on reason and observation, that the growth of such governments is simply a part of their very nature, regardless of any constraints their creators may have hoped to place them under.

          This should in no way be construed as absolving the actors who came into play after the fact and actually implemented such gross distortions of the framer’s intents. I only say that it was inevitable that this is what would happen. Above I called the framers ‘otherwise-intelligent’; what I should have written was that they were not prescient — I do not mean to imply any ill intention on their part.

          More simply put, I hold that it was a fool’s errand the framers unwittingly embarked upon. I am personally convinced that they were well-intentioned, but with the benefit of hindsight I do not consider it a stretch to state that the idea of limited national government was never anything other than a pipe dream; a contradiction in terms.

          1. Like Rothbard said, the real impractical utopians are the ones who give all the guns and power to the federal government and then expect it limit itself.

    3. If SCOTUS strikes the individual mandate down, the government will become powerful than you could possibly imagine.

      It’s basically a win/win for evil: if it stands, we get corrupt crony capitalism edging into true corporatism. If the bill is upheld with the mandate removed, the insurance industry collapses and the government will get direct control of all healthcare.

      1. Nice intrinsic Obi-wan reference.

  8. STUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAK!

    Fuck me, thanks for the hope and change, statist pukes.

  9. How long it will be before the feds make motorcycle helmets mandatory nationwide? For health care reasons.

    Of course, they could just ban motorcycles; and cars which weigh less than four thousand pounds. And ladders.

    1. I never, ever, ever ride my moorsickles without wearing my helmet. EVER. Saved my life when a truck took me out in Toledo a couple years ago. Bike was totaled – I didn’t even have a headache.

      However, I’m a firm believer in what I like to call “Darwinism”, so no helmet laws = good. You wanna ride without a helmet? Be my guest. State shouldn’t stop you.

      Now ladders, on the other hand…:)

      1. They’ll keep ladders, but ban chutes.

        1. No word yet on candy, mousetraps, or malnourished hippos.

          1. As of today, operations will be in short supply.

            1. Don’t even think of picking up sticks. You could put out an eye! And don’t even think about playing jacks. Those little jacks clearly are modeled after caltrops, and thus playing jacks glorifies antipersonnel violence, animal cruelty and warlike behavior. Anyone playing jacks henceforth will be involuntarily committed for psychological evaluation for violent and antisocial tendencies.

              1. this is a serious as a battleship.

    2. “and cars which weigh less than four thousand pounds”

      Um, I am thinking they will ban cars that weigh MORE than four thousand pounds. They will say those pollute much more and therefore have a more direct impact on the entire population’s health (via global warming). GM will purchase Smart with a no interest government loan, and Smart cars will be mandated.

    3. Cap’n Trade to the rescue!

      Cap’n Trade will just ban motorcycles and cars. Period.

  10. I dunno. Your average American can be pretty oblivious about what the government is up to, and remain unconvinced by any argument that involves more than one logical step or abstractions, BUT there are certain places where politicians cannot go without swift retribution: taking away our donuts is one of them.

    1. No problem- the police union made sure we got free donuts covered in the heralthcare bill.

  11. I don’t think the donut bans will happen, but what will happen is that more and more private insurance companies will go belly up or be taken over by the government.

    1. First, they came for the donuts, and I don’t eat donuts, so I didn’t care….

    2. “”I don’t think the donut bans will happen,””

      No, but banning the use of transfats and other “harmful” substances in making donuts will be fair game.

      1. Donuts will cost $2.50 a piece. Getting a discount for buying a dozen will be prohibitted (assuming that that box sales are not prohibitted outright).

        1. Effective immediately,you shall be allowed 1 doughnut per week, no more than 1 teaspoon of sugar on said doughnut, and as all cash transactions have been banned, for criminals use cash to hide their malicious deeds, we will monitor your bank account to insure compliance with this directive. Remember your governments loves you. Have a safe and healthy day!

          1. I’m telling you, it’s a run-up to Burgernacht.
            “And the streets flowed with grease.”

          2. And there will also be a yuppy breakfast pastry that looks and tastes just like a donut, but be called something else. All the folks on Capitol Hill will eat them.

            1. Yeah, because of the hole in the middle, the fake “chocolatey” coating, and the awful taste, they’ll be known as “assholes.” Which makes them the perfect treat for Congress critters.

          3. I did hear they’re increasing the chocolate ration, though. And there will be regular sales on Victory Gin.

            1. You’re right! For some reason, I thought I was allotted less chocolate, but you reminded me of MinTruth’s announcement.

              I love Big Brother!

              Hope and Change!

      2. That’s true. The donuts might not taste as good, and people will wonder why.

  12. Well, if it is good for the people, who cares? I mean really. The way it is now is absurd. Sky hight premiums, rate hikes annually. Enough is enough!

    Lou
    http://www.privacy-news.us.tc

    1. LOOK AT YOUR GOD NOW!

      There is a reason I am The First Apostate.

  13. Canadian here, and I can confirm that once the state has asserted financial responsibility for health care, you hear a lot more of the “We’re paying for it so it’s our business” arguments.

    Really though, this only provides some extra rhetorical cover for people seeking to excuse whatever the specific intrusion is. Most of the time the state can get away with it regardless, even with no plausible public-finance connection.

  14. Nope. It’s no longer too early to start shooting the bastards.

    1. “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats”

      1. “To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!”

        1. “To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died killed for ideas that were true!”

          FIFY

          1. I am sure that $ and I both agree on the fact that H. L. Mencken does not require fixing.

          2. Remembering “Patton” and something about nobody ever won a war by dieing for their country.

  15. Wouldn’t certain occupations drive up the costs? Firefighters, construction workers, miners, etc. Will the government try to regulate those workplaces even further? Also, wouldn’t certain contact sports be a definite no-no. Will they open this can of worms, because it could be endless?

    1. Of course certain occupations are going to drive up the cost and SHOULD be regulated more. Politicians, for example, are going to keep heaping more cost on this new entitlement. May I suggest regulation of politicians with an occasional sledgehammer to the junk?

      1. Now THAT’S regulation I can get behind! Hell, they could generate some serious cash flow just by holding a raffle to see who gets to hold the hammer for the day. I know I’d pitch in for a few tickets.

      2. Haha! I think giving a variety of people a sledgehammer to the junk could solve a lot of the problems that the Health Care Bill aims to fix for much, much less.

      3. The designated hitter rule — during all political speeches, a member of the opposition party gets to stand behind the speaker with a baseball bat — hilarity ensues.

    2. FWIW, many professional athletes from other countries regularly come here for treatment and diagnoses. Where are they going to go now? What the hell are NFL teams going to do when they can no longer have their own team doctor? This sounds silly, but it’s a serious question, no? If no one can self-insure themselves anymore or pay their own bills and have to buy very specifically prescribed insurance policies, how are athletes covered at all now?

      1. I’m going to go out a limb here and guess that NFL teams provide employer-sponsored coverage. The teams probably also pay the team doctor’s salary and provide that care to the players at no cost to the player or insurance company. They’ll probably keep doing that after this.

        1. That’s how it works now, I agree.

          But would that not be a “cadillac plan”? Aren’t those evil? I thought the point was that we’re pushing for standardized benefits among all subjects citizens? That’s what I am wondering, specifically.

  16. Me on Foxnews being pro-immigration and anti-national ID

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsgjxZ7psx0

    1. You look much too respectable to be here among this rabble. Run, run; if you love yourself, run, for the love of God.

    2. Wow, that other guy was quite an obnoxious prick.

      1. Jesus, Alex, well done.
        If I see that jackass “debating” you around DC, should I throat-punch?

      2. Needs a bit of the ol’ ultra violence.

        1. Fantastic, an Obi-Wan reference above and now A Clockwork Orange?
          Well done people! Now all I need is Slut Bunwalla to post on this thread and my tri-fecta of personal dorkery will be complete.

  17. Might as well have a National ID.

    It’ll go nicely with the National EGO.

    1. +1 for lame dorky jokes.

  18. Guess what? Mr. Obama is making another speech about ObamaCare! The legislation “everyone” wanted is still being explained and defended and sold. Mr. Obama is spewing crunchy sound bites that will be dutifully rebroadcast all day and all night long by his adoring MSM lackeys. Relax, Prez. You won! The campaign is over. Isn’t it?

    1. Mr. Obama is making another speech about ObamaCare!

      Like a dog returning to his vomit . . . .

      1. So tasty. And affordable!

      2. Amen.

  19. You know what really bugs me is the hit on entrepreneurship.

    There’s a subtle calculus involved in the assumptions parents and kids make about what they need to do to be successful in life, and in Obama’s world, entrepreneurship becomes less and less of a viable option, and the safe option, getting the right degrees to be a bureaucrat, crowds the entrepreneurial options out.

    I don’t want a future with more kids deciding they want to be bureaucrats. …and that’s the world Obama’s creating–where everybody has an equal opportunity to be a highly paid bureaucrat. …in the health sector, in education, wherever.

    I’m afraid all that entrepreneurship in biotech and healthcare is gonna go bye-bye, or at least I don’t think there’s gonna be anywhere near as much of that going on.

    I was actually thinking about going back to school and maybe getting involved in some of that biotech entrepreneur culture, but I worked in a hospital for seven years… I know what working in a bureaucracy’s like.

    I have zero interest in being a biotech bureaucrat. I don’t want to work in a healthcare utility. There’s the smart-meter thing, but utilities haven’t done much in the way of innovation for 40 years. It’s hard to imagine healthcare utilities needing innovative biotech entrepreneurs.

    We’re seeing the same thing on order from Obama’s financial services utility, his auto manufacturing utility, now his healthcare utility…

    I don’t see the up-side to working in any of those industries at all. …and I think a future in which bright young kids see those industries as attractive opportunities as kinda horrifying…

    Talk about shifting baselines! …and the soft discrimination of lowered expectations. It’s a kinda horrifying prospect.

    1. Just take another drink of Victory Gin, comrade.

    2. I hear ya. The center of gravity in biotech is going to be Asia in a few years. Well on the way to becoming that already.

    3. Actually I suspect more and more people will move to indepdent contracting. Since you aren’t technically an “employee”, the benefits, regulations, and fines don’t apply.
      You will buy your health insurance through one of the exchanges, but your employer won’t have to pay the penalty because you’re technically self-employed.

      1. They’re well-acquainted with that strategy already — the tax code is littered with special regs for independent contractors. Self-employed people are a taxing authority’s worst nightmare.

        1. No shit it does.

      2. “Actually I suspect more and more people will move to indepdent contracting.”

        Let’s scope out a little and take in the forest.

        When insurance plans are taxed heavily if they offer too many services, and everyone is required to buy a minimum amount of service, then there’s no reason to innovate.

        …and all the industries that are centered on entrepreneurial innovation become much less important. Those companies and jobs, some of them disappear, and others that would have happened? They just never appear!

        The service providers can’t compete on price anymore. They can’t differentiate themselves on services either–they’re punitively taxed for offering too much. So why would you invest in new technology?

        Electric utilities are basically set up that way. Everybody has to buy electricity and the rates utilities can charge is pretty well regulated…

        So there hasn’t been any real innovation. Why would they innovate? The regulators let them charge enough to make a profit and they can’t charge for more services anyway! So what do they do with it?

        They just fork the money out to investors. Utilities pay a hell of a lot more dividends than any other industry–across the board!

        And the costs of that lost innovation never really gets booked, which may not matter as much for electricity generation…

        …but that makes a huge difference in industries like medical devices, pharmaceuticals and medical software.

        Spending money on that kind of innovation, from a healthcare provider’s standpoint, is wasteful under those circumstances. What are you gonna do–cut your costs? If the regulators are letting you charge enough to cover your costs, it doesn’t matter what your costs are.

        What are you gonna do by investing in innovation then? Increase your profit margin? Like I said, the regulators won’t let you make too much money anyway–that’s why the utilities pay dividends as high as they do! They have to get rid of all that money!

        They can’t let the regulators think they’re making too much money–or the regulators won’t let them raise rates, when necessary, to cover their costs.

        So innovation dies. There wasn’t much in the way of innovation in the utility sector for 40 years.

        My family has a history of Alzheimers. I think investors have a lot less reason to sink money into R&D for that now. …but that loss won’t show up on Obama’s or the CBO’s spreadsheet–which is precisely why their spreadsheets shouldn’t be trusted.

        They don’t really take the important things like quality and innovation into account.

    4. I heard it said that this is good for small business because they will get a 35% subsidy on the health insurance they provide for their employees. (It was also said that no one could run on the premiss of repealing healthcare because no one is going to want to tell small businesses that they will now be getting a 35% increase on the cost of covering employees.

      And then I thought, but waht of the thousands and thousands of small business that will now be forced to provide healthcare? Won’t they view this as a cost increase to their business?

  20. As I will be personally funding many people’s health “care” I will personally knock the any cigarette I see out of anyone’s hand. I’m not paying for your lung cancer treatment. That chemo is expensive.

    1. I was thinkin’ about that in terms of grocery store lines.

      The days of me seeing a fat slob in front of me, buying ice cream with food stamps and paying cash for the cigarettes, and me saying absolutely nothing about it?

      Those days are over.

      1. Then you are a statist prick. I thought libertarians had principles. People’s business is their own, no matter what other people make you do for them. Even if they don’t themselves think their business should be their own, I will stand up for their right to be left alone by the government and by assholes like you.

        1. Oh dear, someone’s satire detector is broken.

          You should have bough a certified Sarcasmometer(TM). They never fail.

          1. Usually I am pretty good at sarcasm detection. Maybe I am having a bad day.
            Or it is just too realistic for comfort.

        2. Don’t get me wrong, Zeb!

          I’m not saying the government should step in and stop people from buying cigarettes and ice cream…

          I’m saying I am going to step in and speak up! Being a libertarian doesn’t mean I have to stand by quietly and watch fat people use food subsidies to stuff their faces and smoke cigarettes on my tab!

          It just means I don’t want the government involved.

          Buy yeah, if you want to smoke cigarettes and President Obama is sending me the bill for your healthcare–then your smoking really is my business.

          …same as anything else.

          You don’t want fundamentalists screaming about atheist teachers teaching their kids about evolution? …better let ’em home school!

          I run 3-4 miles every other day. I’m self-employed!

          I don’t want to pay for some fat slob’s ice cream and cigarettes! So what’s the home school opt out solution for Obamacare? There isn’t one, is there.

          I have some choice words for the next fat slob on food stamps I see in the checkout line in front of me.

          1. “So what’s the home school opt out solution for Obamacare? There isn’t one, is there.”

            Which is why it is unconstitutional.

            1. I’d feel better about that if it wasn’t for the fact that the South operated under unconstitutional Jim Crow laws for decades.

              …if it wasn’t that Washington DC, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles have all operated under unconstitutional gun laws for decades.

              I don’t want to suffer under this for decades. And who knows if the people on the court will get it right?

      2. There are no food stamps. People get food charge cards now.

  21. The instructress had called them to attention again. “And now let’s see which of us can touch our toes!” she said enthusiastically. “Right over from the hips, please, comrades. One-two! One-two!…”

    Winston loathed this exercise, which sent shooting pains all the way from his heels to his buttocks and often ended by bringing on another coughing fit….

    “Smith!” screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. 6079 Smith W! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! That’s better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me.”

    Getting closer all the time…

  22. National IDs make sense. That’s the only way we’ll know who’s legal and who isn’t. People forge driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, visas and passports but they’d NEVER forge a national ID card. Also, employers who currently don’t care whether someone has a valid Social Security card and pay in cash would obviously care whether someone had a national ID card. What would we do without our genius politicians to think up such brilliant ideas? I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to the mandatory, regressive $100 national id fees they will levy to pay for it.

    1. Also, the annual registration fees to make sure you are still alive.

      1. So, if I don’t pay them, I’m dead in the eyes of the government? Does that mean I can stop paying taxes? I can still vote if I move to Chicago, right?

    2. Yeah, I too don’t get the animus against the national ID. If you’re stopped by ICE within 100 miles of a national border (which SCOTUS has ruled constitutional) and you don’t have ID of some sort, they can drag your ass into custody until they sort out whether you’re here legally. Usually they don’t unless you look or sound foreign, but in theory it’s ripe for abuse. I don’t see how the existence of a National ID makes this any worse.

      1. Really? Then fuck you. Adding more to a shit pile is not justified by the existence of the shit pile.

      2. Geez, lots of sarcasm meters out of whack on this thread.

  23. I wonder how funny our “progressive” friends will think all of this is when the Repubs get back into power, which they will sooner or later, and start using “healthcare” as a lever to start “mandating” their favorite shit.

    Are they too fucking stupid to see this coming? Or do they just figure it’s worth it?

    1. They were already trying to do this on the abortion issue during the debate. They just didn’t have the votes. They probably will in the next couple election cycles.

      I can see it now: 1) no federal funding for gambling addictions, 2) illegal drug tests when you go to the doctor (they do it to participate in school athletics and activities already), etc.

      1. The first time someone asks me for a urine sample I’m taking a big shit in their little cup.

        1. Go ahead, Zeb. We’ll drop your coverage and notify the IRS of your antisocial tendencies.

          Have a nice day.

  24. [T]he increased federal involvement in health care will become a pretext for increased federal involvement in — well, everything. The reasoning will be that individual health affects health care, which is now a federal enterprise.

    Duh. We’ve known this for decades. Which is why we fought it.

  25. Revelation 13:16-18 (King James Version)

    16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

    17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

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