Barack Obama

I Guess it Depends on the Meaning of "Absolutely not a tax increase"

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The thing is, George, people actually BELIEVE this bullshit

If you only glanced at Jesse Walker's one-sentence description this morning of the Obama administration stating that the health care mandate is indeed a tax, and did not click through to the New York Times article, you are missing out on some seriously stinky White House propaganda. Here is the core five-paragraph lie; seems that the mandate is "absolutely not a tax increase"…unless you have to defend it in a court of law:

In a brief defending the law, the Justice Department says the requirement for people to carry insurance or pay the penalty is "a valid exercise" of Congress's power to impose taxes.

Congress can use its taxing power "even for purposes that would exceed its powers under other provisions" of the Constitution, the department said. For more than a century, it added, the Supreme Court has held that Congress can tax activities that it could not reach by using its power to regulate commerce.

While Congress was working on the health care legislation, Mr. Obama refused to accept the argument that a mandate to buy insurance, enforced by financial penalties, was equivalent to a tax.

"For us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase," the president said last September, in a spirited exchange with George Stephanopoulos on the ABC News program "This Week."

When Mr. Stephanopoulos said the penalty appeared to fit the dictionary definition of a tax, Mr. Obama replied, "I absolutely reject that notion."

This bit of brazen bullshittery has retroactive implications on the 2008 presidential campaign. Back then, according to the political science thumbsucker The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the 2008 Election, John McCain–surprisingly–had some momentum in mid-October that threatened to put him within striking distance. The proximate cause? Obama's "share the wealth" comment to Joe the Plumber, and the resulting suspicion that the Democrat was a "tax-and-spend liberal." How did Obama rebut what turned out to be a prescient charge? The book identifies three ways:

1) By "consistently stat[ing] that only those couples and businesses making more than $250,000 would see a tax increase."

2) By "hammer[ing] home the misleading assertion…that, if elected, the Republican presidential contender would raise most people's taxes by making employer-provided health benefits taxable for the first time."

3) By leveraging Obama's massive fundraising advantage to broadcast a series of reassuring messages to the nation that made him look presidential and reiterated his many soon-to-be-broken economic policy promises. The two- and 30-minute spots were called "Defining Moment," and if you have a strong stomach, you can watch the shorter version below:

The Obama campaign also was able to take advantage of what the book almost charitably describes as "McCain's uneven performance during the early days of the Wall Street meltdown."

So to sum up: McCain accurately dings Obama for being a tax-raiser. Obama responds by reiterating tax pledges he wouldn't keep, while specifically (and "misleadingly") attacking McCain for raising taxes with his health care plan. The ruse works–for most of the campaign, opinion polls showed that more people believed McCain was likely to raise taxes than Obama. Then, after the election, when Obama's successfully passed health care plan imposes a new tax, he denies this fact in literally absolutist terms, until his administration is challenged to defend it in court.

It's breathtaking. And not in the good way.

A final note about the book I'm taking this stuff from: The authors, Kate Kenski, Bruce W. Hardy and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, are altogether credulous when it comes to defending Obama against McCain's charges. For instance, they state that "McCain's messages magnified public belief in the false argument that the Democratic ticket would raise taxes on more than those specified in his plans." It is perhaps not surprising, then, that when Jamieson was invited by The New York Times to give the president some advice over the weekend, the title on her squib was "Explain Broken Promises."

Reason has been all over the mandate/tax propaganda; start here.

NEXT: Poll Proves DC Elites Totally Out of Touch With Reality of Good, Hard-Workin' 'Mericans...

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  1. It’s nice to see that the hunt for anything that confirms what libertarian already think is still producing results. Let’s see how many ways faithful libertoids can come up with for expressing their agreement and glee at the new tidbit. Thanks, Matt. You’re earning your keep.

    1. Ad homs show your childish and anti-intellectual nature.

    2. Did Obama lie, or not?

      It’s really a very simple question.

      And you don’t have to be afraid of answering it. Every last Obama supporter knew damn well he was lying. They felt that he was entitled to lie, because if he had told the truth about his tax plans that could have been used against him. The people who would vote against someone for proposing new taxes, as far as Obama and his supporters are concerned, don’t deserve the truth and deserve to be lied to. They’re mean-spirited people with no social conscience, so it’s OK to deceive them.

      1. Of course they knew it. If you want some sickening fun and go back and read the old Hit and Run threads after the Joe the Plummer incident. All of Obama’s defenders were claiming that he was never going to raise taxes on anyone but the “rich” and so forth. And he has made liars out of all of them.

        But are they now shocked? Are they angry at Obama for breaking a pledge they claimed was so important at the time? Hell no. They still carry his water because they knew it was a lie at the time. And they didn’t care then and they don’t care now.

      2. He did answer the question by attacking libertarians instead of discussing the actual issue in the thread. It’s really all his supporters can do now.

      3. “”Did Obama lie, or not?””

        Condi Rice would say he simply misspoke. 😉

      4. “Read his lips,” or, “Uh oh, we found out what’s in it, and it smells like defeat.”

    3. So once again Max exhibits willful blindness and totally avoids the central issue: i.e., that the current occupant of the White House is a collossal lying sack of shit. And the fact that he is a pathetic liar is easily demonstrable, simply by reviewing the record of his own words and comparing them to the actions his administration has taken.

      Keep sucking up to the Obama trough, little piggy Maxie!

    4. LICK MY TINY BALLS!

    5. Don’t have to look too hard.

    6. I had my mom write this for me, because I’m too stupid to do it myself.

      1. I should have drown him in his little bassinett. I guess I still could…

    7. Re: Max,

      It’s nice to see that the hunt for anything that confirms what libertarian already think is still producing results.

      I used to have a parrot that was just as obnoxious. Didn’t say much after I got a cat.

  2. BLAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGG

    nope, stomach not strong enough. click that vid at your own risk.

    1. I counted at least ten lies in that. My two favorites: “I’ll order a top to bottom audit of federal spending” and he will “curb special interests.”

      HAHAHAHAHAHA. So sad it’s funny.

  3. “How did Obama rebut what turned out to be a prescient charge? ”

    By lying his skinny black ass off and using his enablers in the media to let him get away with it.

    1. That’s not a lie, it’s a terminological inexactitude. Also, a tactical misrepresentation.

  4. What is not a lie with this guy? Even his HAIR is a lie and mischaracterization. This is the most scripted and managed administration in history.

    Until people quit voting on perceptions that are manufactured just for their consumption and approval we will always have Obama’s in politics.

  5. A competent opposition would already have commercials in the can showing Obama making a promise, then Obama breaking a promise.

    I can even see running these commercials during this campaign season, around any campaign visit by Obama to help a fellow Dem.

    Bleed these bastards at every opportunity. Attack their credibility relentlessly. The Washington elites and their media butt-boys have to be destroyed over the next two or three election cycles, or whatever faint hope we have of halting our decline into a sclerotic, stagnant, kleptocracy will be snuffed out.

    1. That, plus charts showing the economy tanking after the Democrats took Congress in 2006, the number of new bureaucrats and regulations added, the debt added by Obama already exceeding the debt Bush added in eight years, etc.

    2. The election is a long way off still. Better to give the DNC propaganda machine less time to respond.

    3. “media butt-boys”

      I like that expression.

      Gives me images of journalists being squirted on with milk from the assholes of political elites.

  6. Attack their credibility relentlessly.

    In order to successfully do this, don’t you have to have some sort of credibility, yourself?

    Otherwise, you’re just wallowing around in the PeeWee Herman Academy of Logic’s “I know you are, but what am I?” methodology.

    1. That is a problem. To have credibility, you have to actually want to cut government in a meaningful way. But as soon as you want to do that, they will call you radical nut. And if you don’t want to, they will just scream about “Bush’s deficits” and so forth.

      1. And if you don’t want to, they will just scream about “Bush’s deficits”

        In that case, they’d have a point. If the LP was anything other than a joke, it could be making massive traction with people who are fucking sick to death of the irresponsibility of both the Democrat and Republican side of our national one-party system.

      2. It’s hard to scream about Bush’s deficits when you exceed eight years of them within a year or so.

        1. …and when you controlled Congress for the last two years of the Bush administration, and during the previous six years were constantly screaming that he wasn’t spending enough.

    2. In order to successfully do this, don’t you have to have some sort of credibility, yourself?

      Well, yes and no. When you can run a commercial showing the President making and breaking promise after promise, I think the credibility attack speaks for itself. The purpose of that ad is purely destructive.

      You need credibility of your own, sure, but not some kind of Platonic credibility; just more than your opponent.

      But I’m not particularly interested in Red or Blue victories. My main goal is to see as much damage done to all concerned. Vicious partisan infighting is its own reward, because everybody loses.

      1. gridlock is what I’m hoping for.

      2. Ah, so you’re looking at it from the vulture’s point of view.

      3. Don’t be a hater! Be a participator! …lol… go team whatever!

    3. I’ll have you know that Chad graduated from that academy and is smarter than you!

  7. The classic and deadly Commerce Clause/Taxing Power pincer movement. Well done, Congress.

    Obama lies, and apparently doesn’t care that they’re obvious lies. You’re going to be turning over new pages every hour on H&R if you devote posts to this showing this.

  8. The authors, Kate Kenski, Bruce W. Hardy and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, are altogether credulous when it comes to defending Obama against McCain’s charges.

    They weren’t the only ones, that’s for damn sure.

  9. Wow, this is brazen.

    These fuckers are melting down. Almost like they don’t even care how it all looks. Surely he’ll still have the tribalist- errrr, (advanced) colored people- errrr, Black vote in 2012 – they don’t give a shit about his actual politics, but who the fuck else is going vote for this guy? College professors? San Francisco? Where the hell is he going to get the rest of the votes from last time? Who is going to be stupid enough to fall for this bullshit next time?*

    *Hypothetical question… I’m pretty sure the GOP will win the battle in November and give Obama enough Clintonesque cover to triangulate and win the reelection war. Almost no doubt in my mind now… but those people will still be stupid.

    1. Ha ha ha ha ha, you say all this because you are clearly assuming that I intend to hold elections in 2012. HA HA HA.

      1. Yes, you do. You just don’t intend to participate in them, and your party will support you in this.

    2. …but who the fuck else is going vote for this guy?

      Unions. And fuck-all else.

    3. ho is going to be stupid enough to fall for this bullshit next time?

      Idiots in the 18-25 demographic. They love him. Thank Christ they can’t be bothered to get out and vote.

      1. I don’t know…the job market for that demographic is pretty terrible, and an objective analysis demonstrates that they will be hurt the most by Obamacare, Obama’s only major “accomplishment”. Most of the people in that demographic voted for Obama because they were digusted by Bush, especially on foreign policy, which Obama has hardly diverged from. I bet they won’t suddenly vote for the GOP (unless they take a massive turn towards libertarianism), but they aren’t really gung-ho for Obama anymore (as he has failed to live up to the shallow, idealistic promises he ran on) and they will be much more likely to stay home next time. I wonder if political reality has left many feeling disenfranchised and apolitical again.

        1. I deal with that demographic pretty much every day, and for the most part they blame Bush for all things economic, and Republican obstructionism for Obama’s inability to keep his promises.

        2. I can assure you that most people my age ignore everything you just said and will vote for Obama anyways, the stupid fucks.

        3. heh, nah. They blame Bush and Republican obstructionism for everything bad, and think ObamaCare is the bee’s knees because they can stay on their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26 or 27 or whatever.

    4. There’s a good chance Obama chooses not to run again in 2012.

      1. I highly doubt it.

        1. Hillary takes him out in the primary. She’s been posturing for that for several months now.

          1. I’m not sure about that scenario; black voters would retaliate by staying home in November, so Hillary would ultimately be screwed and she knows it. They need to find a way for Obama to voluntarily not seek the nomination. At this point, I think he’s sick of the job, so it won’t be too hard.

  10. Obama had to lie because the conservative and libertarian crybabies don’t realize that his policies will make life better off for everyone. His detractors simply don’t understand how his policies work or why they are necessary. They put him in this position.

    1. Stop sock puppeting Tony. Even Tony is not this stupid.

      1. I’ll bet you $100 he won’t criticize Obama for lying. He’ll either avoid commenting on this post or he’ll write something that dodges the main point of this article. He’ll never admit Obama is a liar, or he’ll just justify it by saying “GW’s lies were worse” or some such BS.

        1. I am sure he won’t. He is just like Joe. He will never show his face or make some ridiculous defense.

          1. It’s time to hunt joe down whereever he is hiding himself these days.

            1. Apparently he’s crawled into Tonys rectum.

          2. Here goes… As I don’t share your lizard-brain reflexive hatred of taxes, on this issue, I just don’t give a shit. I knew the insurance mandate took the form of a tax. Everyone knew it, except morons like yourself who were calling it an unprecedented requirement by the federal government to purchase a product.

            If people would stop setting the terms of the debate to require that no tax ever be countenanced, politicians could speak honestly about them. Maybe if we exhume some Nazis to fight paying taxes would be considered patriotic again.

            1. Alright, you guys all said I didn’t spoof Tony very well. But, let’s compare my spoof to what he’s actually saying.

              Spoof: “They put him in this position.”

              Actual Tony: “If people would stop setting the terms of the debate to require that no tax ever be countenanced, politicians could speak honestly about them.”

              I think I predicted his response quite well, thanks.

              1. Not wordy or smug enough! A good first cut though….get in touch with your inner statist and your spoofing will improve!

            2. Read what you just wrote Tony.

              Everyone knew it, except morons like yourself who were calling it an unprecedented requirement by the federal government to purchase a product.

              Are you asserting that the health insurance mandate is not “an unprecedented requirement by the federal government to purchase a product”?

              Or are just flailing about in a ridiculous and transparent attempt to defend the indefensible?

              1. Yes, I’m asserting you’re being a dishonest hack who wants to have it both ways. It’s simply a different tax structure for those who have insurance and those who refuse to despite being able to. Nobody’s going to jail for not buying insurance, which is how you guys have framed it from day one.

                What’s indefensible is your not realizing that without such a “mandate” costs are still socialized, only in the most inefficient way.

                1. Stop sockpuppeting Tony. The perfect imitation of someone annoying can only strive to be, in itself, annoying.

                2. “I knew the insurance mandate took the form of a tax. Everyone knew it, except morons like yourself who were calling it an unprecedented requirement by the federal government to purchase a product.”

                  I will take this as your admission that you are a dishonest ass who simply cannot argue in good faith. Ignoring your posts just got even easier.

                  Can’t we get a decent liberal around here?

              2. I’d like Tony to tell us what other products we are taxed for not buying. I mean come on, we will now have both sales tax and no-sale tax.

            3. “I knew the insurance mandate took the form of a tax. Everyone knew it, except morons like yourself who were calling it an unprecedented requirement by the federal government to purchase a product.”

              +100

              1. And yet the geniuses in Congress who wrote the bill didn’t know it was a tax, so that’s why they used Commerce Clause justifications? Right…

              2. shorter MNG and Tony. “Of course we lied. You can’t expect us to ever win an argument on the merits can you?”

                Lying is just what you people do.

              3. Goddamn, and they said that I turned subterfuge into a political philosophy. I’ve got nothing on Obama, MNG and Tony.

            4. Aw. You mean that meanie American public forced wittle Barrack to lie by having the brazen audacity to publicly disagree with him.

              The life of a President really is hard.

            5. Tony is the ideal consumer.

              Sock Puppet Tony requires psychological counseling and negative feedback to be linearized and normalized to the ideal state.

      2. I take this back. Tony and MNG proved below, that yes they really are that stupid, brazen and dishonest.

        1. Thanks, but the feeling of vindication is a hollow one. Being right about something so depressing is a bad start to the day.

    2. Guys, seriously. Stop spoofing Tony. Or at least spoof him better.

    3. This is a horrible spoof. It would be better if you said “Chony” or “Danny T” or “Chicago Larry” and made the spoof element more of a parody.

      1. Chicago Tom isn’t one of them. I think he is a civil libertarian…a Chicago libertarian. A Chicago libertarian is defined as, well, Chicago Tom.

    4. Re: Tony,

      Obama had to lie because the conservative and libertarian crybabies don’t realize that his policies will make life better off for everyone.

      Tony-ethics in a nutshell: The end justifies the means as long as the perpetrator’s intentions are noble – uh, at least, in Tony’s mind.

    5. So… fuck honor, eh, Tony? It’s okay to lie to the public if one THINKS the cause is just?

      Hint: It’s never okay for politicians to lie. Team Red, Team Blue… same rules apply.

  11. If you only glanced at Jesse Walker’s one-sentence description this morning of the Obama administration stating that the health care mandate is indeed a tax, and did not click through to the New York Times article

    How did you know?

    GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!

  12. Just like the industrial policies of the 1960’s helped our steel and auto industries. Who could have predicted that the taxes, regulatory burdens, and government pimping on behalf of the unions would eventually destroy those industries? Hmmm, well just go back and see what Milton Friedman and other libertarians predicted. There’s a problem with short term (wishful) thinking Toonie. Sooner or later reality will bite you in the ass.

  13. Stop spoofing Tony. Or at least spoof him better.

    But what about all the times I *think* it’s a spoof, only to find it REALLY IS TONY?

    It’s all so confusing.

    1. What is the real Tony anyway?

    2. There is no spoon Tony.

      1. I think Tony, Chad, Dan T, Chicago Tom and Max are all the same person. Outside Hollywood, the MSM and academia, there aren’t really five people who think this way.

        1. Dude, go to Facebook.

          There are various all-purpose defenses of Obama in play there, that I think probably mirror the public at large:

          1. “He’s trying, but it’s very hard to ‘x’.”

          2. “Bush made such a bad situation that Obama can only do so much about ‘x’.”

          3. “The Republicans won’t let him do what has to be done.”

          4. “Things would be even worse if Obama hadn’t saved us.”

          1. All those people on Facebook are me.

          2. I’ve have deleted some of my friends from high school just because I got tired of reading all their idiotic talking points

          3. You don’t even have to go to facebook. Go to the Washington Post comment threads or the ones on Slate. If anything our liberals are the intelligent ones.

            1. I don’t know why libertarians state that the government fails at everything. The system of public instruction works exactly as I intended. No leader in the history of the human race has had more willing followers doing his bidding than I.

        2. ….and Edward and Shrike and the rest of the Obamateer posters.

          Nope, you nailed it! Just one deeply troubled and insufficiently medicated chap.

  14. Health care (transformation) is one of the best issues this current administration has done thus far. With this change individuals will have the opportunity to seek professional and quality health care services. Who would want to return to the days of the horse and buggy, b/w tv sets, manual typewriters, pac man, you get the point? That’s about how old the health care system was in the USA. Each day the news is filled with social tragedies in which lives are taken at the hands of known acquaintences and/or family members. Our society is stricken with the institutions of white collar crime permeating throughout this great nation and greed which tends to strike at the very fabric of our country. If you are looking for affordable health insurance check out http://bit.ly/chE6zp . I hope everyone will soon recognize and use the resources made by this transformation to seek professional medical attention as the need arises rather than turning to illegal and criminal activities to resolve their issues.

  15. So when the trolls don’t show up to spew their nonsense, someone spoofs them. Trolling by proxy is worse than the real thing.

    1. It’s all about the Benjamins hit count.

  16. MNG|7.19.10 @ 9:25AM|#
    Anyone who paid any attention to the health bill months ago should have known it was organized under the taxing power.

  17. But I’m not particularly interested in Red or Blue victories. My main goal is to see as much damage done to all concerned. Vicious partisan infighting is its own reward, because everybody loses.

    I can live with that.

  18. Barry O|7.19.10 @ 11:57AM|#

    Ha ha ha ha ha, you say all this because you are clearly assuming that I intend to hold elections in 2012. HA HA HA.

    The more things change….

  19. It’s not reasonable to expect Obama to accurately describe the health care penalty as a tax or not – that’s a question that is best left to experts in constitutional law.

    1. J Mann for the win.

  20. Take some more tea,’ the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.

    `I’ve had nothing yet,’ Alice replied in an offended tone, `so I can’t take more.’

    `You mean you can’t take less,’ said the Hatter: `it’s very easy to take more than nothing.’

    `Nobody asked your opinion,’ said Alice.

    `Who’s making personal remarks now?’ the Hatter asked triumphantly.

  21. Awesome alt text

    1. Swear to God, Warren, I had a dream last night about one of your comments. A comment that, it must be said, my own brain wrote. I think it’s time to take a vacation.

  22. When Mr. Stephanopoulos said the penalty appeared to fit the dictionary definition of a tax, Mr. Obama replied, “I absolutely reject that notion.”

    “The Earth revolves around the Sun”. “I absolutely reject that notion.”

    “It is wrong to take someone’s property without reasonable cause.” “I absolutely reject that notion.”

    “You swore to uphold the Constitution.” “I absolutely reject that notion.”

    “You are the President. You are supposed to be truthful to the People who placed you in office.” “I absolutely reject that notion.”

  23. “I knew the insurance mandate took the form of a tax. Everyone knew it, except morons like yourself Olympia Snowe.”

  24. In a brief defending the law, the Justice Department says the requirement for people to carry insurance or pay the penalty is “a valid exercise” of Congress’s power to impose taxes.

    I guess that, in these turbulent times, “taxes” have a whole new meaning, as in “whatever I think it is.”

  25. Nobody’s going to jail for not buying insurance, which is how you guys have framed it from day one.

    Let’s wait and see, shall we?

  26. I just remembered that certain religious groups such as the Amish are exempt from the health care mandate.

    If the administration’s official legal argument is now that the health care mandate is a tax, it sounds to me as though the equal protection rights of millions of Americans are now being violated on the basis of religious belief, which also treads dangerously on the First amendment as well.

    1. I really love the way you think here.

    2. Would this future trial be in tax court or real court?

  27. on this issue, I just don’t give a shit.

    “On the issue of rounding up homosexuals and gassing them, I just don’t give a shit.”

    “On the issue of rendition and torture on grounds of ‘National Security’, I just don’t give a shit.”

    “On the issue of confiscating the property of citizens who are merely suspected of wrongdoing, and selling them to pad the budget of law enforcement agencies, I just don’t give a shit.”

    I could go on and on…

    1. Having to buy insurance=gassing gays?

      Captian Hyperbole!

  28. If you check that you have no car insurance at the DMV and you have to pay a couple hundred dollars as a result, is that a tax?

    1. A couple of hundred dollars to who? Why?

      1. States do this to get everyone on the road to have insurance. It’s an incentive.

        1. You analogy doesn’t work. I can choose not to drive and avoid the tax. I cannot avoid the Obamacare tax without dying or leaving the country.

          1. Or you can just be insured so that when you are hit by a bus I’m not forced to pay for your care.

            1. Re: Tony,

              Or you can just be insured so that when you are hit by a bus I’m not forced to pay for your care.

              Who forces YOU to pay for HIS care?

            2. The parasite is concerned he might have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.

              OK, I will admit this is a funny sockpuppet of Tony.

              1. I’m not the parasite. You are. You want to act like a child and not have insurance and then when you are stricken down by a bus you want everyone else to pay to repair your mangled limbs. Undoubtedly under libertopian healthcare you’ll have the option of having them cut off for a discount, but somebody’s still gotta pay to have the gaping wounds sewn up.

                It’s pretty much analogous to car insurance, the only difference being you don’t have a choice to have a body. (Where I live you don’t have much of a choice not to have a car either.)

                1. Re: Tony,

                  I’m not the parasite. You are. You want to act like a child and not have insurance and then when you are stricken down by a bus you want everyone else to pay to repair your mangled limbs.

                  And what if he wants to? That does not mean everybody else is paying. Who is FORCING you to pay? Name names, for once.

                2. Using your logic, Tony, everyone should be forced to carry auto insurance – even if they can’t/don’t drive.

                  Go ahead, you know you want to agree.

                3. and then when you are stricken down by a bus you want everyone else to pay to repair your mangled limbs.

                  No, I don’t, actually. I want to pay for it myself or, failing that, end my life inexpensively.

                  The problem is that you and other bourgeois narcissists refuse to acknowledge that some people don’t want the Almighty State bailing them out of life’s misfortunes.

            3. I would think the bus driver, if at fault, should pay.

              1. And if he cannot?

                1. Then throw his ass in jail.

                  1. The wounded guy’s wounds is addressed by this how?

                    1. I don’t know. Maybe he should have had a fucking job, dipshit.

                    2. “The wounded guy’s wounds is addressed by this how?”

                      Sieze the bus driver’s assets too.

                      The problem with progs is they only can think of one thing at a time.

                    3. If I don’t have insurance, and don’t have money saved up, and get hit by a bus…

                      No one should pay for my healthcare. I should be left to suffer the consequences of MY OWN irresponsible actions.

                      YOU are responsible for YOU. If YOU can not pay for YOUR healthcare, tough shit.

          2. Well, yes, the two penalties provide incentives for different things. Health insurance is needed for anyone who has, well, a health and so it’s different in that way. I don’t think this is a difference that makes a difference though…

            1. Re: MNG,

              Health insurance is needed for anyone who has, well, a health and so it’s different in that way.

              It’s slightly different because people are not born with cars.

              I don’t think this is a difference that makes a difference though.

              Amoral authoritarian usually do not find fault with their justifications for wholesale thievery. You are no different, so don’t worry.

            2. And what about the religious exceptions? If somebodies plan really is to die as god intended, or to forego western medicine, and we do occasionally see stories about people who choose that route, do you penalize them? Or tax them? Whatever we are calling it now…
              Was that opt out a mistake?

              1. forego…pfft

        2. Re: MNG,

          States do this to get everyone on the road to have insurance. It’s an incentive.

          Sure, because the State owns the roads. And since Obama owns us, then we are “incentivized” to get health insurance for ourselves. The analogy works!

          1. Both incentives aim to better the general welfare of the public.

            1. Minge,

              Both incentives aim to better the general welfare of the public.
              reply to this

              Citation needed.

            2. Re: MNG,

              Both incentives aim to better the general welfare of the public.

              By whose standpoint? Yours?

              1. Well of course this is how all laws are made. Elected representatives are supposed to represent what the majority thinks will be beneficial to the general welfare of the public.

                1. Except of course when it has to do with the issue of keeping black people from eating at the same lunch counters as white people. Then the majority can go fuck itself, right?

                  Stop pretending you have principles.

                  1. Those laws violated the 14th Amendment which was passed with a supermajority.

                2. Minge,

                  You’re assuming that what elected representatives are supposed to do is what they really do in practice. What evidence do you have that this is the case?

                  1. Sure, pols are rascally and need constant policing. I don’t disagree with that.

            3. aim to better the general welfare of the public

              The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

              We should have a higher standard than that. The stimulus’ aim was create jobs, and it didn’t. Aims don’t mean shit.

            4. Both incentives aim to better the general welfare of the public.

              MNG-ethics for first-timers: The end justifies the means so long as the perpetrator’s intentions are noble – uh, at least, in MNG’s mind, of course.

              1. Well, as a utilitarian I actually am ultimately ok with the ends justifying the means, so it’s likely not the boogeyman you think it is.

                1. Ah, yes. The utilitarian. Bringing unhappiness to so many for a purely personal measure of malicious joy.

                  You aren’t even capable of following a shitty principle.

                  1. A major tenent of utilitarianism is to think of all the future consequences of an action. If your momentary childish pain from encountering opposing views ultimately gives way after repeated spankings by me to future enlightenment then it was worth it SF.

                    1. I mean, imagine a psyche so emotionally and intellectually fragile that he becomes “unhappy” reading opposing view points!

                    2. I mean, imagine a psyche so intellectually pompous that he becomes “erect” being a worthless troll!

                    3. “I mean, imagine a psyche so emotionally and intellectually fragile that he becomes “unhappy” reading opposing view points!”

                      You leave Obama out of this.

                    4. Yeah, he is so upset by opposing interests he went to Notre Dame and talked about abortion…

                    5. So it’s OK for me to beat you with a cricket bat as long as you might possibly get something out of it eventually?

                      A monsterous philosophy clung to by a childish mind.

                    6. If you are experiencing such pain debating why not go back to watching iCarly?

                    7. Who said “pain”? I said annoyance. Like when the babbling retard keeps following you no matter how many times you move seats on the subway. And who said “debate”? You don’t debate, you just ramble on with your warmed-over socialist nonsense and the noisy slurping of your constant government boot-licking.

                      And five minutes of iCarly is probably more profound than the sum of everything you’ve bleated about here.

                    8. Fuck you. iCarly is a very good show and Camille Paglia thinks so too.

                    9. Not surprised you like it Gobby, I hear it on in the background when I’m in your mom’s room all the time.

                    10. Wow! You’re so smart!

                    11. Re: MNG,

                      A major tenent of utilitarianism is to think of all the future consequences of an action.

                      That’s NOT utilitarianism, MNG, you’re equivocating. Utilitarianism looks at the future BENEFITS (not the consequences) of present actions regardless of the present MORAL consequences of those actions.

                    12. There is no such thing as utilitarianism.

                      The relative value of any outcome vs another is strictly a matter of personal opinion not subject to empirical proof.

                      People who claim to be “utilitarian” are merely trying to fool others into accepting the notion that they are uniquely qualified to judge the relative value of outcomes.

                      They aren’t.

                2. Re: MNG,

                  Well, as a utilitarian I actually am ultimately ok with the ends justifying the means, so [sic] it’s likely not the boogeyman you think it is.

                  Uh, regardless of the obvious non-sequitur, If at first you only have the means, and not yet the end, under which ethical standard do you judge the means? You cannot judge acts before they happen, not unless you can tell me you are a soothsayer (and prove it).

                  That is the main objection to utilitarian thought, MNG – people cannot know the future. You’re just an authoritarian, that’s all.

                  1. That’s silly OM, it would invalidate any law or effort meant to prevent a harm.

                    1. Re: MNG,

                      That’s silly OM, it would invalidate any law or effort meant to prevent a harm.

                      LAWS are not acts, nitwit. You are talking about ACTS (the means) to justify an end. If you don’t have the end yet, how can you judge the means based on something not yet achieved? Can you know the future?

                    2. People must do their best predicting the future all the time OM. When it is your mom’s birthday you have to try to guess what she will want and how she react to whatever you buy her (or if you choose to, what you don’t buy her). It’s not some random thing.

                      And as laws regulate acts they too are based on attempting to guess the future consequences of those actions.

                    3. Re: MNG,

                      People must do their best predicting the future all the time OM.

                      AND?

                      When it is your mom’s birthday you have to try to guess what she will want and how she react to whatever you buy her (or if you choose to, what you don’t buy her).

                      AND??? That’s not utilitarianism, you nitwit.

                      It’s not some random thing.

                      Acts are not random, they’re purposefull. What does any of this have to do with utilitarianism is beyond me.

                      And as laws regulate acts they too are based on attempting to guess the future consequences of those actions.

                      So? That’s not utilitarianism. What I see now that you’re trying to obfuscate the issue. Utilitarianism looks at future benefits of present acts to justify the acts, regardless of the morality of the present acts.

                    4. You try to predict the future costs and benefits of any action you take. Utilitarianism just says that the wrongness of an act derives from that calculus. A calculus we do all the time, re my example.

                    5. You try to predict the future costs and benefits of any action you take.

                      Yes, but you’re held responsible for the outcome of your actions regardless of what your intentions were, ie manslaughter.

                      You can’t even define your ethical system correctly:
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism

                      By your ethics, if 51% of people were “happier” by engaging in an act, even if it violated human rights, then that action would be morally good.

                      How exactly does that jive with the constitution?

                      And the “general welfare” shit won’t fly.

                    6. Only very crude forms of utilitarianism refer to “hapiness.” Welfare, or “utility” is where it’s at (hence the name, eh?)

                    7. “Welfare” and “utility” are even more vague than “happiness” dipshit.

                      Fine, have it your way: By your ethics, if 51% of people had greater utility/welfare by engaging in an act, even if it violated human rights, then that action would be morally good.

                    8. If the overall welfare were increased, then yes it would be.

                      If you have friends or family you base your actions on estimatations of how their welfare will be effected all the time (or are you going to tell me you act towards them completely randomly with no thought of how they will be effected by your actions?). It’s not that mysterious.

                    9. Ok, now define welfare…philosophers and politicians have been trying to for decades without success.

                      Yes, I take others into account when I make decisions. I don’t want the government taking others into account and make decisions for me. There are many principles that are applicable on an individual level that simply don’t hold water when applied on a larger scale – because they would then violate an individual’s autonomy.

                      You’re an intellectual light weight MNG. Go back to the shallow end of the pool where you’re arguments don’t have to tread water.

                    10. This is my favorite part:

                      Yet such an argument is implicitly tautological (“What is it that people want? Pleasure. But what is pleasure? What people want.”). The utilitarian therefore has no ultimate justification for primarily valuing pleasure, other than to say that “this is the way it should be.” In this critique, utilitarianism is thus ultimately reduced to a form of dishonest ethical intuitionism, unable to recognize or acknowledge its own groundlessness.

                    11. Good lord, you do realize that any deontological ethics will likely face this problem too, right?

                    12. The difference is that utilitarianism only looks at the consequences of an act – after the fact, in hindsight. Deontological ethics is all about predicting the consequences of an action before the act is done.

                      Therefore, all your bullshit about utilitarianism and “predicting the future” is totally wrong because utilitarianism only cares about the actual outcome – it’s pragmatic. The end always justifies the means – no matter how horrible the means are.

                      If you want to get really technical, then we essentially can’t prove anything due to Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem.

                      Just learn the correct definitions of things, before you go spouting shit all over the place.

                    13. Re: MNG,

                      You try to predict the future costs and benefits of any action you take.

                      No, one predicts costs and benefits of decisions, not acts, that is, before one acts.

                      Utilitarianism pretends to justify present acts based on future results that have not happened yet.

                      Utilitarianism just says that the wrongness of an act derives from that calculus. A calculus we do all the time, re my example.

                      Utilitarianism does not look at the “wrongness” of an act; rather, it gives justification to present acts based on a cost-benefit analysis of a result that has NOT HAPPENED YET. In other words, utilitarians justify their acts based on their good intentions (since nobody can predict the future), not on the morality of the act itself.

                    14. “In other words, utilitarians justify their acts based on their good intentions”

                      No, based on their calculations. Intentions have no place in the utilitarian calculus.

                    15. I learned there are two different kinds of ethics – those that judge whether an action is morally right based on the considerations that go into making the decision and those that judge whether an action is morally right based solely on the outcome.

                      Utilitarianism is one of the latter. It’s easy to look back (hindsight is 20/20) and say, “Yes, this action was beneficial.”, but it’s really shitty in helping you make the decision in the first place because YOU CAN’T KNOW THE OUTCOME.

                      People must do their best predicting the future all the time OM.

                      The problem is that the government doesn’t predict the future. Every time the government engages in deficit spending, they are BETTING on an outcome – the outcome that tomorrow(or any time in the future) the American people are going to have the financial resources to get us out of a mess. We are betting that the next generation of Americans are going to be able to pay off all the debt that we accumulate. There’s no predicting, just a smug, know-it-all attitude that we can put off today’s problems and let the next generation handle it.

                      No one predicts the future, they prepare for the worst case scenario and hope for the best.

                      Your intentions are worthless.

                    16. Hey, I’m not daying the deficet is a very utilitarian thing to do!

                      As to guessing what will happen before we act, that’s unavoidable and done all the time, usually pretty well, as I state below.

                    17. “the outcome that tomorrow(or any time in the future) the American people are going to have the financial resources to get us out of a mess. We are betting that the next generation of Americans are going to be able to pay off all the debt that we accumulate.”

                      You have hit upon a possible way to revolt against all this taxation and spending.

                      Stop borrowing and reduce your taxable income. Do whatever you can to drive revenues into the dirt.

                3. “Well, as a utilitarian I actually am ultimately ok with the ends justifying the means, so it’s likely not the boogeyman you think it is.”

                  So you’re cool with waterboarding?

                  1. I can certainly imagine a situation in which I would be cool with it. As a general policy, like the US policy lately, probably not. It seems as likely to be misused and lead to faulty intelligence while being a pr disaster for the US

                    1. Re: MNG,

                      It seems as likely to be misused and lead to faulty intelligence while being a pr disaster for the US

                      That’s a present moral judgment of a present act, which is non-utilitarian. Whatever happened to the future benefits?

                    2. Of course not. When making a general policy you ask: would such acts, implemented generally, likely increase or decrease overall welfare? In the case of waterboarding I think the answer is no.

                      It doesn’t tell you about any particular situation, yes, but that is true of all laws (as anyone who had to read Billy Budd in hs knows)

                    3. Re: MNG,

                      Of course not. When making a general policy you ask: would such acts, implemented generally, likely increase or decrease overall welfare? In the case of waterboarding I think the answer is no.

                      That’s what happens when you rely on faux ethics – what’s the “overall welfare“? How can you determine that? What happens if those that justify waterboarding have as compeling a case in favor as you have against waterboarding (which in each case, is based totally in each other’s opinion, since you have no fucking idea of what the “overall welfare” is or how to measure it, nor would you have the omniscience to know it.)

                    4. “That’s what happens when you rely on faux ethics – what’s the “overall welfare”?”

                      Everyone’s welfare considered equally and added up.

                      “How can you determine that?” We estimate and generalize from what we know about people. We do it every day all the time with smaller samples.

                    5. “How can you determine that?” We estimate and generalize from what we know about people. We do it every day all the time with smaller samples.”

                      That is mindbogglingly stupid. No we don’t do that all the time on a national scale or least we don’t in any effective way. Maybe on a micro scale of a few people you can do that. But on a macro scale you cannot obtain the information to even begin to do that.

                      Worse, you are essentially making people into things. They are just commodities to be negotiated. If there is an older person or a handicapped person, those people’s good counts for less than the young and productive. People cease to be ends and instead become commodities.

                      I would call you immoral. But I do think you mean well. You just are so ignorant, you don’t understand what you are saying.

                    6. John you’ve just nicely summarized libertarianism, imo.

                    7. 😉

                4. “”Well, as a utilitarian I actually am ultimately ok with the ends justifying the means, “”

                  Really? And you didn’t like Bush?

    2. Re: MNG,

      If you check that you have no car insurance at the DMV and you have to pay a couple hundred dollars as a result, is that a tax?

      No, it’s thievery.

      Thievery. v The act of taking something that does not belong to you by force, i.e. what the government does for a living.

      Auhtoritarian. n Amoral purveyor of thievery.

      1. Or you can not drive and avoid the DMV tax altogether. Something that is not possible under the healthcare law.

        The healthcare= driving license argument is a wonderful way to identify a hack. It’s a soundbite argument, a cute little smug bit of nothing that falls apart under the slightest bit of examination.

        1. “Or you can not drive and avoid the DMV tax altogether.”

          As I’ve said, the two incentives are to effect different problems, so duh.

          1. It’s particularly funny to see the distinction between car and health insurance incentives brought up here, because I imagine consistent libertarianism would have to oppose both.

            1. But the point of car insurance is to protect other people’s lives and property from injury by your car. Legal minimum car insurance doesn’t cover you or your car.

          2. Cute. So the two are comparable when you need to be and not comparable whenever someone calls you on it.

            The point was that they’re really not comparable because one is voluntary (standards for utilizing a public good) and the other is based on compulsion, as there’s no opt out.

            Unless, of course, you’re willing to actually state the real argument you’ve been coyly jumping around. That either individual people or the entire medical system can be counted as “public goods”. ’cause otherwise the comparison is a lazy hackish nonsense.

            1. The government can maintain a monopoly on roads and then put this condition on using them and that is voluntary?

              And why would the government’s compulsion in the car case be any more defensible than in the second? This “voluntariness” you mention?

          3. There is no way to avoid the second “incentive”, … yeah.

            1. Are you really prepared to quit driving to avoid the first incentive? WTF?

              1. My brother has action-matching OCD (not the medical term). He feels the need to match every move he makes with an equal move (so if you tap him on the shoulder, he freaks out unless you tap him on the other shoulder). This means he cannot drive (moving one foot makes him freak out unless he moves the other foot).

                And yet somehow he has not died yet. Living without a car in an urban area is really not that hard. He does not have a license, and has never paid that tax/fee/whatever semantics you want to argue.

                When the healthcare thing goes into effect, he will have no choice but to purchase insurance. You really don’t see the distinction?

              2. My brother has action-matching OCD (not the medical term). He feels the need to match every move he makes with an equal move (so if you tap him on the shoulder, he freaks out unless you tap him on the other shoulder). This means he cannot drive (moving one foot makes him freak out unless he moves the other foot).

                And yet somehow he has not died yet. Living without a car in an urban area is really not that hard. He does not have a license, and has never paid that tax/fee/whatever semantics you want to argue.

                When the healthcare thing goes into effect, he will have no choice but to purchase insurance. You really don’t see the distinction?

    3. First of all, you have to qualify that paying that money in the first is within the bounds of the constitution to even make your analogy legitimate.

      Secondly, if you can do that, you then have to take into account all the differences between driving a car on public infrastructure and the medical market – of which there are many.

      Thirdly, if can adequately equate them to make your analogy relevant – which you can’t – then you have to look at the consequences of applying the same argument to other fields. For instance, by that logic, sense we all breath from a communal oxygen supply, then everybody could be regulated for everything.

      In short, shut the fuck up.

      1. Is there a communal oxygen crisis?

        1. Is there a medical care crisis?

          By that argument, there’s a “crisis” for every limited resource.

          And I’m sure there are people out there who would be willing to make an argument there is an oxygen based on o-zone, greenhouse gasses, etc.

          1. “Is there a medical care crisis?”

            Don’t read much periodicals huh?

            1. Everyone got along fine before medical insurance came along.

              The fact that some people don’t have it doesn’t constitute a crisis.

              Medical care is just like any other resource – it’s limited and the market responds to that limitation. Just like with any other market, government intervention fucks it up.

              1. “Everyone got along fine before medical insurance came along.”

                Which is why it sells so well, because it is so utterly useless…

                1. Which is why it sells so well, because it is so utterly useless…

                  The iPod sells well (and yet we survived without it)…so does that mean that every human being has an inherent right to own an iPod?

                  1. No. Nobody was saying a person has a right to anything that sells well. We were saying there was a medical insurance crisis. You said there is none because we got along fine without insurance and I pointed out that medical insurance has such high demand likely because of it’s value to people in order to demonstrate that it must have served some important purpose to people when it appeared on the scene.

                    1. Right, and the iPod also has a high demand, so that must also demonstrate that it serves some important purpose to people.

                      By your reasoning, if a product is in high demand, then there’s a crisis, and if there’s a crisis, then the government apparently needs to step and mandate everything.

                      Your arguments are shit.

    4. No, it’s a fine. Look it up in the MD code.

      And once again, you conflate the requirement to carry liability insurance, protecting the person you hit with your car, which you only need to purchase if you have a car, with a law requiring you to carry insurance for yourself, which you only need to purchase if you’re alive.

    5. It’s a user fee, that you are paying to use the roads, which are on public property.

      The health care law tries to pretend that there can be such a thing as a user fee when you aren’t using anything. But we already had a word for that: a tax.

      Really, it would be a lot easier if you would stop being a douche and just admit that it’s a tax. It streamlines your position and makes it much more respectable.

      Trying to simultaneously argue that it is and is not a tax just makes your fundamental intellectual dishonesty that much more visible.

      1. Or, as JW points out, it’s a fine, which Maryland is levying administratively in open defiance of the 5th and 7th amendments.

        But that’s OK, because our quisling courts have refused to incorporate those amendments against the states – at least to the extent of banning various state government end-runs around the jury trial protections in the Constitution.

      2. The hundreds of dollars you pay just for checking the box that you don’t have liability insurance is a user fee and is not intended to be a disincentive to not have insurance? WTF?

        1. I’m talking about the state power being deployed.

          It doesn’t matter to me in the fucking slightest what their INTENTION is.

          There are a limited number of ways the state has the power to collect money from its citizens at gunpoint.

          Those ways boil down to taxes, fines, and user fees. Any funds the state collects has to be one of those three.

          1. So it’s a user fee because they call it a user fee?

            1. It’s a not a tax because they don’t call it a tax?

            2. It’s a user fee because there is a definable resource or piece of public property that the fee gives you access to.

              When the Feds charge you to drive through Yosemite, they can support calling that a user fee.

              If they decided to charge you a fee for just standing around, that’s a head tax.

              This would all be a lot more clear to you if you weren’t committed to being as disingenuous as possible.

              Why do you care if Obama lied? Just say he lied. What’s the difference to you? If you have the policy you wanted, you should LAUGH. You should say, “Yeah, it’s a tax, we tricked your stupid asses! HAHAHAHAHA!” Why is that so hard?

              1. It makes a difference because MNG has turned into Joe. He can never give an inch on anything or admit to fault on his side no matter how obvious.

              2. It simply doesn’t matter to me if he lied. I imagine what Obama would say is that it’s more like the car penalty than a traditional tax (as has been noted it seems an odd tax, a tax on NOT doing or buying something). That strikes me as a reasonable interpretation.

                I knew when the bill was written it had a tax mechanism for enforcement.

                I think both are penalties by the way.

                1. fluffy
                  Are you saying the 5th’s due process clause should apply to the penalty? Hey, I’d agree with that in both cases btw.

                  I’m not sure how you see the 7th coming in…

                2. That is not what you were saying last year.

                  MNG|9.23.09 @ 8:01AM|#

                  “Does anyone have the updated version of the Constitution that explictly states: “Government shall have the power to force the People to buy ____________.”?”

                  I’m guessing you mean the Federal Government, because it’s pretty clear that state and local governments can force people to buy all kinds of things constitutionally, from car insurance to registration decals for your cars.

                  But as far as the Feds it would be this:

                  Article I, Section 8, Clause 3:

                  ” [The Congress shall have power] To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.”

                  Health care is often interstate commerce, and as intrastate health care commerce has, in the aggregate, a substantial effect on inter-state health care commerce and thus would potentially undercut direct federal interstate regulation in that area, it’s fair game
                  reply to this

                  1. https://reason.com/archives/200…..tcontainer

                    Read the whole thread. It is about 100 different posts of MNG saying the insurance mandate was legitimate because it was an exercise of commerce clause and therefore legit. Never once does he defend it as a legitimate exercise of the taxing power of Congress.

                    Now, he tells us that he thought of it as being a tax. Really MNG? You sure kept that thought to yourself back in 2009.

                  2. Oh, I think it can be justified on Commerce or Tax and Spend Clause grounds. If you search for me and the tax clause you can see that I’ve defended both. No contradiction there.

                    1. Yeah, you just didn’t mention the tax clause during that whole thread out of kindness I suppose. And if you ever defended both produce the link. I searched and can’t find you mentioning anything about the tax clause until now.

                      So either produce a link showing you did or shut the fuck up and stop lying.

                    2. Let’s make it interesting. If I produce the link will you promise to call yourself John the King of Hacks for a month? If I can’t then I will call myself something of your choosing for a month.

                      See, I know what I’ve written on H&R. Do you?

                    3. No. I will just do something you refuse to do, admit the obvious. If you thought it was tax from the beginning, then produce a link showing where you said it was. I can’t find such a post. If you can, then produce and I will admit you have been consistent on this issue.

                      If you can’t, then you need to admit you are lying and are changing your justification for this based on whatever the daily liberal talking points are.

                    4. Why don’t just produce the post? I can search Hit and Run just like you can. And I can’t find one.

                      Until you produce the post that you claim exists, you are just wasting everyone’s time. And every time you try to change the subject, you make it more obvious no such post exists.

                    5. https://reason.com/archives/200…..tcontainer

                      MNG|6.15.09 @ 1:52PM|#
                      Gilbert, I imagine the “physical” parts of the document the government uses to do all that stuff are the Spending and Interstate Commerce Clauses…

                      You know, Jack Balkin was defending the bill on these grounds a long time ago. I read Balkinization all the time, but worse, his arguments were covered HERE on Reason.com so even a hack like you should have been familiar with the Tax and Spend argument being out there among liberals.

                    6. That doesn’t say it is an exercise of the tax power. And that post, wherever it came from, is not on the linked thread you provided.

                      And your quote says that it is justified under the “spending and interstate commerce clause” not the tax clause.

                      I am not seeing how this answers the mail.

                    7. It is there. But it only says “spending and interstate commerce”.

                      You still have not produced anywhere where you argued that the insurance mandate was a tax. You never have argued that from what I can see until today.

                      And I have no idea who Jack Balkin is. And I neither care nor have the ability to read your mind to know that you have always agreed with him on the subject.

                      All this time you were making straight commerce clause justification for the insurance mandate. But now you expect us to believe that you always thought it was a tax, even though you never made the argument in the past. That is bullshit and you know it. Stop lying. You are caught.

                    8. “And that post, wherever it came from, is not on the linked thread you provided”

                      “It is there. ”

                      Lord buddy, you are one careless dude for one who calls others out so much!

                      BTW the spending clause is the taxing clause:
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T…..ing_Clause

                    9. https://reason.com/archives/201…..tcontainer

                      Ike|3.19.10 @ 5:36PM|#
                      Okay. Tony: where in the Constitution is the authority for Congress to make a law requiring any person to buy a particular good? The authority for Congress to make laws about health insurance or health care either one at all?

                      The general welfare clause doesn’t carry the weight. If it did, there would be no limitations on the federal government. That is what the Constitution was written to be: a document granting limited powers in limited areas to the national government.

                      Call me a liar and dishonest and perverse and every other ad hominem you can think of; I speak the truth. Here I stand; I can do no other.

                      reply to this
                      MNG|3.19.10 @ 5:40PM|#
                      The authority for that provision can be found in the Inter-state commerce clause, as health care is very much a matter of inter-state commerce. It can also be found in the taxing clause as that provision is going to be enforced via tax laws.

                      reply to this

                    10. Uh, John?

                      John?

                      Paging Captian Doofus?

                    11. I was wrong. You started lying in March as opposed to July. I should have assumed you were lying earlier.

                    12. John|7.19.10 @ 2:22PM|#
                      I was wrong.

                    13. LOL. I am glad I have brought a ray of sunshine into you obviously pathetic life today. And you still have shown how it is “you knew it was a tax when the bill was written”, as opposed to lying about it not being a tax for months and then reading on some liberal blog that the new talking point was that it really was a tax.

                      When you say you read “balkinaization” whatever that is, you are just saying “I do, say and think what I am told”.

                    14. Everything should be covered by the Interstate Commerce Clause.

                      Even if it doesn’t cross state lines.

                      Because everything is everything.

                    15. Fair enough you made the argument in March when you got the liberal talking point on it.

                      But that was long after the bill was written. You in no way “knew when the bill was written” that it was a tax or thought of it that way. Your 09 posts show as much.

                      You did exactly what I am accusing you of; change your justifications based on the talking points of the day. I just had the dates wrong. It wasn’t today you changed, it was March.

                      My mistake.

                    16. John|7.19.10 @ 2:22PM|#
                      I was wrong.

                    17. “If you search for me and the tax clause you can see that I’ve defended both.”

                      Let me do it for you MNG. Citation please?

                    18. Re: MNG,

                      Oh, I think it can be justified on Commerce or Tax and Spend Clause grounds.

                      So much for the utilitarian case.

                    19. Moral justification and constitutional justification, two different things my friend.

              3. It’s not enough for the bully to make you comply to his demands, you have to profess to like it as well.

                1. Yes, yes, you’re being “bullied” SF. Are you having another bad high school flashback?

                  1. So there are no penalties for not paying your Obamacare tax/fine/user fee/whatever? No penalties at all? You can just tell the IRS to go piss up a rope, right?

                    1. Oh, I thought you were saying you being bullied by me. You mean the feds. I get your whining confused sometimes…

                    2. You couldn’t bully me on your best day, shitbird.

                    3. But oh the pain and misery I inflict on you! The horror!

                    4. It’s nice to see you’ve let the mask of civility slip. It’s fooled a lot of people for quite a while now.

                      It’s never fooled me, Trolly.

                    5. It’s hilarious to look at your posts regarding me and then read you talking about the mask of civility.

                      You can take some Robitussin for that hack SF…

                    6. I never get tired of fetching the stick.

                    7. Aw, did I hurt little baby’s feelings? Do you need a bottle and nap?

                      “Wah! SugarFree’s being mean to me! Wah! Wah!”

                      You are pathetic. You may now return to being beneath my notice.

                    8. And for that I am truly grateful.

                    9. “MNG|7.19.10 @ 1:56PM|#
                      I never get tired of fetching the stick.”

                      And for that I am truly grateful.

                      (Fucking nested threads)

                    10. I brought in the 7th amendment in case someone tried to argue that we were dealing not with a criminal fine but with a civil penalty.

                      You got to cover all bases with these sneaky ass commie dicklords.

  29. “On the issue of taxing the income of professional basketball players at a 99% rate, because some people do not believe they qualify as productive members of society, I just don’t give a shit.”

  30. “On the issue of compelling people who own McMansions to provide free lodging for members of the armed forces, I just don’t give a shit.”

  31. If you check that you have no car insurance at the DMV and you have to pay a couple hundred dollars as a result, is that a tax?

    Yes; if you are stupid enough to check that box, you will be assessed a Dumbass Tax.

  32. Breitbart delivers again.

    We are in possession of a video from in which Shirley Sherrod, USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development, speaks at the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia. In her meandering speech to what appears to be an all-black audience, this federally appointed executive bureaucrat lays out in stark detail, that her federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions.

    In the first video, Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer. She describes how she is torn over how much she will choose to help him. And, she admits that she doesn’t do everything she can for him, because he is white. Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from “one of his own kind”. She refers him to a white lawyer.

    Sherrod’s racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another groups’ racial tolerance.”

    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..of-racism/

    These people really are scum.

    1. No. In the natural world, scum has a purpose.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The most racist folk in America are blacks. Theys see EVERYTHING through the prism of race. Jesse Jackson’s work is done.

      1. “got get help from your own people”. How enlightened of her. And the black people I know are not like that. But the creatures who inhabit the top realms of government and the NAACP apparently are.

        1. To be fair, yes, not all black folk, but as a percentage of their respective race – yes.

      2. “Theys see EVERYTHING through the prism of race.”

        Gee, I wonder what happened to blacks in the US to make them so focused on race?

        1. Hmmmmmmmm….

        2. So I guess it was just A-OK for her to fuck that farmer and then brag about doing so.

          1. Oh, reverse racism is deplorable. I’ve fought it my entire adult like.

            1. Ir’s not ‘reverse’ racism.

              It’s racism, straight up.

        3. I’m guessing it’s because we now have a black president and a black AG. It causes resentment for the ones who refuse to “act white” by getting an education and not shooting their fellow blacks. I just read this morning (don’t make me look I’ve already read a to of various writings) that blacks kileed 5,000 of their fellow blacks last year. Whites and Hispanics combined didn’ kill that many people. 12% of the population is black; 80% of the poulation is white + Hispanic.

          N***** is a pathology.

        4. Shorter MNG: Past racism justifies reverse racism.

          1. We won’t hear from MNG for a while. His afternoon will be spent desperately searching the Hit and Run archives to find somewhere where he defending the insurance mandate as a tax, as he now claims he did.

            1. https://reason.com/archives/201…..tcontainer

              Ike|3.19.10 @ 5:36PM|#
              Okay. Tony: where in the Constitution is the authority for Congress to make a law requiring any person to buy a particular good? The authority for Congress to make laws about health insurance or health care either one at all?

              The general welfare clause doesn’t carry the weight. If it did, there would be no limitations on the federal government. That is what the Constitution was written to be: a document granting limited powers in limited areas to the national government.

              Call me a liar and dishonest and perverse and every other ad hominem you can think of; I speak the truth. Here I stand; I can do no other.

              reply to this
              MNG|3.19.10 @ 5:40PM|#
              The authority for that provision can be found in the Inter-state commerce clause, as health care is very much a matter of inter-state commerce. It can also be found in the taxing clause as that provision is going to be enforced via tax laws.

              reply to this

              1. As I said above. You got your talking points in March as opposed to July. But again, that was long after the bill was written. So your claim to have always known and thought the bill was a tax was a lie. You just have been lying longer than I thought you had.

                1. John|7.19.10 @ 2:22PM|#
                  I was wrong.

                  1. I was MNG. You got your talking points in March. Since I think for myself, I sometimes lose track of when and where others are fed their thoughts.

                  2. You are such a pathetic child MNG. If I had this argument with Episiarch or Pro or any of the adults on these boards, they would have produced a post and we would gone on and discussed.

                    But, you can’t do that. You have scream up and down like a four year old. I guess since you have never once ever even on a minor point about anything, it is kind of a big deal to you.

                    1. The real question is this:

                      If he has always known that the health care plan involved a tax, that means he has always known that Obama lied when he said that taxes would not be raised on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.

                      So why does he defend Obama against that very charge?

                    2. Note how MNG got out of the “I’m defending black-on-white racism” hole he dug for himself…

  33. This is an interesting if infuriating quote regarding the Democrats’ troubles.

    “First, it forced Pelosi & Co. to recognize that the first part of their plan is failing. Public and private polling suggests that anxiety over the lack of jobs and anger over the big-spending ways of the Administration will trump the merits of the stimulus spending, health care reform and the financial regulation bill in voters’ minds.”

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/polit…..z0u9M1uaaE

    After the Democrats get destroyed in November, the media will tell us it wasn’t because people hated their policies. Nope. They were just the victim of the terrible economy, which was of course George Bush’s fault.

    1. Don’t forget racism.

      1. That column has already been written. http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..05864.html

        1. HOLY FUCK!

        2. Proving once again that any ridiculous liberal argument you can conceive of has already been voiced by an MSM journalist. These are tough times for strawman manufacturers, maybe they should get a bailout.

        3. As for those who would claim that blacks relish their racial designation as much as whites do theirs, just remember that if white people didn’t insist on being white, there would be no such thing as race.

          …?

          1. He must be complaining about the White Gaze, right?

        4. “…we are becoming a nation of people having origins not in geography but in humanity. Some day soon, let’s hope, each of us will be a minority of one, and when we go to the polls we’ll vote as Americans.”

          And all you chumps out there thought that that already happened in 2008. Think again, suckers!

        5. just remember that if white people didn’t insist on being white, there would be no such thing as race

          My head just asploded.

          1. I’m going to change my race to “Romulan”.

            Damn, already sent in the census form. Oh, well, I didn’t fill in the race part, so they can just assume I’m an evil white man. Or whatever. Fuck ’em.

    2. “”They were just the victim of the terrible economy, which was of course George Bush’s fault.””

      It’s hard say that when one of your first acts was spending a trillion dollars.

      1. I don’t know…I remember a day when it was pretty common to assume that the economic impact of a president’s policies would be hard to see for at least 2 years. It still seems pretty legitimate to place the primary blame for this on events that occurred prior to Obama taking office. While the ANY president has only limited claim to an economic downturn or boom, a common sense apportioning of blame for the current federal deficit would have to, it seems, place a large portion of the blame on Bush’s policies.

        Some of the administration’s actions do have shorter term economic impact (e.g., unemployment benefits), but the “terrible economy” that was in place when Obama took office may have political consequences that unfairly blame him for not being able to fix a larger mess than any president could solve in 2 years. Sure, it is unfair to blame Bush as the sole architect of the current recession…but his role in it still looms larger than Obama’s for a least a little while longer.

  34. ” [The Congress shall have power] To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.”

    “Indian tribes” is an obvious reference to Medicine Men; case closed.

  35. In fairness, the DOJ brief didn’t actually say the mandate was a tax. It just said that it was a valid exercise of Congress’ taxing power, which includes duties, imposts, and excises as well as taxes.

  36. It just said that it was a valid exercise of Congress’ taxing power, which includes duties, imposts, and excises as well as taxes.

    The “tax” paid by people who don’t have Obama Approved HEalth Insurance is not a duty (charged on imported goods), an impost (another variation of a customs duty), or an excise tax (a tax based on the amount of goods or services sold, rather than on income).

    So that doesn’t really help, does it.

    1. An excise can also be levied on a licensed activity. Such as, eating/drinking/breathing without health insurance.

  37. 1) The mandate is conceptually a users fee based on the idea that there is a public infrastructure supporting health care…of course users fees are taxes when they are enforced by the government, so it is a tax.
    2) A nitpick. For this to be an example of an “Obama” lie, it seems that he would have to be the one who has flipped his position…the DOJ is not Obama. For example, when a lawyer defends someone in court and that defense contradicts the person’s previous statements, is it now the person who has lied? Obama may be comfortable with the DOJ strategy for the case while maintaining his rejection of the idea that this is a tax increase. He is wrong in his interpretation as it most closely resembles a tax increase, but he may still reject the idea.
    3) Even if he Obama now believes it is a tax increase, that does not make the previous statement a lie, necessarily. People can hold an incorrect opinion, state it on the record, then change their position based on new information or persuasion from others.

    The narrative I find interesting related to Obama is the hyper-reactivity to him and his run-of-the-mill political statements. He is certainly no worse than Bush or Clinton or Bush or Reagan, yet reactions seem to be more hyperbolic. And I can’t peg it to his selling himself as someone who would change the tone of Washington as that was the exact pitch that Reagan and Bush and Clinton and Bush used to get elected.

    Anyway. Politician’s statements are often vague or misleading and they need to be held to the fire for that tendency. Obama is no different in that sense.

    1. 1. The concept of a user fee presupposes that one can avoid paying the fee by simply not using the service or good in question. That’s not the case with the penalty for not having health insurance. What good or service is a person who does not have health insurance using?

      2/3. Actually, all that is required for it to be an Obama lie is for him to have knowingly made a false statement. The point of this post is that, according to the DOJ, Obama’s statements were false. Given his own legal background, it’s not plausible that he didn’t know his statements were false, though if you want to argue he’s an intellectual lightweight who was sold as something more than he was during the campaign, I’m always willing to entertain that notion too.

      As for your epilogue, if you believe that Obama’s critics are more hyperactive in parsing his words, I’ve got some Niger yellowcake you can buy real cheap.

      1. 1. The concept of a user fee presupposes that one can avoid paying the fee by simply not using the service or good in question. That’s not the case with the penalty for not having health insurance. What good or service is a person who does not have health insurance using?

        The idea is that those who do not have health insurance place a burden on the public health infrastructure. As far as the logic of thinking of this as a user fee – choice doesn’t need to be much more sophisticated than choosing to live in the community that provides the public health infrastructure (in this case the USA is the community. You CAN choose not to access that public infrastructure).

        all that is required for it to be an Obama lie is for him to have knowingly made a false statement.

        I agree.

        Given his own legal background, it’s not plausible that he didn’t know his statements were false

        I don’t think we are talking about a a matter of “fact” here, but an opinion.

        if you want to argue he’s an intellectual lightweight who was sold as something more than he was during the campaign, I’m always willing to entertain that notion too.

        I think intellectual lightweight is a bit strong, but of course he was sold as something more than he was in the campaign.

        I’ve got some Niger yellowcake you can buy real cheap.

        Bush got a lot of heat too. No doubt. But it seems it was reserved for his bigger blunders. The heat around minutiae seems to be worse for Obama. Just my sense.

        1. The idea is that those who do not have health insurance place a burden on the public health infrastructure.

          Only if they attempt to use that infrastructure without paying for it, which again is a matter of choice. Very few people need health care they can’t pay for directly.

          – choice doesn’t need to be much more sophisticated than choosing to live in the community that provides the public health infrastructure

          In that case, the income tax is a “user fee” as well. If you move to another country and have no income from US sources, then you can avoid paying income tax. Congratulations, your latest sophistry has completely removed any distinction between taxes and user fees.

          1. Indeed. I prefer the framing to that of “taxation equals theft.” But that is why I am an moderate independent rather than a libertarian.

  38. Obama: “The health insurance mandate isnt a tax”
    Citizens: “But we find it very taxing on our income.”
    Obama: “Thats the point!”

  39. I keep saying they should have called it a negative tax credit.

    1. Nah. It’s a temporary refund adjustment.

  40. The tax/penalty would be unconstitutional under the Taxing and Spending Clause, as it is not “uniform” as required by that clause.

    It is only constitutional if it is an income tax under the 16th Amendment. I’m not sure I see how it is. Its a tax that is imposed regardless of income, with the possible saving grace that it is not imposed if the cost of your Official Obama-Approved Health Insurance exceeds 8% of your income.

    So, even if the courts disregard the plain language of the statute and evaluate it as a tax, its not a lay-down win.

  41. Re. the argument that everyone should have health insurance so that the state does not have to pay for your medical treatment when you are uninsured: a reasonable argument but that is not the reason why mandatory insurance has been enacted:
    1) Since when have Dems been worried about people being a drain on state resources?
    2: If they were, why not allow some kind of minimum coverage that covers critical injuries/illnesses? Instead they regulate health cover so that you are forced to buy noncritical medical costs (this is usually because lobbyists bribe politicians to include all kinds of mandatory coverage on any insurance policy).
    3: Is critical medical care for noninsured US citizens a significant drain on state resources? With all the billions spent on BS welfare programs it accounts for only a trivial amount of welfare spending.

    It?s all about the lefty obsession with universal health care, and the mantra that all those millions are uninsured because they cannot afford it. If they are uninsured because they can?t afford it you don?t fix it by forcing them to buy insurance, but by reducing the number of uninsured they can claim they have helped them and done a great service to public welfare.

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