Re: The Individual Mandate Is Unconstitutional/Tyrannical.

I posted this comment I thought blog-worthy:

If I don’t have health insurance I pay more taxes.  If I don’t pay my taxes I go to jail.  Therefore not buying health insurance is punishable by going to prison and is thus tyranny.

This is the logic of conservatives.

Here’s some more:

If I don’t have kids I pay more taxes.  If I don’t pay my taxes I go to jail.  Therefore abstinence is punishable by going to prison and is thus

Or this:

If I don’t get married I pay more taxes.  If I don’t pay my taxes I go to jail.  Therefore not being married is punishable by going to prison and is thus

Or this:

If I earn my income by a paycheck rather than from investments I pay more taxes.  If I don’t pay my taxes I go to jail.  Therefore having a job  is punishable by going to prison and is thus

Etc, etc, etc.

The government has the right to tax you.  You can pay more in taxes or buy health insurance, get married, have kids, invest in the stock market etc.  But to claim that taxation with representation is tyranny is insane and just ignorant on so many levels.


About agnophilo

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27 Responses to Re: The Individual Mandate Is Unconstitutional/Tyrannical.

  1. cmdr_keen says:

    Interesting comparisons. Though to most reasonable people, they’re ridiculous (comparisons) but so many people buy into them.While I believe healthcare costs, reform, and health insurance reform is needed, I think the Obama health insurance plans are far from perfect. I’m not 100% convinced by the mandate – I think that’s going too far – but there are so many other aspects that are positive and much needed.Another comparison is social security – surely that’s an “unconstitutional mandate” if health insurance is, right!?

  2. agnophilo says:

    @cmdr_keen – They are only called the “obama” health insurance reforms because republicans wanted to channel the hateful backlash to his being elected into the issue – in reality the president doesn’t write legislation, congress does.  And the president actually left it up to congress how to reform the healthcare system.  So “obamacare” is a ridiculous misnomer.  But yeah, how are those comparisons ridiculous?  The point is many personal decisions effect your tax rate.  The government is allowed to create tax incentives, and has done so for ages.

  3. cmdr_keen says:

    @agnophilo – Exactly. I think we have the beginnings of crossed wires – I agree wholeheartedly with what you’re saying.It’s the logic that’s ridiculous, especially as so many people buy into it blindly.

  4. love it.  that’s seriously all the input i have.  i just love it.  

  5. Yea…a silly semantics game at the heart of it.

  6. TheSutraDude says:

    mandating that if you drive without a driver’s license you go to jail is tyranny mandating that you have car insurance or you go to jail is tyranny same logic isn’t it. btw when i was married several years ago married couples paid a higher tax rate than people filing single returns. had i been single i would have paid less in taxes. you’re right in your comment that it was Congress who negotiated the terms of healthcare reform. republicans call it Obamacare to demonize the reform to their base. interesting to note is when people are asked if they like “Obamacare” a majority says no but when asked if they like the end to “preexisting condition” clauses, an end to the practice of being dumped by your health insurance provider on technicalities once you are sick, that kids can remain covered under parent’s policies until age 26, that children cannot be turned down by insurance companies, that women cannot be charged more than men for insurance, that being pregnant cannot be deemed a preexisting condition, that people must have health insurance (they won’t go to jail or even be penalized if they don’t btw so this person’s argument is a crock of shit) rather than show up at emergency rooms, the most expensive form of healthcare, on other peoples’ dimes etc. etc. most Americans are all for “Obamacare”. apparently the angel is in the details. 

  7. Kellsbella says:

    I don’t need to worry about healthcare. I have six children from different daddies and you’re paying it for me. I’m so glad you haven’t figured out govt. entitlements or the Ponzi scheme on that one yet….. I reckon I don’t need to remind you who passed this bill or under what circumstances, but I would be more than happy too, since I’m a benefactress, and all. (But I like to try to keep those little details outta the public eye, as it could jeopordize my standin.)Look, A., has it ever occurred to you that everything about this is unconstitutional? I will concede that the cat’s been let out of the bag, (quite a while back ago, actually) but I believe a more prudent direction (reform) for healthcare would be a wiser step at this point in time. Kudos on your music choice. I named my sweet angel baby after her.

  8. Actually, here is the logic of conservatives:  How about everyone pay for their own stuff?

  9. @TheTheologiansCafe – because not everybody has the same opportunities in life and the kind of approach you suggest will exacerbate the divide between rich and poor, create a deeply unfair and dangerous society, and lead to’re either being churlish or ignorant. or both.

  10. tau_1 says:

    @agnophilo – Rational thinking about truth..However, President is using the term..Obama Cares, because he really does.

  11. The_ATM says:

    The entire dialog here is inane. The comparisons made in the post are NOT relevant to the many objections made in court against Obamacare. Then everyone who agrees with the post is calling other people ignorant… Isn’t there a problem there? If you can’t do any basic critique your own information and logic, why should anyone be persuaded by you? Based on what you are saying here, it seems you have zero familiarity with any of the various challenges on which AHCA has been challenged.

  12. YouToMe says:

    system of a down, boom! is playing.  i don’t know that most conservatives think that way. but it is asinine thinking what you quoted here. all in all,  i like your last paragraph especially. also what james said.

  13. What about unconstitutional?

  14. agnophilo says:

    @nyclegodesi24 – How is anything in the bill unconstitutional?

  15. @agnophilo – Well, the entire constitutional debate revolves around whether the purported authority for the bill, Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce, really extends so far as to support requiring private citizens who are not buying health care, to buy healthcare. Whether it is constitutional depends upon the judicial precedents and policies underlying the Commerce clause. For example, the Court has ruled decisively that purely intrastate and private activity cannot be regulated by authority of the Commerce clause. But it has also held that private activity that “substantially” affects interstate commerce may be regulated under the Commerce clause. So it’s not a clear-cut issue.

  16. agnophilo says:

    @nyclegodesi24 – I would argue that it isn’t even a matter of the commerce clause (though of course I’m no legal expert).  This is not the first (or the thousandth) tax incentive the government has created for or against private or financial decisions.  Many, many things effect your tax rate.  A few blogs ago I posted this.And even if the supreme court rules it’s unconstitutional, the supreme court has ruled that government censorship doesn’t violate the first amendment.  Ideology often trumps the constitution.

  17. @agnophilo – Well, (as I understand it…) the Act is urged upon us not as an exercise of Congress’ taxing powers (which would make it subject to section 8, clause 1 of the Constitution) but rather to Congress’ commerce-regulating powers. Analytically and in practice the two are distinct in purpose and scope. The D.C. Circ., which upheld the Act, points out its unprecedented nature: “The Government concedes the novelty of the mandate and the lack of any doctrinal limiting principles; indeed, at oral argument, the Government could not identify any mandate to purchase a product or service in interstate commerce that would be unconstitutional, at least under the Commerce Clause.” In other words, given the mandate, it’s unclear what is outside the constitutional powers of Congress to force consumers to buy.There are policy arguments and legal arguments both ways. Some might see this as paternalistic; others as progressive. Some see this as squarely within the precedents set by Gonzales v. Raich and Wickard v. Filburn, and others (I tend to count myself as one) worry that the individual mandate goes further. 

  18. @agnophilo – What’s your reference to, with the Court’s sanctioning censorship as consistent with 1.A?

  19. agnophilo says:

    @nyclegodesi24 – I don’t think it’s anything different than what the government has done for years, the arguments to me are rhetorical.  The government can make me buy a tank or spend a trillion dollars on a war, but not buy a tongue depressor or an hour of a physician’s time?  By that logic shouldn’t we disband the VA hospitals?  It seems silly to me.  It’s a cosmetic fix to a real world problem.  They should just hike up taxes and pay everyone’s medical bills but that would be too politically costly because of the anti-communist rhetoric of the republican party.  Ironically the individual mandate is a republican idea and a free market solution to the healthcare problem in the US and they oppose it just to get obama out of the white house so they can impose a similar but more business friendly set of reforms in it’s place.  Just two sets of cowards not doing their jobs and trying to look good to keep their jobs.@nyclegodesi24 – I was referring to the FCC, though you may know them as the bleep on your tv whenever someone says fuck or titties.

  20. @agnophilo – The government can make me buy a tank or spend a trillion dollars on a warNo, it can’t. Distinctions are significant. 

  21. agnophilo says:

    @nyclegodesi24 – Do they wage wars with fairy dust or something?

  22. @agnophilo – Agno, the government does not have the power to require an individual to purchase a tank, because any of its powers must be either specified in the Constitution’s grants of power, or must be necessary and proper for the accomplishment of a specified power. The government does, however, have the power to tax individuals and use that money to purchase tanks. That’s because the power to tax is specifically granted to the government by the Constitution. Here, for the constitutionality of Obamacare, either Congress must have the specified power to make the individual mandate, or Obamacare is a necessary and proper measure for the accomplishment of a specified power. There is no specified power in the Constitution to mandate the purchase of healthcare. Therefore, Obamacare must be necessary and proper to the accomplishment of Congress’ power to regulate, for example, interstate commerce (because Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce is a specified power within the Constitution). That is what the debate is about.It’s almost silly beyond reasonable debate to think that the government may require individuals to buy healthcare in the same way it requires individuals to buy tanks. I’m surprised you’re willing to ignore these huge distinctions.

  23. agnophilo says:

    @nyclegodesi24 – At the end of the day it’s the same thing however.  But yes if you want to be specific the individual mandate essentially says if you have health insurance you pay x taxes and if you don’t you pay y taxes (which go to pay for your healthcare).  How is that any different than setting different tax rates for married or single people, people with children and without etc.  There is no constitutional provision allowing the government to “force” you to get married or have kids, is there?  So if creating a tax incentive for buying healthcare is unconstitutional, how is everything we’ve been doing for a century or more with the tax code not unconstitutional?

  24. @agnophilo – The difference is that it’s not a tax. Its function is not to raise revenue. That aspect of it that you point out is penal, but many statutes that are not taxes have penalties. This is an act that pushes the limits of what Congress can force people to do solely on the ground of interstate commerce. 

  25. agnophilo says:

    @nyclegodesi24 – How is it not a tax?  I don’t see the difference.

  26. agnophilo says:

    @nyclegodesi24 – “The difference is that it’s not a tax. Its function is not to raise revenue.” How is it not a tax?  As I said before, the law is that you pay a tax if you don’t have health insurance.  By that exact logic marriage isn’t a “tax” in and of itself, so therefore it’s unconstitutional.”That aspect of it that you point out is penal, but many statutes that are not taxes have penalties. This is an act that pushes the limits of what Congress can force people to do solely on the ground of interstate commerce.”As I’ve already said it’s nothing new.

Speak yer mind.

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