Thursday, December 29, 2011

Why Obamacare's Individual Mandate Is Wrong (Not Just Unconstitutional)

Government exists first and foremost for the sake of our protection. Without it, our lives and our property would not effectively be our own. Government exists also to promote our well-being. For its support, however, taxation is necessary, and we have tacitly agreed that, to be legitimate, these taxes must be passed by our elected representatives. By our own consent, we give up a certain proportion of our earnings for these purposes.

The money left in our possession, however, is our own -- to do with as we please. It is in this that our liberty largely lies. Romneycare and Obamacare, with the individual mandate, changes radically our relationship vis-a-vis the government. The former presupposes that state governments have the right to tell us how we are to spend our own money, and the latter presupposes that the federal government has that right as well. Both measures are tyrannical. They blur the distinction between public and private and extend the authority of the public over the disposition of that which is primordially private. Once this principle is accepted as legitimate, there is no limit to the authority of the government over us, and mandates of this sort will multiply -- as do-gooders interested in improving our lives by directing them encroach further and further into the one sphere in which we have been left free hitherto...

Raising taxes to reward free riders is, of course, objectionable. We should oppose it on principle. But it does not in and of itself narrow in any significant fashion the sphere of our liberty. It is a question of the proper use of the public purse. The individual mandate sets a new precedent. It extends government control to the private purse. link

When people want to discuss or debate politics with me, the first question I usually ask them is, what is the purpose of government? Anyone who cannot answer that question, who hasn't thought about that basic idea, is just spouting talking points without even knowing why they think what they do. My beliefs on the purpose of government are worded differently than in the first paragraph above, but the end result is effectively the same.

9 comments:

mazenko said...

Was it wrong when the Heritage Institute first proposed the idea? How about when Gingrich promoted it? It's no different than Medicare which is only effected but popular and Constitutional.

Purpose of government in the Constitution is to provide for a common defense, promote the general welfare, and regulate interstate commerce ... among other things.

Darren said...

Yes, it was wrong when they proposed it--for the reasons I quoted.

And your view of government is a laundry list, which can be added to and subtracted from--sorry, libs never subtract form government!--and not an overarching ideology of the purpose of government.

Ellen K said...

This premise could be better demonstrated by deciding whether we want Mommy Government or Daddy Government. Mommy Government nurtures and protects, it provides and supports, but it also greatly limits independence and self reliance. When that is done on the personal level, it creates children who are emotional and social misfits incapable of acting for fear of failure. It's not the failure that is the problem, it is the fear. Daddy government on the other hand demands standards and goals, is not supportive and is often viewed as harsh in its retribution for failure. The answer of course is that neither extreme is what most Americans desire. We want our freedom to decide, but we also like a safety net in place. The size and nature of the safety net determines how far we slide from being a republic to being a socialist state. I think that is what this next election is going to be about.

mazenko said...

Then protect, serve, and promote the general welfare. That's an ideology grounded in the document.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Yes but "wipe my nose, wipe my butt and stick a bottle in my mouth" aren't found in the Constitution. That's an ideology found in every diaper bucket and founded on the presumption that it's someone else's job to take care of all your wants and needs.

Oh why does it take so much in the way of stamping of feet and holding of breath to get those people to step up to their responsibilities?

mazenko said...

Well said, Ellen.

I agree with the analogy and the fact that govt is growing too large and doing too much. Your comment on what Americans want is apt, too. While Americans don't want a socialist state, few know what that actually means. And Americans firmly support Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, and a regulated economy. The election is, and should be, about how much of a safety net Americans want and are willing to pay for.

Coach Brown said...

Government individual mandates are hardly unconstitutional. The Necessary and Proper clause could be used to, as stated before, "Promote the General Welfare" of the citizens of the United States.

That's not to say that I agree with government mandated health care. I think people have lost sight of taking responsibility of their own actions. I watch how people treat their own bodies and I feel that I should not have to pay for blatant disregard for their own health. However I have also witnessed people in drastic situations (cancer, long hospital stays) lose nearly everything they have paying hospital bills. I think that a legitimate civil society doesn't not let that happen.

So there has to be a happy medium. This either/or crap propagated by idiots from both sides (nearly all the GOP candidates are full of shit) serves no semblance of reality.

MikeAT said...

I agree with the analogy and the fact that govt is growing too large and doing too much

You could have fooled me by your comments on this blog. You support a socialist (and yes, that is what Obama is) who has bankrupted the country, gotten our bond rating downgraded for the first time in our history, put more people on relief than ever before, nationalized multiple industries (auto, health care, mortgages) and the only man on the Republican side you show any support for is Huntsman. A RINO’s RINO.

Yes, government has grown too large and that was a long time before B Hussein Obama took the oath. But he has gone wild on this in ways unheard of. When our national debt rivals 1945, when we were just getting out of World War II, there is something wrong. And that is before the cost of Obamacare is factored in.

Oh, the election should be about Obama’s record. Unlike in 2008, he cannot say “present”, he has one and it’s not pretty. Hopefully the Republicans nominate someone who can say “you have shown your are a disaster...” in an articulate manner. Knowing the Rockefeller wing who controls the party apparatus wants Romney, I don’t have a good feeling. Hopefully they will be defeated like they were in 80. Obama can be beaten in a landslide if a good conservative is nominated.

Darren said...

I disagree with you, Coach. Your happy medium *is* unconstitutional, and I hope that the Supreme Court agrees with me on that. I've worried about them since Kelo, though, and I'm convinced that ruling will one day join the pantheon of gross, disgusting, and just plain wrong rulings like Dred Scott, Plessy, and Wickard.