With the Obamacare ruling of last week, we have learned that we can be taxed for anything—or more precisely, for nothing.
In the early decades of the 21st Century, this country has drifted so far from John Stuart Mill’s “harm principle,” that we face a federal government exercising its power to tax us because we might come to harm by not having health insurance.
At least that’s the pretense. It’s not the truth.
For those who believe President Obama or those who helped him push his Affordable Health Care Act through Congress or the Supreme Court Justices who found a way to keep it a law lose sleep at night worrying about Americans without health insurance—-I’ve got a massive middle-class tax increase to sell you as an expansion of the Commerce Clause.
It’s not about healthcare, it’s about control. Those who control your healthcare—literally the power of life and death—will be able to control you.
You want to smoke a cigarette, for instance? Not anymore. Your lifestyle choices harm your health—which harms others. Why should the healthcare system be put under further financial duress because of your selfish choices. You are hurting others—just like we were told in those “second hand-smoke” ads.
It’s not good enough that you stay at home alone and smoke. You are killing people there, too, by limiting money that could go toward—say— giving a child a needed kidney transplant. You heartless bastard.
It’s Mill’s principle that government’s only justification for exercising its power “over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others,” turned on its head.
Don’t smoke? No matter, we are coming for your Big Gulp—you didn’t think the totalitarian heart only beats in the breasts of billionaire bully mayors of New York City, I hope? Not hardly. Think you will have that bag of potato chips? That Big Mac? Think again, fatty. You aren’t just harming yourself, you are hurting all of us now.
For you non-smokers who watched with a detached satisfaction as smoking bans were passed here in Louisiana—statewide in restaurants and stretching to establishments like bars and casinos in places like Alexandria and Baton Rouge—you’re going to soon learn not to be so smug. They are coming for you too. There never comes a time when the totalitarian heart decides it has enough power over others’ lives. It always strives for more. Write that axiom down for reference when they enact bans on activities you enjoy or, more likely, tax you for them. Or tax you for doing nothing. The Supreme Court says that can happen now.
Didn’t lose 10 pounds? Pay a “not losing 10 pounds tax.” Didn’t go the gym? Pay a “not going to the gym tax.”
It’s about control, but it’s also about money. Since it’s your money they will be controlling, it’s the same thing. It reminds me of something I saw in an old Robin Williams movie about a sailor with bugling forearms and weird speech impediment.
Life often imitates art:
Even in Sweet Haven, you had to actually do something—dock a dingy or ask a question—to be taxed. Things are a little tougher with Commodore Obama, where you don’t have to do anything at all except draw air—and it better be clean air.
Eventually, Popeye had all he could stand and couldn’t stands n’more:
If we could just similarly send that Obama polooka down the shoot in November.