That’s ok Keyser, we know it’s summertime in Iglooville, you must be out enjoying the good weather. And making multiple trips to Costco to stock the survival bunker you built last year underneath your “garden” in preparation for the predicted total economic collapse…
Observation: now that the healthcare bill has been deemed a tax, it is procedurally unconstitutional as all tax bills must originate in the House, this bill was introduced in the senate. Your opinion?
The solicitor general argued that the “tax” was rather a “mandate” justified by the Commerce clause. The four liberals said, “great!” Roberts said, “Well, no, that’s unconstitutional. But hey, if you call it a tax, you’re golden! So let’s pretend that this law written on the premise that it can impose a mandate to buy health insurance is really nothing but a tax on those who don’t.”
You think they won’t come up with the same sort of distorted reasoning once this is the conclusion they’ve decided to reach?
Here’s a shot at how it would go. First, it’s insane to call this a “tax”, since the “tax” actually winds up in the hands of insurance companies. But since that’s the case, why not then say that this “tax” isn’t really the sort of revenue bill covered by Art. 1 Sec. 7 because the revenue isn’t meant for government spending. Ha! Squared that circle, you strict constructionist!
As an aside, even before all this talk came out about how Scalia’s dissent seems to talk about the majority opinion being the dissenting view and the resulting conclusion that Roberts must have changed his vote, I pondered the possibility that the “conservative” judges decided that they didn’t have it in them to obstruct this bill the way the Supreme Court did with the early New Deal (resulting in Roosevelt’s threat to stack the court in 1937, which in turn caused the court to back down a bit), and they said, “okay, let’s do rock-paper-scissors to see which of us will take the bullet and vote with those other four idiots to give the liberals what they want and keep us out of trouble.”
At the time, I thought Roberts lost. But of course everybody will now hail him as the Great Moderate, so maybe he did this voluntarily. Perhaps he’s always wanted to go to a cocktail party hosted by Krugman!
in preparation for the predicted total economic collapse…
You know, there’s been talk of this for nearly four years, and we haven’t seen any collapse yet. I think that people who think this are probably basically right about the general unsustainability of the system, but underestimate its resilience.
After all, Japan has been in doldrums from more than two decades, but they’re still chugging along. A big chunk of Europe’s banks are pretty much manifestly bankrupt (and as a shareholder, I’d say Bank of American and Citigroup belong in that group too), yet they too are sitting there like a miasma on the economy.
Of course, as I mentioned (I think) a long time ago, the real danger of the big stimulus bill in 2009 was that it would become the new “base line” for government spending, and so it has happened. The US government now spends $1 trillion every year more than it takes in. Is there any likelihood that it will stop? (The leftists have even come up with specious justifications, like a) the big increase was under Bush, so there!, b) we’re only “borrowing from ourselves” so it doesn’t matter, c) OMG imagine what would happen to the economy if you stopped spending money you don’t have like a drunken sailor!
So, let’s move down the road a decade or so. They’ve built into the system all of this automatic deficit spending, but now the Social Security administration really starts bringing to the Treasury all those IOU’s they’ve been given for decades in return for excess Social Security taxes, which supposed were to be in a “trust fund” but were simply spent to subsidize the regular US Federal budget. But all those retired Baby Boomers, who didn’t save for their own retirement and now are heavily dependent on Social Security demand full payment of their “benefits” on the grounds they “paid for them” (despite the fact that the absurdity of the so-called Trust Fund should have been obvious to anyone with a functioning brain and despite the fact that the use of these funds reduced Federal taxes in the past, so they got their “payment”).
Then the shit will really hit the fan.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on the absurdity of the ZIRP (zero interest rate policy), one of the main beneficiaries of which is the Federal government, since it pays peanuts for borrowing money. An “insignificant” side effect of this is that it encourages the general populace to go further into debt, and of course sets a massive disincentive for anyone to save money when the return they get is actually negative when you figure in inflation and taxes. Anyway, Bernanke has now backed himself into a corner, since there’s no way to stop. But presumably at some point, as the US overall debt level continues to swell, the rates on roll over those trillions and trillions of dollars in various debt instruments will have to rise.
And at that point, Krugman’s “we owe it to ourselves” BS will be proven to be the nonsense it is. The money is owed to bondholders, and what happens when half the Federal budget has to be dedicated simply to interest payments on those mountains of concocted money that have been juicing the economy for years?
But (to get back to the original question) it may take a decade or two to get to that stage. And who’s to say what will happen in the meanwhile? Maybe they’ll figure out how to make energy out of fusion instead of fission (or is it the other way around?), and we’ll all be saved by a huge surge in productivity. Or perhaps they’ll figure out how to harness the massive potential energy of Smurf farts.
The argument remains though however litigious but you’re right about distorted reasoning. Can a square peg fit in a round hole? If you put liberal shit all over it. The problem with the tax origination argument is I can’t think of one repub with the nuts and cred to attack this majority opinion which somehow completely missed the fact that this ‘tax’ is a violation of the commerce clause and if it is a tax its still unconstitutional. Visibility in D.C. today is zero due to solid smug.
Appreciate your thoughts. You always strike a good argument using historical context and crushing cynicism lol. I still think my argument holds though for the brave and free and these libotomized daywalkerd will fall like tits on a giraffe. Tactics flow from a superior position – Bobby Fischer
The problem with the tax origination argument is I can’t think of one repub with the nuts and cred…
Surely, that’s the kicker. Nobody pays all that much attention to the wording of the Constitution, they just “spin” it to get the answer they want (à la Roberts!). This is basically a political question, and when you get down to it, most politicians of whatever party are inherently statists (though of course that’s by definition with dems and by default with repubs).
For that matter, it’s pretty clear that the document doesn’t allow the Federal government to issue banknotes, either, but the train left the station long since on that question (Ron Paul notwithstanding)!
Or is Roberts the most brilliant jurist this country has ever seen! The libs have admitted defeat with regards to the commerce clause and have embraced this as a tax thus the SC has sidestepped a new deal sitch and let the dems bury themselves. I don’t know, I have a hard time believing Roberts thought that out but time will tell.
Though I should say that substantively, you’re correct. Apparently, what the Senate did was take a House bill on some entirely different matter, but it of its content and stick the PPACA into it. If you ask me, that’s bullshit (that is, it may adhere to the requirement that tax bills start in the House, but only in some attenuated sense that completely subverts the intent of the provision).
But when you get down to it, this whole decision is bullshit, so what’s a bit more?
A bit more? It’s open season. 1/6th of the nations economy has just been flushed down the shitter by the king of mediocrity. Markets surge based on what? What freedom will be targeted next? What level of the inferno awaits these imps of Satan? The balance has tipped, make no mistake.
“Somewhere, far, far away, there’s a shitty island. An island without a name. An island not worth giving a name. A shitty island with a shitty shape. On this shitty island grow palm trees that also have shitty shapes. And the palm trees produce coconuts that give off a shitty smell. Shitty monkeys live in the trees, and the love to eat these shitty-smelling coconuts, after which they shit the world’s foulest shit. The shit falls on the ground and builds up shitty mounds, making the shitty palm trees that grow on them even shittier. It’s an endless cycle.”
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As Keyser's father used to say, "If you have to ask, I'm not going to tell you."