Robert A. Teegarden's Blog

July 2, 2012

Choice No More

Filed under: Government — by Robert @ 11:22 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The funny thing about choices is that there are always intended and unintended consequences.  When we discriminate (choose) in favor of one thing, we do discriminate (choose) against others.  That doesn’t mean we necessarily don’t like the “other” thing.  It’s a simple act—choosing; we do it thousands of times a day.  The US Supreme court made a choice the other day that now eliminates yours.  What they said was, “America is no longer the land of the free.  The President said so and Congress can require it.”

Choice was once the heart and sinew of America.  America was once the land of liberty—the land of choices. But Image

with the passage of “Obamacare” choice has disappeared.  In one seemingly small step (choice), the Supreme Court (with help from Congress and the President) eliminated choice from the lexicon of the American dream.  Let me explain.

Previous to this date Americans were free to choose a lot of things.  There was no penalty for not choosing.  However there could be a tax if one did.  The government says you have to have insurance if you own a car.  Notice the “if.”  No one said you must own a car.  But if you do, then you also have to have car insurance.  How would you feel if you’re a city-dweller who doesn’t own a car but were told by the government you have to buy car insurance nonetheless, and if you don’t you’ll be taxed?

Likewise the government says it can tax your income.  But what if you don’t earn any?  No taxes.  How would you feel if the government imposed a tax for not making money.  Some seniors would probably say that the government already does that because it taxes Social Security income.

There are myriad taxes (local, state and federal) for buying stuff.  Except for food (in most states) we are all taxed on the purchases we make.  But what if we didn’t buy anything?  Imagine an IRS agent coming to your door then with a tax bill for not buying anything? Or not buying enough?  Or not buying the government-approved brand?

Well, that’s just what the President, Congress and the Supreme Court laid at your feet.  They just said it was okay to tax what you don’t do.  If you don’t buy health insurance or don’t take the government health insurance you will be taxed (or go to jail for the failure to pay taxes).

What about the people who truly believe in homeopathic remedies, or don’t believe in so-called modern medicine?  What about people who have come to see that many of the so-called “cures” of modern medicine and pharmaceuticals more dangerous than the disease they are supposed to cure?  According to “Obamacare” they don’t have a choice.  Because they will be taxed if they don’t—choose.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where this can head.  We once had the bigoted notion and prejudiced mandate that all children must attend a government/union school.  Fortunately, the Pierce court (in a time when the Constitution was not rewritten or reinvented by every jurist around) unanimously prevailed and said, “The child is not the mere creature of the state.” Parents are the primary educators.  What if Congress says that all kids had to go to the state/government/union school because interstate commerce depends on the income from their attendance?

What if there was a tax for not frequenting the national parks? After all, these parks were set aside for all Americans.  All Americans should pay for them.  I suppose, in all honesty, we are already taxed for these parks by virtue of the general fund.  But what if you had to pay a non-user fee as well?

There are fees for a fishing license.  What if there was a fee/tax for not-fishing?  How would the people who don’t like fish feel about that?  Thank God there’s no tax for not catching fish. Otherwise I’d have to pay a tidy sum.

These few examples may seem absurd but the point is that they are now not only possible in the crazy universe just invented, they would be legal.

The issue in “Obamacare” is not health, it’s not insurance, it’s not about helping the poor: it’s about the raw exercise of power.  That power was just exercised. Congress can now tax you for naught.  Welcome to this brave new world.

This conclusion is both depressing and ominous. What’s next?  I believe our Founding Fathers recognized this possibility way back when.  That’s why, in their wisdom, they gave us elections and the 2nd Amendment—that fourth leg in the balance of powers.

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