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Responses to the Nazgul

So how did you react when you heard the woefully misnamed Supreme Court had upheld Obamacare?

I first felt a flat, cool anger — without passion because it was so without surprise.

I had expected the court would shoot down the individual mandate while leaving the rest — a recipe for economic disaster, of course, since the individual mandate pays for the whole — but a snarkily satisfying slap in the face and at least a small nod in the direction of the Constitution. But nothing those government supremacists do could surprise anybody who’s observing carefully.

Their actual decision is one of those that reminds us (no offense to the Oregon Law Hobbit) why 20,000 lawyers at the bottom of the sea is “a good start”: While it’s a violation of the interstate commerce clause for the federal government to require everyone to buy insurance, it’s perfectly okay to fine tax us if we don’t. There’s no mandate, there’s simply a choice!

And naturally an alleged “conservative,” a Bush appointee, gave nanny-gov fans their deciding vote.

Make that 100,000 at the bottom of the sea. And counting.

Then I heard Romney’s response and flat-out laughed. He promises to repeal Obamacare and replace it with — every big provision of Obamacare except the hated (but absolutely necessary to the rest) individual mandate. Somehow, this is going to prevent those very useful “future generations” from being stuck with the bill. Sorry, I have no info for you on exactly how imposing Obamacare with no built-in payment mechanism “saves” you poor guys in the “future generations.”

Romney’s campaign reported an immediate spike in donations upon the court’s announcement. And now, too, he gets to keep his #1 applause line.

So yay hooray, both Ds and Rs win the day.

Government 2, the people 0. But hey, all you younger folks who are going to end up paying, whether through Obama’s not-a-mandate or the R’s everything-but-a-mandate … well, do any of these politicians really believe you’ll quietly spend the entire rest of your lives forking over the dough for their grandiosity?


  1. Steve
    Steve June 28, 2012 10:49 am

    I was a bit surprised but I had wondered about Roberts. He has quite a history of being deferential to authority. I used to be a Republican but left long ago. I find the way that conservatism has been transformed into authoritarianism very depressing. This leads to all sorts of craziness where people call Obama a communist. Part of that could be due to poor education. It could also be due to being told what to think.

    I think the Left Right view can explain something but is is just about a line. The Statism Liberty line is not allowed in public debate. It only is considered in a few corners. Personally, I’d settle for someone on the ‘Left’ and ‘Liberty’ sides than the other.

    That’s why Glenn Greenwald is so good. He gets Liberty better than anybody at Fox. I’m sure I could find things to disagree with. He might not like my gun collection but he would object to a drone strike being called in on me. Others like Yves Smith and Matt Taibbi understand many of the evils of statism as the US become a 3rd world oligarchy.

  2. Water Lily
    Water Lily June 28, 2012 11:11 am

    I have already been attacked online simply because I said “I agree” when a person’s commented she was upset over the decision. I have been called “crazy” and “stupid,” – accused of not understanding Obamacare – that’s why I am against it.

    Claire, I’m just a bit sickened over it. (no pun intended.) We cannot take another tax!

    Also, I’m very concerned. Some contractors hubby does business with have already said they are not going to be able to take on new business because of the expense of Obamacare.

  3. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed June 28, 2012 11:33 am

    Although I had hoped for a better outcome, the cynic in me knew otherwise. After all, expecting the government to regulate itself is a bit like expecting cancer to stop growing.

    I am thinking now of Francisco D’Anconia in Atlas Shrugged. I always thought his character was out of whack….that nobody who was on the side of the good guys would really try to help bring the collapse .

    Now I see it. A cold calculated rage. To destroy what cannot be fixed *because* it cannot be fixed.

  4. ILTim
    ILTim June 28, 2012 11:52 am

    Yay! Choice! Choices that have been made for you already with pena… taxes if you choose wrong! Yay!

    I seem to recall a tax-stamp initiative regarding some wild plants once that has turned into…
    something awful

  5. Darna
    Darna June 28, 2012 12:15 pm

    The High Priests of Government gave their blessing to High King Obama and his plans for our income and people are surprised? That is the job of the High priests in black robes. Wave the incense over everything that is decreed and tell the peasants it is what their god demands of them and call it good. Very fitting really. The majority of Americans worship the state and everything it does. Wait until they are told they must take their pill to end their life because their master decree’s it. Most will do so happily like Jim Jones followers, they get what they deserve.

  6. EN
    EN June 28, 2012 12:20 pm

    I’ve argued for the last ten years that the US would break up into DC, crazily running the country that no longer obeys, Greek style tax cheats, and “Pirates” who run outside the law, providing services and product without much interference from the far away federal government… of course they pay small kickbacks to the PTB (to avoid drone strikes). The oh so clueless Greeks style mass, will end up living in third world conditions. This mass will probably make up a majority, but largely exist by providing manpower when needed to DC and the “Pirates” (for lack of a better word). This large mass of clueless will also not obey the government. To do so would mean starvation. Odd how Greece and the Soviet Union both have/had this feature. The only way these countries work/worked is by massive disobedience of the law, which was widely condoned by the bureaucrats who also have families forced to live with “Stupid”.

    Many of my Libertarian friends, have insisted that it will all workout. Of course it will work out, it always does. It’s just not going to work out for the majority. If this seems over the top, well, there’s no genius in this. I’m just describing Mexico and a number of other third world countries run by Fascist idiots.

    What this has to do with Obamacare is that it’s a step in that direction. It will destroy small business (perhaps intentionally but more likely an unforeseen consequence that will be fixed by adding more government gasoline to the fire), further increasing unemployment and shrinking the tax base… which will reduce the quality and timeliness of medical care. Broke your leg? “Make an appointment to be seen by a specialist, here’s some aspirin, and we’ll see you in six months… if it doesn’t resolve on its own”.

    The way this will work in practice is easily seen. Cancer patients in Greece are OK as long as they can cross the border and procure their own chemo meds… or the patients family knows “someone” and can Grease (Greece?) the skids. Even antibiotics that work are unavailable within the system (of course the most ineffective antibiotics are widely available). So how does this make me feel? vindicated and saddened that my country is dead for sure. However, maybe it’s a step towards destroying the entire rotten system. May what comes be without awful violence and violations of human rights… and we all get our own unicorn.

  7. Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger
    Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger June 28, 2012 12:55 pm

    “I had expected the court would shoot down the individual mandate…”

    I didn’t. I considered the possibility that they would, but couldn’t call it either way. SCROTUM has a long history of creatively interpreting laws to screw individuals and extend fed power The old “homegrown wheat IS interstate commerce because it wasn’t interstate commerce decision” and the “red wolf is interstate commerce because someone might someday think about traveling interstate to see one” decision come to mind.

    Granted, those were applications of the “commerce clause”. I was only surprised that they paradoxically claimed that they couldn’t rationalize the individual mandate through that one (which is probably a record of some sort: the first time they found a power expansion they didn’t allow on that basis). But calling it a tax made it a shoe-in anyway, since the feds never saw a tax they didn’t love…

    …even when Bipolar Barry and Pisswit Pelosi specifically claimed this wasn’t tax (‘cuz the Crazed One made a — -giggle- — campaign promise not to impose news taxes… where have I heard that one before?

    At least I now have a retirement plan: federal prison for noncompliance. Gonna be a tough call for those unfortunate enough to have families, though.

  8. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit June 28, 2012 1:01 pm

    No offense taken – there are certainly at LEAST 20,000 lawyers who’d improve the nation if they were at the bottom of the sea. 😉

    I’d predicted “no changes” some time ago – but I *am* somewhat surprised that they decided to hang their statist hats on the “tax” angle.

    And don’t forget – Chief Justice Roberts was an R appointee. So all those sites and fora that are screaming that we have to have an R president so we get “good judges” … that’s complete and utter torocaca…..

  9. Jeffrey Quick
    Jeffrey Quick June 28, 2012 1:03 pm

    If the SCOTUS can’t differentiate between a tax and what should be a voluntary payment for services, why should we?

  10. EN
    EN June 28, 2012 1:07 pm

    I get really tired of being called “negative” for the simple reason that I believe in reality, not wishful thinking. I’ve been saying for a long time that the “SCROTUM” (I’m going to steal that) always goes big government, it’s what they do. There’s no brilliance on my part in making this prediction, it’s what they do. The problem lies with all these Pollyanna’s out there. I have two Republican friends that quit talking to me over my “cynicism”. I was expecting them to call me and apologize. Nothing yet… Apology watch continues.

  11. Matt, another
    Matt, another June 28, 2012 1:12 pm

    Outside of the income tax which is aurhtorized by the 16th amendment, does Congress have the authority to levy personal taxes on individuals? If so, which amendment? My logic driven mind says taxing a person for not doing something (buying health insurance) is not an income tax, it is a fine. By Roberts logic, I should be able to deduct my auto-insuarance as taxes paid to my state. State requries me to pay auto insurance (individual mandate) and fines me if I don’t, therefore it must be a tax.

  12. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal June 28, 2012 1:18 pm

    How did I react? I shrugged and went on with my life. I really can’t bring myself to care too much what the govthugs do anymore. Until they are kicking in my door, with Gabe Suarez’s approval, anyway. I expect my financial situation to go nowhere but down, regardless of what DC or its more local roots may do. And, I’m surprisingly comfortable with that. Bring it on, Rulers. All you are doing is building the gallows that will be the final chapter of your biography.

  13. Victor Milán
    Victor Milán June 28, 2012 2:15 pm

    No surprise to me.

    If the Supreme Court can’t find Constitutional grounds to object to a President waging war on a whim, tossing you in a torture dungeon forever on a whim, and just flat killing you on a whim, what’s not to like about making favored insurance companies into tax farmers?

    So now we see that the solution, all along, to the problem of people being unable to afford health care was … to force them to buy it anyway. Of course.

    Compared to humanitarian bombing, I supposed, that *is* compassion.

  14. bumperwack
    bumperwack June 28, 2012 9:47 pm

    “Do not come between the nazgul and its prey”…hmmm…no MAN can kill those things………..Claire?

  15. Jim B.
    Jim B. June 28, 2012 11:44 pm

    Did you really expect anything else to come out of Mordor?

    I actually view this as good news. Because it gives a signal and a shot across our bows as a warning, to get our crap done as far a prepping goes.

    It also means that we won’t have to wait that much longer. You know how when you’re expecting something bad, and it’s the waiting that comes to be intolerable? I think it’ll be a few to several years to go. After all, Rome didn’t fall in a day.

    As far as medicine goes, everybody will become an expert, so to speak. We’ll probably be better off for it, or at least set up an informal system of some kind of Under-the-Table Homeopathic care.

  16. Jim Klein
    Jim Klein June 29, 2012 5:24 am

    Good insight about Romney, Claire. That’s the “funny” part–everyone would’ve lost, even if they won. Anyone familiar with republicans and the insurance industry understands that. Like everything else right now, health care is going to go down the tubes and cost more, no matter what happens. Hopefully dawn will come.

    I’m sure it’s all good news for the shrimp and lobster business. Separately, I had a great line: “It ain’t the chipping that’s new; it’s that they discovered cattle that walk on two legs.”

  17. Jollyprez
    Jollyprez June 29, 2012 7:17 am

    I predicted the court would finagle a way to leave Obamacare intact. That’s exactly what they did.
    The only upside that I see is that many of my acquaintances have jumped off the fence, and are turning into raving anarchists. They jumped clear from Constitutionalists straight to anarchism without pausing at libertarianism or minarchism – so that’s a Good Thing.®

  18. olde reb
    olde reb June 29, 2012 7:19 am

    Clarence Carson wrote in THROTTLING THE RAILROADS that the government intervention in railroads during the 1850 to 1880’s led to the bankruptcy of every (one exception) RR company. The object became how to get more government money and less of how to provide a service to the public for a reasonable value.

    Now we have increasing government involvement in health care. Already we have the courts full of cases of fraud on medicare programs. Whatever the government touches, it ruins.

  19. Brent
    Brent June 29, 2012 12:34 pm

    @Matt, another – Per the Constitution the Congress has authority to legislate (tax) any person under it’s jurisdiction; that is per the term exclusive legislation from this section:
    “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District …”

    I honestly do not see anywhere in the Constitution the listed power of taxing a person from Rumania or China or Texas.

    Some people see things that just ain’t there!

  20. Pat
    Pat June 29, 2012 2:28 pm

    “Now we have increasing government involvement in health care. Already we have the courts full of cases of fraud on medicare programs. Whatever the government touches, it ruins.”

    Not just health care, but the insurance companies as well; thus govt gets two-for-the-price-of-one in this deal. For what’s to hold govt back from eventually penalizing people who don’t buy auto/life/homeowners’/theft/etc. insurance?

    In my state (and perhaps most, if not all – I don’t know), we are already penalized/taxed by the state if we choose not to carry auto insurance – we must pay $500/yr as long as we don’t have it. Eventually ALL insurance may be required; all govt has to do is extend this health care “provision” to every other insurance.

    Further… I doubt the Supreme Court will ever agree to review an appeal on this health provision – so, say in 2016, some bureaucrat will hand down an order which Congress will never read, and _presto chango_, all Americans will have to buy theft insurance on their kid’s gizmo or be penalized for non-compliance.

    Like the airlines, the banks, and the entire medical profession, I consider ALL insurance companies already lost. (And the poor fools won’t even see it coming; they’ll think they’re still in control under the power of corporatism.)

  21. Jim Klein
    Jim Klein June 29, 2012 3:32 pm

    “…we are already penalized/taxed by the state if we choose not to carry auto insurance – we must pay $500/yr as long as we don’t have it.”

    Wow, you must be in one of the free states. Here in Miichigan, I don’t recall ever having a choice. I do remember the name of the governor during my youth, though—Romney. Coincidence, perhaps.

  22. Hanza
    Hanza June 29, 2012 6:17 pm

    Some years back the Center for Disease Control (CDC) wanted to ban firearms as a hazard to healthy living.

    The current ruling will now allow government to determine that ownership of firearms creates a health hazard and if they don’t ban them outright, then they will tax the snot out of each firearm that you own. All to cover increased health costs to victims of “gun violence”.

  23. Debby Rich
    Debby Rich June 29, 2012 9:45 pm

    If you don’t mind I have a couple of commits to make. Even though
    we have dential insurance, I was suppose to have a root canel done a couple of years ago. Before he started We had to pay up
    front. Of couse we do not have the couple of thousand dollars, so
    we filled out the paper work and then he took me in. Well he started on my tooth. I go off reallly luckly. He could not finish the job.
    the tooth was so bad. So I ended up not having to pay any thing.
    I was sent to another dentist and the tooth was pulled.but with this
    other dentist, they did get called the insurance and I had to pay the
    co-pay up front. I can’t remember what the co-pay was for that one,
    but having a wisdom tooth pulled this year, the co-pay was abou$180.And this was with insurance.Another freind this year had
    the same experience.Now they said if you wanted to op out of the
    insurance, you could pay a tax on income tax time. Pray tell me how
    are the homeless who don’t pay the income tax and don’t have that
    much money are going to pay??And I though that the Democrated party was for the poor people? Guess not.
    Well any way blessings to you all.

  24. furrydoc
    furrydoc June 30, 2012 9:18 pm

    After we heard the outcome, my husband actually suggested it was time for America to go all “Atlas Shrugged”. Everyone who produces needs to just stop. Close stores and shops, end services… what ever it takes to starve the bystanders out on their ears. Wouldn’t it be great if we all just took the summer off and quit paying taxes. No production, no income, no taxes. How long do you think it would take?

  25. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 1, 2012 4:48 am

    We might be able to get away with it out here in the country, furrydoc, but millions in the cities would simply begin to starve very quickly. Not a good situation, I think.

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