Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The power to tax

One wingnut talking point being used in the lawsuits filed against the new health care bill (which will be law sometime in the next week) is that it unconstitutionally forces you to buy health insurance. Err, no. Read The Bill. You can choose to not buy health insurance. You are then charged a tax to be paid into the Uncompensated Care Fund (since it is assumed you will be drawing from said fund sooner or later), but you don't have to buy health insurance. You'll go to jail if you don't pay your taxes (like, duh?), but you won't go to jail for not buying health insurance.

In case you haven't figured it out, the power to tax is one of the enumerated powers in the body of the Constitution, and one of the first things done by the newly elected Federal government of President George Washington was to levy a tax on corn whiskey. That also led to the first tax revolt in American history, the Whiskey Rebellion, which ended when General Washington took charge of the U.S. Army and marched into the rebellious area, at which point the rebels gulped, and went back to paying their taxes. In other words, George Washington was kinda the anti-Tea Party dude, the Tea Party loons of his day didn't want to pay their taxes, and he rammed it down their throats with the full force of the U.S. Army. In the end the whiskey tax was not repealed until after Thomas Jefferson won election in 1800, 12 years after the Constitution came into effect.

So anyhow, if the Federal government wants to levy a tax on insurance -- or on non-insurance, for that matter -- it's one of the enumerated powers in the Constitution. So suck George Washington's big, long... musket, wingnut assholes. And, uhm, what's this stuff about Obama ramming things down throats again? Do you dudes have to use homoerotic language for everything? Dudes. Can you say "Suppressed homosexuality"? Sure you can!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

1 comment:

  1. I don't like this health insurance "reform" plan because it's a fascist way of using government power to force us to do business with private corporations. (I would have preferred a socialist universal coverage system like what's been present in the last two countries I've lived in.) But the power to tax angle, I'm OK with that. If you're going to have a country with a government, as opposed to living in Somalia, taxes are the price you pay. (Literally) But the Glibertarians who screech stuff like "the 16th Amendment is illegal" have SUCH a problem with the very notion of having a government. Go live in Liberia, then! Even its name is almost "libertarian." And if a drug-addled warlord gang member cuts off your left forearm, that's LIBERTY!


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