Writings

Why Fiscal Conservatives Should Be Happy Today

What the supreme court upheld today was that the “individual mandate” is, legally speaking, a tax.  In fact, it is exactly equivalent to the type of tax that fiscal conservatives want the social security and medicare taxes to become.  (Think about it, it’s a tax where you pay into a public system, but you can opt out by paying your money into a private system instead – this is exactly the privatization of social security that Cato and Heritage have been pushing for!)

This is why the whole idea of an individual mandate for health insurance was invented by the Heritage Foundation in 1989 (it was originally created as an alternative to Clinton’s Single-Payer system) and not by the democrats.  If Obama had any balls, he would have rammed through a public option, but instead, he decided to take a Republican plan and call it his own thinking (foolishly) that the Republicans couldn’t possibly slam him for promoting their own idea!

Personally, it doesn’t matter to me whether there is an individual mandate or not – I’m going to have health insurance either way – but I definitely approve of the idea of making taxes (in general, not just this one) more transparent (having tax money specifically ear-marked for particular purposes and not “dumped into the general pot”) and in having the ability to opt out of taxes if you can meet the same requirement through the private sector (think private school vouchers).  If either Clinton or Obama had pushed through a single-payer system, there would be a huge republican movement to privatize it in exactly the way that the individual mandate does (think social security privatization).  The only difference here is that we’re going directly to the Republican’s plan from the 1990’s without having to pass through the democrat’s plan from the 1990’s first…

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