Wednesday, April 05, 2006

When is a tax not a tax?

If you will all pardon my language, this is one of the biggest pieces of bullshit legislation I've ever heard of -- even for Massachusetts, which this February required Wal-Mart to sell "morning-after" birth control pills that Wal-Mart didn't want to sell.

So as I first read last night, Massachusetts is going to make health insurance mandatory for all its residents. Those who cannot afford it will receive subsidized health insurance from the state (meaning others will pay for it). Those who can afford health insurance must have it it, either privately or through their employer, or face fines of over $1000 a year! That is, they are those who the Massachusetts' bureaucracy determines can afford it. Forgive me for exercising some common sense and rational thinking here, but if someone can afford health insurance yet doesn't have it, doesn't that tell us the person has a good reason? So again we have the damned bureaucrats deciding what's best for us, because, after all, we the people are apparently too stupid to determine our own value preferences.

The real kicker is this: "The measure does not call for new taxes but would require businesses that do not offer insurance to pay a $295 annual fee per employee." Then what is this "assessment"? Is it as voluntary a "contribution" as income taxes? If it's money that someone pays to the government under the threat of force, then it's a tax -- what else could it be?

Last year, I blogged considerably about the proposed Manhattan West Side Stadium, which, thank God, was defeated in June. In early March, I asked "What would Bastiat say?" for the first time, in reaction to Mayor Bloomberg's funding idea. He wanted to raise the city's $300 million share by selling bonds, and he suggested the city could make the debt service payments not with tax monies, but with PILOT money. Certain businesses make Payments In Lieu Of Taxes, which are just as they sound, negotiated amounts instead of official tax rates. I will say again what I said then: "I'm pretty certain what Bastiat would say first about the stadium proposal: he'd tell Mike Bloomberg to stop talking merde and call a tax a tax!"

The same should be said to the Massachusetts legislature. Well, Massachusetts residents, be ready to pay higher prices for certain goods and services that are provided by low-wage workers. The $5.67 per week probably won't make any employers lay anyone off, but that cost will certainly get passed on to consumers. Like with minimum wages, it's only consumers who ultimately pay, all because of big government's deluded sense of benevolence. And, of course, there will be those people who opted not to have health insurance (generally young enough to rely on their age for good health), who will now have lower standards of living because of government's coercion.

It's not just in Massachusetts that government officials think they can legislate a free lunch, but this really takes the cake. It looks like Gov. Mitt Romney is willing to sign some form of the bill, proving he's as conservative as George W. Bush -- in other words, a big-government "compassionate" conservative, not a true Reaganite conservative.


Anonymous Brad Warbiany said...

If Romney signs this bill, he's signing the death warrant of his presidential ambitions. He already likely would have had an uphill battle as a Mormon, but once true conservatives get wind of this, he'd be radioactive.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 2:56:00 PM  
Blogger Apesnake said...

Get ready for the latest super villain - Radioactive Romney because I heard on the news that he is supporting the bill.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Well, I guess that makes Mitt a democrat in Sheep's (Rebublican)clothing. He is starting to sound like Arnold the govenator.

Thursday, April 06, 2006 3:16:00 AM  
Anonymous mstahl16 said...

Predictably, some bureaucrat was on tv and said how great this was because it would allow the state to monitor and regulate medical care in the name of cost effectiveness and efficacy. Perhaps even scarier was that some idiot insurance executive agreed with him. Hey as long as I make my state sponsored monopoly money what do I care about individual rights! A bill like this is more clearly defined as Fascist than collectivist. Hard to believe that something like this could survive a Constitutional challenge but it's Mass. afterall.

Friday, April 07, 2006 12:18:00 AM  

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