The looming Obama/Paul military massacre (Part 1)

| January 2, 2012 | 141 Comments

An unholy alliance has been formed in Washington D.C.

Libertarian Republicans and liberal Democrats are moving to both destroy the military and cut off at the knees the families who have given the most this past decade. The first person to sound the alram in the mass media was former President George W. Bush’s Ambassador to the UN John Bolton in July of 2011:

Every indication is that the debt-ceiling negotiations are leaving the defense budget in grave jeopardy. By exposing critical defense programs to disproportionate cuts as part of the “trigger mechanism,” there is a clear risk that key defense programs will be hollowed out.

While the trigger mechanism comes into play only if the Congressional negotiators fail to reach agreement on the second phase of spending cuts, it verges on catastrophe to take such a national security risk.

Defense has already taken hugely disproportionate cuts under President Obama, and there is simply no basis for expanding those cuts further. Republican negotiators must hold the line, since the Obama Administration plainly will not.

He spoke out again making it clear that if (when) the so called Super-Committee failed the DoD and its membership would be left devastated.

In the deal’s second stage, the yet-to-be-named Congressional Joint Commission will have wide discretion on what to agree on, but if no agreement or only partial agreement is reached, the deal’s sequestration mechanism will be triggered. Broadly speaking, if that happens, defense spending will bear fifty percent of the total cuts, with non-defense spending bearing the remaining fifty percent, up to the amount necessary to raise the debt ceiling by the minimum $2.4 trillion required by the deal. This approach risks grave damage to our national security.
There is no strategic rationale whatsoever for cuts of this magnitude. There is, in fact, every strategic rationale to the contrary. While the appropriations process may still be able to decide which specific programs will be cut, this is no consolation. Cuts of this size are effectively indiscriminate.

It’s at this point in which I know I don’t actually need to remind this readership of this blog where the true burden of our tax dollars rest. I’d hope we all know where the rest of this is heading…

I’ll sound the alarm now for the 6.1 million of you whose jobs are tied into defense. Your time is coming in what is referred to by insiders as the coming train wreck. Entire US companies are looking to get out of the business of defending the United States and taking their people elsewhere.

I could point out that for what we spend on Medicare/Medicaid in this country in less than four days we could buy a brand new Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carrier. I could point out that once we incorporate the entirety of our tax dollars we spend more than both healthcare and education. I could also say that even with our defense spending covering millions of Americans educations, healthcare and paychecks it’s still approximate to total non-military education spending.

But wait, here’s that slovenly piece of shit from Massachusetts Barney Frank getting all that anger out, from the years in high school he spent getting stuffed into lockers, on the largest group of actual men he can find. Make note of his mention of Ron Paul, nut bag-in-chief.

In part two we’ll get into the human cost of these cuts. The real faces and names of selfless American patriots who are being laid off and, literally, getting kicked to the curb so the welfare pimps and vote buying politicos can stay in office. We’ll start with my beloved sister service, the Navy. Until then please send me your own stories of how these looming cuts are affecting you or your family and links to relevant stories.

Category: 2012 election, Barack Obama/Joe Biden, Congress sucks, Defense cuts, Politics, Ron Paul

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  1. DR_BRETT says:

    No. 1 CI:
    Do you possess a reason for denigrating AMB BOLTON ??

  2. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    Insipid, I love a good debate. One of my closest co-workers is a somewhat conservative Democrat and what I respect about him is he will concede a point when it’s been proven as will I. With respect, you won’t. HE concedes that too much money is being spent on entitlement programs. For fiscal year 12/13 welfare programs were allotted 452 billion dollars, public education was allotted 153 billion dollars. Three dollars for welfare programs for every one dollar for public education. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my 3rd grade private school granddaughter is at the same level as her 5th grade public school cousins. Tell me that isn’t an indictment of the public educational system because of lack of funding. That and the uber-libelist of academia.

  3. teddy996 says:

    Yes, saying “I won” to shut down debate, closing the republicans out of the writing of Obamacare, and his famous “republicans put the car in the ditch, now you just sit in the back and shut up” speech is totally “working with the republicans”.

  4. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    @ 104. The last sentence should read, “That and the uber-liberalism of academia.” Ooops!

  5. insipid says:

    #104- I just conceded a point on this very thread, Yat. Hondo said that, legally, SSI na Medicare are under no obligation to do anything for you, and he is right. It’s not like too many folks are conceding my points either. Even the very basic facts of SSI and Medicare being insurance they won’t concede.

    Plus, I’m not the one being unreasonable here. Most people here seem to be arguing that we get rid of the entire social safety net. Not fix the quite fixable problems with it, the way Reagan and Tiop O’Neil did, but just end them altogether. If you’re holding that view, there’s not a lot of room for concessions on my part. That’s the equivelent of me arguing that we should pretty-much decimate the entire military. Outisde the bubble of this forum, the vast majority of the people would certainly side with me on these issues.

    Welfare payments have been large for the past several years because we’ve been in the midst of a horrible recession. As stated earlier, most of that money is going to food stamps and children. You conceded in a previous post that we shouldn’t let kids go hungry, that’s what these welfare payments are doing. I think in order to qualify you have to be making less then 15K a year and have a kid (i didn’t look up the numbers, Hondo).

  6. insipid says:

    @102- An EPA official says a dumb thing and resigns over it, this is indicitive of Obama how? There’s massive amounts of e-mails disclosed about how he worked with industry on the ACA and he also worked with industry on millage standards:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/opinion/sunday/how-liberals-win.html?_r=2

    He didn’t “close Republican’s out of Obamacare” there were thousands of meetings taking place over the course of a year and a half in which Republicans offered thousands of amendments. We delayed passage of the bill for months so that Baucus could try and convince Snowe and other moderates to come on board. Plus it IS basically a Republican bill. It’s pretty much the same bill Bob Dole wanted in 1994, it’s the same bill Romney would of tried to pass if he got in 4 years ago. It’s not a vast government takeover but a competitive based model. He didn’t run on, nor try and pass single payer, for instance.

    If the world made sense the Republicans would simply take credit for the bill, high five eachother that the stupid democrats finally came around to their way of thinking, and move on to other things. But when he got into office they embarked on a no-compromise strategy to the detriment of the country.

  7. TacticalTrunkMonkey says:

    My whole take on the Obamacare issue is this…I DON’T TAKE CARE OF OTHERS!

    Let me explain, I am a parent. I brought two AWESOME little boys into this world, and with the help of their mother (my amazing wife) we take care of them because they cannot take care of themselves.

    I REFUSE to take care of some adult that REFUSES to do anything for himself/herself. I will NOT pay for some tramp to get knocked up because she wanted to bang dudes at her sorority social, and then want an abortion.

    I will NOT pay for some fat ass to sit on the couch after working a job where he sits on his duff everyday and then gets diabetes. Sorry, fatty, get off your ass and go to the gym or go run.

    It comes down to this…people need to learn to be responsible for their own actions. Take care of yourself, eat right, exercise, don’t do stupid shit that will get you hurt, and for the love of GOD…please stop screwing around with every boy/girl/thing you run into…

    STOP putting your stupidity on me!

  8. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    @107 Insipid. If I mis-spoke I apologize. You are 100% correct that I would never deprive a hungry child a meal. I guess what torques my ass is the minimum wage parents who know “someone else” will pay for their children. Because they know the system will cover them, they keep pumping out kids. As I mentioned before, I have to pay the Maricopa county assessment on my house and I have to pay the $150 a month, my part, to put my granddaughter through private school. This coming Aug., I’ll have to double that because my 2nd granddaughter will start school. I guess what chaffs my ass is that in 6 years, “Little J” will be four years ahead of her PS cousins. What will the difference be by the time she graduates from college? Who is more likely to be receiving “public assistance”? She will be paying taxes to support her cousins because their parents weren’t smart enough to get their education or didn’t care to practice ‘family planning’.

  9. Hondo says:

    No, insipid. Insurance requires a contract, called a policy, and imposes legally enforceable contractual obligations on each party. These obligations are (1) the payment of premiums by the policy holder and (2) the payout of contractually-specified amounts by the insurance provider in response to the occurrence of events or conditions defined in the contract (payment of claims). Non-performance by either party releases the other from it’s contractual obligations. And such non-performance can be challenged in civil court as a breach of contract, with the injured party requesting the court to compel the other party to fulfill their contractual obligations.

    As you’ve now (finally!) conceded, for Social Security and Medicare, THERE IS NO CONTRACT between the individual and the government. The government can change or end either program tomorrow, and in that case an individual has absolutely no legal recourse. All you did was pay your taxes as required by law. Since there was never any contract, the government has no contractual obligation to do anything.

    Therefore, despite misleading names to the contrary, no contract means Social Security and Medicare are NOT insurance. Rather, both are inter-generational income transfer programs designed to support the elderly and selected younger persons using income taken from younger American residents in the form of FICA and Medicare taxes. Put plainly, each program is a form of welfare for the aged – nothing more, and nothing less.

    Social Security and Medicare were mendaciously sold as “retirement savings” and “insurance” programs by FDR and LBJ, respectively, in order to make them more palatable to a gullible American public. And politicians from both sides of the political aisle have continued to use those inaccurate terms ever since, generally because they don’t have the guts to speak truthfully and call them what they are – welfare programs.

  10. NHSparky says:

    And with SSDI, there is NO obligation or set standard which defines “catastrophic”, as evidenced by the fact that my late father who had Stage 4 lung cancer could not use SSDI, but adult babies and others who game the system are.

    Sorry if my spelling isn’t up to your standards insipid but being that I have no spell check on this phone it’s easier said than spelled. Amazing how I lost my cell signal over an hour before I got here but they have WiFi.

    Now if we can get you to admit that in fact the poor do not in fact have an overall tax burden…

  11. Hondo says:

    insipid: you’ve also attempted above to change the subject regarding another point I raised. Frankly, I’m rather surprised no one else ripped you a new anus for this one.

    Specifically, I’m talking about the promise the Federal government made to military retirees for decades (literally) concerning lifetime medical care for themselves and their families. When I raised that issue, you changed the subject (comment 69), bringing up the irrelevant points that you have “spoken to many military men and women that are actually pretty happy with the VA. In fact out of all the health care providers, generally the VA gets the higheset scores.” (direct quote)

    Any discussion of VA medical care is completely irrelevant to the point I raised. The VA system’s mission is not to provide medical care to military retirees and their families. Rather, the VA exists to provide treatment for all veteran’s service-connected medical issues. The VA is not obligated to provide treatment for medical conditions not incurred or aggrivated by a veteran’s military service. In general, it does not provide medical care for a veteran’s dependents. It is run by an entirely different department of the Federal government, is not funded by DoD (the VA makes its own budget request and receives and manages the funding it receives from Congress), and runs its own separate medical system from that of DoD.

    As a veteran, you should know all of this. Indeed, one is appallingly ignorant if they are a veteran and don’t know all of that; it’s covered quite clearly during outprocessing for separation. I’m therefore forced to conclude that your bringing up VA medical care in this context was a deliberate non sequitur intended to deflect attention away from a point you cannot address.

    The point I raise is relevant to a discussion of the future of Social Security and Medicare because it shows – very clearly – that the Federal government will modify and/or break past promises if future financial pressures dictate. They’ve done so repeatedly during our history. My example is only one of many.

  12. CI says:

    @103 – “Do you possess a reason for denigrating AMB BOLTON??”

    Where did I denigrate him?

  13. insipid says:

    At 111, Hondo-

    =============================================================
    No, insipid. Insurance requires a contract, called a policy, and imposes legally enforceable contractual obligations on each party. These obligations are (1) the payment of premiums by the policy holder and (2) the payout of contractually-specified amounts by the insurance provider in response to the occurrence of events or conditions defined in the contract (payment of claims). Non-performance by either party releases the other from it’s contractual obligations. And such non-performance can be challenged in civil court as a breach of contract, with the injured party requesting the court to compel the other party to fulfill their contractual obligations.

    ==========================================================

    Well, there has been the payment of premiums by the policy holder that has been happening without fail for 70 years for SSI and 45 years for Medicare. While Sparky continuously makes the point that you can’t go to an SSI office and see the money in your “account” you CAN ask them what your payouts will be based upon the amount of money you placed into it. While it is technically possible for the Congress to abolish SSI payments it is as feasible as Barney Frank or Rush Limbaugh (non-partisan!) running a 4 minute mile.

    The court case you love to refer to, Fleming v. Nestor made it very clear that the courts and Congress cannot act capriciously. That one cannot have their SSI taken away without some form of due-process. Just as the government can’t put you in jail without due process. While I actually side with the minority in that case- denying someone SSI for being a Communist is far too close to a loyalty oath for my taste- it was adjudicated based upon a law passed by Congress and signed by the President. Furthermore if your SSI is taken away it IS possible to fight for it in a court of law. The case of Fleming v. Nestor (which refers to SS as an insurance program 35 times) proves that it is possible to fight for it.

    While you are correct that there is no physical contract there is a social compact. You can use the “no contract” argument to state that ALL Government-run insurance such as unemployment insurance, workman’s compensation, is “welfare”. Hell, why stop at insurance? Going by this “logic”, you’re receiving government “welfare” when you ride on the roads, enjoy police protection, safe food, safe drinking water etc. etc. etc.. Government provided security and infrastructure is STILL a security force and infrastructure despite the fact that there is not an individual contract with everyone that enjoys it. Government services do no act precisely the same way that their analogous private companies do. But that’s not always a bad thing either. Before the PPACA if an insurance provider denied your coverage based upon a pre-existing condition, your only recourse would generally be to hire a lawyer and sue in Civil Court. Try getting the CEO on the line? But at least with a government provided program you can call your Representative.

    The recent Supreme Court case on the PPACA (remember? The one I got right and you were completely wrong about?) illustrated an important legal principle: One decides what something is based primarily on what it does. In the case of the free-loader provision of the PPACA the mandate brings in revenue like a tax, it is enforced by the IRS code, it is either waived or paid on our IRS forms.

    By your own admission, SSI acts as insurance. As you stated so eloquently ” YOUR Social Security and Medicare taxes buy YOU “fuckall”; rather, they buy SOMEONE ELSE retirement income or medical care.” This is insurance, that is what SSI and SSDI provides and they have been doing so for 70+ years. Fire insurance buys me nothing until I have a fire, disability and old age insurance buys me nothing until I become disabled or elderly. But if I don’t have a fire, I still get my money’s worth in piece of mind. Likewise I, and most everyone else, happily pays into SSI knowing that should they become old or disabled and unable to work, that SSI and SSDI is there for them.

  14. insipid says:

    At 113- Hondo.

    I served in the National Guard for seven years, not active duty. Thus I’m not elligible for VA benefits :-( .

  15. Hondo says:

    Insipid: social security taxes (FICA and Medicare) are just that – taxes. They are not insurance premiums. Stop paying FICA taxes and the government won’t cancel your participation in social security – the will send you to jail for tax evasion.

    Both the SSA and IRS explicitly call them taxes:

    http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/392/~/what-is-the-meaning-of-fica
    http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc756.html

    And Federal Law defines them to be taxes. And, further, they’re collected as taxes directly from payroll. They also apply to both employers and employees.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/subtitle-C/chapter-21

    Quit grasping at straws and admit you’re wrong, fella. They’re taxes, plain and simple. They’re not insurance premiums in any way, shape, form, or fashion. There is no contract, so there’s no insurance policy with Social Security. You go to jail if you refuse to pay vice losing insurance; ergo, they don’t “act” like insurance premiums at all – they act like taxes. And Federal Law, the IRS, and SSA each identify them as taxes.

    By any chance, do you have an uncle named Wittgenfeld?

    Different subject. Regarding VA medical care: OK, so you were ignorant. Do I take it you now admit that your bringing up VA medical care was a non-sequitur and is irrelevant to the discussion?

  16. Hondo says:

    insipid: Please cite where I ever said Congress did not have the power to impose the individual mandate penalty as a tax. You can’t – because I never made that statement.

    What I did say was that the language of the statue establishing the individual mandate penalty very clearly states that the individual mandate penalty was imposed as a penalty and was not a tax. I further stated that Congress was illegitimately using it as a tax vice a legitimate tax penalty. Further, I also clearly stated that there were legitimate ways for Congress to do exactly the same thing. You might want to review this comment: http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=29492&cpage=3#comment-613829 in order to refresh your memory.

    In that same comment, I also clearly indicate that this individual mandate penalty will indeed function as a de facto tax, even though technically as the law is written it is a penalty. And in fact, the first portion of Roberts opinion explicitly agrees with my characterization of the individual mandate penalty as a penalty vice a tax. Indeed, Roberts had to do so to even consider its legality. Otherwise, the SCOTUS would not have had jurisdiction to consider it for nearly three years.

    Further: my primary objection to the individual mandate – which I’ve clearly voiced many times – has always been with the concept that Congress had the power to compel purchase of a good or service under the Commerce Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause. Roberts’ majority opinion clearly and unambiguously denies Congress that power under either of these Constitutional clauses (Syllabus, pp. 2-3, and Roberts’ opinion, pp. 16-30). At least he was thinking clearly when he wrote those portions of his opinion.

    You would know all of the above if you could (a) keep your facts straight and (b) if you’d bothered to read the actual SCOTUS opinion. Obviously, you can’t do the former, and you don’t seem to have bothered to do the latter. It’s no wonder you’re “working discovery” instead of doing legal research.

    Further: if you’d actually bothered to read the Chief Justice’s opinion in NFSB et al v. Sebilius – or if you did read it, if you could actually comprehend it – you’d know that Roberts’ opinion is a textbook example of inconsistent legal reasoning and circular logic when it comes to the nature of the individual mandate. Specifically, in his opinion Roberts first holds that the individual mandate is not a tax but a penalty, then later decides it is a tax after all. In effect, he’s ruling that it simultaneously is and is not a tax. Such inane sophistry – in this case, from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court – is one reason why the legal profession is held in such distain by virtually everyone in America outside that profession.

    Some legal background for you, since you dearly seem deficient in that respect: the Tax Anti-Injunction Act (26 USC 7421a) explicitly forbids virtually all a priori Federal suits brought to prevent taxes from being assessed. (All exceptions noted in 26 USC 7421a appear to deal with tax liabilities that have already been assessed or levied, but not yet collected.) In virtually all cases, one must first pay or be assessed the tax in question; only after that has occurred can one file a suit alleging that the tax is legally defective. Congress has the Constitutional authority to restrict Federal Court jurisdiction in exactly this manner (see Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution). In passing the Tax Anti-Injunction Act, Congress has removed taxes that have not yet become effective from the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts. Since the individual mandate penalty does not become effective until 2014, if it is in fact a tax Federal Courts are therefore barred from considering its validity by the Tax Anti-Injunction Act until no earlier than April 16, 2015 – the date on which 2014 income taxes become overdue.

    Therefore, in order for the legality of the individual mandate “penalty” to even be considered by the SCOUTS, Roberts was forced to hold that it was not a tax. In his opinion, Roberts held (Syllabus, p. 2, and Roberts’ Opinion, pp. 11-15) that Congress did not intend for the individual mandate to be considered a tax and that the individual mandate was therefore not a tax under the Tax Anti-Injunction Act. This was necessary to allow the SCOTUS to consider the legality of the individual mandate at all. If the individual mandate were in fact a tax, SCOTUS consideration (indeed, consideration by any Federal Court) would be barred until after it had become effective and someone had challenged the legality of the tax in Federal court. As noted above, that could occur no earlier than 16 April 2015.

    However, later in the same opinion, (Syllabus, p. 4, and Roberts’ opinion, pp. 33-41), Roberts rules that the individual mandate is in fact a tax – irrespective of the plain language of the statute or Congress’ intent in establishing it. He therefore engages in perfectly circular logic. Roberts first ruled that the individual mandate was not a tax but a “penalty”, thus bringing consideration of its legality within the jurisdiction of the SCOTUS; he then ruled that it is indeed a tax after all and can be imposed – notwithstanding the fact that if it is indeed a tax, the SCOTUS does not have jurisdiction to even consider its legality for nearly 3 years. The Devil himself would be proud of this twisted abuse of logic.

    In effect, Roberts’ opinion states that the individual mandate is simultaneously not a tax (so that its legality may be considered by the SCOTUS at all) and yet is at the same time in fact a tax (and thus may be imposed by Congress). Perhaps you can explain how it is and is not a tax at the same time. It is a principle of elementary logic that a concept and its negation (e.g., “is a tax” and “is not a tax”) are mutually exclusive. Who knew that Coleridge was writing about events nearly 180 years after his death when he penned his famous definition of sophistry?

    Regardless, I’m glad to see that you publicly admit – again – that the current POTUS and his Administration have been lying through their teeth on this issue in claiming that the individual mandate is not a tax. As of a few days ago, the Obama Administration still was making exactly that claim. And I believe I’ve seen them make the same claim multiple times since then, too.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/white-house-roberts-obamacare-mandate-penalty-tax/story?id=16679772

  17. insipid says:

    ALL government services are paid for through taxation. A tax can perform two functions it can be a penalty for not buying insurance as in the PPACA or for buying cigarrettes. Likewise fica payments act as premiums collected through taxation.

    Again, if you use this logic there is no such thing as government provided services- they’re ALL welfare. Unemployment insurance and workman’s compensation are also collected through taxes (though generally it’s the employer that pays them).

    While it’s true that there is a greater penalty for not paying taxes then there is for not paying a premium the fact is that SSI, unemployment insurance, Workman’s compensation and medicare address much more expansive problems, involve virtually everyone and thus requires virtually everyone to be in the pool. It’s the exact argument for the PPACA by the way.

  18. Hondo says:

    insipid: The fact that all government services are paid through by taxation does not change either the nature of FICA and Medicare taxes (they’re NOT insurance premiums) nor the fact that both Social Security and Medicare are income transfer programs (AKA welfare) targeted generally at the aged. You just made an irrelevant red herring/non sequitur argument – again. Stick to the subject under discussion.

    If you actually have a valid argument that FICA and Medicare are not tax-supported income transfer programs, go ahead and try again. Otherwise simply confess you were wrong and own up to your mistake.

  19. insipid says:

    Well, you, not surprisingly, completely misunderstood Roberts reasonining. Here’s what he actually found:

    =============================================================
    But Congress did not intend the payment to be treated as
    a “tax” for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Affordable Care Act describes the payment as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label cannot control whether the payment is a tax for purposes of the Constitution, but it does determine the application of the Anti-Injunction Act.The Anti-Injunction Act therefore does not bar this suit.

    =============================================================

    In other words, Congress created some ambiguity in how they phrased the law and it is the main function of the Courts to clarfy that ambiguity. Had they called it a tax in the statute then the Anti-injunction act WOULD ba applicable and there would of been no reason to adjudicate whether is is or is not a tax. The mandate is now and always has been a tax.

    As far as incomprehensible decisions go, that belongs to the minority on the court. At the one hand they state that the Commerce clause can be used to regulate private use of wheat but it cannot be used to regulate a comodity- health insurance- that 1. you can demand service for by going to an emergency room and 2. the choice of not buying it directly effects how much we all pay 3. Is a product that can be taken across and used over state lines. If there has ever been a product that allowed for substantial government regulation, it is health insurance and the idiot minority decided they can’t because of…brocoli. This is grade school legal analysis which- is why it probably appeals to you.

    I’ve ALWAYS stated that President Obama was lying in regards to the ACA act being a tax. Here’s what i wrote in the previous blog post:

    ============================================================
    This is one of those instances where both parties are being somewhat dishonest because of hopes to further themeselves politically. President Obama refuses to call it a tax because it- along with the increased taxes on cigarretes is a clear-cut violation of his pledge not to raise taxes on those making less than 250k. The GOP won’t call it a tax because they think it will make it easier to kill the law in courts and they think mandate makes the law sound extreme and unheard of.
    =============================================================

    So yeah, Obama did lie in that case. He did so because he didn’t want to go down the George H.W. Bush road of violating a tax pledge. I do think President Obama is a great man and a great President, but he’s still a politician. All of them will lie at one time or another for political reasons. Abraham Lincoln lied about casualty figures, as you pointed out FDR lied about SSI being a pension plan. The Republicans also lied in the above case because they felt that a “mandate” is eaier to fight in court and because they felt that, politically, they can make it sound scarier than a tax. So neither side was 100% honest here.

    But at least PBO’s lie was to provide health insurance to 10s of millions of people, reduce medical bankruptcy, and save lives. The GOP’s lie was to prevent all that from happening.

    In any case, if you want to compare PBO’s honesty with Mitt Romney’s that’s a discussion i’d welcome.

  20. insipid says:

    Fica is a tax and it is an income transfer program, which is precisely what insurance IS. It seems like if there’s anyone here who needs to “fess up” it’s you, Hondo.

  21. ROS says:

    Did you really just validate an Obama lie by blaming it on Bush I? And you wonder why every argument you make is invalid….

  22. insipid says:

    Actually i didn’t “validate” the lie. I explained it. And i wasn’t talking about George the son, but George the father. And George the father actually did an extremely honorable thing. He raised taxes for the good of the country even though he knew he’d take a political hit for it.

    Unfortunately the apple, in this case, fell VERY far from the tree.

    But pledges like that, i believe, are stupid no matter who makes them. A tax bill should be evaluated as to whether or not the good of the measure outweighs its cost, not on some arbitrary “read my lips” statement or even a pledge not to raise taxes on those making below 250K.

    Yes, Obama twice raised taxes on those making below 250k. Once when he raise the cigarette tax and again with the mandate. In both cases I approve of those taxes as being for the good. It was the pledge that was dumb, not the tax.

  23. Hondo says:

    insipid: bullshit. Read the forking opinion. Have someone explain it to you if necessary.

    As I noted above – and as you accurately stated – Roberts first held that the individual mandate penalty “is not a tax for the purposes of the (Tax) Anti-Injunction Act”. He then went on to hold, later in the same opinion, that it is indeed a tax.

    The individual mandate penalty is either a tax or it is not. If it is a tax, per the Anti-Tax Injunction Act the SCOTUS did not have jurisdiction to consider it until 16 Apr 2012. If it is not a tax, then the second portion of Roberts’ opinion is ridiculous – as it is self-contradictory. In either case, it is logically invalid. Only the fact that it was issued by the SCOTUS allows it to remain controlling. In any other case, a superior court would overrule it.

    This is a situation accurately described by Boolean logic. Something either is or is not a tax. And in Boolean logic, it is logically impossible for something and it’s negation to be true simultaneously.

  24. insipid says:

    YOu can say “bullshit” all you want. And i DID read the opinion. But, unlike you, i actually understood it. He was not simultaneously saying that it is and isn’t a tax, he was stating that the anti-injunction act did not apply because there was ambiguity as to whether or not it is a tax. As clearly written in the above post, the fact that the legislature failed to call it a tax meant that they did not want the anti-injunction act to apply.

    I can quote passage after passage from the opinion itself. You’re not going to win on this one, no matter how much the peanut gallery proclaims your dominance.

  25. Hondo says:

    If you failed to note the circular logic in Roberts’ opinion, insipid, you obviously failed to understand his opinion. His opinion is internally contradictory.

    And, by the way: both you and Roberts are technically citing the wrong law, at least by name. There are at least two “anti-injunction acts”. The one Roberts cited is generally cited as the “Tax Anti-Injunction Act”. It was passed in 1867 and is currently at 26 USC 7421a, as Roberts’ states. However, the law Roberts erroneously named, the Anti-Injunction Act, is generally held to refer to 28 USC 2283. That portion of Federal law covers a different subject entirely – e.g., Federal courts ordering stays of State court proceedings. Roberts got the citation of the section of Federal law correct, but botched the name of the act he was citing.

  26. UpNorth says:

    “Fica is a tax and it is an income transfer program, which is precisely what insurance IS”. Insurance is a tax? Really? So, if I don’t pay a monthly premium, the insurance company can attach my paycheck? And, my insurance is transferring my income to who, exactly?

  27. NHSparky says:

    Shhhh…stop it North. Using facts and logic on the boy just confuses him.

  28. insipid says:

    The purpose of the Anti-Injunction Act was to prevent people from delaying the implimentationo of taxes through Constitutional challenges. For this end, Congress mandated that you must actually pay the tax BEFORE you challenge the validity of the tax. However if there is ambiguity in the law, that does not preclude The Courts from looking at the law, even if the law is a tax. Again, if the mandate HAD read as “tax” instead of “penalty” the Anti-Injunction act WOULD have gone into effect. The law could still be challenged, but they’d have to wait till 2014 to do so. But because of the ambiguity in the law it could be challenged now. In other words, if Congress didn’t want the mandate challenged on tax grounds, they would of called it a tax and thus forced us to wait till 2014 to find out if the thing is Constitutional.

    As stated in the opinion:

    ============================================================
    The Anti-Injunction Act provides that “no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court by any person,” 26 U. S. C. §7421(a), so that those subject to a tax must first pay it and then sue for a refund. The present challenge seeks to restrain the collection of the shared responsibility
    payment from those who do not comply with the individual
    mandate. But Congress did not intend the payment to be treated as a “tax” for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Affordable Care Act describes the payment as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label cannot control whether the payment is a tax for purposes of the Constitution,
    but it does determine the application of the Anti-Injunction
    Act. The Anti-Injunction Act therefore does not bar this suit. Pp. 11–15.
    =============================================================

    In other words, if Congress didn’t want us to consider the Consitutionality NOW they would of simply called it a tax in the statute and saved the courts the trouble. As stated later in the opinion: There is no immediate reason to think that a statute applying to “any tax” would apply to a “penalty.” In other words, the courts cannot consider whether or not a tax is Constitutional until after it’s paid but they can consider whether a penalty is Constitutional before it is paid. Because Congress called it a penalty and not a tax the Court was entitled to review it. Upon reviewing it they decided it is a tax, regardless of what they call it.

  29. insipid says:

    @128- Government works in a different way than the private sector. A security guard can’t write you a ticket or arrest you. A police officer can. That does not mean the police officer does not provide security or vice versa. Fica payments are insurance payments with the force of law added to them.

    The argument that a government provided service ceases to be a service simply because it isn’t 100 analogous to private service is. Virtually all government entitities carry the force of law, including insurance. However just because unemployment, workman’s comp, medicare and SSI are not voluntary does not make them cease to be insurance.

  30. insipid says:

    I meant 100% analogous above.

  31. NHSparky says:

    So one simple question for ya insipid–if Teleprompter Jebus was so right about Obamacare, why are 1-people getting hammered worse than ever on premiums, 2-employers are OPENLY shoving their employees onto high deductible plans if not outright telling them they would rather pay the fine/taxcome 2014, 3-doctors are refusing to take ANY new Medicare patients, or 4-simply quitting practicing medicine?

    Welcome to Canada. Great system, IF you can get in. Which brings me to my last question/point: I just got back from a little vacation up north. Why is it the hospitals and clinics in northern Vermont and New Hampshire are comparable with those in cities/towns several times their size, and why do their parking lots have so many cars with Canadian plates in them?

  32. insipid says:

    Well, there’s almost 13 million people set to get refunds from insurance this August. The key provisions regarding mandates and insurance subsidies do not go into effect until 2014, but already the law is doing a lot of good. Seniors are saving money on the donut hole, millions of Americans are enjoying free preventive screening. Kids lives are being saved because they are no longer denied because of pre-existing conditions. Over 6 million young people are allowed to stay on their parent’s insurance.

    Most Canadians are actually happy with their health care:

    http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2009/07/canadians_satisfied_with_healt.html

    I will face up to the notion that there is a longer wait for non-emergency care in Canada.

    I’ll also stipulate that when the PPACA goes fully into effect in 2014 there is very likely to be longer waits, especially before the system adjusts.

    But likewise if you took 50 million people off the roles you’d also get less of a wait time. Hell if you took 100 million off the roles you might have a return to Doctors making same-day house calls. If your only goal is to prevent wait times, then ANY expansion of coverage will go against that goal.

    Which brings us to the question, What the fuck do you want? This law is largely a Heritage Foundation law. It’s the law that Bob Dole proposed, it’s the law that Newt Gingrich championed and it’s the law that Mitt Romney passed!

    So laws that were Republican ideas, that are based on the Conservative principle of being against “free riders” are now outright tyranny?

    It seems like you (i’m using the you to mean “conservatives on this board” so back off Hondo!) don’t want medicare for all, hell you don’t want the medicare for SOME that we have now. I assume you don’t want people to be able to get free medical care without paying for it, so does that mean you want people to die in an emergency room if they can’t produce their insurance card? Or jail sick-people if it turns out they can’t pay? Do you want us to be COMPLETELY at the insurance companies mercy, finding out when you actually NEED the insurance that “sorry, we can’t pay for your chemo because you didn’t report a hangnail you had 22 years ago”. Is there ANY regulation to insurance that you would find acceptable? Or is somehow the free market fairie going to magically make the insurance companies pay for necessary treatments?

    Because right now it seems like Alan Grayson was right, the Republican plan is to “Not get sick, and if you do get sick to die quickly.”

  33. Hondo says:

    insipid: you do realized you just endorsed the use of absolutely circular logic as proper when interpreting the law – don’t you?

    It’s either a tax or it isn’t. It can’t be both simultaneously. We’re talking the real world, not debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  34. insipid says:

    That’s the minorities spin on what Robert’s did, Hondo. But that’s not actually what Roberts did. There’s nothing “circular” in deciding that a case is ripe for consideration bbecause of ambiguity in the statute, or barred from consideration because it’s not ambiguous. Again, the SC would be barred from considering a “tax” but they’re not barred from considering a “penalty”. The Congress called it a “penalty” which allowed the SC to consider it. Nothing “circular” there at all.

    But even if Roberts did decide that the anti-injunction act applied, so what? It would STILL be found Constitutional when considered in 2014. The law wouldn’t change, just the timing of when it is considered.

  35. Hondo says:

    No, insipid – the “ambiguity” is in considering something to be “not a tax” in order to have jurisdiction, then turning around several pages later and saying that it is indeed a tax after all. And that’s not “ambiguity” – it’s circular logic. “It’s not a tax, so I have jurisdiction to consider it in the first place. But after considering it, I realize it’s a tax after all.”

    Hello, Mr. Chief Justice – if it’s a tax after all, then you didn’t have jurisdiction to consider it in the first place! Even a bright middle-school student can see the logical flaw here. It’s obvious as hell.

    However, the fact that you either (a) can’t see that, or (b) see it but won’t admit that the reasoning is bogus surprises me not a whit, insipid. That’s standard past practice for you.

  36. insipid says:

    Are you being purposely obtuse in an effort to drive me crazy? Short of breaking it down by sylables I’m not sure how i can make it more clear. The Anti-Injunction act did not apply because the Legislature called it a penalty and not a tax. If the Congress wants to insure that taxes are not looked at, prior to their inactment it is up to them to invoke the anti-injunction act by actually calling a tax a tax. Courts are allowed to consider penalties before they become inacted, but they cannot do that for taxes. Because the Congress called it a penalty the courts were allowed to consider it. I’m not sure why this is so hard for you to grasp.

    So yes, i suppose that on the one hand they said it wasn’t a tax for the anti-injunction act and it was a tax in a Constitutional sense. But so what? The Constitution and the AIA are two different documents with two different purposes. The purpose of the AIA is to insure that people aren’t delaying the implimentation of taxes through the misuse of lawsuits. The purpose of the Constitution is to provide a framework for the running of the Government.

    The AIA is invoked by Congress when they call something a tax. If they fail to call a tax a tax then it’s not invoked and then the Constitutionality of the tax can be considered. Just because something isn’t a tax based on the AIA doesn’t mean it’s not a tax under the Constitution. They’re two different documents with two different purposes.

    But no, Roberts never simultaneously said that it is and isn’t a tax. He just stated that because the Congress didn’t call it a tax the AIA isn’t invoked.

  37. Hondo says:

    insipid: Are you purposely avoiding the issue because you have no rational counterargument? Roberts’ opinion is logically inconsistent – so badly so that a 7th- or 8th-grade student studying elementary algebra or logic can see the problem.

    You’re also being hypocritical and trying to have it both ways. Above, you attempted to claim – for quite a while, and maybe still do in spite of being proven wrong – that FICA and Medicare taxes were not really taxes at all, but were instead “insurance premiums” because they had the same effect as actual insurance premiums. You were wrong. Here, Roberts makes exactly the same type of claim – he ruled that something Congress declared not to be a tax is in fact a tax because it has that effect. However, in order to make that ruling, Roberts first had to rule first that it is not a tax – otherwise Federal courts do not have jurisdiction to even consider it.

    In short, Roberts’ contradicted himself within a few pages. Something either is or is not a tax. If the individual mandate “penalty” is not a tax, the second portion of Roberts’ ruling is superfluous – because he’s merely expounding on a hypothetical matter vice ruling on a specific issue of law. But if it is instead a tax, then Federal court jurisdiction does not exist to even consider it until April 16, 2015.

    Oh, and please use the correct name for the section of Federal law in question. It’s correct common title is the TAX Anti-Injunction Act. As I’ve previously advised you, the “Anti-Injunction Act” is a totally different portion of the USC. The fact that the Chief Justice got the name of the law wrong is insufficient justification for you to continue to do the same after that matter has been brought to your attention.

  38. Insipid says:

    Not only did the Chief justice get the title “wrong” but so did Ginsburg and so did Scalia (assuming he wrote the dissent). And so did all the clerks that worked on it because the thing is called the anti-injunction act all throughout the decision. And I’d venture a guess that if i read the briefs and memorandum it would probably be called the Anti injunction act throughout.

    You seem to think that if you can “get” me on semantics you’ve won some kind of great moral victory or you’ve proven some kind of major point. I can just see you pounding the keyboard furiously saying “It’s 16.2%, not 15%!” or “It’s the TAX Anti-Injunction act!” and then you high five all your friends and down a beer in celebration of your “proving” the inferiority of the liberal intellect. And if you really think these semantic wins are great victories then I’m happy for you. Glad i can help. But to me, if you really need to latch onto minutia then you’re recognizing that your overall point is pretty cruddy.

    Either way, I’m not playing the game. Minutia may be important to you, it’s not to me.

    As far as PPACA goes, the fact that you STILL don’t get it at this point just baffles me. I hope you’re just egging me on to see how basic i can make what is actually a very simple concept of their being two different thresholds for two different things. Kind of like the “Whaaaaat doooooeesss a yellllloww liiiiiiggght meeeaaaan?” scene in Taxi. You’re just trying to see how “slow” you can get me to go.

    Only ONE court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit thought that the TAIA (compromise! i include tax but abbreviate from now on!) applies. Furthermore NEITHER side thought that the TAIA applied, the court actually had to appoint an amicus to argue the point.

    Congress obviously did not want the Mandate considered a tax for the purpose of Judicial revue. As pointed out in the decision Congress called taxes “taxes” in other parts of the bill, so obviously they felt that the ACA should be considered as a penalty. But as i pointed out, CORRECTLY in the other thread, a tax is considered a tax based upon what it does, not based upon what they call it. The Constitution itself has five different words for tax. The ppaca functions as a tax. It is not so larger than the thing the tax is encouraging people to buy- health insurance. There’s no criminal penalty for not paying it, the worst they can do to you is take it from your tax return. It’s enforced by the IRS, not the police. It’s a tax according to the Constitution and applicable law. But because the Congress didn’t call it that, opting for the word “penalty” instead, the courts were allowed to consider it. Two different things, two different criteria. The concept is not really that hard to grasp.

  39. Insipid says:

    I meant to say that the tax does not cost more than health insurance costs above. I hate that i can’t edit.

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