Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, March 30, 2012.
Did you hear the demonstrators outside the Supreme Court as oral arguments on Obamacare were getting underway? One audio cut that I heard really caught my ear.
There for you, there for me,
There for every fam•uh•lee.
Those chanting this delightful little rhyme were, of course, speaking in favor of Obamacare and against the big old meanies that want to take it away.
And thus the infantilization of the hitherto strongest republic in all of history continues apace. The guiding vision of what was once the most economically powerful nation on Earth has been reduced to a ten-word couplet chanted like a nursery rhyme in front of TV cameras by ostensible adults – adults who at one time we might have thought would be busy earning an actual living at a job somewhere.
What is at issue before the Supreme Court with respect to Obamacare is whether or not the provision in the law that requires every single American to purchase health insurance or pay a fine is constitutional. Opponents of the law state, correctly in my judgment, that if individuals can be compelled under the law to buy something on the grounds that some greater good is served, then there is no effective limit to what the federal government can compel. As Justice Kennedy observed, it fundamentally changes the relationship between the federal government and the citizens.
Proponents of the law argue otherwise.
Thus we are all getting an education in constitutional law.
But there’s a much more practical reason for opposing Obamacare that can be easily understood even by those of us who lack law degrees.
We can’t afford it.
It is hard to understand how anyone can think that the United States can afford a new entitlement on the scale of Obamacare. Given that every single entitlement that Congress has ever enacted has greatly exceeded initial cost estimates, and given that Obamacare starts with breathtaking cost estimates, how anyone thinks the nation can afford Obamacare is beyond comprehension.
We are, apparently, numb to the parlous state of the country’s finances. The word “trillion” doesn’t sound that much different from “billion” which itself isn’t so much different from “million.” The fact that each time you change the first letter of the word you are multiplying by 1,000 simply doesn’t compute.
So try to compute this. Right now, before Obamacare is even close to being fully implemented, in order to pay its bills the United States has to borrow an amount of money equal to the entire annual gross domestic product (GDP) of Canada every year.
No country, kingdom, or empire has ever been as broke as the United States is at this very moment. Forget about debt to GDP ratios and other metrics being used by the ruling class to lull us into believing that it’s not really as bad as we think.
In absolute dollars, pounds, dinars, yen, shekels, florins, kopeks, marks, francs or lire, no country has ever owed as much money as the United States owes right now.
To pile on a new entitlement that will cost $1.76 trillion by the latest cost estimate is simply irresponsible.
Representative Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, recently proposed a budget plan that has been pronounced dead on arrival and roundly booed by Democrats as being grossly unfair to the old and the poor. So what does this Draconian plan put forth by Ryan do? It proposes to bring the federal budget back into balance by the year 2040 – a year that many of us now reading this essay will not live to see.
It’s good for you, it’s good for me.
And best of all we get it free.
Forget the esoterica of the constitutional arguments. Forget that Congress has arrogated to itself power over your life on a scale never before seen.
The real problem is that upwards of four out of ten in the United States believe that entitlement on such a scale is even possible.