Nationalizing Health Care: The Path to Total Control (part 2)
Part Two: There Is No Way We Can Pay For This
John Marshall the 4thChief Justice of the Supreme Court wrote in 1819 in McCulloch v. Maryland that “The power to tax involves the power to destroy.” Since the apparatchiks who work for and run the federal government levy and collect taxes they need to operate the projects and pursue the ends that make them happy, it follows that the people who are taxed have their happiness destroyed. Our right to pursue “life, liberty, and happiness” is cancelled so the happiness of the ruling class can be pursued. (I have posted about our pampered and overpaid bureaucrats here. Since the power to tax can destroy, the government uses it specifically to destroy things. I mention smoking, alcohol consumption and other “sin taxes;” gas taxes to force people into public transportation, energy taxes to force us to quit consuming energy, (remember Mr. Obama’s announced intention to make your energy costs “skyrocket”), ”government option health care” for us, but not for them. They’re happy; we’re not.
So, for all our posturing about the principles of freedom and personal happiness we once held, the thick, heavy layers of taxation and bureaucracy of the federal government are actually much more suffocating than the political milieu our forbearers experienced under monarchies in England the Europe. In fact, our taxes are higher, the regulations are heavier and more numerous, and government knowledge of our private affairs much more extensive than under any monarch, tyrant, of dictator in history. Our allegiance to our founding principles is, at this point in history, no more than an empty symbol of what used to be. The thin gruel of liberty permitted us by today’s ruling class in America is intended only to keep us from awakening and throwing off our present oppression to regain the liberty we created at the beginning.
This is the second installment of my series on Nationalizing Health Care: The Path to Total Control. This time, I deal with the question of whether or not it is wise to spend any tax revenue to expand government control of the nation’s economy given the history of taxation in the country. You will be astounded at what has happened to us as a result of committed leftists promising utopia.
I show here that giving the government access to large amounts of money only feeds the beast enabling it to demand even more. The federal government is an insatiable money eating machine; it consumes an infinite amount of our money, makes its employees fat with salary, benefits, and early retirement with unsustainable incomes; and expels some stunted, malodorous waste product demanding that the people who pay for their excesses eat it.
The taxes we pay
FYI, here are federal government taxes now being collected (not including state, regional, county, or city taxes).
Cigarette tax, large cigar tax, small cigar tax, pipe tobacco tax, chewing tobacco tax, snuff tax, cigarette papers less than 6.5 inches long tax, cigarette papers more than 6.5 inches long tax, cigarette tubes less than 6.5 inches long tax, cigarette tubes more than 6.5 inches long tax, pistol tax, rifle tax, ammunition tax, liquor tax, gas tax, diesel tax, inland waterway fuel tax, non-commercial aviation fuel tax, wagering tax, bow and arrow taxes, fishing rod tax, other fishing equipment tax, outboard motor tax, non-long distance telephone tax (designed to pay for the Spanish –American War ended in 1889. The war cost $6 million, the phone tax has raised hundreds of $millions over the decades.), insurance policies issued by foreign companies tax, personal income tax, corporate income tax, capital gains tax, Social security tax, Medicare tax, self-employment tax, gas guzzler tax, truck tax, semi-trailer tax, trailer tax, millionaire tax, ship passenger tax, coal tax, natural gas tax, chemical tax, floor stocks tax on ozone-depleting chemicals, transportation taxes, airport travel security tax, wireless communication tax (check your wireless phone bill), air transportation tax, beer tax, wine tax, naturally sparkling wine tax, artificially sparkling wine tax, hard cider tax; and then there are import duties that you pay in the price of certain goods imported from certain countries, and all manner of fees that are not considered taxes – licenses to drill for oil, and the like.
The progressives needed two things to impose their hegemony over the American people: money, and power. The former creates the latter.
The 16th Amendment and the decline of America
The 16th amendment, passed in 1913, changed the U.S. Constitution permitting the federal government to levy taxes on individual incomes. We need to understand what has happened as a result. This move gave them the money; they would soon gain the power.
The federal deficit is the difference between what the government receives in revenue and what it spends in a single year. As the annual deficits pile up, they accumulate and are known as the federal debt. Understanding the difference is critical.
For 59 of the first 124 years of the Republic, the federal government spent only what it received in taxes, it borrowed money to cover emergencies, then paid the money back. During that time we had many challenges, and were able to deal with them all. We expanded into the west developing many new states and territories, and we fought 7 wars, some of them lasting for years, and sometimes more than one war at a time. No legal income taxes.
During the next 94 years – 1913 to the present, only 24 years were on-budget years. The progressives have been spending us into oblivion ever since.
Taxes as a percent of our national wealth
In 1902, before corporate or personal income taxes were levied, the entire federal budget amounted to 1.3% of the nation’s entire output (GDP). This meant that most of the money was privately reinvested making the nation a formidable economic giant. For the last 30 years, the government has spent an average of 18.5% of GDP. This represents an 1,800% increase in the amount of the nation’s wealth the government extracts from the citizens and spends depriving us of the freedom to spend that wealth on what we think is appropriate, and slowing economic growth and job creation.
Federal spending is overtaking our entire economy. By 2050, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid alone will consume 100% of all federal revenue if things continue as they are.
In 1913 when personal income taxes began, only 1% of the American population paid any tax at all. After deducting interest expenses, and all business expenses and losses, and after a $20,000 exemption, the tax rate was 1% of income from $20,000 to $50,000. From $50,000 to $75,000 the rate was 2%. At $500,000 and up, the rate was 6%. But this wasn’t enough for the progressives; they wanted more.
By 1916, the lowest rate was doubled to 2%, and the top rate was 15%. In three years, they doubled the tax rates, now 5% of the population paid income taxes.
By 1936 the lowest rate was 4% (a 400% increase in the rate from when the tax began) the top rate was 79% and federal spending had risen from 1.3% of GDP to 6.8%. These increases in government economic hegemony are breathtaking; but it wasn’t enough for the progressives.
“Spreading the wealth around”
“Redistribution of wealth” has always been a central part of the progressive program. If we don’t insure that people have a family wage or sufficient income, they will steal and plunder. Besides, some people have too much anyway. Progressives think it’s better for all if the government takes what they have earned and give it to people who didn’t earn it. They refer to this theft as “fairness.” The idea that people steal because their heart is corrupt isn’t part of their reality; it can only be because they are hungry, or someone else has too much. In this way, envy is rewarded.
You need to now that this “redistribution of wealth,” concept is more formally stated; “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” This is a direct quote from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in their book, “The Communist Manifesto.” Mr. Obama announced his intention to fulfill this plank of the Manifesto when he said he thought it was a good thing to spread the wealth around. Perhaps we have a red president.
The $trillions the federal government has taken from us in income taxes that were forbidden for the first 124 years of our nation is not enough for them. The progressives have to borrow even more to carry out their vision of the good.
Increasing the debt
The Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917 established a statutory limit on federal debt, and Congress has had to raise it many times over the years because theywant to impose their vision, but don’t want to admit how much it costs. The current legal limit the federal government can borrow is $12.1 trillion. Presently we are approaching the $12.1 limit, and if they don’t increase it, the government (gasp) would have to live with the actual revenue coming in.
Without question, they will have to raise the debt limit over and over again in the coming months and years. During George Bush’s last year in ofice – 2008 – the accumulated federal debt (not the deficit) was equal to 70.2% of GDP – $9,986 billion. In the first year of the Obama administration it has risen to 91% of GDP, and by 2011, by Mr. Obama’s own calculations the country will have more debt – $15,674 billion – than GDP during that same year. During October 2009 alone, the federal debt rose by $176.36 billion; that is, they spent $176 billion more than the revenues that were received in one month. Do not try this at home!
Tapping into everyone’s private affairs in order to confiscate money from your personal income has given them more than they could ever spend. But they managed to squander it anyway. But they have squandered another $12 trillion in addition, and are promising $14 trillion more in borrowed money over the next 10 years raising the debt to $25 trillion by 2019. But wait, there’s more! Taxing us into poverty, and borrowing unimaginable sums of money aren’t enough for these people.
Raising new taxes and raising old ones
The progressive mental defect so confuses the mind that when they get all of the above, it still isn’t enough. So as I write they are planning new ways to tax the citizens to impose their utopia – VAT tax, financial transaction tax, income tax surcharges, taxes on your health care plan, taxes on medical devices – pacemakers, artificial joints, needles for diabetics, catheters, feminine napkins, toothbrushes, and God only know what else.
Presently because of 17.5% unemployment government revenues are down 34% in October over the same month last year. This is the largest single monthly decline in monthly revenue since 1932 in the depth of the Great Depression.
Beyond all the taxing; beyond all the borrowing, the progressives running our government require that state governments and private businesses carry out their agenda through “unfunded mandates.” This amounts to an “off-budget” item that moves toward the progressive wet dream of cradle to grave welfare provided by laundering the nation’s wealth through government, and cetting into bed with business. Business have already found that when you get into bed with the government, you wake up with social diseases. Nevertheless, this particular leftist approach to governance is mor in keeping with facism than communism. So we see progressives have been sucking at both teats.
Unfunded mandates are largely unconstitutional requirements for states and businesses to pay for some of the dreams that progressives have for all of us: how much you have to pay an employee, how many hours a day he can work, how many day he has to have off in a given year, how many days off for childbirth and family time, which companies must provide health insurance, Medicaid a mandate on state governments, and so on.
The beauty of unfunded mandates for deceptive progressives is that this $1.2 trillion annual expense for their utopian programs is part of somebody else’s budget! This is what is driving states into bankruptcy, and business to charge more for their products and services.
What to expect if we don’t change directions
The situation they have created is so idiotic, that by 2080, three programs – Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – alone will consume 25% of GDP. If taxes remain the same as a percent of GDP, and benefits remain the same for these programs, by 2052, these three programs will consume 100% of all federal revenues. The consequence is that all federal spending for federal employees, all White House Executive expenses, all Congressional salaries and overhead, all federal court and federal prison expenses, all Defense Department expenses, all federal retiree benefits – everything. Of course things will not stay the same, they will either change who receives Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, or they will raise taxes and borrow more money. In any event this burden will be politically distasteful, and will make the U.S. a very large third-world country economically. Thank your nearby Democrat.
How do the appratchicks respond?
So what do these people do in circumstances like this? They write a 2,000 page bill outlining how they want to take over medical services in the U.S. and spend $trillions more! They want to include more millions of people in government health care because the vision is that they are helpless and must be looked after. They will pay for it by delaying of medical services, denial of medical services, and dilution by limiting what they will pay for and withholding treatments for the elderly. Besides this, they will raise $trillions in new taxes to pay for the scheme. Utopianism is truly a mental disease.
The next phase of their paternalistic nonsense has already been passed in the House; Mr. Obama lobbied long and hard for it. Democrat Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is pushing to pass a similar bill in the Senate immediately because the president wants this done before the end of the year.
This stupidity has to be stopped. Here, I have dealt with the economic reasons it must be stopped cold. In the next, I will tell why the legislation as now constituted will give the government total control over your life.
What you need to do
The House has already passed this legislation, so call your two Senators and tell them to oppose the proposed health care proposals as now constituted and support things that will help solve the problem. Permit real competition by letting insurance companies sell policies across state lines; forbid junk lawsuits against doctors and hospitals, and set reasonable limits for actual malpractice; let individuals and sole proprietors deduct the cost of health insurance the way businesses deduct it as a cost of doing business; consider forbidding companies to offer health insurance to employees forcing people to shop for what is truly a competitive policy rather than shielding them from the actual cost of healthcare.
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