Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Election 2012

Postby Aubade » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:58 am

You're starting to sound a little "Doomsday" there. I think you have some pretty solid points, but Idk if it's THAT bad.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby KysenMurrin » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:12 am

The way they approved the healthcare mandate (by rejecting all of the arguments the defenders of it made, and keeping it only because it counts under taxation) actually makes it easier for congress to make changes to how it works in the future. It's now possible for them to adjust the penalties down to practically nothing if they're that way inclined.

As for point 3, if they had approved it based on the arguments regarding the commerce clause (arguments which they spoke very strongly against in their ruling), that would have set the precedent for the government to be able to force purchases of any commercial product, and they've very clearly said no to that.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:28 am

I tend to agree with part of Jabari's take.  I figured that the Healtcare law would not be thrown out, but not really in the way that it was handled.  I figured if any of the "conservative" justices were to cross over it would be Kennedy, if memory serves he had crossed over in the equally horrific (at least in this case most dems agree too) iminent domain ruling.  Roberts was the last person I expected to cross over.

Anyhow, there are two really disappointing outcomes (in my mind) with today's ruling.  First is that the supreme court just ceded all sorts of power, the checks and balances are really now out of whack.  They basically told congress that they can do anything they want, as long as they wrap it in a tax.  The constitutionality loop hole created by this system is massive, and both sides are going to exploit it to our detriment.  There is no limit to what the government can legislate you must do, or pay a tax.  In fact, under this system, they can completely do away with the concept of "fines" which have a much more stringent legal burden to meet, and just replace it with a tax.

The second part has been the continued erosion of individual rights in favor of group rights, and now that notion has the go ahead for limitless further erosion.  There is absolutely nothing that can't be  tied to some sort of shared cost model.  Anything that affects your health or the environment no matter how indirectly can be legislated with a group mentality.  If NYC wants to make it illegal for me to buy a soda in portions larger than 16 oz, they are now free to do so.  They can simply lump that in to some sort of shared obesity "cost" and infringe on my ability to conduct free commerce in my own best interest...
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fivelives » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:35 am

It's not that bad. Yet. But I'm pretty sure it will be, and probably sooner rather than later.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:42 am

Fivelives wrote:It's not that bad. Yet. But I'm pretty sure it will be, and probably sooner rather than later.

Right, it's not the healthcare law itself that really concerns me. I'm ok with coming up with a system that achieves better health inurance coverage. To me it's purely the mechanics that the government is allowed to use to achieve that, and how they will be wielded in the future.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Jabari » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Here's the ruling: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf

The dissent starts on page 127, and is well worth reading. It's absolutely scathing, and rightly so.

This in particular is really good:
"That clear principle carries the day here. The striking case of Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U. S. 111 (1942), which held that the economic activity of growing wheat, even for one’s own consumption, affected commerce sufficiently that it could be regulated, always has been regarded as the ne plus ultra of expansive Commerce Clause jurisprudence. To go beyond that, and to say the failure to grow wheat (which is not an economic activity, or any activity at all) nonetheless affects commerce and therefore can be federally regulated, is to make mere breathing in and out the basis for federal prescription and to extend federal power to virtually all human activity."

Aubade wrote:You're starting to sound a little "Doomsday" there. I think you have some pretty solid points, but Idk if it's THAT bad.

It's THAT bad.

The only possible "saving grace" :roll: is that the math doesn't work. With the current projections, in 30 years the Federal Government is going to be spending 15 Trillion a year solely on healthcare (yes, that's with a "T"). That obviously isn't going to happen - the only choices are to "go Wiemar" (uncontrolled hyperinflation), or to cut something (hence my "rationing" comment earlier).

As I said, get in shape. Either the "health care" won't be available (so try not to need it), or we've gone full TEOTWAWKI and being in shape is great for outrunning and/or fighting the zombies. (Or at least outrunning your neighbors so the zombies get them instead.)

Fridmarr wrote:First is that the supreme court just ceded all sorts of power, the checks and balances are really now out of whack.

...

To me it's purely the mechanics that the government is allowed to use to achieve that, and how they will be wielded in the future.

Exactly. This precedent is ... double-plus ungood (tm).
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Thalia » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:23 pm

I literally felt like you do when you find out someone you care about died, it sounds dramatic yes, but I can't help what my body did, my stomach wanted to jump out of my mouth. I know we don't all agree, this is just how I feel, for all the reasons everyone else has posted and more... I know a lot of you have debated on this thread weather to even vote, if it matters, if it counts, it's obvious it does (if the hanging chads didn't prove that to you I hope this does). Many feel the parties are the same, they all abuse power and screw it up. But for me, they have woken a sleeping giant. I haven't cared much about being active in politics since I was in college, 10 years ago, today I have committed myself to volunteer for the November elections and to do everything I can to get out the vote.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:47 pm

So much melodrama in this thread.

I'd type a gigantic essay, but I'm trying to ween myself off of "people are wrong on the internet", and this issue is complex enough it would have to be a large essay indeed. And I suspect people like Jabari are beyond rational convincing anyway.

So suffice to say, I disagree with your analysis.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Koatanga » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:32 pm

Speaking from a resident of "the rest of the Western world", first: let me welcome the US to it, and second: it's not so bad.

Most Western nations provide health care. It's about time the US did so as well. It doesn't impoverish us - you'll just have to learn how to balance it. Some judicial reform would help, so that malpractice lawsuits don't break the system, but providing health care is a good start. Yes, the transition period is going to be painful, but I am sure a country as strong and powerful as the US can work it out.

Now if we can only get you to adopt the metric system as well, we won't have to see things like this:
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Skye1013 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:41 pm

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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:42 pm

Brekkie wrote:So much melodrama in this thread.

I'd type a gigantic essay, but I'm trying to ween myself off of "people are wrong on the internet", and this issue is complex enough it would have to be a large essay indeed. And I suspect people like Jabari are beyond rational convincing anyway.

So suffice to say, I disagree with your analysis.

Oh well gee thanks for sparing us more melodrama...oh wait.

Fortunately, there's no need for essays now that the decision is out and publicly accessible (even linked here for convenience). No one here is going to put it to words any better than that document does. Both sides agree on what the precedent means, so there's not much analysis needed.

Koatanga wrote:Speaking from a resident of "the rest of the Western world", first: let me welcome the US to it, and second: it's not so bad.

Most Western nations provide health care. It's about time the US did so as well.
Technically it's insurance not care that is more accessible, those aren't quite synonyms. But as has been pointed out, the bulk of the complaints aren't about health care at all, it's about the power the government has.

As Kysen noted, since it's now a tax (something both sides have 'fundamentally' denied in the past), it's now subject to different rules in congress. In other words it's far more likely to be a constantly moving target that we have to deal with in every budgetary hearing for the next few years...bleh. I think we are pretty safe this election, but down the road I fear this become another place to make political hay, which isn't a good thing for something like health insurance.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Aubade » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:42 pm

Agreed. I agree that healthcare for everyone should happen someday. I don't like the politics that allowed it to happen, and the way it was implemented.

Government given more power? No thanks.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby razul » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:45 pm

beyond all the prior arguments, there is one other key point that has not yet been stated. The purpose of the bill was to reduce the cost of healthcare. Unfortunately the cost of the bill is [money], which is a hell of a lot more expensive then [negative money]. Even taking into account the partial annihilation of personal freedom, the bill fails to reduce costs, and goes as far as to add even more government bureaucracy into the healthcare system.

Obamacare stated cost
2.8 trillion over 10 years: 280 billion a year
current federal income 2.3 trillion (source http://www.usdebtclock.org/)
add 12% to your current federal taxes, and that's how much more your healthcare will cost in the long run.
For me that adds $700 a year money fed directly to government waste, without even taking into account the provisions of the bill.
Do I pay this directly? No, but that is just more money added to our debt.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Skye1013 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:26 pm

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/28/opinion/b ... ?hpt=hp_c2
Jack M. Balkin wrote:The only consequence for failing to pay the tax was that your income tax refund would be reduced by a bit. And if you didn't have a tax refund that year, there were no consequences at all!

I'm failing to see what everyone is so up in arms about... unless this writer for cnn professor from Yale is just completely off-base, then you're really only "penalized" if you normally get a refund AND refuse to purchase insurance...

Also...
Jack M. Balkin wrote:Congress provided that failure to pay the tax would not result in either criminal penalties or tax liens. Nobody would come after you if you didn't pay the tax. Congress planned to rely primarily on the fact that most Americans understand and accept that they have to pay their taxes.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:52 am

As far as I know that's correct, but I don't think it's really relevant to what everyone (or anyone) is "up in arms" about. It's not the outcome, it's the repeatable process.

The tax was never thought to be particularly onerous, about 90% of citizens already have or can afford health insurance, and those that can't afford it are generally going to be subsidized anyway.
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