June 29, 2012

The Obama Poll Tax


I’ve said my piece about the health racket bailout and Stamp mandate. I don’t have anything to add, except that I’m pleased to see how the SCOTUS punted on the most totalitarian interpretation of the commerce clause, instead choosing to validate the mandate as a constitutionally allowed poll tax.
(This was a slightly less bad de jure corporatist enshrinement, since politicians have a harder time defending corporatism via a tax than they do where they can use subterfuges like “the commerce power”. Not that it makes a big difference as far as what’s actually done, but it does provide more opportunities for political wedges. Plus, the joke’s on the liberals as they have to keep flip-flopping to follow their Fuehrer’s party line on this – It’s not a tax! (Political/legislative stage); Yes it is a tax! (Judicial stage.) It’s always amusing to see liberals having to defend increasingly regressive taxation while out of the other side of their mouths they beg for more progressive taxes. It’s also good to get lessons in how, for the 99%, all taxation is regressive and will remain so, until we abolish it completely.)
For the occasion, I’ll repost my essay on the Stamp mandate as a poll tax, and how in the past mass civil disobedience has defeated similar assaults. One thing which is beyond any doubt is that this mandate is not only a mechanism for propping up the health insurance rackets, but to force people trying to withdraw from the cash economy back into it. That’s always the purpose of any poll tax, the most radically regressive tax of all.
Some basic talking points. I elaborate on these in the posts linked above.
1. The Obama Tax is a bailout for the health insurance rackets, which are purely parasitic and could not continue to function without a government mandate for their “services”.
2. “Private health insurance” makes no sense even in principle. Normal health care isn’t about catastrophic accidents, but about regular maintenance. Does auto insurance cover oil changes and tuneups? Imagine how much those would cost if that were the model. But that’s the model government has imposed upon us with health care. That’s why it’s so insanely expensive. Obamacare is intended to further entrench and intensify this insanity.
3. The Obama Tax is an austerity program designed to help employers liquidate employer-provided health plans and drive us as atomized individuals into the individual market. This individual market (where groups can’t negotiate better deals for themselves) is far more expensive and provides far worse services. Compare this to the ongoing liquidation of union pensions (even as Social Security and Medicare are slated to be gutted) and their replacement by individual responsibility for “retirement”. (AKA, if you’re not rich, then freeze and starve.)
4. As part of Obama Austerity, Obamacare is also a union-busting measure. Obama gleefully demonized the relatively good health plans negotiated by some unions as “Cadillac Plans”, and Obamacare has special provisions to penalize workers who benefit from such plans. He took this term directly from his proclaimed hero Reagan, with his “Cadillac (welfare) Queens”. This affinity has also been rampant in the implicitly racist propaganda about “free riders” in the emergency rooms, which white liberals have repeated with gusto. We know what race those free riders are.
5. Obamacare, by Obama’s own proud admission, is a Republican plan. The basic idea goes back to Republican think tanks in the 70s, it was fully formulated by the Heritage Foundation in 1994 as a corporatist plan to compete with Hillarycare corporatism. A modified version was enacted in Massachusetts as Romneycare, and Obamacare is in turn a modification of Romneycare.
6. In Massachusetts, medical-related bankruptcies have continued to increase since Romneycare was imposed, and in general people are paying more for worse “policies”. In 2010 non-binding ballot measures directing state legislators to fight for single payer in Massachusetts won by large margins in every district where they were on the ballot. The people of Massachusetts hate Romneycare.
(This will be some election – you can vote for either Obamaromneycare or for Obamaromneycare.) 
7. Single Payer would provide vastly better care at vastly lower cost. Everyone in America would greatly benefit, except for the insurance and drug rackets and their political flunkeys.
8. The health insurance model is not intended to provide health care. It’s intended to maximize profits. Any insurance CEO who actually wanted to provide good insurance would be fired and sued by the shareholders, and rightly so. That’s what corporatism is in principle. It’s a fundamental contradiction to want health care, but want corporations to be involved in its provision. This kind of policy is a form of insanity.
It all boils down to: If you’re not rich, don’t get sick. If you get sick, then die.
History will spit on Obama, the Democratic Party, liberal NGOs, and “progressives” in general, for this infinitely vile reactionary sellout. 


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