There are plenty of legal arguments being raised against Obamacare right now, so I figured I’d make a moral one. Well, I suppose its an argument against socialism in general, but it certainly applies.
One of the basic principles underlying the US Constitution is that government has its authority based upon the consent of the governed. The way this usually works is expressed quite simply by the general axiom that the government shouldn’t be allowed to do something that you can’t do either. With the exception of war and international treaties and whatnot, this basic, general principle usually holds true.
We get into problems with things like Social Security. You see, Social Security is supposed to function like a supplemental retirement plan. You pay in all your life, and when you retire, you might get some benefits back. Of course, the initial retirement age was set beyond the average life expectancy, but that’s another issue.
Back to Social Security. It doesn’t really operate like a retirement plan. Instead of your money going into an account, where it sits until you retire, it gets spent immediately on someone else’s benefits. And when you retire, someone else’s payments will go to your benefits.
This is known as a Ponzi Scheme. If you owned a company that ran its retirement like this, you would be arrested for fraud.
So why can the government get away with it? Well, according to he principle of the consent of the governed, it shoudn’t be able to.
Suppose you live in an apartment building that has two other apartments in it. You reside in apartment A, there is a kindly hearted progressive liberal in apartment B, and some other guy in apartment C.
The guy in apartment C has been down on his luck. He’s been laid off, and hasn’t been able to find work, and he needs some specific medical treatment. The do-gooder in apartment B knocks on your door and tells of of Mr. C’s plight. Being kind-hearted yourself and of moderate means, you give a donation of a small sum of money that will help Mr. C out.
Well, it turns out that Mr. C spends his money on booze and cigarettes, doesn’t get the health procedure done, and is still falling behind on the rent. The guy from apartment B comes back over, knocks on your door, and demands you help out some more. Now by this point, you seen Mr. C be irresponsible withe the money you’ve given him. Does he really deserve more? Perhaps you’re trying to save for your own medical care, or your children’s college. Maybe you could help him out a bit, and maybe you do and this repeats for another cycle. But at some point, you decide, no, this guy doesn’t deserve my money — I have a need for it, I earned it, and I will keep it.
At what point does Mr. B have the right to pull out a gun and demand you hand your money over? Is Mr. B justified in taking your money at gunpoint to give it to Mr. C? I can’t see how anyone can justify this, as it is very obviously theft, no matter the motivation behind it.
Because that’s what the government is doing. And if you were to do it, you’d get arrested. So why can the government get to do it?
And some out there may argue that no, the government isn’t taking your money away at the point of a gun. Anyone who really believes that try not paying your taxes, and see at what point an armed officer shows up. It will happen eventually. Obamacare will penalize me with a fine for not having health insurance, and if I don’t pay it, I will face jail time. And when they come for me, they will hold me at gunpoint, just like in our little exercise here.
Because when it comes down to it, what separates government from the governed is that government is allowed to employ deadly force to achieve its goals. And that, my friends, is why the Founding Fathers sought to limit government so.