Last night I made my annual pilgrimage to my accountant to file my taxes. There was the normal perennial items; the W-2s, the bank statement for interest on my savings account, and the accounting of the small taxable stock trading account with which I play. But this year in addition to those normal items of ritual there was the levying of a penalty by the federal government against me for not buying the commercial product of a health care insurance plan.
My accountant referred to the penalty as a fine levied by the government against me for staying healthy the entire year. Eerily similar to something I would have read in a George Orwell or Aldous Huxley book in high school. My accountant said I could go on the exchange and find a bronze plan (the absolute minimum of coverage) for a monthly premium equal to what I paid for my penalty for the full year. But to me coverage is not the point.
I never would have thought back in the 1970s when I was in high school reading those tomes of terror about out-of-control statist governments that that would be the United States in just one generation. My anger, disappointment, and resentment is not focused on the Leftists in congress that passed this law which grants the federal government unlimited power over the lives of the citizens in this country, but the opposition Party which have acquiesced and accepted it as something they must revise and improve.
The Republicans won control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections, and control of many state legislatures, based solely on the fact that they promised to do everything they could to rid the nation of the beast, not simply "change it and make it better." Apparently the best they could do was to pass 57 repeals of the legislation they knew were not going to make it to the floor of the Senate, let alone to the desk of the president where they were sure to meet with a presidential veto.
Then came a warrior for Liberty in the person of Ted Cruz, who took the last stand against the unconstitutional law in October 2013. Senator Cruz was supported by only a few of his Republican brethren, the rest killed his effort to defund the ObamaCare law because...well they always run like scared little rabbits at the mention of a government shutdown. Or maybe there was something else happening in that situation.
Mr. Cruz's filibuster to defund was actually working. Polls showed that Americans were beginning to support him and his effort, and even Barack Obama had moved from a posture of "There will be no negotiation on this issue," to "I would be willing to sit down and talk with Republicans." The moderates in the Republican Party used the mollifying sentiment of "ObamaCare will die of its own weight once the complicated law is fully implemented." A sentiment that was designed to forestall further action against it until the opiate of subsidies addicted a large swathe of the American public.
The moderate Republicans have accepted the law because they, like their Democrat comrades, are sentinels of big government and use the empty promise of making the law more consistent with free market principles to hang onto their positions of power. After all, that is what the new health care law is about, empowering government, and deflating the citizen. As I sat in my accountant's office and reveled in the light of the intellectually superior in government who were confiscating my money because I refused to buy a particular product, I wondered, "What next?" Is the government going to force me to buy an electric car, and fine me if I refuse?