Afternoon Whip, May 3, 2010

So much going on, why limit ourselves to one Whip a day?

Here we go . . .

Libertarianism From A to Z With Jeffrey Miron [*1]
The Bully Party: When bipartisan debate fails, Dems fall back on a knuckle-sandwich approach to politics. [*2]

Glenn Reynolds notices the NY Times airbrushing criticism of the Obama Administration out of one of their Gulf oil spill articles . . . [*3]

Top 10 dumbest things said about the Arizona immigration law[*4]

How The Hell Did GM Pay Back Its Loans “in Full And Ahead of Schedule”? Well, It Didn’t. [*5]

Get Ready for a Nuclear Iran: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and others will surely follow suit. [*6] — Heckofa job, Barry . . .

Immigration Protesters With Brass Knuckles Mace, Beat & Stomp On Counter-Protesters [*7] — And not in some remote central Asian country. This is San Francisco, home of peace, love, and tolerance. Because, as we all know, only the right stoops to violence.

The Congressional Research Service Doesn’t Know If ObamaCare Is Constitutional [*8]

More Inconvenient Obamacare Truths [*9]

Foster has since been asked to testify before at least four House committees. When they do, there are plenty of other alarms Foster’s report raises about Obamacare including:

* Millions Pay Fines Yet Remain Uncovered: 18 million Americans will pay $33 billion in penalties for failing to comply with Obamacare’s individual mandate.
* Firms Pay Billions to Comply with Employer Mandate: Between 2014-2019 firms that do not offer health insurance and are subject to the “play-or-play” mandate will pay $87 billion in penalties.
* Millions Placed on Welfare: Of the 34 million Americans who gain health insurance through Obamacare, over half (18 million) will receive it through the welfare program Medicaid.
* Millions Lose Medicare Advantage: 7.4 million seniors who currently get such services as coor­dinated care for chronic conditions, routine eye and hearing examinations, and preventive-care services would lose their existing private coverage.
* Seniors Lose Access to Care: Obamacare’s top down price control Medicare cuts will make 15% of all Medicare providers unprofitable thus “jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries.”

Heckofa job, Barry.

Video: Six reasons to repeal the capital-gain tax [*10]

Obama to 80% of Americans: You’re Extreme, Inciting Violence and You Hate Yourselves [*11]

Continental losing Houston home in United merger [*12]

Video: The creepy “we know where you live” tax amnesty ad [*13]

Standing Up To Obamacare: What The States Can Do [*14]

And yet some wonder why a lot of us are more fearful of big government than we are of big business. First, big businesses are not in the habit of providing for you services you don’t explicitly contract for (even if that contract is in really tiny print in that purchase agreement that nobody ever seems to read). Governments are notorious for “helping” people by giving them things they don’t want or need every single day.

Even if you’re so foolish and irresponsible as to not pay the bills sent to you for services you’ve actually wanted and asked for, big business usually doesn’t come after you with guns (lawyers, yes, guns, no). Governments can, and do eventually send out nice, well dressed men and women with guns to discuss your failure to pay taxes. Ask anyone who’s been imprisoned for failing to pay taxes about government guns.

Now, note the subtle difference between big business and big government. Some will of course argue that if you don’t pay your bills long enough, big business will sic big government on you, and you’ll wind up in the big house with those big government guns pointing at you. The difference is: big business can only send you to prison for not paying for things that you’ve actually promised to pay for. Governments are under no such restriction. Don’t like spending on the military? Tough. Hand it over. Don’t like spending on abortions? Oh, so sorry, but pay up anyway. Don’t want that highway built? Pay now, argue later.

See the difference? It is the difference between voluntary association and . . . yeah, it’s a scary, intimidating-looking word . . . coercion.

That is why Henry David Thoreau famously said “That government is best that governs least” (no, it wasn’t Thomas Jefferson, although he quite likely would have heartily agreed with that sentiment). Coercion is a dangerous thing to play around with. It is far too easy to do just a teensy bit more of it, here and there, over the years, for one good cause or another. Things rarely go in the other direction without some fairly drastic–if not historic–events.

This is the fundamental problem many have with Obamacare. It tightens down the torture-rack of coercion a full turn, for benefits which can charitably be described as dubious. There is no good reason to have enacted it the way the Democrats did it. There are lots of bad reasons, however.