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ObamaCare and the Constitution

Lance McMillian's picture

The Framers of the Constitution created a federal government of limited, enumerated powers. In the words of James Madison, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Throughout the country, federal courts are presently considering whether this original design has any remaining viability. The question before these courts asks: Is Obamacare constitutional?

Regulation of economic transactions, of course, is unremarkable, and Article I of the Constitution gives Congress the power “to regulate Commerce ... among the several States.”

Obamacare, however, goes far beyond garden-variety regulation. The law’s centerpiece, the much-maligned individual mandate, compels every American – at the risk of criminal penalties – to purchase health insurance from an insurance company. And therein lies the rub.

It is one thing to regulate all those who choose to engage in an economic activity; it is another thing entirely to force an individual to engage in a particular economic activity in the first place against that person’s will.

Such a shift dramatically alters the nature of congressional power under Article I. The power to regulate something already in existence becomes the power to compel something into existence.

Even the laws we typically conceptualize as mandatory are different than the individual mandate in critical respects. Yes, everyone must pay taxes, but only if they choose to earn an income. Yes, everyone must buy auto insurance, but only if they choose to drive. Yes, criminal law details a whole host of things we cannot do, but it does not say that there are things we have to do.

Obamacare, on the other hand, directs this: Simply by being alive, each of us must do business with an insurance company. This total deprivation of choice is unprecedented in American law and constitutes a form of coercion that poses a significant threat to individual liberty.

Allowing the federal government to exercise this type of unconstrained power removes any pretense that the Constitution limits the reach of Congress in any real way. Words have meaning, and danger looms for all Americans when politicians and judges cast aside the plain meaning of words for short-term, partisan ends.

If the text of the Constitution can blithely be ignored in this way, then it follows that placing faith in that document to safeguard our civil liberties is a grave miscalculation. Our rights devolve to only those that the Supreme Court allows us to have. When this happens, the rule of law gives way to the shifting rule of five-justice majorities on the Court.

And that brings us back to Obamacare. The highly politicized manner that accompanied its passage likely dooms any effort to reach consensus on its constitutionality as the merits of the law have long ceased to matter.

Still, there is hope. Despite the many differences between liberals and conservatives, the two sides do share a distrust of government overreach that sometimes – albeit all too infrequently – overlaps. Perhaps the vast tentacles of Obamacare can awaken this common fear to produce an unexpected unity.

The chief discomforts with the new healthcare law need not – and indeed, will not – be the same. For the conservative, allowing Obamacare to stand would remove any constitutional constraint on centralized regulation as well as obliterating any pretense of state autonomy.

For the liberal, permitting government the power to mandate that every person enter into a contractual relationship with insurance companies gives enormous power to big business at the expense of individuals, especially those presently without insurance on the lower end of the economic ladder.

While the sources of uneasiness in these respective critiques differ and reflect the competing ideological concerns in the liberal and conservative worldviews, both analyses reach the same conclusion: this law goes too far.

The Constitution ultimately protects all of us from the strong hand of government. While we may disagree over the exact contours of these constitutional safeguards, Americans of all political stripes agree that (a) there should be meaningful limits on government and (b) the Constitution should supply these limits.

The individual mandate, however, mocks both of these baseline premises. A federal government that can force its citizens to engage in particular activities is a government unrestrained by the words of the Constitution. Power and politics – not the rule of law – become the order of the day.

Lance McMillian is a Fayette County resident and law professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.]

Comments

kevink's picture

What in the world are you talking about? Blame who for what? Mess I caused? In the kitchen? Bathroom? Bedroom? Help me out.

Take your meds.... and wash them down with an imported stout beer. Should help a bit.

Vote Mytmite in 2012!

New qestion: So why didn't Congress fix the FAA funding issue in 2008, 2009, or 2010? No, forget 2010 when there were zero appropriations bills passed--no, not one! Great job Speaker Peloser!

Observerofu's picture

you do have your facts wrong.

First and foremost the Senate could have passed the bill and in fact Reid tried to do so as it was, however Barbara Boxer blocked it.

<cite>"The Senate had ample opportunity to prevent this from happening, or at the very least to end the FAA shutdown by simply passing the House bill before adjourning on August 2. <strong>Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) even urged his colleagues to do just that, saying “sometimes you have to step back and find out what’s best for the country and not be bound by some of your own personal issues.”</strong> Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood concurred, imploring the Senate to act. But when Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) offered a unanimous consent request on Tuesday to proceed to consideration of the House bill, <strong>Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) objected, effectively blocking the measure, after which Reid decided to throw in the towel and adjourn for the August recess, thus allowing the shutdown to continue."</strong></cite>

So first thing you need to correct is the fact that Senate Democrats failed to compromise on the bill and failed to even offer an amended bill.

Second another issue was the Administrations attempted forcing of Delta Employees to accept a Union. Both the Pilots and Attendants have rejected the Unions attempts so the GOP added into the bill a proposal to stop ballot box stuffing by allowing non present members to vote. A sure fire way to insure voter fraud.

Democrats of course rejected that measure. They are beholden to the Union leaders not the workers themselves.

Now on the last issue and the Airports. The subsidizing (I thought that was a bad word now) of Airports in Harry Reid's State of Nevada has been a sore spot for a long time.
Did you realize that the taxpayers subsidize travelers out of these airports as much as $3700.00 per seat? Why?

The practice of Government picking business winners and losers must end Jeff.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

NUK_1's picture

The House passed a 60 day temporary funding bill that contains nothing about union voting at all. They passed an earlier bill for long-term funding that contained the language that overturned the ridiculous NMB edict and has gone nowhere since then, but the bill the Senate won't act on contains none of that, but does end the subsidies for a few airports/airlines for money-losing flights.

Dems have done a decent job of snowing most of the media into the whole "union busting" line of bull that isn't contained at all in THIS bill. I see Hoyer was out lying his backside off to the press today saying the present bill passed by the House and sent to the Senate has the NMB language when it sure as hell doesn't. Reid's attempt Monday to do the same got him shamed by the press.

Obama and eventually Reid and the FAA were ready to move on this 60 day funding but other Dems in the Senate refused and now it's just a matter of how long it will take for the rest of the media to stop howling about the TP and look at how the Dems have simply let 4000 FAA employees get laid off and construction projects delayed(you know that will drive the costs way up once they resume)because they are afraid the repubs will come right back with their long-term bill in a couple of months.

JeffC's picture

There have been trick procedural votes on both sides. The argument is still about the unions. Here's Aviation Magazine reporting that Mica himself said that the riders closing the airports was "just a tool" to get concessions on the National Mediation Board’s ruling about unions:

<a href="http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=aviatio... Reauthorization Extension Threatened</a>

Underlying this recent tiff over the extension are larger divisions over the actual reauthorization bill. The top issue among them are changes to the National Mediation Board’s (NMB) rules that would make it easier for airline and rail employees to unionize.

The House added the EAS policy riders as a way to extract concessions on the NMB provisions, according to Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who also spoke at the conference.

“It’s just a tool to try to motivate some action to get this resolved,” Mica says, adding that the NMB issue is being moved “at the highest leadership levels of the House and Senate and beyond my ability to resolve.”

Here's the WSJ's: "Now aviation and railway workers who don't vote in a union election are no longer counted as part of the overall work force from which unions must build a majority. In effect, the board counts a nonexistent ballot as a pro-labor vote to organize."

This is absurd spin. The board does not now count a nonexistent ballot as a pro-labor vote to organize. Almost exactly the opposite, the board now does not count a nonexistent ballot as an automatic "No". The rule stops the counting of nonexistent ballots at all.

Under the new rules, votes in an election to unionize must win the majority of votes cast instead of a majority of the total workforce. Obviously, this makes unionizing easier so the Republicans oppose it.

LOL. Something from the consignment shop in Fayetteville!

A bill has been passed by Congress. Harry Reid and the libs refuse to vote on it because they know if they pass it, that their Union bosses will hang them out to dry in 2012. Unions own the Democrat party, lock, stock, and barrel.

kevink's picture

Starting with that 6 term union boss Ronald Reagan. Haven't they just systematically ruined all that was good in America?

If we could just bust all of the unions it would finally free up the 2001 tax cuts so that they could FINALLY cause the trickle down jobs that were supposed to happen ten years ago. Stinkin unions.

Vote Mytmite in 2012!

My check is going to the Treasury Department to help pay down the deficit. . not to insure anyone getting a check. With this Congress, check today's news. FAA??

See recent posts re FAA--blame should be laid at feet of Senate who refuses to pass the House bill that extends FAA funding.

Playing the blame game does nothing for the <strong>deficit.</strong> The American people can help lower the deficit NOW. As we can see, the members of Congress aren't interested - they have other things to 'argue' about. Someone has to do something about the deficit!!. The American people, acting maturely, can do that by writing a check to the Treasury Department. If the members of Congress can't figure it out, we'll just have to skip the 'process' that goes nowhere fast.

I only commented because you were hitting on congress for being on vacation while citizens were not getting their checks and didn't know what you were talking about--I still don't. And you can send the US Treasury what you want, but you must know that it's just a"feel good" reaction on your part--it's rather meaningless.

4000 workers in FAA are 'furloughed' - no checks. Construction workers on airport projects are shut down. My statement has nothing to do with 'checks' - but the deficit!! It's not a feel good step - a reputable economist stated that this could be done - and others are joining in. Congress (this Congress is getting nothing done - and the deficit continues to grow.) Americans can do something. But you and others don't have to be concerned, no one is 'forcing' anyone to do this. Have a nice day. ..and I do know what I'm talking about. Turn on the news.

A constituent of yours is on TV - an engineer out of work at this time. Neil Bolen. Know him? Westmoreland, and GA Senators represent him - and he's a little upset that they are on 'vacation'. BUT MY CONCERN AND CHECK HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS AT THIS TIME - my little check is just to reduce the deficit.

A constituent of mine? I don't think so--like you, I am a completely retired person and, as such, have no constituents. And typically, you continue to ignore inaction of the Senate (Boxer specifically) to even offer an amended bill to what the House passed on Jul 20th.

[QUOTE]I only commented because you were hitting on congress for being on vacation while citizens were not getting their checks and didn't know what you were talking about--I still don't.[/QUOTE]

This is what I said: <cite>My check is going to the Treasury Department to help pay down the deficit. . not to insure anyone getting a check. With this Congress, check today's news. FAA??</cite>

You had asked me what citizens are not getting checks. What are you on? Don't bother to answer. Have a nice day.

Dow drops 500 points today. More results of hostage taking.

Nothing creates market uncertainty like when the crazy Teas take our Government and economy hostage.

The economy needs jobs and growth before debt reduction.

Thanks again Fayette County Teas.

lion

NUK_1's picture

I am not the biggest fan of the TP, but I am loving them lately. They have become almost like a bonafide 3rd political party that this country has desperately needed for a very long time but has been prevented by the Dems/Repubs agreeing that any competition is terrible and let's throw up every roadblock possible to keep anyone else from getting a foothold.

The majority of Repubs that swept into the House last year were not members of the Tea Party. What almost all the freshmen Repubs whether they are aligned actively with the TP or not have in common is that they all ran on a very specific platform and got elected. Now, they are following up on what they said they were going to do, which is coincidentally why they got elected less than a year ago. As the Prez said "elections have consequences."

I don't see how 30 TP members in the House are some how "hijacking" the government when they are very significantly outnumbered and the Dems control 2/3. It's not the TP's fault that the Repubs and Dems have been so awful for so very long that some are in a state of shock that there suddenly exists politicians that actually attempt to do exactly what they said they would do once elected, unlike the DC establishment of hypocrites or the President who is the biggest hypocrite of them all.

The stock market moves up/down at times for reasons that have little to do with US politics. The downswing right now is real evident: Europe is floundering badly, there are uprisings in the Middle East and oil prices are still an issue, China is not as roaring as before, unemployment is firmly above 9% and showing no signs of any decline, GDP is puny and alarmed everyone when it hit 1.3% recently, inflation is starting to become a concern(imagine that!), big biz ain't hiring but is laying off, Obama-led regulations at places like the NLRB, NMB and EPA have big biz upset and uncertain, latest corp financials were less than expected by analysts...where is the good news for investors that aren't contrarians at the moment? Add to that a very weak President and you have a perfect storm for a bear market. Since the US seems to be in a double dip recession, what do you expect? There's a reason why gold has been soaring for quite a while now and keeps setting new records and it's hardly because of a few dozen Tea Partiers.

kevink's picture

I believe the Tea Party which you are enamored with has a fairly short shelf life. The far right wing of the Republican Party is NOT a third party.

I've met you. I like you. You say what you think regardless of who's political feathers might get ruffled. But I wonder if we are talking about the same Tea Party here; The Tea Party which embraces the governor who abandoned her post Sara Palin, "investigate anti-American members of Congress" Michele Bachmann, "I'm not a witch" Christine O'Donell, "2d Amendment Remedies" Sharron Angle, "The Civil Rights Act was wrongly decided" Rand Paul,“If ballots don’t work, bullets will” Allen West of Florida?

That Tea Party Nuk? Let's look a bit deeper, shall we?

Their very name defies considered thought: Taxed Enough Already. But then, it was pointed out to the Taxed Enough Already group that most of them have NEVER enjoyed LOWER tax rates in their lifetimes. The REALITY is taxes are historically LOW. Oh..... ummmmm... errrr.... It's the deficit! We are the anti deficit party that just woke up when Obama came into office and we now realize that when Dick Cheney said, "Deficits don't matter," He was very wrong. But we'll focus our criticism on this new guy who inherited a horrible crisis which already had TARP legislation in place.

NUK, the Tea Party was off base from their inception. Their name attacked a tax structure which has never been more favorable to low tax proponents. They never were interested in good governance or statesmanship:

They brought to and flaunted guns at their rallies, all while the President they revile expanded gun rights into National Parks. They called him a socialist (while enjoying their social security and medicare). Many of them called him Muslem and fostered the failed "birther" movement. In short, they took anger at government and misdirected it into personal attacks and illogical rhetoric not supported by fact. And, initially, anger won many elections in 2010. But what has their focus been, NUK?

Abortion, unions, and gridlock. Did the Teas run on an anti-abortion platform Nuk? Are they doing what they said they would? Did Scott Walker in Wisconsin run on an anti-union message? No. But that is his focus.

And how has America received the Tea Party, as a whole?

1. Senator Lisa Murkowski became the first senator in 50 years to win a write in campaign facing Tea Partier Joe Miller in Sara Palin's Alaska.

2. We did not elect a witch.

3. Even the ineffective Harry Reid beat his Tea Party apponent because she adopted this wreckless and dangerous "solve the Reid problem with 2nd Amendment remedies" crazy talk.

4. Allen West of Florida practically challenged Debbie Wasserman Schultz to a fistfight over her pointing out his stance on medicare... comments she made addressing him as "The gentleman from Florida." His response? "that you are not a Lady" and "shall not be afforded due respect from me!" Problem is, she was right that he is moving to reduce Medicare benefits. HE DID NOT CAMPAIGN on that. When he had his next town hall, he was blasted by Republicans he represents. How do you think HIS re-election looks?

5. Democrat Bill Owens took NY's 23d district which had been GOP since the Civil war versus a Tea Partier.

NUK, buddy, get your popcorn ready. Tomorrow are the special recall elections in Wisconsin, where candidates who did not campaign on union busting, but focused mainly on union busting, are being called to task. This will be yet another example of the shelf life of The mixed message, gun-brandishing, deficit and tax-hating Tea party.

I have not been impressed with their inability to govern responsibly. And even less impressive is seeing the GOP move hard right in order to pander to their Dick Army-funded campaigns and fake grass roots movements funded by The Kock brothers.

NUK,now is not the time for grandstansders speaking of revolution. We need statesmen, engineers, and scientists who have rebuilding and moving forward at heart. Remember this key sentence from Standard & Poors WRT our downgraded credit rating:

"S&P said in a statement that "the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011."

We need people willing to work together; not ideologues... and that goes for BOTH sides.

Sorry so long, but The TEAs have a resume' that deserves airing.

Cheers

Vote Mytmite in 2012!

NUK_1's picture

You should have saved your typing skills for another response :)......like I've said several times, I'm not the biggest fan of the TP, especially some of the clowns like Miller, Angle, O'Donnell, Palin, Bachmann, etc. I do agree with the TP on a lot of fiscal issues, and then they lose me on everything else. If they had just stuck to the basic Tea Party Patriots' group philosophy (hard right fiscally, socially libertarian or apathetic, accepting of GOPride, etc), that would be fine with me. Instead, there is an ultra-conservative side on social issues and also the role of government in those issues that is big trouble and that I totally disagree with.

I don't have a problem with what the TP did over the debt ceiling, though. The fact that 70+ of these ceiling revisions have been done in history is exactly why we have a 14 trillion deficit right now. Until something drastic happened, it would have continued forever. Now, the playing field has changed. It's not good to make decisions out of spite either, but Obama's vote in the Senate against raising the debt ceiling so he could appear "principled" because he knew it was getting raised no matter how he voted makes this situation rather fitting and ironic.

I didn't see any leadership whatsoever from Obama or the Dems. They have been too cowardly to even pass a budget and Obama's last one got shot down 97-zip. Obama, the Dems and some Repubs completely ignored the Gang of Six and the Boyles/Simpson committees that both proposed very serious measures and worked long and hard to come up with a roadmap to getting control again on govt's spending and debt for the long-term. . Obama and the Dems wanted zero part of either, just like the Ryan plan. When the Dems are sitting around as usual against anything, it's ridiculous to then start calling the Repubs or TP the "parties of no" when Obama's "4 trillion grand bargain" was nothing but rumors and the CBO
doesn't score heresay and rumors.

Letting the Bush tax cuts expire will happen, but then everyone is going to look back a year later and wonder why the deficit is still humongous and growing as fast or faster than usual. There is a big fundamental problem of government spending that has to be addressed and there's going to be pain and teeth-gnashing over it. No more kicking the can down the road.

The temporary plan that passed left the Bush tax cuts in effect and also didn't touch entitlement spending. In other words, it's another example of putting everything off once again. That's why the TP people at the end voted against it and it's also why the whole debacle will be visited again.
I don't see blaming the TP for doing what they were elected to do and what the Repubs, Dems and many Presidents have all been afraid to do for far too long.

damn..I rambled more than you I think :)

carbonunit52's picture

[quote]damn..I rambled more than you I think :)[/quote]

Looks like a tie from where I stand. Alas, I never have near enough smarts to last long enough to write entries like those.

The Tea Party to me fits the definition of a granfalloon: "A granfalloon is a recognized grouping of people that, underneath it all, has no real meaning."

Regarding stopping the rise of the deficit, it is not what you do but how you do it. I do not believe that we had to be shot in the foot to begin the fix.

kevink's picture

Even when I don't agree, I enjoy reading well thought out, non cut and paste opinion. We are lacking that here and in Washington DC. Thanks to you both for bucking the sound bite trend.

Vote Mytmite in 2012!

Gort's picture

Lion, On Monday, Republican House Speaker John Boehner bragged to CBS News the final agreement gave him “98 percent" of what he wanted in the debt deal.

With the DOW free-falling 500+ points today, it looks like Boehner is collecting the final 2%.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

Observerofu's picture

and the fact we are going the way of Greece.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Gort's picture

OofU, after eleven years of the Bush Tax Cuts, we still don’t have enough jobs in the US for all the people that want and need them.

Just how long does it take for your “Magic Tax Cuts” to start working?

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

Observerofu's picture

If it wasn't for those tax cuts it would be so much worse.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Gort's picture

OofU, it’s been 12 years of the tax cuts and still not enough jobs. Get a grip. The US economy can’t create jobs as fast as American business can ship them overseas. The money would have been better spent paying for the wars.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

carbonunit52's picture

A producer friend of mine, a union ironworker, recently retired after 30 years. His description of his career is: for the first 10 years he helped build America, for the second 10 years he helped maintain America, and for the last 10 years he helped take America apart, to be shipped overseas.

Gort's picture

Carb, it sounds like your friend has seen with his own eyes what is really happening in the country.

Now that he is retired he can spend the remainder of his years listening to Faux News and Talk, Talk, Talk Radio, characterize him as some sort of sub-human being because of his union affiliation.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

PTC Observer's picture

So, what your solution? Go into more debt to try and spend our way out of recession? Don't you think we have enough government?

Gort, government can't help us, we have to help ourselves out of this mess and the only way we can do this is to keep some money and spend it. Government needs to step aside and let the people go to make decisions on their own, with their money.

War is folly Gort, so I am hoping this is simply your frustration showing and not your real though.

Gort's picture

PTC_0, I already told you what I wanted to do.

[quote] ..., raise taxes on everyone, grow the economy, and get that nasty old debt paid off. Trying to do it with just cuts is like trying to win a war while wearing a straight jacket. It will take way too long to do it that way and will never come out right at the end.[/quote]

Frustrated? Me? You have me mixed up with OofU. Do you see how sarcastic he gets? He must be drinking vinegar from the pickle jar again! 8 - )

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

Observerofu's picture

Just a small factoid.

You can take 100% of the wealth produced by the "Millionaires/Billionaires that Obama likes to vilify and it would only run the Government for 147 days.

Now you can confiscate 100% of all their wealth and then also take all of their homes, boats, planes everything they own and everything their family owns and it would run the Government for 238 days.

So tell me my little class warfare friend just how higher taxes are going to solve the budget issue?

We have a spending problem gort. Until Government gets it fiscal house in order no matter how much money they take from us they will just spend it on more pig crap studies or shrimp treadmills.

Sarcasm no frustration yes. Frustration over trying to teach something a child can see. You run out of money you can't buy more candy.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Gort's picture

OofU, don't be so dramatic. Nobody is asking for 100% from anyone and you know it.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

Observerofu's picture

50%-60%---More?

Tell me what good will it do while we continue the current devaluing of our dollar and spending ourselves into oblivion.

No Gort no more. Not until DC gets a handle on their spending. Not one more dime.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Observerofu's picture

If the Stimulus saved us from a depression then so did the tax cuts. Didn't Obama renew them?

Oh btw-how is that stimulus working out?

What is Obama doing? Going to fund raisers and having birthday parties while America loses over a Trillion dollars yesterday? Where was his Treasury Secretary? Where was anyone from his administration coming out? Where was Benyankenme?

Inept leadership breeds ineptness.

Gort keep drinking the kaid. The rest of us has been buying Gold and stocking up on food and ammo for awhile.

btw-Where you one of those that laughed at us when Gold hit $1000 an ounce and those of us that knew it was going higher recommended it?

Remember Weiner going after the Gold peddlers saying Gold would never go higher? Did you follow his advice? If so you lost a $600 gain in just 8 months. How did your 401k do yesterday?

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Buying gold is like vegas gambling----if you don't sell it at a reasonable profit you will lose a ton eventually!

However, if you are selfish you will think it will go to 2000, then 5000, etc.

Where do you keep that gold, or is it just a computer entry!

Observerofu's picture

just sit there right there.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Gort's picture

OofU, that’s funny, I don't feel saved by the tax cuts. Do you?

[quote]After eleven years of the Bush Tax Cuts, we still don’t have enough jobs in the US for all the people that want and need them. The money would have been better spent paying for the wars.[/quote]

Tell us OofU,how long does it take for your “Magic Tax Cuts” to start working?

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

Observerofu's picture

and that helps create or save jobs because it is re-distributed when I spend it.

So it started working immediately, but the Bush Tax Cuts went to only those that actually produce and pay taxes. If you didn't see the "magic Tax Cuts" obviously you are part of the moocher class.

Go out and get a job maybe then you can participate in the future.

Go get some skin in the game.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Gort's picture

OofU, wouldn't the money have been better spent to pay down the wars and the unfunded prescription drug benefit?

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

PTC Observer's picture

Where you been?

Here's something to ponder Gort, if the government taxes 100% of all income of $250,000 and above, that is it takes by force all the wages, profit, etc from the wealthy leaving them with nothing. They would raise $1.1 trillion dollars. In 2010 we increased the debt $1.7 trillion per year and it's increasing at an increasing rate. So, you can see that we would still be $600 billion short of break even based on the 2010 debt increase.

So, what's the solution? Tax the middle class of course and tax them well. OR We could reduce the size and scope of government including entitlement programs. Given that we have spineless fools for representatives, it is not possible to expect the latter. So, that means....

Get ready to pay more taxes Gort, a lot more. If you think the stock market fall had anything to do with what went on in Congress last week, your right, but for the wrong reason. It's because the Congress is not serious about reducing the debt. The crisis occurring in Europe will spread throughout the world, ending up here. You can expect the downturn in the equity markets for the next 15 months, until the Congress shows empirically that it will reduce the debt accumulation.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention the Great Recession. It's going to get worse, a lot worse, the most important asset you have today Gort is your job. I hope it's not tied to government largess pal or your job is toast.

Gort's picture

PTC_0, I've been busy making some of that Do-Re-Me. I did take a hit in the market today! Good thing I got my Social Security and Medicare to rely on when I retire, eh? 8 - )

I’m hoping they raise taxes on everyone, grow the economy, and get that nasty old debt paid off. Trying to do it with just cuts is like trying to win a war while wearing a straight jacket. It will take too long to do it that way and will never come out right at the end.

I work in the private sector but I don’t think my job is any safer than anyone else’s. As you know, capitalism can be a cruel mistress!

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

carbonunit52's picture

I believe the stock market taking a dive is part of the "low" component of the "buy low" strategy, and I imagine it goes quite well with the short selling of stocks. I'm just sayin'.

Gort's picture

Carb, you’re probably right. I just see it as Wall Street’s little way of saying, “We are not happy with the way Congress is behaving!” Then they punch the country in the stomach.

American companies are posting good profits and have plenty of cash on hand. Plus the rest of the world is still throwing money at our US Treasuries so I’m not sure what to make out of what happened today.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

PTC Observer's picture

Gort,

Companies are making money offshore, they are not investing in the USA mainly because of the uncertainty of tax policy but also because of increased regulations here. In the meantime, they can make investments outside the USA without the risk. In fact, the cash reserves that these companies are accumulating are mostly outside the USA. There is a tax penalty imposed based on current tax law on profits repatriation coming back into the country. Basically, these profits are taxed overseas, then taxed again when they want to move the cash back to the USA. This policy starves the capital markets here at home and holds down investments here.

Tax policy in the USA I predict will cause a number of global "American Institutions" in the next few years, to move their headquarters offshore, including offices, so they can avoid the highest corporate tax rates in the world. We do not have a business friendly environment in the USA compared to say, Singapore.

Those are facts Gort and of course an opinion or two from yours truly.

Gort's picture

PTC_0, Singapore might be too far away from home. How about Mexico?

Mexico has the lowest taxes in the northern hemisphere. Corporate executives can commute to work on their US taxpayer subsidized jets so they won’t have to actually live in Mexico.

Or maybe it would just be cheaper to just get a PO Box in the Cayman Islands, call it headquarters, and commit fraud like others like to do.

The possibilities are endless. 8 - )

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

PTC Observer's picture

Too many guns, drugs, and kidnappings in Mexico. Executives like safe places for them and their families. Singapore has a very friendly business culture and the hang you if you bring drugs into the country. One of the safest places on earth, clean too. Of course it's run by a benevolant dictator and people are watched like hawks to make sure they don't chew gum (which is illegal), but we are talking business, right?

As far as those PO Boxes in the Cayman Islands, this is a symptom of US tax policy gone bad.

The left needs to give the class warfare thing a rest if it wants to have some come back in the US economy, or as I have said repeatedly it will just go someplace else. Just remember this Gort, if you could "equalize" income by magic, about 10 seconds after you did this, there would be some people richer than other people.

Gort's picture

PTC_0, so your idea of a corporate utopia is a country run by.., “a benevolent dictator and (the) people are watched like hawks to make sure they don't chew gum.” Do the trains run on time? When you leaving? 8 - )

Before you go you should know that your benevolent dictator has revenues of $29.87 billion but spends $34.01 billion according to the CIA website. Public debt is 102% of GDP. They owe most of it to their pension fund. Perhaps when corporations relocate to Singapore they can make up the difference for him? Did I mention they have government health care?

PO Boxes in the Cayman Islands is US Tax Policy. That’s why the tax code is so complicated. If you can afford the lawyers and contribute to enough political campaigns, you can probably get almost anything written into the tax code you want. That’s why Speaker Boehner turned down the “grand deal” he didn’t want to upset his base by closing loopholes in the tax code.

I don’t know anything about “class warfare.” What I do know is this. I file a joint return with my wife, take standard deductions, have a marginal income tax rate of 25%, and pay social security on 100% of my income. From my point of view, as a percent of income, I’m in the income group with the highest effective tax rates in the US. If there is “class warfare” going on it was declared on working people from the middle class.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

PTC Observer's picture

not listening, I said Singapore has a better

<ul>business environment<ul>

than the USA. Yes, the trains run on time. I have already been there and there are a lot of businesses considering moving there. This is not about personal freedom Gort, it's about where are the US jobs going and how US tax policy is forcing them out of the country.

I have been at many of their hospitals too Gort, you wouldn't want to be treated there.

US Tax Policy is complicated so the politicians can get re-elected, you know the professional political class. Let's go to a flat tax the moment we repeal the 16th Amendment, no loopholes, no one is exempt,no brackets. Finally, you are correct there is a war on the middle class and the poor with current tax policy.

Gort's picture

PTC_0, actually I thought you were talking about corporate headquarters moving overseas.
[quote] PTC_0 wrote:

I predict (it) will cause a number of global "American Institutions" in the next few years, to move their headquarters offshore, including offices, so they can avoid the highest corporate tax rates in the world.[/quote]

My opinion is, most corporations move ‘operations’ overseas to gain access to emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, India China. Others do it to exploit cheap labor and/or avoid pollution regulations. I don’t see taxes as such a big deal for corporations. There lobbyist, lawyers, and accountants can take care of those problems.

I was just teasing about you moving to Singapore. 8 - )

I don’t see any advantages, for anyone in my income bracket, with a flat tax arrangement.

As a matter of fact, I want personal income taxed like corporations. That way I can deduct all my operating expenses, depreciate my home and car over the life of the loan, and only be taxed on my meager savings, (profit.)

From my point of view, compared to what I got now, that’s a pretty sweet deal. Don’t you think so?

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

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