What if you came upon a society in which citizens were highly self-directed and self-sufficient as a result of their subscription to a philosophy of Personal Responsibility. Let’s also say that most of these same people were smokers and prone, as a result, to lung cancer.
Now let’s say you were charged with creating a new tax in order to raise revenue for the state treasury, which was running low.
(A) Impose a tax on smoking, assuming it would raise exactly the money needed
(B) Impose a tax on personal responsibility, assuming it would raise exactly the money needed
(C) Impose taxes on both smoking and personal responsibility, assuming it would raise twice the amount needed
If you were of same mind, you would want to tax the the behavior that you would like society to exhibit less of, and so you would choose (A). You would never choose (B), because you’d know that creating a disincentive to exhibit personal responsibility would be destructive and would unequivocally make society worse off. As for (C), you would laugh and wonder what kind of sick mind would indulge in such unnecessary, punitive taxation.
But if you were Barack Obama, or if you were John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, you would choose (C) in the case of the former and (B) in the case of the latter.
How do I know this?
This is how I know this:
PHOENIX (AP) — Helena Gudger is the type of person health insurance companies need on the books as the federal Affordable Care Act begins to roll out…The 26-year-old Phoenix resident has gone the past four years without health insurance, using clinics and the county hospital for checkups, routine tests and visits to a gynecologist. She pays cash, checks prices and tries to go when doctors are offering discounts. But she also is aware that she will be in a lurch if she gets sick. She does her best to avoid crowds where she could pick up an infection and even researches the local lake for outbreaks when her friends plan an outing. <source>
Here we see someone exercising personal responsibility and free choice. Ms. Gudger is price-conscious and goes out of her way to stay healthy in order to avoid excessive health care costs. She is young and healthy and elects not to buy health insurance, which is more costly than the amount of health care she actually consumes. She reached this conclusion on her own, without and help from a government bureaucrat or the IRS.
But now Barack Hussein Obama’s (Un) Affordable Care Act tightening its noose around all of our necks, and destroying personal responsibility by “taxing it” (in John Roberts’ words). Obamacare mandates that people like Ms. Gudger purchase health insurance even though she doesn’t want it. This robs her of her choice, and it punishes her for exercising personal responsibility.
What kind of sick society taxes personal responsibility?
Barack Obama’s sick society, that kind.