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Freedom vs. Statism: There’s Battle Lines Being Drawn

The failure of healthcare.gov is a reminder of the hubris of technocracy, but in the larger picture it isn’t of great importance. Government presumably is capable, at some point, of running a web site.

It is the cancellation notices going out to millions of Americans that define the true Obamacare battle lines. We see here a naked exercise of state power, facilitated–not coincidentally–by state lies. It was always necessary that you should lose your insurance coverage, or, at a minimum, pay more for it; otherwise the whole Obamacare scheme would not work. And what we have seen so far is only the tip of the iceberg. In 2010, the Obama administration acknowledged, in the Federal Register, that pretty much everyone who has employer-sponsored insurance will lose their existing plans before long. So the cancellation notices have only just begun.

This should be a learning moment for the American people. The great thing about freedom is that for the most part, you can do what you want. The trouble with statism is that someone is always telling you what to do, and that person doesn’t care about you or your family, and probably doesn’t like you much. There was a time when everyone knew this, but if it really has been forgotten by many Americans, Obamacare has come along at an opportune time.

A reader writes:

Obamacare is ripping off the mask of liberalism to reveal the totalitarian snarl behind Big Brother’s smile. “Million Dollar” Bill Maher — as cynical, obnoxious and contemptuous an Obama operative as can be found — does us all a huge service by openly reveling in Obamaland’s foundational lies.

Since you’re too stupid and vicious even to know what’s good for you, let alone what the “public good” is, it is perfectly OK that we’re lying to you repeatedly…you deserve it! You’re welcome.

“Million Dollar” Bill is very helpful here in identifying the rottenness of the central conceit of the New Class entitlement/regulatory state. Maher is right–the political arts are inherently those of deception, force, lies, hidden agendas, false promises and misdirection at a level that is simply not tolerable or even possible in ordinary life, especially in economic activity. This is exactly why we should severely limit the scope of politics and political processes in our lives to the bare minimum of real public goods. The fiasco of Obamacare has exposed this dichotomy like nothing else. An elite of intellectually dishonest political power mongers in a deceitful and corrupt process, purports to arrogate to themselves decisions about who can be lied to and dragooned into supporting and subsidizing what favored groups.

Unlike in commercial transactions where the lowliest consumer can choose to play or not, and can “exit” if he doesn’t like an actor’s offerings, when the state in involved you have no “exit”: they have law and force on their side. Oh, sure, you have a “voice.” You have the very political processes so aptly described by “Million Dollar” Bill filtered by a corrupt, supine and collusive MSM…one vote out of millions…with a premium on the rhetorical arts of misdirection. The liberal entitlement/regulatory state wants to subject as much of your life as possible to political processes, controlled by the New Class…with only your “voice” as a check, not an “exit”.

The ugly reality behind their actions and motives is now exposed and the repercussions from this episode are just beginning to be felt.

The principles behind Obamacare could easily be applied more widely. We could have Obamafood, for example. Everyone could be issued a card that contains data on his income; when you go to the grocery store, the card is scanned and a price generated. “That chicken will cost you $32.50 per pound, sir.” Or, “Congratulations! Those Pop Tarts are free!” Which is to say that someone else paid for them.

We could have Obamacars–everyone is required to buy an expensive car, loaded up with purported safety devices manufactured by Democratic Party contributors, and how much you pay depends on how much money you earn. After all, lots of people will need subsidies to buy those expensive vehicles. And that is only the beginning! Obamahouses, Obamaclothes–why not? If the state knows best, there is no reason not to go all the way. Which, in one way or another, is what liberals have in mind. The battle over Obamacare is a clarifying moment. It will tell us whether the spirit of liberty is still alive in America.

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