"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

L'Etat, C'est Moi!

Laws are for little people.   That's the mantra of the Obama Administration, especially regarding its supposedly grandest accomplishment, Obamacare.   Here's the story:

First, there was the delay of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts until after the election. Then there was the delay of the law’s employer mandate. Then there was the announcement, buried in the Federal Register, that the administration would delay enforcement of a number of key eligibility requirements for the law’s health insurance subsidies, relying on the “honor system” instead. Now comes word that another costly provision of the health law—its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs—will be delayed for one more year. 
According to the Congressional Research Service, as of November 2011, the Obama administration had missed as many as one-third of the deadlines, specified by law, under the Affordable Care Act.
Now the key thing to remember here is not that Obamacare is a clusterf***.    We knew that already, basically a priori.   You can't take an enormous, complicated economy the size of France's or Canada's and remake it on paper in a bill drafted by Washington lawyer-lobbyists and have it be anything else.   See Von Mises.   See Hayek.    No one should be surprised.

No, the key thing is that we now have a dictator, if by dictator we mean someone who is above the law, who does not think that the laws written by Congress pertain to him.   Obamacare, for better and for worse, was enacted by Congress.   It had certain dates in it, deadlines by which times the Executive Branch had to do X or had to do Y.   Those dates were part of the law just like filing your income taxes by April 15th every year is part of the law.   But the Obama Administration thinks they can just ignore those parts of the law that are inconvenient... that would expose the "train wreck" of Obamacare in advance of the 2014 mid-term elections.

If I were writing thrillers, I'd write a political thriller where the people around the President are conspiring to win the mid-terms, retake the House, then crash the economy in 2015 with the implementation of Obamacare, and then cancel the 2016 election and have Obama keep power because of an "emergency."   I don't really think that's what's happening, but if I were writing a paranoid thriller, that's how the facts so far would fit.

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