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Thread: Obama’s ‘Unprecedented’ Remarks: Is the President Running Against the Supreme Court?

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    Re: Obama’s ‘Unprecedented’ Remarks: Is the President Running Against the Supreme Cou

    The entire kit should have gone to a public referendum, but we know BHO would never have allowed this.

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    Re: Obama’s ‘Unprecedented’ Remarks: Is the President Running Against the Supreme Cou

    Quote Originally Posted by ReverendHellh0und View Post
    what???? Maybe the government should then levy a fine for not buying smokre dectectors, or not going to college, etc... this argument you all are on is insane.
    Don't give them any more idea's on how to tax us...LOL
    If it sounds like Marx and acts like Stalin...it must be Obama

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    Re: Obama’s ‘Unprecedented’ Remarks: Is the President Running Against the Supreme Cou

    Quote Originally Posted by iguanaman View Post
    And go to an emergency room without insurance and you still get treated. You have bought nothing and owe nothing and still get the benefit. That's the way it should be?
    Can I do that with solar panels or cars?
    If it sounds like Marx and acts like Stalin...it must be Obama

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    Re: Obama’s ‘Unprecedented’ Remarks: Is the President Running Against the Supreme Cou

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbo View Post
    Laughing at a stupid concept does not mean you do not understand it. Quite the contrary.

    Now get back to repeating that incentives and penalties are the same thing. Maybe you'll fool someone into believing you.
    Plainly it isn't a stupid argument as it's one that's been made by some of the smartest lawyers and economists in the world. I would be inclined to think that it's stupid to write off the argument with no analysis whatsoever.

    Certainly tax experts understand the argument:

    For lawyers and political junkies, it is the Super Bowl: three days of Supreme Court arguments over one of the biggest domestic policy changes in decades.

    But we economists can only scratch our heads. Why are we in court? What's the big deal? It's called an "individual mandate." Sounds ominous. But to economists it looks like nothing more than your everyday ordinary tax incentive. For as long as there has been a tax code -- and particularly in recent decades -- there has been a bipartisan consensus that tax incentives are an excellent way for Congress to get individuals and businesses to do what lawmakers want them to do.

    The only difference between the mandate and your common tax incentive is that Congress framed the incentive as a tax penalty instead of a tax break. I recognize there might be a legal difference between the two approaches that is beyond my comprehension. But the Court, Congress, and the public should understand that economically the two approaches are exactly the same. Any tax penalty can easily be redesigned as a tax incentive. So, for example, a $1,000 tax penalty for not doing X could be replaced by a tax policy whereby all individuals' taxes are raised by $1,000 and then they are given a tax credit of $1,000 for doing X. (See the table below.)

    A tax penalty and a tax incentive have the same economic impact on affected and unaffected individuals. They have the same effect on the goals the government is trying to achieve. They have the same effect on government revenues. It is possible, then, that they have the same effect on freedom and constitutional principles.




    tax.com: If Mandate Is Struck Down, Are Tax Incentives Next?
    Last edited by AdamT; 04-09-12 at 06:06 PM.
    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

    -- Adam Smith

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    Re: Obama’s ‘Unprecedented’ Remarks: Is the President Running Against the Supreme Cou

    Appeal to authority?

    You do recall that the claimed 'smart man' that this thread is about said it would be unprecedented for the supreme court to overturn legislation created by a majority in the legislature. Right?

    So much for the 'smart man' theory.

    If the government penalized you for not buying a hybrid, or not buying solar panels, you would have a point. But that is not the case, so you do not. I understand you want to play with language, that seems to be a typical sort of thing for some. The reality is you get a benefit in the terms of a tax incentive for doing things the government wants you to do. With the mandate, you are penalized for not doing what they force you to do. Different.
    "nah i think the way cons want to turn this into a political issue is funny though" - Philly Boss

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    Re: Obama’s ‘Unprecedented’ Remarks: Is the President Running Against the Supreme Cou

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    Plainly it isn't a stupid argument as it's one that's been made by some of the smartest lawyers and economists in the world. I would be inclined to think that it's stupid to write off the argument with no analysis whatsoever.

    Certainly tax experts understand the argument:
    Its not that simple. Politically, its a disaster. Obama would have to have raised everyone's taxes first, as they are mostly paid in advance.
    Then credit it back.

    However, ultimately HC can be done at the national level if and when they can sell the people on such as single payer, and just add it to the budget. I am not recommending that, but such is a plan, and at least one of the plaintiff's attorney used this argument, that being that the government had other mechanisms by which to fund HC so as to cover those who did not have it. That there were other solutions available to any peceived problem with HC coverage, and it was merely up to COngress and the President to agree on one.

    The solution Obama chose is a big mess. And its unconstitutional.
    Last edited by Eighty Deuce; 04-09-12 at 06:18 PM.

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    Re: Obama’s ‘Unprecedented’ Remarks: Is the President Running Against the Supreme Cou

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbo View Post
    Appeal to authority?
    Holy ****, how many times do I have to point out that appealing to authority is perfeclty legitimate as long as the person cited really is a credible authority on the topic. Why do you think our justice system relies so heavily on expert witness testimony? Isn't that just "appeal to authority"?

    And the grand irony of you making a false "appeal to authority" argument and ending up with an ad hominem triple play.

    So for the hundredth time, if someone is getting a tax incentive that you aren't getting, then you are being penalized. I mean, it's really not all that asbtract of a concept. Can you really not wrap your head around it? Where do you think the money to pay for that hybrid credit comes from? Is it free money?

    Health reform repeal: Fixing the mandate | The Economist
    Last edited by AdamT; 04-09-12 at 06:29 PM.
    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

    -- Adam Smith

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    Re: Obama’s ‘Unprecedented’ Remarks: Is the President Running Against the Supreme Cou

    Another economist's view:

    I think CBO is correct: for federal budget purposes, the penalty on the uninsured would indeed be a tax, since it reflects the exercise of the government’s sovereign power.
    However, and this may surprise you, I also think the President has an important point which he tried, with only limited success, to articulate. I would describe it as follows: A well-meaning government levies taxes for two different reasons:
    • First, it levies taxes to finance the government. National defense, the court system, the social safety net, etc. all require financing. Taxes allow the government to provide those services.

    • Second, taxes are a tool to discourage behavior that is harmful to others. For example, a government may levy a tax on emissions of carbon dioxide if it worries about potential damage from climate change. In economics-speak, that’s using a tax to internalize an externality. Such taxes are often known as Pigouvian taxes – a concept made famous by Greg Mankiw’s Pigou Club which advocates for greater use of them.
    From a budget / government sovereignty perspective, Pigouvian taxes are indeed taxes. The government is using its power to collect money from people and companies that engage in the taxed activity. But revenues are not the primary purpose of the policy. Instead, the goal is to solve another problem such as pollution.
    The President is viewing the tax on the uninsured as a Pigouvian tax. And he’s right, at least up to a point. If an individual can afford insurance but chooses to go without it, that person may impose significant costs on other people. Why? Because they will still get health care if, for example, they are in an auto accident. Those costs will then be paid by others (e.g., by the hospital). In that sense, the uninsured individual imposes an externality on others.
    And that externality only gets larger if insurance companies are forbidden to exclude new beneficiaries because of pre-existing conditions. If that regulation goes into effect (as proposed in the health bills now pending in Congress), then an uninsured person can potentially impose substantial costs on everyone else by waiting until they have an expensive chronic disease before they purchase insurance. Because they can’t be charged more for waiting to getting coverage, they would be able to pass a substantial cost burden onto other people.
    The purpose of a tax on the uninsured is to prevent such cost-shifting. The tax is thus a policy tool, not primarily a way to raise new revenue. That’s the distinction that the President was trying to articulate. And it’s an important one.

    When is a Tax Not a Tax? « Donald Marron
    Be sure to read the rest of the article for the Obama bashing parts.
    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

    -- Adam Smith

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    Re: Obama’s ‘Unprecedented’ Remarks: Is the President Running Against the Supreme Cou

    None other than Larry Summers has perhaps explained it best: http://www3.amherst.edu/~jwreyes/econ77reading/Summers
    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

    -- Adam Smith

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    Re: Obama’s ‘Unprecedented’ Remarks: Is the President Running Against the Supreme Cou

    Not all tax penalties involve benefit to someone else just as not all tax credits benefit everyone. Take the children's tax credit. If I don't have children I just do not participate. Those who have children get a tax credit those who don't, won't get one, but I am not being charged more because I don't have children. I am not being penalized, I'm just not participating in the tax credit.
    If it sounds like Marx and acts like Stalin...it must be Obama

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