Sununu: I’m an idiot

I haven’t commented on a column by John Sununu yet because they’re all pretty idiotic. This one, though, is even stupider than most:

JOHN ROBERTS wants you to eat your broccoli. If you don’t, Congress just might tax you; and that’s fine with him.

Good news for all who favor smaller government? Not so fast. Under the administration’s secondary argument, the law “makes going without insurance just another thing the government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income.” Roberts concludes that the “penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax” and therefore “within Congress’s constitutional power.”

That’s less a limit on government than a roadmap for squelching liberty. By this measure, Congress could demand almost anything as a condition of citizenship, with a penalty imposed for failing to comply. Not sure? Just replace the words “health insurance” with “vegetables” in the paragraph above. Simple, clean, consistent with the court’s ruling, and utterly outrageous.

Once the government takes responsibility for paying your health care bills, bureaucrats have the moral ground — and financial models — to justify ever-increasing intervention into what was once called personal behavior.

By this reasoning, a country that has national healthcare would have these types of laws and yet they don’t. Maybe the fact that anyone who proposed such a law wouldn’t stay in office? And the whole tax thing is just as stupid. There are lots of things that can be used as tax deductions (which means a tax increase for the rest of us). By this reasoning, there’s a tax penalty for renting, or not having kids, or not saving for retirement, or thousands of other things. It used to be that conservatives would rather have incentives than regulation and that’s exactly what this is–no one is going to jail if they don’t have insurance, there’s a tax incentive to buy it.

Oh, Sununu might want to ask Romney if this is a tax:

 Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said the presumptive Republican presidential nominee agrees with the Obama administration’s insistence that the “shared responsibility payment,” as it is called in the Affordable Care Act, should be described as a penalty, or a fee, or a fine — but not a tax.

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