Watching the political talk shows this past Sunday was tougher than usual because of all the gloating. Yet, nobody really took time to explain to the audience the plan is a massive tax increase with initial estimates around $1.0 trillion but I'm sure it will move higher. How appropriate that on the eve of celebrating the birth of this great nation we are facing the issue of more taxes again.
Every schoolchild learns about no taxation without representation and many learn about people like Founding Father Patrick Henry, whose opposition to the Stamp Act and "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" speech helped to galvanize the drive for independence. All of this gets into our blood and our subconscious, and some would say it's even in American DNA.
With that in mind, I can understand why Democrats are loath to calling the so-called Affordably Care Act what it really is-a tax!
I had a good time on Cavuto yesterday, at the expense of Nancy Pelosi who seems to have lost it in ways that Charlie Sheen seems to have lost it. She is just plain kooky, a walking train wreck of senseless babble and vitriolic rhetoric. Nonetheless, I took time out to help educate Nancy Pelosi and others on what Chief Justice Roberts meant when he said "it's a tax."
1. A charge usually of money imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.
The thing is these taxes will only grow and become more onerous, there is no incentive to get off government healthcare much like there are more and more reasons in general to stay snuggled within the nest of entitlements. But, this tax hurts almost everyone directly, through higher taxes, which means fewer jobs and less disposable income. I think another dictionary probably sums up why the party, so proud of tax and spend, is trying so hard to promote the Supreme Court decision without invoking the "T" word.
1. to steal
1. Giving money you don't have to people you don't know for a program you don't believe in.
2. Legalized theft created by and used by the government, mostly used to pay for a war in Iraq or to give money to lazy people who refuse to work (see welfare).
Yes, the Urban Dictionary cuts to the chase in a much crasser manner than Webster, but the point is interesting. Fans of this new tax are hypocrites if they think only a few people should be taxed to create yet another entitlement program (not lumping social security and Medicare into this). But that's the end game, hoping so many Americans have forgotten all taxation without representation to buy into the notion of tax anyone but me to make my life cushier.
Adding up Impact
By the way, since the media and administration love counterfactuals (jobs saved, depression averted) how about this one on the impact of healthcare.
There is a 2.3% excise tax on medical instruments. This will surely cut into the amount of money used for research and development. In a fantastic piece, Dr. Benjamin Zycher laid out how this negatively impacts all Americans.
10% cut on medical device R&D: $2.0 billion
Loss of life from breakthrough averted or delayed: 1,000,000 life-years
Economic impact from loss of 1,000,000 life-years to America's economy: $100.0 billion a year
This thing costs a lot including the same freedoms that spark the creation of the nation in the first place.
It's a half session today, but I must say I like the way the market acted yesterday. Of course this is a short session, and a lot of traders will be out the rest of the week. But, European markets are at two-month highs as anticipation of an ECB rate cut continues to fuel excitement. I'm not sure how much is going to get done today, however, so we aren't forcing the issue.