Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Anyone who clings to the historically untrue -- and thoroughly immoral -- doctrine that 'violence never solves anything' I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms”     Robert A. Heinlein,    Starship Troopers

September 3, 2009

A Conversation with Family

by Chris

From my cousin:

No one should die because they cannot afford health care, no one should go broke because they get sick, and no one should be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions. (But I also believe that everyone is entitled to their opinions especially from personal experience. And I won’t urge you repost this for the rest of the day. :-p I also hope that we can develop a system that truly works.)

My Response:

And we should all have unlimited money, and free ponies. And everyone should have free food and houses and college and… and… and…

There’s no such thing as free. Do you have the right to hold a gun to my head, steal my money, and use it to pay for someone else’s healthcare?

If you personally don’t, then why does the government have the right to do it on your behalf?

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18 Comments

  1. Children feel this way too. Some grow up.

    Comment by Shane — September 3, 2009 @ 10:43 pm
  2. It is always fun to take people’s statements to their logical conclusion. Most “rights” that people claim are no more than the demand for legal theft.

    Comment by Greg — September 4, 2009 @ 5:14 am
  3. “There is no such thing as free.” If you are one of those many tens of millions who pay zero federal taxes, then any benefits bestowed upon you which are funded by the Federal Government, via the tax dollars extracted from others (and borrowed from future generations) are indeed free, to that person, is it not?

    Unemployed/uninsured and “undocumented citizens” get totally free (to them) health care services provided in ER’s every day, in virtually every town in America, right? Why wouldn’t those folks vote for politicians who favor expanding their no-cost (to them) benefits? And Acorn will help them vote several times instead of just once, in areas where the vote may be close.

    Comment by southernjames — September 4, 2009 @ 5:27 am
  4. I think there is a difference between free and “I didn’t have to pay for it myself”

    Comment by John222 — September 4, 2009 @ 6:54 am
  5. John,

    Not on an individualized basis. You are either paying for something directly or indirectly via taxes, or you aren’t. If you aren’t, then for you it is entirely free. So can be such a concept as ‘free’ in the minds of individuals.

    One of hundreds of examples: I didn’t directly pay for the County public school bus which picked up my kid when she was young. But it was not free for me, because I indirectly pay for it via local property taxes. (And still do, even though my kids no longer ride buses). The migrant workers’ kids who used to ride the same bus, and who live in public housing and who pay no property taxes – well that one, is 100% a total freebie for them. Paid for via a bunch of people like me.

    That is one of the problems with our tax structure. If it is true that approximately 50% of the adult populace pays no taxes (I don’t know what the actual number is), then it leads to the unhealty situation (which politicians of both parties capitalize on – but the Dems worse than the Pubs) where chunks of the populace can vote themselves largess from the public treasury (by voting for politicians who promise it to them) the COSTS of which they themselves have not contributed. Accordingly, for THEM, as individuals, there is no incentive for smaller and more efficient and cost-effective government. Or any sort of reduction in services.

    Comment by southernjames — September 4, 2009 @ 8:04 am
  6. Meant to say “So there CAN be such as concept as…”

    Man I wish this site had a “preview” feature for proofreading posts.

    Comment by southernjames — September 4, 2009 @ 8:06 am
  7. I saw the same post on FB yesterday evening, prompted my response.

    Comment by David Z — September 4, 2009 @ 8:10 am
  8. James,

    TANSTAAFL

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — September 4, 2009 @ 12:23 pm
  9. A tick’s meal can indeed seem free to the tick. The question that pops into my mind is: Can enough ticks kill the dog? What if the dog can no longer eat enough to accommodate them?

    Whatever happened to that Soviet Union, anyway?

    Comment by Akston — September 4, 2009 @ 12:25 pm
  10. I suppose those illegal immigrants do not pay sales tax, taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and gasoline. In some states tobacco and alcohol taxes are suppose to help pay for health care. If you were a heavy smoker you could pay more in a year than real estate taxes and certainly more than you pay of your payroll medical tax.

    The only people who pay no taxes are ones who have extensive tax shelters or the dead.

    Comment by VRB — September 4, 2009 @ 3:15 pm
  11. There have also been studies which show that immigrants are healthy and it is usually the second generation which has need of more health care. Those people are documented so they do pay federal and local taxes, including real estate taxes.

    Comment by VRB — September 4, 2009 @ 3:22 pm
  12. From The Tax Foundation, somewhat dated at March of 2006:

    During 2006, Tax Foundation economists estimate that roughly 43.4 million tax returns, representing 91 million individuals, will face a zero or negative tax liability. That’s out of a total of 136 million federal tax returns that will be filed. Adding to this figure the 15 million households and individuals who file no tax return at all, roughly 121 million Americans—or 41 percent of the U.S. population—will be completely outside the federal income tax system in 2006.1 This total includes those who pay no tax, and those who pay some tax upfront and are later refunded the full amount of the tax paid or more.

    This is just Federal Income Tax, of course. 41% is a lot of dead people and tax shelters.

    Comment by Akston — September 4, 2009 @ 4:25 pm
  13. There is no such thing as insurance against a pre-existing condition. If it is pre-existing, then it is a known liability, and insurance is protection against potential but unknown liabilities. Once the liability is known, you can attempt to make other provisions for it, but insurance is really not an option any longer because insurance is based on uncertainties.

    Comment by Dr.D — September 4, 2009 @ 6:53 pm
  14. James,

    I think you misunderstood my meaning. To my knowlege, there is very little that is “free”. For the time being the air we breathe is, but little else. Just because the person receiving or taking something from someone else does not “pay” for it doesn’t make it free. This applies to benefits received from the government by those who pay no taxes or negative taxes as well.

    As Brad said, TANSTAAFL. Someone, somehow, somewhere will pay the price for your lunch whether you are aware of it or not. The U.S. Has been giving away a lot of “free” lunches, and it would seem that at least some of those who end up footing the bill are getting tired of doing so.

    Chris is right, if I don’t have the right to put a gun to my neighbor’s head and take his money for something I need or want, what makes it ok for me to ask the government to do it on my behalf?

    Comment by John222 — September 4, 2009 @ 7:24 pm
  15. Akston,
    I said no taxes.
    FYI Where I live I pay local taxes on every dollar I make, whether I make five dollars or fifty thousand. No breaks. When I didn’t pay FED taxes my income was taxed locally, a little over 4%. I wouldn’t have called that no tax. I also didn’t escape the 6% sales tax. When I was making very little money I don’t know what something for nothing I was getting.

    I also wonder how much of my taxes I’m paying now goes to pay for your parents or grandparents health care. Are you taking all that responsibility for them or finding charities to help them? What would you give up to keep them from getting any government program?

    I do not know what land you live in where there aren’t any local taxes.

    Comment by VRB — September 4, 2009 @ 7:50 pm
  16. VRB,

    I stand corrected. I read your post too quickly. You asserted that James was incorrect in claiming that half pay no taxes. I agree. My link supports James only as far as half not paying Federal Income Tax. In fact, Americans also pay:

    * Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
    * U.S. capital gains tax
    * Corporate income tax
    * U.S. estate tax
    * U.S. excise tax (includes taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages)
    * Federal unemployment tax (FUTA)
    * FICA tax (includes Social Security tax and related programs)
    * Gasoline tax
    * Generation Skipping Tax
    * Gift tax
    * IRS penalties
    * Local income tax
    * Luxury taxes
    * Property tax
    * Real estate tax
    * Recreational vehicle tax
    * Rental car tax
    * Resort tax (also known as Hotel/Motel tax, occupancy tax)
    * Road usage taxes (Commercial Vehicle Operators)
    * Sales tax and equivalent use tax
    * School tax
    * State income tax
    * State unemployment tax (SUTA)
    * Tariffs
    * Telephone federal excise tax
    * Vehicle sales tax
    * Workers compensation tax

    And I doubt this list is exhaustive.

    So you’re indeed correct that no one is likely to avoid confiscation. And while any benefits may seem free to the beneficiary, the goodies did indeed come from someone’s life’s effort.

    So you and Chris are, of course, right. None of these goodies are free.

    As to Chris’ final two questions:

    Do you have the right to hold a gun to my head, steal my money, and use it to pay for someone else’s healthcare?

    If you personally don’t, then why does the government have the right to do it on your behalf?

    My answers are: “No”, and “It doesn’t.”

    Comment by Akston — September 4, 2009 @ 8:14 pm
  17. I know full well that everyone pays SOME taxes. Well, duh.

    The original topic had to do with health care and who pays fot it – and whether for some people it is “free.” VRB -point out to me how the state sales taxes you pay on your cigarettes pays for Granny’s medicare bills. Thanks.

    Comment by southernjames — September 5, 2009 @ 10:39 am
  18. All these liberals are concerned about people dying from lack of health care. They should start a charity collecting money to help people pay medical bills.

    I agree that nobody should be denied health insurance because of preexisting conditions. I also think it reasonable for insurers to charge more for people with proven health concerns. Auto insurance companies charge more to people with bad driving records.

    Comment by Peter — September 5, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

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