Biden said that?

August 1, 2009

Your one-stop source for all of Joe Biden’s marvelous utterances.

(via ExurbanJon)

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A liberty issue

August 1, 2009

Mark Steyn zeroes in on the real problem behind ObamaCare and all other state-run health plans: it’s not so much the cost as the freedom of the individual:

That’s the argument that needs to be won. And, if you think I’m being frivolous in positing bureaucratic regulation of doughnuts and vacations, consider that under the all-purpose umbrellas of “health” and “the environment,” governments of supposedly free nations are increasingly comfortable straying into areas of diet and leisure. Last year, a British bill attempted to ban Tony the Tiger, longtime pitchman for Frosties, from children’s TV because of his malign influence on young persons. Why not just ban Frosties? Or permit it by prescription only? Or make kids stand outside on the sidewalk to eat it? It was also proposed — by the Conservative party, alas — that, in the interests of saving the planet, each citizen should be permitted to fly a certain number of miles a year, after which he would be subject to punitive eco-surtaxes. Isn’t restricting freedom of movement kind of, you know . . . totalitarian?

Freedom is messy. In free societies, people will fall through the cracks — drink too much, eat too much, buy unaffordable homes, fail to make prudent provision for health care, and much else. But the price of being relieved of all those tiresome choices by a benign paternal government is far too high.

Government health care would be wrong even if it “controlled costs.” It’s a liberty issue. I’d rather be free to choose, even if I make the wrong choices.

Read the whole thing. People are rightfully (and increasingly) appalled at the astronomical, economy-busting costs and taxes and tangled bureaucracy this plan would entail, but they need to understand the core issue: surrendering control over one’s basic decisions regarding health, whether it be over medical procedures or lifestyle, fundamentally changes the nature of the relations between the government and the citizen. The latter goes from being the source of sovereignty from which government derives its powers to being no more than “the governed.”

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, he would be at once disgusted with the Democratic Party he helped found and affrighted by the willingness of so many to embrace what he would call “tyranny.”

LINKS: Fausta’s blog. Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard thinks the best way to stop this train wreck is to insist Congress require itself and all federal employees to take part. I agree.