I remember when we moved back stateside back in early 2009, and I learned about TARP. I realized that my country had passed a very important milestone, without me even knowing. (Yes, yes, I didn’t follow politics during our overseas duty station. I was a very bad citizen. In my defense, I still voted in federal elections. Our military absentee ballots didn’t show up until three weeks before the 2008 election, and who knows whether my “R” vote arrived in time.)
Back in the USSA (post-Obama-ascendency), I realized that most people still hadn’t noticed this important milestone: an American foray into the nationalization of industry and finance.
Nationalization! Even if partial, it was still an important step toward socialism. Socialism! My public school education may have been substandard, but it was not yet completely propagandized. So I knew how closely related Socialism is to Communism.
We hit another big milestone, didn’t we, when the Wealth-Spreader-in-Chief got re-elected in 2012?
Well it’s been over a year since that time, and we’ve hit another major milestone.
Do you know what it is?
There’s a lot of news to choose from.
Most of it bad.
But this one is particularly important. Yes, it’s also bad:
Obama has once again unilaterally and unlawfully delayed Obamacare’s mandate, regarding the requirement that businesses employing 50 to 100 employees offer “affordable healthcare coverage” or face a tax.
What’s that you say? These unlawful delays have been going on for a while now? This latest one can’t be more important than the rest?
The latest delay comes with some wicked regulatory finesse. The IRS says that if your business wants to decrease its size and then apply for this unlawful waiver, then it has to swear allegiance to the regime:
“Company officials will be trapped in a catch-22. They can lay off as many people as they want because of Obamacare. But because they’ll have to swear to the IRS that their decisions had nothing to do with Obamacare, they can’t speak publicly about what’s happening. What a great way to silence the people who are on the front lines of dealing with Obamacare’s horrific effects.”
Let Soopermexican explain further:
“what the Republicans said would happen under the simplest, most easily understandable laws of free market economics is so likely to happen that the administration has to threaten businesses to shut up about it, or face the wrath of the highly partisan IRS.”
Yes, the Republicans said businesses would lay off employees in order to avoid the punitive taxation of Obamacare. And yes, the Democrats were dishonest enough to disagree.
I have paid close attention to politics ever since 2009. Yet, somehow, I didn’t see this latest milestone coming. I didn’t imagine the point at which Federal Government feels comfortable dictating to Small Business which business decisions Are Not Appropriate.
Notice, it’s not a question of which business decisions Are Not Legal.
Illegality would not be a milestone. Telling business, and even individuals, what actions are and are not legal is a long-standing and perfectly appropriate role of government–even in the opinion of “crazy” large “L” Libertarians. It’s something we Tea Party Extremists like to call The Rule of Law.
The Obama Administration is dictating to private business what “should not be done” even though it is perfectly legal.
Let Judge Learned Hand explain:
“a transaction, otherwise within an exception of the tax law, does not lose its immunity, because it is actuated by a desire to avoid, or if one chose, to evade, taxation. Anyone may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose the pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.”
Oh, but Learned Hand’s reasoning means little to our Constitutional-Scholar-in-Chief, I reckon. Other than an obstacle to work around.
Guys, this is a gigantic milestone. It is also a milestone which is likely to go largely unnoticed. Sure, business-minded citizens are quick to notice the insanity. This National Review commenter puts it better than I ever could:
“So, you need an additional line worker. You intend to pay that person $15/hr ($30k per year). You expect that person to generate incremental production worth $60k per year. So, under a rational analysis, you hire that person and increase your profit.
But under this law, hiring that person would result in a sharp loss. Instead of adding $30k to the bottom line, you would lose $180,000 ($30k in added profits minus $210k in new fines). So hiring that person goes from being a smart business decision to being completely ridiculous. No sane person would do it.
So you don’t make the hire. And the act of not hiring that person becomes criminal unless you swear to the IRS that the draconian fine you avoided had nothing to do with your decision….which is to say you have to swear to the IRS that O’Brien is holding up five fingers when plainly the correct answer is four.”
Sure, the usual suspects will squawk. But will that mean any more than the squawking after Fast and Furious? Benghazi? After IRS corruption was revealed?
I noticed in my research: the prominent MSM article about this latest Obamacare tweak didn’t even mention the IRS certification requirement. A professional article about this latest Obamacare tweak did mention it, but in as milk toast a manner as possible:
“Those that claim the exemption for 2015 will need to certify under penalty of perjury that they did not reduce their workforce to fewer than 100 employees in order to qualify.”
No mention about how this strong-arming is illegal. Unlawful. Dictatorial. Totalitarian.
No. It’s all normal. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Okay. The truth is, that is exactly what I will do: move along. Isn’t that what most of us do, every time a new constitutional violation is introduced into our lifestyle?
As I move along, however, I remember something I learned from Sitting On The Edge Of The Sandbox. I cannot find the specific post (maybe you can help me with that, Missy). But I remember how, in her parents’ experience in the USSR, work was not just a right but an obligation. The right to a job meant that you were legally required to work.
And I wonder. If under Obamacare, a business does not have the right to fire you unless approved by the IRS, does an employee have the right to quit? Logically, there is no difference between the employer who wants to decrease the number of employees for tax reasons, and the employee that wants to quit working for tax reasons.
I wonder further, how did the USSR treat this problem when businesses wanted to lay off employees in order to maximize profit?
Derp. A quick Google search reminds me that businesses were not in charge in the USSR. Decreased profit was not a concern, because all businesses had been completely nationalized.
How diabolically clever our modern statists have become.
In the earlier stages of the Communist Revolution, Communists thought that the workers would simply fall in line with their view of Utopia, once the Capitalist Pigs were dethroned. It turned out, of course, that reality did not fall in line with their view of Utopia. It turned out, the right to a job turned into the creation of the “letun,” “rvach,” “bezdel’nik,” “lentyaj,” “lodyr,” and “progul’shchik.” Those are all terms for folks who could work but chose to be lazy instead.
By 1940, Stalin imposed criminal penalties for workers quitting their job.
Wouldn’t be a winning platform for the Democrats in this day and age, would it?
That’s why they are now so clever. The Left has learned that nothing is to be gained by taking over the means of production, and then cracking the whip on the workers who don’t comply with the latest production plan.
How much better, to let those Dirty Capitalists retain ownership in name only, while forcing them to do the dirty work of The State.
How much better, to let those workers be as lazy as they wish, and proclaim such behavior to be a virtue.
We are well and truly doomed.