Republicans in Congress and elsewhere have latched onto -- or desperately grasped -- the idea forwarded in the Supreme Court decision last week that the fee for those who refuse to purchase health insurance under the Obamacare bill can be considered "a tax."
Oh, my god: What next in the land of the free?
What this clearly illustrates, actually, is how perverted the national "debate" about taxes has become in the 236th year since the Declaration of Independence. It seems Republicans see a political advantage -- their only one on many issues since they are not offering realistic solutions to our mounting problems, and Democrats remain too gutless to admit that an urgently needed health care might actually cost money.
It could be the nation has lived with these spin routines for so long no one can recognize the idiocy of allowing the United States to become a second rate nation because we are too cheap -- or spineless in the case of Democrats -- to vote for the taxes necessary to pay for what a great nation requires.
This is true not only concerning our health care "system," in which some 50 million citizens lack health insurance and many more have inadequate coverage, but also when it comes to education (we are slipping like a stone in the world rankings); infrastructure (roads, bridge, airports; everyone understands what's been going on); environmental protection (how do you like that heat?); and business regulation (pick your poison, literally, or how big corporations will fleece you next) to name just a few areas where we have slip-slid away as a nation.
The overriding reason is that too many Americans have developed a petulant, childish response to taxes -- and to tax fairness for anyone outside their own immediate family. No one is willing to do anything for the good of the country, no matter how much money they already have, no matter how easy it would be for them -- as opposed to those fellow Americans struggling or treading water -- to pony up a realistic share of taxes.
Precise tax issues and policies should be open for debate, but the need for Americans to pay more to fund the great nation status we will be proclaiming once again this July 4 is indisputable.
Concerning health care, the truth is we absolutely have to deal with the 50 million who lack coverage, and this "tax" is by far the easiest and fairest way to help do that -- by requiring those who can afford insurance and refuse to purchase it to do so.
A real firecracker campaign issue for Republicans, that is. What else have they got? Taxation with representation?