An important lesson we can learn from Justice John Roberts’ opinion on Obamacare is to ignore the political talk and deal with the reality of the policies. In the case of Obamacare, all its supporters swore up and down that it was not a tax. They had promised not to raise taxes on the middle class, so Obamacare could not possibly be a tax. However, as Justice Roberts pointed out, no matter what it was called, it effectively was a tax. What they called it didn’t change the reality.
Politicians are very good at using language to trick us. However, it is our job as citizens to look beyond the words to the reality of their proposals and policies. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck, even if the politician calls it a gazelle.
As a rule of thumb, I generally assume that a law will have effects that are directly opposite to the law’s title. For example, the proposed “employee free choice act” would take away secret ballots from workers and thereby prevent them from having freedom of choice. The so-called “economic stimulus”, which was supposed to stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment, only served to stimulate businesses owned by Obama’s buddies, and, in the process, has further harmed the economy and increased unemployment. Thomas Sowell has a recent series of articles depicting ways in which politicians use words to deceive us, which I highly recommend.
I am very thankful that the government never saw fit to protect or rescue my Italian ancestors, since every time the government has set out to help or protect some group of people, it has ended up seriously harming them. Some Blacks and Hispanics are beginning to figure that out as they see the human wreckage that results from government “help” to their groups. What really should matter to people is the effect of the policy, not its name or the promises the politicians make on its behalf.
The evidence is clear. We need to ignore smooth talk and claims of good intentions and operate based on reality and on what really works.
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