Justice Scalia's Broccoli Woes

"Could you define the market -- everybody has to buy food sooner or later, so you define the market as food, therefore, everybody is in the market; therefore, you can make people buy broccoli," Scalia asked during the second day of oral arguments.

Scalia's witty argument attempts to draw an analogy between forcing people to buy broccoli and forcing people (and employers, etc.) to buy into government-regulated and mandated healthcare programs.

What do you think WSO? If the government is going to force us to have health insurance of some sort, they might as well go two steps ahead and get us all to eat healthy foods like broccoli, right?

Link to article

Comments (93)

Mar 27, 2012

I'm sure Scalia is more intelligent than this quote gives off. I'm a fucking teenager and I could make him look like a dipshit for asking the question.

Is the price of broccoli grossly inflated relative to other goods? If we go to the market to buy broccoli, can we see the price? Does everyone pay the same price, or do some people pay more for broccoli? Can I be prevented from buying broccoli by being unfairly priced out of the market due to a situation out of my control (I have three kids that REALLY like broccoli, for example)?

Scalia votes one way, and he'll do that in this case. He might as well be ignored altogether.

Mar 27, 2012
elephonky:

I'm sure Scalia is more intelligent than this quote gives off. I'm a fucking teenager and I could make him look like a dipshit for asking the question.

Is the price of broccoli grossly inflated relative to other goods? If we go to the market to buy broccoli, can we see the price? Does everyone pay the same price, or do some people pay more for broccoli? Can I be prevented from buying broccoli by being unfairly priced out of the market due to a situation out of my control (I have three kids that REALLY like broccoli, for example)?

Scalia votes one way, and he'll do that in this case. He might as well be ignored altogether.

Hey, this argument makes no sense and I have no clue where you are going with this.
/next

Mar 27, 2012
blastoise:
elephonky:

I'm sure Scalia is more intelligent than this quote gives off. I'm a fucking teenager and I could make him look like a dipshit for asking the question.

Is the price of broccoli grossly inflated relative to other goods? If we go to the market to buy broccoli, can we see the price? Does everyone pay the same price, or do some people pay more for broccoli? Can I be prevented from buying broccoli by being unfairly priced out of the market due to a situation out of my control (I have three kids that REALLY like broccoli, for example)?

Scalia votes one way, and he'll do that in this case. He might as well be ignored altogether.

Hey, this argument makes no sense and I have no clue where you are going with this.
/next

Scalia asks about broccoli, which bears little resemblance to health care. I pose questions in an attempt to make the broccoli market seem similar to health care, which fails miserably because broccoli is nothing like health care.

gstackle32:
elephonky:

I'm sure Scalia is more intelligent than this quote gives off. I'm a fucking teenager

stopped reading at this point.

Ah yes, I forgot, we have some Goldman Sachs people on the forum. I'll dumb down my language next time so you can understand.

Don't discredit my post because of my age, and I won't discredit your integrity and/or intelligence because you work for Goldman Sachs. Sound fair?

Mar 27, 2012
elephonky:

I'm sure Scalia is more intelligent than this quote gives off. I'm a fucking teenager

stopped reading at this point.

Apr 1, 2012
elephonky:

I'm sure Scalia is more intelligent than this quote gives off. I'm a fucking teenager and I could make him look like a dipshit for asking the question.

Is the price of broccoli grossly inflated relative to other goods? If we go to the market to buy broccoli, can we see the price? Does everyone pay the same price, or do some people pay more for broccoli? Can I be prevented from buying broccoli by being unfairly priced out of the market due to a situation out of my control (I have three kids that REALLY like broccoli, for example)?

Scalia votes one way, and he'll do that in this case. He might as well be ignored altogether.

Well, you're a fucking teenager and you still have a lot to learn. All of the hypothetical questions you ask have no relevance whatsoever. The aspects of the healthcare market that are unjust or different than the broccoli market (being unfairly priced out due to situations out of your control, etc.) have absolutely nothing to with the constitutional question at hand. You're creating a litany of issues that are "unfair" or unique about the healthcare market in general.The question at hand is whether the Commerce Clause: that Congress shall have the Power: "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes," allows the Congress to enact an insurance mandate. The broccoli argument stems from the fact that if the government can mandate that we buy a product that we all use (hey, everyone's gonna use health services), could they not regulate what we eat? (hey, everyone's gonna eat food). The arguments against this line of thinking address what supporters of the mandate see as the uniqueness of the healthcare market with respect to interstate commerce: if someone doesn't buy health insurance, others pay for the cost (hence, the affect on interstate commerce) whereas if one doesn't like broccoli and doesn't eat it, the costs don't get transferred to someone else by way of some broccoli center. All of your hypothetical questions don't address at all how the COMMERCE CLAUSE does or doesn't invalidate the broccoli argument.

Mar 27, 2012

Bro, requiring to purchase healthcare is clearly Constitutional under the commerce clause.

You are saying they don't have the right to require every one to buy it, you are out of touch with the constitution.

Also, I bet any one who tries to argue with moi will have to use personal opinion, if you do GL I'm bringing my A game to this discussion.

Come at me.

Mar 27, 2012
blastoise:

Bro, requiring to purchase healthcare is clearly Constitutional under the commerce clause.

You are saying they don't have the right to require every one to buy it, you are out of touch with the constitution.

Also, I bet any one who tries to argue with moi will have to use personal opinion, if you do GL I'm bringing my A game to this discussion.

Come at me.

You always comment on my threads, yet I never understand what you're saying... :(

Apr 1, 2012
blastoise:

Bro, requiring to purchase healthcare is clearly Constitutional under the commerce clause.

You are saying they don't have the right to require every one to buy it, you are out of touch with the constitution.

Also, I bet any one who tries to argue with moi will have to use personal opinion, if you do GL I'm bringing my A game to this discussion.

Come at me.

Oh, please. The Constitution does NOT authorize the government to mandate that you purchase a product. The Commerce Clause was essentially written to ensure that states didn't impose tariffs on each other. It simply reads "Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce... among the several states." Wickard v. Filburn was one of the worst supreme court decisions ever decided. Medicare, social security, etc., are all unconstitutional at their cores.

Apr 3, 2012
darknight12:
blastoise:

Bro, requiring to purchase healthcare is clearly Constitutional under the commerce clause.

You are saying they don't have the right to require every one to buy it, you are out of touch with the constitution.

Also, I bet any one who tries to argue with moi will have to use personal opinion, if you do GL I'm bringing my A game to this discussion.

Come at me.

Oh, please. The Constitution does NOT authorize the government to mandate that you purchase a product. The Commerce Clause was essentially written to ensure that states didn't impose tariffs on each other. It simply reads "Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce... among the several states." Wickard v. Filburn was one of the worst supreme court decisions ever decided. Medicare, social security, etc., are all unconstitutional at their cores.

Yes, but under the current law it IS constitutional. The government can require you to purchase what ever the **** they want, it's constitutional(can spin it as it affects commerce among populations of states)(this will prob lead to the mark of the beast mentioned in Revelations(lol j/p)).

BUTTTT who ever wrote this bill (lol staffers) really ****ed up, because it isn't written as a tax, but as a mandate(which clearly isn't a tax if you think it is your a moron IMO).

There is going to more important things that come out of this than is Obama Care constitutional or not as this bill brings up many other issues.

Mar 27, 2012

Its an idiotic argument from a dolt.

The government already imposes "health" penalties through taxes on alcohol, tobacco, etc.

Mar 27, 2012

Surprised he used Broccoli and not some sort of baked good for his example.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

    • 1
Mar 27, 2012

The government has every right to do this as long as they call it a tax, which is exactly what it is. Obama took the path of least resistance and called it a mandate or fine. It should and pray to god will get thrown out.

Government has no right to force someone to buy something from a private party. This is what the health mandate is.

Mar 27, 2012
ANT:

The government has every right to do this as long as they call it a tax, which is exactly what it is. Obama took the path of least resistance and called it a mandate or fine. It should and pray to god will get thrown out.

Government has no right to force someone to buy something from a private party. This is what the health mandate is.

Then your in favor of a public insurance system?

Mar 28, 2012
ANT:

The government has every right to do this as long as they call it a tax, which is exactly what it is. Obama took the path of least resistance and called it a mandate or fine. It should and pray to god will get thrown out.

Government has no right to force someone to buy something from a private party. This is what the health mandate is.

HAHAHA is it really not labeled as a tax ?!?! LOL oh shit that would be funny that is a game changer, unless you are lying

Mar 27, 2012

Me, personally, I am in favor of doing everything else to try and reduce costs and allow people to self insure. We will always have people with health issues that need government health insurance (aka subsidized help).

Listen, I have a sister with heart issues so I know full well what happens with illness and insurance. I have zero issue paying taxes to support people with cancer, life long illnesses, etc. Private business, with the profit motive, is not going to insure people like this.

With that said, we don't need government taking over things for the vast majority of people. This is about control and power, nothing else. There are countless ways that lower costs for people without insurance. What Obama has proposed is not the answer.

Forget insurance. The fact that we are now ok with the government forcing people to buy something from a private company is unfounded. People need to think long term with this. What is next once this precedence is established. I realize people in other countries see no issue with this, but this is America and this is a bold move. Obama could have called this a tax and there would have been no interstate commerce issue. If the SCOTUS approves of this they will be setting a dangerous precedence when it comes to what the Fed govt can force private citizens to purchase.

Mar 28, 2012
ANT:

Me, personally, I am in favor of doing everything else to try and reduce costs and allow people to self insure. We will always have people with health issues that need government health insurance (aka subsidized help).

Listen, I have a sister with heart issues so I know full well what happens with illness and insurance. I have zero issue paying taxes to support people with cancer, life long illnesses, etc. Private business, with the profit motive, is not going to insure people like this.

With that said, we don't need government taking over things for the vast majority of people. This is about control and power, nothing else. There are countless ways that lower costs for people without insurance. What Obama has proposed is not the answer.

Forget insurance. The fact that we are now ok with the government forcing people to buy something from a private company is unfounded. People need to think long term with this. What is next once this precedence is established. I realize people in other countries see no issue with this, but this is America and this is a bold move. Obama could have called this a tax and there would have been no interstate commerce issue. If the SCOTUS approves of this they will be setting a dangerous precedence when it comes to what the Fed govt can force private citizens to purchase.

You would agree then, in order to reduce the cost for some, all must pay some minimum through whatever mechanism you wish.

Agreed, governments shouldn't mandate a purchase from a private company. However, that would mean a public insurance system which would effectively cause most Americans to question themselves. After all, what's more quintessentially American than the ability to separate the wheat from the chafe, and make a profit doing it.

Mar 28, 2012
ANT:

Me, personally, I am in favor of doing everything else to try and reduce costs and allow people to self insure. We will always have people with health issues that need government health insurance (aka subsidized help).

Listen, I have a sister with heart issues so I know full well what happens with illness and insurance. I have zero issue paying taxes to support people with cancer, life long illnesses, etc. Private business, with the profit motive, is not going to insure people like this.

With that said, we don't need government taking over things for the vast majority of people. This is about control and power, nothing else. There are countless ways that lower costs for people without insurance. What Obama has proposed is not the answer.

Do you really believe it's about control and power? What kind of control or power is the government gaining through this mandate? The power to make citizens be responsible and buy some fucking health insurance?

As far as I understand, when they originally set out to do health care they wanted to equalize costs for medical procedures across the board. This was cut later on in favor of the individual mandate, as the first idea didn't have a shot at passing in the House.

ANT:

Forget insurance. The fact that we are now ok with the government forcing people to buy something from a private company is unfounded. People need to think long term with this. What is next once this precedence is established. I realize people in other countries see no issue with this, but this is America and this is a bold move. Obama could have called this a tax and there would have been no interstate commerce issue. If the SCOTUS approves of this they will be setting a dangerous precedence when it comes to what the Fed govt can force private citizens to purchase.

Would you have preferred it being called a tax? The commerce clause has always been sketchy in its use, so that's nothing new.

Mar 28, 2012

I guess when we buy insurance it comes in the form of a head of broc. No? Seriously how this idiot is allowed to open his mouth on the SC is beyond me. He has a history of making arguments that bear little correlation to the question at hand.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Mar 28, 2012

1) It should be called a tax because that is what it is. Instead Obama has tried calling it a mandate which is very different than a tax. All because he wanted to be cute with things.

2) Of course this is about control. Once you allow the government to force you to buy something "for your own good" you allow them to force you to do other things. Government is always about control.

Mar 28, 2012
ANT:

1) It should be called a tax because that is what it is. Instead Obama has tried calling it a mandate which is very different than a tax. All because he wanted to be cute with things.

2) Of course this is about control. Once you allow the government to force you to buy something "for your own good" you allow them to force you to do other things. Government is always about control.

By that rationale I should get a massive tax rebate because I don't use the police, fire department, FBI, CIA and well most everything else.

Mar 29, 2012
ANT:

1) It should be called a tax because that is what it is. Instead Obama has tried calling it a mandate which is very different than a tax. All because he wanted to be cute with things.

2) Of course this is about control. Once you allow the government to force you to buy something "for your own good" you allow them to force you to do other things. Government is always about control.

The Gov't can force you to work for the army, thats why we have to sign up for the draft. Today we had this discussion in my economics class and my economic professor said, that the mandate actually makes insurance cheaper. He also said their is this economist who won the nobel peace prize, on why universal healthcare is actually cheaper, forgot the guys name.

Anyways Scalia said that the penalty you have to pay for not buying the insurance is violation of the 8th amendment and its an unusual punishment...

Anthony Kennedy is going be the swing vote for this.

Mar 28, 2012

Where was I talking about a tax rebate? We all use those services, we just cannot see them. Additionally, they fall under the umbrella of national defense, something the Federal government was created to do.

Mar 28, 2012
ANT:

Where was I talking about a tax rebate? We all use those services, we just cannot see them. Additionally, they fall under the umbrella of national defense, something the Federal government was created to do.

Well, those who aren't sick don't see the benefit in insurance either.

I seriously doubt the federal government was created to have anything remotely like the CIA or operations in Afghanistan. However, if I follow your logic, then any process or service that was adopted post-creation of the federal government is wrong and an unwarranted threat to the public. Is that correct?

Mar 28, 2012
ANT:

Where was I talking about a tax rebate? We all use those services, we just cannot see them. Additionally, they fall under the umbrella of national defense, something the Federal government was created to do.

And why can't I get a rebate? If I don't use insurance or the fire department why do I have to pay for them?

Mar 28, 2012

You doubt that a basic tenant to government is to gather, analyze and act on intelligence about other countries? The fuck?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Mar 28, 2012
happypantsmcgee:

You doubt that a basic tenant to government is to gather, analyze and act on intelligence about other countries? The fuck?

Sure. Switzerland seems to have run fine for quite a long time.

Just to be clear, your saying the federal government has the obligation to spy, interfere and in some cases invade other countries, but it doesn't have the same obligation to provide basic health insurance or care for its citizens?

Mar 28, 2012

You brought up Switzerland and implied that they didn't engage in gathering and analyzing intelligence from other countries. My point stands.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Mar 28, 2012

National defense and its extension is why the we have a Federal Government. As for the fire dept argument, most are paid for by local taxes and fees. Not Fed money.

I fail to see how these off topic questions or arguments support the Federal government forcing private citizens to purchase something from a private company.

Mar 28, 2012
ANT:

National defense and its extension is why the we have a Federal Government. As for the fire dept argument, most are paid for by local taxes and fees. Not Fed money.

I fail to see how these off topic questions or arguments support the Federal government forcing private citizens to purchase something from a private company.

So if local taxes were diverted to the federal government it would be ok? My point about the fire department is that it is a public good and you and everyone else who pays taxes subsidize those who don't or can't afford to. This is much the same line of reasoning with health insurance. And if you argue public vs private, I would point out that many police units use private companies on a consistent basis. And really what is the difference between a public force and a private one?

If your concern is that you are forced to pay any insurer you choose, well you can thank your own party for that. I'm sure Obama would have been much happier with a federal insurance system which would have in effect driven down profits at private insurers.

My point was that you are forced to buy things on a consistent basis by the powers that be, though the mechanisms may be different.

On the broader topic, I do find it funny that people debate this in the U.S. as if the vast majority of persons have experience with public health insurance. Ever since leaving the U.S. ten years ago I have yet to live in a country that doesn't have some form of public health insurance (including Hong Kong).

Mar 28, 2012

ANT, just out of curiosity, what is your opinion on car insurance requirements?

Mar 28, 2012

Perfectly fine. I am selling my car now and telling the insurance company to F off. I made the decision not to drive anymore. It is also not a Federal regulation.

I can drive on my private property without insurance. I can buy, own and sell cars without insurance, I can also choose to drive without insurance and risk the fine/arrest. Insurance is not automatically taken from my taxes and I am not forced to do anything.

Mar 28, 2012
ANT:

Perfectly fine. I am selling my car now and telling the insurance company to F off. I made the decision not to drive anymore. It is also not a Federal regulation.

I can drive on my private property without insurance. I can buy, own and sell cars without insurance, I can also choose to drive without insurance and risk the fine/arrest. Insurance is not automatically taken from my taxes and I am not forced to do anything.

So is there no similarity between forcing people to pay for car insurance and forcing them to pay for health insurance (even if one is state-mandated, albeit by all of them, and one is federally mandated)? Both are private markets. But there is a case to be made that both serve the public good despite costing everyone more money.

The main difference is that you can choose to have or not have a car and thus have or not have insurance. When you don't have a car, the lack of insurance is not an issue because you won't be getting into any vehicle accidents that require insurance to cover. You can't, however, choose to have or not have a body that may require health services at some point. Since insurance is all but required for "accidents" (emergency room visits, etc.), why isn't it mandated (like car insurance) so long as you have a functioning body that may require health services (and thus insurance)?

For the record, I'd rather eliminate the health insurance game and lower medical costs across the board. But that won't be happening any time soon.

Mar 28, 2012
elephonky:
ANT:

Perfectly fine. I am selling my car now and telling the insurance company to F off. I made the decision not to drive anymore. It is also not a Federal regulation.

I can drive on my private property without insurance. I can buy, own and sell cars without insurance, I can also choose to drive without insurance and risk the fine/arrest. Insurance is not automatically taken from my taxes and I am not forced to do anything.

So is there no similarity between forcing people to pay for car insurance and forcing them to pay for health insurance (even if one is state-mandated, albeit by all of them, and one is federally mandated)? Both are private markets. But there is a case to be made that both serve the public good despite costing everyone more money.

The main difference is that you can choose to have or not have a car and thus have or not have insurance. When you don't have a car, the lack of insurance is not an issue because you won't be getting into any vehicle accidents that require insurance to cover. You can't, however, choose to have or not have a body that may require health services at some point. Since insurance is all but required for "accidents" (emergency room visits, etc.), why isn't it mandated (like car insurance) so long as you have a functioning body that may require health services (and thus insurance)?

For the record, I'd rather eliminate the health insurance game and lower medical costs across the board. But that won't be happening any time soon.

YOu need to learn the difference between state and federal powers as outlined in teh Constitution before commenting. Not being a dick, but there is a giant difference between the two scenarios you gave.

Mar 28, 2012

Eleph that is your argument? Seriously because I am alive the government can force me to buy insurance? What kind of fucking clown are you? Why dont we just declare ourselves to be commies? The fuck is wrong with people today.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Mar 29, 2012
heister:

Eleph that is your argument? Seriously because I am alive the government can force me to buy insurance? What kind of fucking clown are you? Why dont we just declare ourselves to be commies? The fuck is wrong with people today.

If it's so clownish, prove me wrong by saying something other than "wow you're a fucking idiot, you think the government can force me to do anything?!". I outlined why I believe the existence of state-mandated auto insurance makes a good case for why health insurance can be state-mandated as well. The use of the Commerce Clause moves the power from the state to federal government (which is what the current debate is over).

The fuck is wrong with people today? Well, for starters, they don't know how to make a coherent argument (see your post). Secondly, there's little respect for anyone's opinion but one's own (see your post, and also the current U.S. Congress). Lastly, America is full of dumb, lazy snobs that we call children (see any American public school).

Maybe communism would be a nice change...

Mar 28, 2012

I'm not going to get into the whole argument section, but I will say this about Scalia - the man is brilliant. I completely appreciate his comment. Even the limited context of the analogy looks like it's Vintage Scalia. And if anyone really challenges the man's brilliance, I go ahead and read his Supreme Court opinions, especially his dissents. The man is brilliant... just saying.

Mar 28, 2012

Not this country. Maybe Europe, but this crap is going to be voted down with extreme prejudice.

Mar 28, 2012
ANT:

Not this country. Maybe Europe, but this crap is going to be voted down with extreme prejudice.

That's your argument?

Mar 28, 2012

I'm pretty tired of this Europe > US when they live under the very blanket of safety that we provide. I studied Econ in Austria for a year and one of my professors said the following: 'the Austrian air force has 7 planes and 3 are broken without plans to be repaired. Do you know why? Because if anything happened to us the United States would be here before we could pick up the phone. We don't spend on defense because we don't need to.'

Oh, and if you think Switzerland doesn't have, and use, CIA type organizations, I have a bridge to sell you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_intelligence_ag...

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Mar 28, 2012
happypantsmcgee:

I'm pretty tired of this Europe > US when they live under the very blanket of safety that we provide. I studied Econ in Austria for a year and one of my professors said the following: 'the Austrian air force has 7 planes and 3 are broken without plans to be repaired. Do you know why? Because if anything happened to us the United States would be here before we could pick up the phone. We don't spend on defense because we don't need to.'

Oh, and if you think Switzerland doesn't have, and use, CIA type organizations, I have a bridge to sell you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_intelligence_ag...

What's your point? That free riders exist both in defence and health care? How is this related to the original health insurance thread?

And you want to compare the US defence complex with that of Switzerland?

Mar 28, 2012

It looks like this will be voted down 5-4. Enough argument in my book. Either way who cares. People piss and moan about everything the govt does and then in the same breath ask for more government help. I'll simple pay the fine if I ever need to and then when I need insurance I'll just get on the plan and get every unnecessary test .

Mar 28, 2012

The US can't balance a budget or run social security properly, but hey, let's greatly expand their powers because this time, I promise, they will do what is right. Surrreeeeee.

Mar 28, 2012
ANT:

The US can't balance a budget or run social security properly, but hey, let's greatly expand their powers because this time, I promise, they will do what is right. Surrreeeeee.

Therefore the military is run poorly, so is the IRS and every other government body?

And to be fair, the SEC sucks balls because it doesn't have the budget to compete with the private sector.

Mar 28, 2012

The military is run well, just wastes money. And yeah, IRS is dick also. So is the DMV, dept of veteran affairs, on and on. There is no one to answer to, no profit motive, no drive towards efficiency.

Mar 28, 2012
ANT:

The military is run well, just wastes money. And yeah, IRS is dick also. So is the DMV, dept of veteran affairs, on and on. There is no one to answer to, no profit motive, no drive towards efficiency.

That first sentence is a complete oxymoron.

Mar 28, 2012
TheMasao:
ANT:

The military is run well, just wastes money. And yeah, IRS is dick also. So is the DMV, dept of veteran affairs, on and on. There is no one to answer to, no profit motive, no drive towards efficiency.

That first sentence is a complete oxymoron.

No, being well run in and wasting money when it comes to the military are completely different. The US has the best run military in the world. They also are awash in money and have some pork barrel budget issues.

Mar 28, 2012

Why is the VA poorly run? That just seems hyperbolic.

Mar 28, 2012

Are you kidding? The VA is always in the news for shitty service or poor healthcare to veterans.

Mar 28, 2012
ANT:

Are you kidding? The VA is always in the news for shitty service or poor healthcare to veterans.

And private companies don't fuck up either?

Mar 28, 2012

Which brings us to a larger philosophical question. Why spend so much money on a military when a country's own citizens need the money or assistance?

Apr 1, 2012
TheMasao:

Which brings us to a larger philosophical question. Why spend so much money on a military when a country's own citizens need the money or assistance?

What gives the government the right to spend money on personal assistance in the first place? The reason we spend so much money on the military is because it is constitutionally one of the few activities our federal union is supposed to be engaged in. Now you can absolutely make the argument that our war spending is through the roof (I for one am a strict non-interventionist). But spending on defense like missile defense systems is crucial to our nation's security.

Mar 28, 2012

I am saying that operationally, the military is one of, if not the best, in the world. When it comes to projects or new builds, they get very porky.

Not sure how this is really controversial. Most people complain about project overruns like the Osprey, but now too many people really say the US military sucks and cannot accomplish their objectives.

Mar 29, 2012
ANT:

Most people complain about project overruns like the Osprey, but now too many people really say the US military sucks and cannot accomplish their objectives.

I assume you mean "not" too many people...and I should hope that this is a true statement considering our defense budget is greater than the next ten highest spending nations on the list combined.

Mar 29, 2012
Vontropnats:
ANT:

Most people complain about project overruns like the Osprey, but now too many people really say the US military sucks and cannot accomplish their objectives.

I assume you mean "not" too many people...and I should hope that this is a true statement considering our defense budget is greater than the next ten highest spending nations on the list combined.

Is anyone really "accomplishing their objectives/goals" if they waste money in the process? That's like saying a USD 2'000 paperweight is equivalent to a rock. I guess both accomplish the task, but I would have serious misgivings with the person who choses the former rather than the later.

Mar 29, 2012
Vontropnats:
ANT:

Most people complain about project overruns like the Osprey, but now too many people really say the US military sucks and cannot accomplish their objectives.

I assume you mean "not" too many people...and I should hope that this is a true statement considering our defense budget is greater than the next ten highest spending nations on the list combined.

Yeah, this is an appropriate comparison.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_...
As a percent of GDP, the US is close to Russia and probably on par with China (Chinese military spending is hard to quantify, but surly is more than the reported 2%).

Military spending is approx. 20-25% of the Federal budget. ~4.5% of GDP. Not a huge amount at all. Clearly can be pared down, but this idea that we should sacrifice military for social programs is comical. A strong military is essential.

Mar 29, 2012

The issue with military spending is that so much of it goes towards cold war style systems. I was extraordinarily pleased (and surprised) when the F-22 was killed off. It's a relic of a world long gone. We've got plenty of updated F-18s and the F-35 is on the way, not to mention our incredible UAV technology that is going to make the majority of manned aircraft obsolete.

And, btw, the cost of a Predator drone pales in comparison to that of a manned aircraft and it can be controlled by a few dudes out of a base in Arizona.

So, whether its 5% of GDP or whatever, the focus should be on what our military is procuring and why, with the cost being a secondary concern. As the military continues to modernize for 21st century warfare, we ought to see spending come down.

Mar 29, 2012

Ok, cool, whatever. No sense arguing the point because you see budgeting for a F22 as the same as executing a military battle.

If military spending is decreased the tax money should go back to the people who pay taxes. I am sick of hearing "if we cut military spending we could use that money on something else". No, you can give it back to the people it was taken from. There is no need for a nanny state.

Taxes are not property of the government. They are given by the people for a specific job.

FYI - You don't stay the worlds sole superpower forever. You need to constantly spend and develop.

Mar 29, 2012
ANT:

Ok, cool, whatever. No sense arguing the point because you see budgeting for a F22 as the same as executing a military battle.

uhh.. WTF?

ANT:

If military spending is decreased the tax money should go back to the people who pay taxes. I am sick of hearing "if we cut military spending we could use that money on something else". No, you can give it back to the people it was taken from. There is no need for a nanny state.

Taxes are not property of the government. They are given by the people for a specific job.

FYI - You don't stay the worlds sole superpower forever. You need to constantly spend and develop.

Ahh yes, the Nanny state. So now we are at the crux of the issue. You just don't want your tax money going to insure someone you find as less than yourself.

Mar 29, 2012
ANT:

FYI - You don't stay the worlds sole superpower forever. You need to constantly spend and develop.

In an era of liberal democracies dominating the international sphere, I have to wholeheartedly disagree. Sure, there are rogue states that pose some entirely minute threat to the United States, but the only rising power that has any legitimacy is China, and to be frank, that place is full of technocratic pragmatists and the likelihood of any sort of altercation between the two powers is as farfetched as a hot war was with the USSR back in the day.

Also, just in absolute terms, we are so far ahead in terms of military technology that we can afford to sit back for a little while. As much as neocons shun this fact, the world is full of rational actors who already know better than to subvert the USA in any tangible way when it comes to military reach.

Mar 29, 2012
Vontropnats:
ANT:

FYI - You don't stay the worlds sole superpower forever. You need to constantly spend and develop.

In an era of liberal democracies dominating the international sphere, I have to wholeheartedly disagree. Sure, there are rogue states that pose some entirely minute threat to the United States, but the only rising power that has any legitimacy is China, and to be frank, that place is full of technocratic pragmatists and the likelihood of any sort of altercation between the two powers is as farfetched as a hot war was with the USSR back in the day.

Also, just in absolute terms, we are so far ahead in terms of military technology that we can afford to sit back for a little while. As much as neocons shun this fact, the world is full of rational actors who already know better than to subvert the USA in any tangible way when it comes to military reach.

Here here, China has its own domestic issues that far supersede any imagined threat with the US.

Mar 29, 2012

You are equating project budgeting to the military being able to effectively fight a war. I am saying that US training and ground operations are separate from the R&D aspect.

The US has some of the best trained, most competent soldiers in the world. Very different from cost over runs in developing a plane or weapons system.

And no, my tax money is mine, given to the government for national defense, foreign affairs, post office, etc. Specific duties afforded to a Federal government, that the states cannot do on their own. I do not impose my beliefs on others and do not want them to impose theirs on mine.

If I had my way I would cut almost all social spending and divert it towards animal abuse or nature preserves. I would like to see US military forces deployed in Africa to protect endangered animals. How would you like MY beliefs imposed on you, using your taxes to execute on them? It is not the job of the Federal government to do this and they should not do it.

Provide a safety net and then let nature sort out the rest.

Mar 29, 2012
ANT:

You are equating project budgeting to the military being able to effectively fight a war. I am saying that US training and ground operations are separate from the R&D aspect.

The US has some of the best trained, most competent soldiers in the world. Very different from cost over runs in developing a plane or weapons system.

Actually I was referring to operations, I did not work in the R&D field. And if you don't think cost effectiveness is key to winning, you clearly haven't read up on how WWII was won and would have no idea who the Whiz Kids were.

ANT:

And no, my tax money is mine, given to the government for national defense, foreign affairs, post office, etc. Specific duties afforded to a Federal government, that the states cannot do on their own. I do not impose my beliefs on others and do not want them to impose theirs on mine.

That's convenient. So then, if you, individually, disagree with a policy you shouldn't have to pay for it.

ANT:

If I had my way I would cut almost all social spending and divert it towards animal abuse or nature preserves. I would like to see US military forces deployed in Africa to protect endangered animals. How would you like MY beliefs imposed on you, using your taxes to execute on them? It is not the job of the Federal government to do this and they should not do it.

Provide a safety net and then let nature sort out the rest.

What is a safety net then?

Mar 29, 2012

Ha, the one thing ANT and I definitely agree upon is a love for animals.

Animals > people

Mar 29, 2012

Oooohhhh. You love animals also ??

Mar 29, 2012
ANT:

Oooohhhh. You love animals also ??

Big time. Unlike people, an animal will never disappoint you.

Mar 29, 2012
TheKing:
ANT:

Oooohhhh. You love animals also ??

Big time. Unlike people, an animal will never disappoint you.

You talking Dog/Cat or you into other animals? I am an EPIC large cat fan. And African animals also. And Elephants.

Mar 29, 2012

So you are saying the US Military is operationally inefficient?

No, not because I disagree with something, but it is not the job of the Federal Government to do this. It is a limited and restricted government. Someone wanting social programs is just as wrong as me wanting Rhino's protected by Delta Force. My point is MY individual value system has no business in the government, just as someone who wants to reduce the military and roll out social programs galore.

And please, we have a great net. Welfare, Food stamps, Heating assistance, Housing assistance, Free K-12, low income grants for college, on and on and on and on. We just are not as lush as Europe (thank God).

And when these "wonderful" programs bankrupt a country, will we be able to roll them back? No, of course not. The government will come, hat in hand, and demand more from the producers, or else the users will revolt.

Once given, impossible to take back.

Mar 29, 2012

Dogs / Cats mostly, but I have a soft spot for animals in general.

Mar 29, 2012

Ooohhh, I want to get a Corgi myself. Not home enough though. Eventually though.

Mar 29, 2012

You are misconstruing the nature of car insurance. If you don't have a car, you don't have to buy car insurance. You can ride a bike or walk and not purchase insurance. This is also why the states can require you to have a driver's license, if you want to drive. But, if you don't want to drive, you don't have to get one. Because the states have plenary powers, they can enact more intrusive measure- the flip-side is that you have more influence over your state government and thus can have more input into the laws it enacts. The Federal Government does not have plenary power; it has enumerated powers. Ergo, if the power does not directly exist, or allows the Federal Government to effect an enumerated power, the Federal Government CANNOT do it.

The Obama Administration is saying that everyone will be involved in healthcare because they are alive. And that they are regulating insurance, which you could buy, which is interstate commerce (the irony being that it is illegal to buy health insurance over state lines because of anti-competition laws enacted by the states). This case is an extension of the overreach established in Wickard v. Filburn (1942) of the government saying- "Even though you are not involved in commerce, you could be. And you lack of participation 'substantially affects' commerce, therefore we can tell you to proactively do, or refrain from, an certain economic activity." The Supreme Court bought that argument in 1942.

And, yes, although philosophically I would oppose it, it is entirely within a state's legal authority to mandate health insurance coverage- this is a plenary power.

Mar 30, 2012

The problem with the mandate is that it is illegal, the problem with a tax is that you are essentially going to be signing your political death sentence. Obama played with matches and burnt his political house down. Those who say the federal government has the right to enact legislation that forces someone to engage in interstate commerece do not understand the limitations of the interstate commerece clause. The clause was designed to settle commerce disputes across state lines. As was mentioned earlier the use of the commerce clause as justification is totally null and void since insurance is not a fully interstate commerce game. Large multi state companies can provide over state line coverage based in an operational division state however they can not shop a non operations state for a better rate. This is what the interstate commerce clause is about.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Apr 1, 2012
heister:

The problem with the mandate is that it is illegal, the problem with a tax is that you are essentially going to be signing your political death sentence. Obama played with matches and burnt his political house down. Those who say the federal government has the right to enact legislation that forces someone to engage in interstate commerece do not understand the limitations of the interstate commerece clause. The clause was designed to settle commerce disputes across state lines. As was mentioned earlier the use of the commerce clause as justification is totally null and void since insurance is not a fully interstate commerce game. Large multi state companies can provide over state line coverage based in an operational division state however they can not shop a non operations state for a better rate. This is what the interstate commerce clause is about.

100% correct on the purpose of the interstate commerce clause. Just because something happens to occur in several states does not make it subject to what the framers designed as the Commerce Clause. The CC was meant to take the power away from states enacting damaging commercial policies with respect to other states, that's it.

Mar 31, 2012

I have a hard time with the claim that the military is run well...the US accounts for fully 50% of the World's military spending and we currently are having trouble defeating a loose collection of third world tribes in afghjanistan. very efficient.

Mar 31, 2012

We choose to lose in Afghanistan. The USA is the biggest pussy invader the world has ever scene. If we rolled into a country and acted like the USSR did we'd be perfectly fine. We could have repaid our entire deficit with Iraqi oil if we wanted to.

The US war machine is unrivaled. Maybe one of the best historically.

Mar 31, 2012
ANT:

We choose to lose in Afghanistan. The USA is the biggest pussy invader the world has ever scene. If we rolled into a country and acted like the USSR did we'd be perfectly fine. We could have repaid our entire deficit with Iraqi oil if we wanted to.

The US war machine is unrivaled. Maybe one of the best historically.

Like the USSR? U do know that they also lost a war in afghanistan right?

Apr 1, 2012
Bondarb:
ANT:

We choose to lose in Afghanistan. The USA is the biggest pussy invader the world has ever scene. If we rolled into a country and acted like the USSR did we'd be perfectly fine. We could have repaid our entire deficit with Iraqi oil if we wanted to.

The US war machine is unrivaled. Maybe one of the best historically.

Like the USSR? U do know that they also lost a war in afghanistan right?

Omg, for real??? Maybe they lost because the US was helping the Taliban. Wow, thanks for playing hahaha

Mar 31, 2012
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If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

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