Fixing a Few Memes

I came across some memes and other images in the past day or so that looked like they needed some fixing. I just thought I’d share.

First, we have a meme from a Facebook page called “The Advocates for Self-Government” (h/t Jason):

"Up until 1913 Americans kept all of their earnings. Despite this, America still had schools, roads, colleges, vast railroads, subways, and an army & navy. Tell me again why people need to be extorted?"

It shows a scene from a New York City street, circa 1913*. The text offers a pretty standard revisionist history of the United States prior to the Sixteenth Amendment, suggesting that the U.S. was doing just fine without federal income tax. Then, of course, it throws in the “taxation = theft” bit, which I’m not even going to bother refuting here because the people who make that argument are incapable of feeling intellectual shame. Continue reading


Corporations Can Be Loyal Americans, One Hopes

If corporations really want to be treated as “people” under the law, they need to be prepared to accept that their actions have consequences that will result in criticism generally reserved for individuals—such as the idea that renouncing one’s U.S. citizenship in order to have a lower tax bill may be credibly described as “unpatriotic,” and is pretty much by definition “un-American.” I say “by definition” because renouncing one’s citizenship means not being “American” anymore, and I’m not sure how one gets more “un-American” than that.

Questions of patriotism were probably not the decisive factor behind Walgreens’ reversal on its plan to become a Swiss company instead of an American one. I suspect that the massive outcry against the plan made them realize that the extra billions in tax savings wasn’t worth the long-term damage to their brand. Concepts like “long-term” don’t seem to factor into the thoughts of many American capitalists, at least if the hyperbolic reaction of one Fox Business analyst is to be believed: Continue reading


My First Thoughts on the Supreme Court’s Health Care Decision

Last week, House Majority Leader John Boehner issued a plea to Republicans et al not to “spike the ball” should the Court strike down the law. It was a magnanimous, if futile gesture. Rush Limbaugh, never letting an opportunity to issue jowly gloats slide, admonished his followers to keep doing what they do best (i.e. commit mass asshattery). Here is what I imagine their ball-spiking party looks like today:

1241261617_football-fail(Source: GIF and video)

I’m surprised, first of all, at the way the vote split. The opinion just posted to the Supreme Court’s site, and I have not had a chance to read all 193 pages (go figure). I’m uploading a copy of the opinion below, if anyone wants to indulge.

Treating the individual mandate as a tax is an interesting outcome. I thought the Commerce Clause arguments were pretty solid, given precedent (stare decisis: look it up and explain it to Justice Scalia, please.)

At the moment, I doubt anyone outside the court itself has read the opinion, unless they have mad speed-reading skillz. It will be several days before there is any meaningful analysis or commentary. I will be ignoring the media drivel. If I can get around to it, I’ll delve into the topic some more.

Opinion of the Court, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Supreme Court of the United States, June 28, 2012