Guest Post: Forget Broccoli

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by John Aziz of Azizonomics,

Americans are either celebrating or damning the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that the individual mandate is constitutional.

I find it hard to believe that anyone believed that the Supreme Court would rule any other way. Precedent dictates that the Commerce Clause, and Federal powers of taxation are unimpeachable, and have been so since the New Deal. That’s the state of reality, and I found it puzzling that the individual mandate to purchase healthcare might be deemed unconstitutional when the collective mandate to collect taxes to purchase next-to-everything (including both healthcare and broccoli) has been considered constitutional for the best part of a century.

If America wants to overturn current legal norms America needs to elect different politicians. But with a greater and greater welfare-bound population, it seems inevitable that more and more Americans will vote themselves greater and greater quantities of free stuff.

Yet there is a bigger point to all of this, and it’s nothing to do with broccoli.

If Congress can constitutionally create a mandate for individuals to purchase healthcare, then Congress can create a mandate for individuals to purchase financial securities. Which — given the fiscal cliff that we are about to run off, and the reality that more and more sovereigns are dumping dollars and treasuries — could well be a useful weapon in keeping the Treasury’s borrowing costs low and the bread and circuses flowing.

Here are the GAO’s own figures:

With such a humungous load, it will take a lot of (shall we say) financial engineering to keep borrowing costs low.

The purchase of treasury securities is of course something Japan already mandates of financial institutions. Sure — the Fed and the primary dealers can do a lot of the heavy lifting — but what’s stopping Congress from mandating that patriotic Americans with any spare cash dump it into government securities (or even flagging equities)?

One day, Atlas may shrug. Until that day, Congress just acquired a powerful new funding tool.

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Dr. Engali's picture

I think every American should be mandated to buy me 1 oz of gold.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Everyone should be mandated to eat their peas in government "hope" camps.

economics9698's picture

Bond market collapse move up ahead of schedule with Obamacare.  Get the fuck out of paper.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

"That’s the state of reality, and I found it puzzling that the individual mandate to purchase healthcare might be deemed unconstitutional when the collective mandate to collect taxes to purchase next-to-everything (including both healthcare and broccoli) has been considered constitutional for the best part of a century."

It's all fucking semantics, or more accurately, Newspeak. Saying it's a tax is bullshit. Since when is a fine a tax? Because it's a fine for noncompliance with the health care insurance system. At least the Kelo decision was more honest, and didn't involve twisting the meaning of language. Kelo said that the government could take your property and give it to another, third private party. That's bullshit, and perverts the idea of Eminent Domain, but at least it didn't redefine one thing as being another thing.

Up is Down, Black is White, and Fines are Taxes, and fuck you if you don't like it, seems to be the message coming down from the Supremes.

centerline's picture

+1.  Tip of the iceberg.  At least now we know how it will work.  Not surprised though.  Dont forget the fines for not paying your taxes... lol.

mkhs's picture

You obviously didn't understand.  It is not a fine, but a tax for not paying your tax.

NotApplicable's picture

You never give me your money

You only give me your funny paper

and in the middle of negotiations

you break down


Boy, you're gonna carry that weight.

Carry that weight, a long time.

Ying-Yang's picture

Author said "If America wants to overturn current legal norms America needs to elect different politicians."

Stated by someone who believes Dems vs Rep is a choice. System is broken. Next option?

TruthInSunshine's picture

Everything Big Brother Wants


Somebody tell us
(Won't you tell us)
Why we work so hard for you
(To give you money, all to give you money)

Some people work for a living
Gov staff surf porn & retire with 150% pensions
Ergo, the plebes just work for SEC porn and pensions

Rousseau told us the social contract was give and take
Well you've shown us you can take
You've got some non-Squid or EBT giving to do

And now you tell us that health insurance is like GEICO
We'll tell you that we're happy if you want us to
But one step further and broken backs will break some more

If our best isn't good enough
Then how can it be good enough for two
We can't work any harder than we do

Somebody tell us
(Won't you tell us)
Why we work so hard for you

(To give you money, so you can monitor and attack us with Drones)


Somebody tell us
(Won't you tell us)
Why we work so hard for you
(To give you money, all to give you money) (To feed the Squid, all to give you money) (To fluff JP Morgan, all to give you money) (To debase our lifestyle, all to give you money) (To give you money, as you spend it faster)

CH1's picture

Next option?

Go Galt and create a new world as you do.

AchtungAffen's picture

Health insurers have been "going Galt" for decades everytime they deny coverage.

Calmyourself's picture

Get real, 15 years at least to go... No despot creates a slave state without a hope of enjoying the life and death power for a while.

I did it by Occident's picture

"No despot creates a slave state without a hope of enjoying the life and death power for a while." 

Yeah, I think if you ask psychiatrists, most if not all pols would fall in the Dark Triad spectrum (Narcissism, Psychopathy, Machiavellianism), despite their assertions that they are 'serving the public good' as if they are scarificing themselves in some moral grand scheme.  Yeah  right serving the public, that's a good one (LMFAO)!

i-dog's picture


"15 years at least to go"

Au contraire ... the current blatant feeding frenzy by political and CEO families - to grab whatever they can and mobilize the praetorian guard - is indicative that they fully expect the crash to occur during their own watch ... which is within the current 2-year election cycle, or short period at the helm of a large bank or corporation. There is no "one despot" in charge: there are thousands in the ruling decision posts - all depending on each other and conspiring together in the "steering committees" of a number of co-ordinating organisations.

So long as they expect the crash to occur on the next guy's watch, they'll generally appear to play by the rules and attempt to hide their own graft. But when they sense that the ship is going down on their own watch, they throw caution to the winds and blatantly grab whatever they can while the getting is good.

The SCOTUS coming out against the Constitution in order to sanction more taxes is yet one more recent if the blatant rigging of the stock and commodity markets since the last election weren't enough of a sign!

The Fall of America will happen before the [to be cancelled] November election.

Obomba and Bombney are only going through the motions of an election campaign -- just in case the EU/EZ falls apart first (which TPTB didn't plan for...the European 'Union' is their home base and their grand demonstration of the "advantages" of Central Planning over the entrepreneurial model set/sought by the republic of the United States).

ACP's picture

I totally disagree. That would mean too many stupid fucks out there would get that much more financially secure.

Edit: Oops, I missed the "me" part. I thought it just said buy. In which case, I still disagree :-)

Edit edit: Come to think of it, I'm so goddam pissed today I can't even read right. And the spell checker is having a field day.

chet's picture

Just to be clear, Roberts wrote into the majority opinion an explanation of why citizens cannot be mandated to buy things like broccoli.  It is now part of the precedent.

In fact, this opinion has technically changed the notion that this is "mandate", to thinking of it as a tax on some citizens who are not doing a certain behavior.  I know that's not much solace.  But my point is that the decision tries hard to make the point that Congress can't just mandate that people buy things.

Quick's picture

Play by their rules. I am independantly self employed. I take jobs as they are offered OR I dont take them.

I'M gonna limit the jobs I take, limit my income to pay NO tax and I get FREE HEALTH CARE ! Hell, no interest and inflation make saving a joke. Why work more than you have to.

Fortunately I can do this as I have no debt and I dont need many FRN's


IF EVERYONE would do it, eyes would open. 

Lucky Guesst's picture

I work from home as well and like GE I can always find enough tax deductions to offset every tax they throw at me :-)

When everyone joins us they will have to come up with a FAIR solution and then I will participate.

I did have health insurance but they offered me a new better plan and then let the time run out so I was uninsured. In order to re-apply the new rates were 4X my original rates. We are all playing a game... some will win and some will lose. Just breaking even is winning anymore IMO

dvfco's picture

Could you guys keep the write-offs quiet?  Just because we self-employed get to write off our cars, travel, meals and countless other expenses as pre-tax income doesn't mean we have to share it with the whole world.  Keep in mind - as self employed, we generally have dozens of small or medium sized clients.  If we lose one, we can survive.  People workig for banks or other large companies not only get the tax whack, but if they lose their one client/employer  - they're out.  They then become another statistic where they get 99 weeks of smaller paychecks without having to work, then permanent checks for being 'disabled.' 

I used to think I loved being self-employed.  Now seeing people on their way to the beach every day and still colllecting checks is rough.  They don't worry about their work 24/7.  On the other hand, if we go under, few of us would receive unemployment.

Tough choices.   How 'bout this - we're all fucked so it doesn't really matter.  It's just a question of who will have enough gold/silver/lead/food to make it through the downturn.

toncuz's picture

Actually...Atlas did shrug...John Galt, America's true traitor built his factory in China, bribed Congress to destroy unions and therefore, the living wage. He set up off shore tax evasion scams to avoid supporting his own country EVEN DURING WAR, paid off CONSERVATIVE lapdog politicians to let him sell his junk in America using slave labor in China that breaks the back of every American small business owner. We've seen the traitor...his name is John Galt...his whore mother is called "conservatism".

Buzzworthy's picture

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship.

fourchan's picture

thats why we have a republic and not a democracy.

Quantitative_Appeasing's picture

That is why we HAD a Republic. Civil war and the 17th amendment killed that off.



blunderdog's picture

What makes it a "republic" is that the representatives are the ones who create the laws, and "the people" have no direct participation in that process.

The 17th Amendment has nothing to do with anything.  It would still be a republic if the representatives were chosen by lottery or deathmatch, too.

Best not to throw around such big words unless you actually know what they mean.

I did it by Occident's picture

Republic, democracy, all semantics.  We are supposed to be a "federal republic". The 17th amendment did however make it much much easier to buy favorable legislation for the cronies,er ...I mean lobbyists since it is a lot easier to buy off 51 senators than to get 3000 or so state reps to do your bidding.  The 3000 reps have their own local issues which dilluted the lobby power at the federal level.  Prior to 17th amendment, senators were accountable to their respective states and could be recalled if they voted against the wishes of the state legislature.  Basically it was a "structural" component to enforce the 9th and 10th amendments.  Now without it, there is no state representation or power (i.e. 9th, 10th amendments) so the states have become appendages to carry out federal mandates.  And the feds can withold money for highways, etc. in order to keep the states "in line".  If the Senate were selected the old way, that would never fly.  Also it is curious to look at the federal debt and spending timeline.  Relateive to GDP the spending was flat for most of the 1800s until 1913 at which point it started the upward trajectory that continues today.  Enabling that was also the creation of the fed reserve.

Although I like the deathmatch idea, election night would be entertaining at least

AchtungAffen's picture

Republic comes from latin "Res publica". The public thing. That's what everybody owns but no particular owns only for themselves. The republic wasn't killed by the 17th ammendment. It was killed by extreme libertarianism that denies the rightful place of the state as a balance between privates and the public well being (and when destroyed private economic interests took over the political process). And it was also killed by the religious belief in America that every problem is an economic problem, thus it can be solved by the "free-market" (let the markets do whatever they want, they did, and now everything is monetized. And you know who controls that... yeah, the BIG BANKS!). 2 big mistakes.

Totentänzerlied's picture

thanks for the laugh but you're no MDB

Wolferl's picture

Hm, the circle theory by Macchiavelli.

Left Right Wrong's picture

It's actually the Tytler Cycle referenced above - the second half of the quote merely spells out the transition from one phase to the next until we come full circle:



Ying-Yang's picture

I prefer the Tit-ler cycle (right then left then...)

magpie's picture

Aristotle and Polybios

AlaricBalth's picture

I read that same quote from The Daily Oklahoman, December 9, 1951. It has been attributed to many people.  

It's a crime that the people of the U.S. have not learned anything in 60 years. As a matter of fact, we seem to be regressing.

macholatte's picture



Alexis de Tocqueville



A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.


Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.


The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.



calltoaccount's picture

 Congress fucks the public at every turn in order to do the bidding of it's big biz paymasters.  The principal beneficiaries of governmental action are the corporations who have come to own and control gov policy to serve their own commercial interests-- not those of the people..  All the rest is propaganda to maintain the predatory status quo.

Cloud9.5's picture

Our system had three common sources: English, Colonial, and Indian.  It is based on one of the most robust and simple geometric forms in the world, the tetrahedron. A tetrahedron appears to the casual observer as a three sided pyramid. If you think about it, our system is based on the number three.  Everyone knows the Constitution divided the government into three branches.  The system of checks and balances were designed to rein in the power of the various branches by making them dependent on one another to exercise power.  At various points in history the executive branch has usurped more power than it was allotted.  An overzealous executive was reined in by the impeachment of Andrew Johnson bringing the system back into equilibrium.   What is not commonly understood is the concept of federalism.  This idea was borrowed from the Iroquois Confederation.    This system too exhibits the facets of the tetrahedron.   Sovereignty was to be divided into three equal facets.   Everyone is familiar with the first facet, federal sovereignty.   This was the purview of the Federalists.  Individuals like Washington, Marshal and Hamilton did what they could to flesh out federal sovereignty. It must be understood that the federal government was the child of the states not the other way around.  So, at the time of the writing of the Constitution, the second facet, state sovereignty, was well understood.   State sovereignty only came into question after Appomattox.   The third facet is probably the single most misunderstood facet of the federal system, popular sovereignty. The sovereignty of the individual is spoken to in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.  These amendments speak to the social contract theory.  A contract exists between the citizen and his government.  The right to life, liberty and property are natural rights, rights that are ours simply from the virtue of being human. We are absolutely free. All power emanates from the people. The people under the social contract willingly cede some of their sovereignty, some of their natural rights, to state and federal governments in return for order and security.  This cession of personal sovereignty is predicated on the assumption that national order will be maintained by rule of law.  Inherent in that assumption is the notion that government will be a protector of the citizenry not prey upon it.  Everything from the Palmer raids, to the Red Scare, to the War on Terror has been used to eradicate the concept of popular sovereignty and natural rights from the public psychic. The system is out of balance.  The individual has become something to be feared.   The fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth Amendments have been stricken from the Constitution.  The Ninth and Tenth Amendments receive almost no mention.  We are now told by Homeland Security that the greatest threat to our social order will come from our own citizenry. Walk around today and talk about popular sovereignty and you may very well be snuffed out.


Nature abhors an imbalance.  Balance will be restored.  The rights of the individual will be restored either by the ballot or the bullet.  We are in 1850.


fourchan's picture


Red Heeler's picture

I certainly hope so. The more that miss him, the higher the kill ratio.

Ancona's picture

Socialism run by fascists.....get used to it bitchezzz.

Azannoth's picture

The American Contract was not really that the government is prohibited to do anything it was that the government would not wield it's power to do anything, .... we'll this contract is up, so put up or pack up

TheDarkKnight's picture

Atlas already shurgged. Its just moving slowly off the shoulders but once it clears that its a straight drop to the floor.

economics9698's picture

Bond market collapse move up ahead of schedule with Obamacare.  Get the fuck out of paper.

NotApplicable's picture

Why on Earth would you believe there's still a bond market????

There's nothing there but a controlled collapse of the facade. The market died, long, long ago.

As for rates rising, well that will be done just enough to steal some jewels while depleting the serfs by jacking up CC rates (remember, they're all floating now, being based on the prime rate). Then everyone will scream out for more "bailouts."

mrktwtch2's picture

man do we need john galt..but the country would have to get 10 times worse than it is now for atlas shruggged to become a reality..

Real Estate Geek's picture

That's on the way; just give it a little time, brother.

Tick, tick, tick . . .

NotApplicable's picture

Thing is, with every tick, the masses get poorer, and Galts' Gulch becomes more unobtainable.

Strong communities require real savings, otherwise, they too will succumb to dependency.

Jethro's picture

The time to prepare is now.  Not next week, not tomorrow.....NOW.  We still have forward momentum----well, perhaps sideways momentum, but the plates are still spinning and the sheeple are happliy grazing on the commons.  Who knows how much longer this calm will last?

CH1's picture

the country would have to get 10 times worse than it is now for atlas shruggged to become a reality..

Strongly disagree. All it needs is just a little more time - everything else is already in place.

Zymurguy's picture

Next month:  New law passed requiring anyone not falling into the poverty category to purchase govt. bonds and convert all loans to be held by govt. agencies.  All payments for these bonds and for ongoing monthly payments for mortgages, car loans, student loans, etc. will be collected annually via income taxes and directed to the IRS.