Star Parker

Let's do a quick thought experiment.

The price of apples keeps going up. The government decides that every American must buy apples. But some can't afford them.

Government starts controlling how much apple farmers are paid, it mandates that every single American buys apples and subsidizes those under a certain income level so they can.

Will the price of apples go down, stay the same or go up? Or, in economists' language, if you limit the supply of a commodity and increase demand, will the price of that commodity go up or down?

Did you say "up"? You get an A. But if you did say "up," you surely are not a Democrat.

Democrats have just committed multitrillions of our money, and, as a bonus, sold a big chunk of American freedom down the road, betting that everything a college freshman learns in basic economics is not true. Or, that health care doesn't follow the rules of economics. Because our new health-care system is pretty much the apple scenario described above.

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Or, maybe they don't care? Maybe it's not about economics, but about ideology and political power. And that the real issue is freedom. They think we've got too much and that politicians should decide what is fair and who should have what.

A revealing moment during the presidential campaign occurred when, during one debate, ABC's Charles Gibson pushed then-Sen. Barack Obama about his stated intent to increase capital gains taxes. Gibson brandished data showing that when you cut this tax, government tax revenues increase, and when you raise it, revenue drops (punishing investment surely produces less).

"So, why raise it?" Gibson asked. Obama responded that maybe it won't happen that way this time. And besides, he said, his motive was "fairness."

After voters in Massachusetts elected a Republican to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, killing the Democrats' filibuster-proof Senate majority, many pundits wrote that President Obama had to move to the political center.

I wrote then that this wouldn't happen because, unlike President Bill Clinton, who did moderate, Obama is a left-wing ideologue. He didn't run for president to be somebody. He did it to do something. He did it to change America.

As polls showed waning public support for what Democrats were pushing on health care, many assumed they would back off. It was still conceivable that they could stand rules on their head and ram the thing through using the so-called reconciliation procedure. But why would they do it when polls suggested they would be punished in November elections?


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.