In Argentina during the late 1940s, fascist ruler Juan Peron's wife Evita had a cunning way to win political support.
She would go on the radio and shower listeners with gifts, but not at her or the government's expense. Evita would announce that Pedro's Hardware Store had agreed to give free washing machines to the first 50 workers who asked for them.
|President Obama may have been attempting to channel Evita Peron in his 'accommodation."
The storeowner had made no such agreement, nor was even consulted. But when a mob of "shirtless" Peronistas arrived demanding the free goodies Evita promised, most owners were too frightened to call the first lady a liar or risk having their store ransacked, torched, or targeted for political retaliation by refusing.
Last Friday President Barack Obama offered the Roman Catholic Church what he called an "accommodation . . . not a compromise" on Obamacare's requirement that all employer health insurance must provide female workers with free birth control and abortion-inducing drugs.
Such things violate the most fundamental pro-life values of the church, the nation's Catholic bishops proclaimed. For Obama to require the church to provide such things via its health insurance would transgress their faith and turn Catholic leaders into accomplices to what Catholic doctrine deems murder.
President Obama, in what his spokespeople call "balancing" the (constitutional) right to practice one’s religion with the (non-constitutional) "right" of women to receive free anti-reproductive medication, offered a very Evita-like accommodation.
Obama declared that the Catholic Church would still be required to provide such benefits via health insurance, but the Church would not be required to pay for them. Their insurance companies would instead be mandated to provide these drugs for free.
By late Friday, insurance company spokespeople were saying that they never discussed or agreed to any such deal, and that the President had no legal authority to order them to provide medications for free. (Some of these same companies supported Obamacare legislation when told that American businesses would be mandated to buy health insurance.
Few listened to conservatives who warned that Obama planned to mandate health insurance, then to bankrupt private insurance companies with more and more costly requirements, and then to force everyone to buy insurance from the last insurer standing, the government.)
The Obama White House argued that by preventing pregnancies and births, its policy actually saved insurance companies money by eliminating other costs — and that, therefore, giving such things to women cost these health insurers nothing. By this logic, "In the long run we're all dead," as Obama's favorite economist John Maynard Keynes said.
Think how many trillions our Obama collectivist society could save by killing the unborn. The Catholic Bishops were unimpressed by President Obama's accommodation, under which the Church would yet be required to provide health insurance that includes free birth control and abortion pills.
The Church would still be an accomplice to murder. Private insurance companies would raise the price the Church pays for health insurance to offset such "free" medication costs. And many Roman Catholic hospitals and other institutions at present "self-insure," meaning that they must either comply with Obama's fatal mandate, shut down, or pay fines that each year could run to many millions of dollars.
Welcome to our brave new world of fiat money and fiat rule, where auto makers, banks and insurance companies can simply be expropriated at the command of the ruler as if this were a banana republic.
What President Obama cannot seize by legislation, he takes via executive branch regulation, recess appointments, emergency decrees or mandates. By mandate he can simply order a private corporation, such as today's health insurance companies, to pay the cost of something he wants. Such mandates are, in effect, Constitution-circumventing, presidentially-decreed taxes. Regulations are mandates whose cost is borne by those regulated, and those costs are passed on to all of us in higher prices.
According to Americans for Tax Reform, the typical American in 2011 worked from January 1 until August 12, "Cost of Government Day," to pay his or her taxes plus the heavy cost of regulations. President Obama might not yet be a dictator, but he is fast-becoming the Great Mandator. To paraphrase former Chief Justice John Marshall: "The power to mandate is the power to destroy."
Lowell Ponte is co-author, with Craig R. Smith, of "Crashing the Dollar: How to Survive a Global Currency Collapse"; "The Inflation Deception: Six Ways Government Tricks Us . . . And Seven Ways to Stop It"; and "Re-Making Money: Ways to Restore America's Optimistic Golden Age." For a limited time, you can get a free copy of "The Inflation Deception" by calling 800-630-1494.
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