ObamaCare could sink the economy for good … if Social Security and the Clean Air Act hadn’t done it first

The Republican reaction to the Supreme Court’s surprising ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act was swift, predictable and, above all, cocksure.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the end of the republic as we know it. Even though dozens of other industrialized nations have successfully instituted universal health care – covering every one of their citizens while spending less than we do and achieving better health outcomes – this ruling is certain to be a disaster for this country. Yes, Republicans will surely tell you, even more disastrous than another eight years of GOP rule.

Here in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker lambasted the ruling and said he would make no effort to implement the law: “I am hopeful that political changes in Washington, D.C., later this year ultimately end the implementation of this law at the federal level.

“If there is no political remedy from Washington and the law moves forward, it would require the majority of people in Wisconsin to pay more money for less health care. Additionally, it would increase the size and cost of government, decrease the quality of health care and, in our state, reduce access for those truly in need of assistance.”

Mitt Romney, of course, used the occasion to make political hay:

“If we want good jobs and a bright economic future, for ourselves and for our kids, we must replace ObamaCare. That is my mission. That is our work. And I’m asking the people of America to join me.”

(Incidentally, when discussing one of the main problems the Affordable Care Act addresses, Romney was curiously mealy-mouthed: “Number two, got to make sure that those people who have pre-existing conditions know that they will be able to be insured and they will not lose their insurance.” Notice the telling lack of a pronoun. Guess that guarantee is just going to come out of the ether, huh?)

So goodbye, America. It’s been nice knowing you, and it’s been pretty cool living here for a while in an era refreshingly free of death panels and back alley colonoscopies. As many stone-cold-serious Twitterphiles noted just after the decision was announced, it’s time to move to Canada, a country that would never be foolish enough to crater its economy by implementing the universal health care scheme … of a black man.

With the country on a sure path to ruin, then, I figured it might be interesting to look at a few other key government intrusions that also destroyed our economy and our country. Some people would say these moves markedly improved our country, contributing considerably to public welfare and public health, but those people would be softheaded socialists. Don’t listen to them. They’re useful idiots.

Anyway, here’s a short list:

Social Security

In a September 1936 speech, Republican presidential candidate Alf Landon told a Milwaukee audience that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signature piece of social welfare legislation, Social Security, was sure to bring disaster:

“Beginning next January employers must, in addition, begin paying taxes on the payrolls out of which your wages are to come,” fumed Landon. “This is the largest tax bill in history. And to call it ‘social security’ is a fraud on the workingman. …

“I am not exaggerating the folly of this legislation. The saving it forces on our workers is a cruel hoax.”


Today, Obama’s critics are quick to warn socialists to keep their government hands off their Medicare, but believe it or not, conservatives weren’t always such big supporters of the program.

Here’s the take of Sen. Carl Curtis (R-Neb.), speaking in 1965:

“[I]t is not needed. It is socialism. It moves the country in a direction which is not good for anyone, whether they be young or old. It charts a course from which there will be no turning back. … It is not only socialism – it is brazen socialism.”

And here’s a young up-and-comer named Ronald Reagan railing against the program in 1961: “[I]f you don’t [stop Medicare] and I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.”

The Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act, which was originally passed in 1963 and was amended three times, pretty much worked as advertised. Of course, it was supposed to crash the economy, too. We’re still waiting for that. Meanwhile, we get to breathe clean, fresh, lead-free, non-IQ-sapping air. But some, naturally, were opposed:

“[T]his bill could prevent continued production of automobiles … [and] is a threat to the entire American economy and to every person in America.” – Lee Iacocca
“[It would not be possible] to achieve the control levels specified in the bill … [M]anufacturers … would be forced to shut down.” – American Automobile Manufacturers Association

Oh, and just for fun …

Women’s suffrage

“Woman suffrage would give to the wives and daughters of the poor a new opportunity to gratify their envy and mistrust of the rich. Meantime these new voters would become either the purchased or cajoled victims of plausible political manipulators, or the intimidated and helpless voting vassals of imperious employers.” – President Grover Cleveland

So here I sit – a carless, enslaved, and defrauded workingman seething noon and night over the cruel hoax that is Social Security. Well, at least I get to manipulate my sweet, naive wife each November come election time.

Honey, if you’re reading this, vote for Obama. Mitt Romney is certain to steal your birth control pills.

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