We throw around big scary words like “tyranny” too much. I’m guilty myself. While we get a lot of attention with hyperbole, we’ll lose credibility over time. Then when tyranny emerges, people will ignore our screams. Like now.
For years, Congress has used the tax code to motivate behavior. Tax credits for insulated windows and electric cars are examples. The home mortgage deduction is another. And tuition tax credits, dependent tax credits, etc. These tax policies are designed to motivate behavior that the government considers valuable.
Psychologists call this practice positive feedback. It’s considered an advanced, intelligent way to influence behavior. Everyone who’s raised a child since Piaget and Skinner put down their pens knows that we’re supposed to reward and celebrate behaviors we like and ignore behaviors we don’t.
Barack Obama and the Democrats have returned to official administrative punishment, and that should scare the hell out of everyone.
The onerous penalty tax in Obamacare—identified and endorsed by the US Supreme Court—reversed 70 years of behavioral psychology. Obama thinks of you as children. Bad children in need of a spanking. Do as he says, or you’ll be punished.
When governments move from inducements for desired behavior to punishments for undesired, they move from benevolent to malevolent. (Look it up.) Every dictator of the 20th century garnered support with inducements and solidified power with punishment and terror.
Buy health insurance, or suffer the consequences.
Buy a new GM, or suffer the consequences.
Paint your house purple, or suffer the consequences.
We can now say we live in a malevolent tyranny, established in 2009 by Barack Obama.