Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ain't Nobody Repealing Nuthin'

There are probably an awful lot of Trump supporters out there who feel betrayed right about now. I'm talking about the ones who voted for him because he promised that he was going to repeal and replace Obamacare. With the unveiling of the Republican plan this morning, that fantasy has been put to rest. Ain't nobody repealing nuthin.To explain what happened, here's a quick tutorial:

1. The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can be transformed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed.

2. The second law of thermodynamics states that there is a natural tendency of any isolated system to degenerate into a more disordered state.

Hardly anyone knows the 16th law of thermodynamics, but it is crucial to understanding what is happening or not happening to Obamacare. It states that...Whenever an entitlement program is enacted into law whereby a benefit is provided to X by confiscating money from Y, said entitlement program never dies. In other words...ain't nobody repealing nuthin.

People, it turns out, really like free stuff. People are fond of subsidies, even more so when someone proposes taking them away. Just listen to the caterwauling from people making a half million dollars a year whenever someone suggests doing away with the mortgage interest deduction. Do these people really need their fellow taxpayers to help them finance their McMansions? Once an entitlement, always an entitlement. You want to commit political suicide? Propose a serious social security reform that might actually save that actuarially doomed program, by suggesting that perhaps the payroll tax needs to be increased and maybe the benefits at some point might need to be means tested...then look for your obituary in the Washington Post. Ain't nobody repealing nuthin.

The very idea that Obamacare, once innacted could ever be taken away betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of both politics and human nature. Sure, it might get tinkered with around the edges, but once the concept of government subsidized anything takes root, good luck getting that genie back in the bottle.