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March 28, 2011

DOOM!...At Home, and Away

Apparently, one Federal judge has worked it out: entitlement programs are apparently an "all or nothing" deal. If you choose not to take Medicare -- by this Judge's reasoning -- you are not eligible for Social Security either. Here's the money bit:

Yet in a stunning reversal, Judge Collyer last week revisited her decision and dismissed the case. In direct contravention to her prior ruling, the judge said the Medicare statute does — with a little creative reading — contain a requirement that Social Security recipients take government health care. The Medicare statute provides that only individuals who are “entitled” to Social Security are “entitled” to Medicare. Therefore, argues the judge, “The only way to avoid entitlement to Medicare Part A at age 65 is to forego the source of that entitlement, i.e., Social Security Retirement benefits.”

This is convoluted enough, but Judge Collyer’s truly novel finding comes with her implicit argument that to be “entitled” to a government benefit is to be obligated to accept it.

Someone will bust out that classic C. S. Lewis quote in the comments, so I'll save them the time and do it here: Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

Over in England, the collapse of the welfare-state has stirred the populace to a bit of the old ultra-violence.

The Brits went all-in on the welfare-state after World War II, and they discovered the same thing we did: it's not sustainable. But they're also finding that when you take away government-sponsored goodies from the home folks, they tend to react rather like two-year-olds who had their binkies taken away.

I keep saying that the "entitlement mentality" is not just a problem here; it's a problem in the entire industrialized world. England, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, the USA...governments are beggaring themselves (and their productive taxpaying citizens) trying to fund their brobdingnagian welfare-state apparatus.



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posted by Monty at 08:56 AM

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