Eliot Spitzer last night got into an odd argument last night with Senator-elect Mike Lee over ObamaCare and taxes that ended up using contradictory logic. Lee catches the fallacy on which Spitzer’s argument on taxes relies, but that reality actually negates Spitzer’s argument for ObamaCare:
Spitzer attempts to pull a bit of a bait-and-switch on Lee on taxes. Lee has argued that almost half of Americans pay no federal income taxes, which is why Lee says they have “no skin in the game” on federal spending policies. He sees this as a dangerous development, and one which transforms a broad swath of Americans into a dependent class. ObamaCare actually makes this worse by subsidizing households making up to $88,000 a year — roughly 62% of all American households overall — for health insurance purchases within the individual policy market “exchanges.” Spitzer attempts to confuse the issue by looking at all taxes, including state, local, and sales taxes, to calculate tax burdens. That’s irrelevant to Lee’s point, which is having skin in the game for federal taxes, which is almost entirely collected from individuals through the income tax.
But let’s take Spitzer’s argument and apply it back to his defense of ObamaCare. Spitzer argues that we have a bunch of free riders in the system and that they should be forced to contribute to effort to provide services. Isn’t that exactly the point Lee makes about the federal government? And unlike health care, which as Lee says really belongs in the purview of the states, the federal government really is everyone’s burden.