Critical Condition

Enemies of the People

It’s official. The Joint Tax Committee informs us that under the terms of the Pelosi health-care bill, “Americans who do not maintain acceptable health insurance coverage and who choose not to pay the bill’s new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5% of income), are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.”

And so we have, yet again, a perfect illustration of the truism that socialism would work perfectly if only there were no people. Since we do have people, with all their self-interested motives and unwillingness to bend their inherent nature to ideological demands, socialism in practice encounters problems, known as Enemies of the People.

No wonder Pelosi et al. want desperately to jam this legislation through the House before lawmakers go home for the Veterans Day break and encounter Tea Parties more numerous and louder than before. How has American self-government come to this?

Benjamin Zycher is a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.