The Obamacare Decision: Those Darn Spots and the Non-Leopard
"Leopards? I don't see any leopards," said Slim Majority, who considered himself one of the world's greatest animal tamers, as a prowl of spotted beasts was let into the big cage in the center ring.
"But what about those spots?" a timid animal handler asked.
"Spots? I see no spots," said Slim.
Just then one of the non-leopards snarled.
"And what about those teeth?" another quivering handler stuttered.
"What teeth?" retorted Slim.
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The teeth that will add 17 new taxes amounting to $502 billion through 2019 to those people up in the stands. The teeth whose bite will cause employers to scamper away from providing healthcare plans to their workers, driving as many as 100 million people into government-subsidized plans that will cost an estimated $1.4 trillion over 10 years –
more than the shrinking base of taxpayers can provide, resulting in more government deficits. The teeth that will consume 19.6 percent of the national economy by 2021.
Those teeth, among others.
"No, no, these are animals for suckling, just like all those others we've tamed and sent out to nurture the people," Slim Majority responded. "Get your eyes out of this narrow cage, and look up there in the bleachers at all those people who are unsuckled! Behold their gaunt faces, their pleading countenances. Where is your mercy?"
"But what about those spots?"
"And what about those teeth?"
Slim was frustrated. "I see no spots and I see no teeth. If there are no spots and no teeth, then there is no leopard. Just gentle animals for suckling. I propose we send these furry creatures up there into the bleachers so all can drink from their abundance. This is what the Ringmaster wants!"
"Only if you agree to first allow an inspection by Professor Scotus, the renowned zoologist," a cluster of the handlers shouted.
So off to Professor Scotus the animals were sent.
All the spectators in the bleachers surrounding the center ring and cage tensed in their seats. Many had also seen the spots and teeth, and tried to leave the circus tent. Their way was blocked by meaty ushers under orders to let no one leave until Professor Scotus rendered his verdict.
Finally, after much speculation, Professor Scotus was brought to the Ringmaster's microphone. The crowd held its breath. Slim Majority was nervous. The handlers who had seen the spots and teeth were certain the leopard's spots would prove what it really was, and the beast would be left caged.
Professor Scotus, unaccustomed to giving account, blew into the microphone to make sure it was working. "What did he say?" a man on the back row asked. "Nothing," another spectator replied. He was just testing the waters, uh, I mean the microphone."
At last Professor Scotus spoke: "After extensive study with my colleagues in the department of political zoology we agree: these animals have spots, but spots do not the leopard make, and therefore they may be released into the bleachers."
Slim Majority, the Ringmaster, and all their gaggle of animal husbandry specialists cheered and celebrated and declared the finding a victory for the people in the bleachers. The decision would mark the end of injustice, insensitivity, inequity and anything that made the big tent an unhealthy, dangerous, hate-filled place.
"But what about the teeth?" a cornered handler asked.
"Teeth?" answered Professor Scotus. "No one asked us to look at the teeth."
"But if spots do not the leopard make, then surely the teeth do!"
"We were asked to see if there were spots," Professor Scotus replied. "There are clearly spots, and if we said there were no spots our department of political zoology would have lost its credibility. The institution might have collapsed. Then who would determine if a creature were dangerous or not? But the teeth are not our concern because we were not asked to examine them."
"But what about the teeth?" cried all the people in the bleachers as the spotted non-leopards sprinted toward them, displaying their stiletto-edged choppers.
"Can the leopard change his spots?" the Bible asks, rhetorically. Despite Professor Scotus' fractured reasoning, the spots do indeed the leopard make.
And even worse, so do the teeth.