October 23, 2013 12:59 pm -

GregCollettEarlier this month, Tea Party candidate for the Idaho House of Representatives, Greg Collett, found himself featured in an NBC News article on “Health Care Holdouts” in which he declared his anger over Obamacare and his determination not to participate, saying, “I don’t think that the government should be involved in health care or health insurance.”  Also noted in the article was the fact that he has 10 children, all of whom are on Medicaid.

He has rightly taken some flak for this hypocrisy and took to the pages of his campaign website to explain himself . It truly must be read to be believed:

By way of example, here are a few government programs and policies that I oppose because they do not conform to the proper role of government, yet I participate in them: I am against marriage licenses, but I still got one to get married; I am against the foster care program, but I became a foster parent; I am against property taxes, but I own property and pay the tax; I am against federal ownership of land by the Forest Service and BLM, but I use the land for hiking, backpacking, camping, and fishing; I am against national parks, but I visit them; I am against driver’s licenses, vehicle registration, license plates, and mandated liability insurance, but I comply with all of them to drive; I am against public funding of transportation systems, but I still use them; I am against building permits, fees, and inspections, but I get them as needed; I am against public libraries, but my family uses them; I am against public schools, but I occasionally use their facilities; I am against occupational licensing, but I use the services of individuals and companies that comply with those requirements; I am against USDA inspections, but I still use products that carry their label; I am against the Uniform Commercial Code and designated legal business entities such as corporations, but I use the services of such entities and have set up several of them for myself; I am against the current structure of our judicial system and courts, but I still use them; I am against the 17th Amendment, but I still cast my vote for Senators; and the list could go on and on.

Collett likes to argue that he takes part in many government programs he opposes simply to avoid negative consequences like fines and jail, but I would have you notice the very large number of items in the above list which are entirely voluntary and which carry no negative consequences for non-participation.

Perhaps that can be explained away by his assertion that “The government is taking your money. They are spending it on things they shouldn’t be,” he says. “Trying to get whatever you can back — I have nothing against that. You have to at some point try and get your tax dollars back.” Of course, I’m guessing that with 10 kids all qualifying for Medicaid, Mr. Collett isn’t actually paying a whole lot in taxes.

Another interesting argument in Collett’s post is his staunch defense of uninsured individuals. “The problem that most people seem to have with uninsured individuals is they think that inevitably they will end up having to bail them out with tax dollars because they won’t pay their bills.” Collett says that’s a ridiculous concern, as it only exists because government foolishly requires  medical providers to provide care regardless of ability to pay. In other words, in Greg Collett’s perfect world, even that last-ditch visit to the emergency room would be out of the question for the poor. But then, we should have seen that coming right off the bat when he declared “Evil forms of government entertain the nonsensical notion of collective rights.”

Sandi Behrns