Unemployment is stagnant at 8.2 percent, and more people are leaving the labor force altogether. That imposes greater costs on the rest of us, who must still provide the jobless with basic necessities. As Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi might remind us, many of the jobless are in fact “free riders,” unemployed by choice. Thankfully, President Barack Obama, Chief Justice John Roberts, and the liberal justices on the Supreme Court, have a solution: Congress can pass a “work mandate” and tax those Americans who aren’t working.
The “work mandate” has a number of unique advantages. It is, first of all, the logical expression of the human right to work, which even the Soviet Union recognized. Second, just as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney once embraced the individual mandate in health insurance, a version of the “right to work” has been enacted by conservatives in many Republican-controlled states. That means the GOP can’t complain about a tax on the jobless–or else the mainstream media could point out that they once taxed the jobless themselves.
A “work mandate” gives expression to Congress’s taxation power. More than that, it fulfills the true spirit of the Founders. What was slavery, after all, but a “work mandate” far ahead of its time? Come to think of it, both the “work mandate” and the individual insurance mandate work on the principle that the government can force individuals to part with their labor for the private benefit of other individuals. Some of the Founders might have been uncomfortable with that sort of thing, but they let it stand in the Constitution. So should we.