What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

"It IS a Tax!"

July 2, 2012, 12:37 PM

So I go to Panera Bread (a great example of how a well-designed national chain can serve localist ends) yesterday and was confronted by several Floyd County members or fellow travelers of the Tea Party.

"What do you think of Roberts' opinion?" they ask me.  I begin by commenting that it is intellectually dishonest.  "Wrong!" they respond almost in unison. (Wrong again, I think.)  "He called a spade a spade.  It IS a tax!"

The spirit of the original Tea Party is emerging.  It's not quite no taxation without representation.  It's no hidden taxing by lying scum liberal representatives.  Let's continue Roberts' good work by outing ALL the hidden taxes for what they are!

So could "It IS a tax!" really become an energizing campaign slogan?

Consider that the huge Medicaid expansion is, in effect, a huge tax on the states. The fiscally sinking states would have to, of course, pass that tax on to individuals.

The Tea Party could add to its campaign the effort to get all fifty states to opt out of the expansion—a right Roberts and the Court granted to the states.  A lot of success along those lines would probably wreck ObamaCare.

A problem, though:  Romney's argument (the argument of the Court's dissenters) is that the Commerce Clause's limitation on the power of Congress makes the national mandate unconstitutional, but state mandates are constitutional. He appeals to federalism to justify his RomneyCare but not ObamaCare.

RomneyCare's mandate, however, is just as much a tax as ObamaCare.  Federalism recedes, to say the least, as an issue. So the "It IS a tax (stupid)!" slogan is not so good as Romney's battle cry.

That's why Romney is knocking himself out to make it clear that it's not a tax.


"It IS a Tax!"

Newsletter: Share: