Collett Explains His Hypocrisy

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about Greg Collett, the Tea Party candidate for the House from Idaho who says government-paid healthcare is evil but still enrolled his 10 children in Medicaid. But you have to see the long, rambling, incoherent and contradictory diatribe he posed to his website to explain away that hypocrisy. It’s delightfully moronic.

Let me start with a quick summary of my views on the proper role of government. Good government is based on the concept of individual, God-given rights. (Evil forms of government entertain the nonsensical notion of collective rights.) The foundation of government is an equal right to life. Property, or natural resources and their derivatives, is essential to sustain life. Liberty is necessary to acquire and control property. These three things form our basic rights. We also have an inherent right to secure these fundamental rights, all of which are gifts from God.

Our rights are limited by the rights of others. If we violate the rights of others, we have committed a crime. We hire government to help us secure our rights, which is accomplished by punishing crime. If we assign any power to government that we do not have a right to as an individual, then government becomes tyrannical. In fact, if we support the use of government to do anything that would be considered a crime if we were to do it individually, we are no more or less than a criminal at heart.

Government is force, and using government to force men to do good works takes away the agency of man. When government is used to take money from one citizen and give it to another (even for a seemingly good cause) it simply amounts to legal plunder, making government, and those that support it, the criminal. Just as we cannot preemptively interfere in the lives of others, we should not do so using government.

Right. Except gay people, of course. God doesn’t like them so they obviously can’t have any “God-given rights” and they should be punished and discriminated against.

Let me set the record straight. Yes, I participate in government programs of which I adamantly oppose. Many of them, actually. Am I a hypocrite for participating in programs that I oppose? If it was that simple, and if participation demonstrated support, then of course. But, my reason for participation in government programs often is not directly related to that issue in and of itself, and it certainly does not demonstrate support. For instance, I participate in government programs in order to stay out of the courts, or jail, so that I can take care of my family; other things I do to avoid fines or for other financial reasons; and some are simply because it is the only practical choice. With each situation, I have to evaluate the consequences of participating or not participating.

Ah, so it’s okay to participate in an evil government welfare program that you think shouldn’t exist as long as you don’t support the evil government welfare program that you think shouldn’t exist. That totally eliminates the hypocrisy, doesn’t it?

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.

Do I really have to point out the obvious difference between complying with the law because doing so would be criminal and voluntarily getting government welfare that you claim you don’t need and think is an evil thing? He’s trying really, really hard to distract attention from his hypocrisy and making himself look even worse in the process.

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  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Shorter Greg Collett,

    I am against society, but use it when it’s beneficial me.”

  • Artor

    Ah, Idaho. It’s amazing how much I don’t miss you. I spent 17 years there one summer, and it sucked, largely because of douchebags like this.

  • eric

    On the plus side, I’d predict that any actual House vote he made would correlate with his actions rather than his words. IOW, (if elected) he’s not likely to vote to reduce medicaid benefits. At least not to children.

  • raven

    We get it. Collett is against government aid except for him and his ten kids.

    It’s the typical Tea Party attitude.

    The Koch brothers are against government aid for everyone. Except themselves and all the other corporations.

    They support the Keystone pipeline. It turns out it will benefit them greatly, about $200 billion worth. And they’ve lied about that and said it wouldn’t make any difference to them.

  • flex

    From Collett,

    If we assign any power to government that we do not have a right to as an individual, then government becomes tyrannical

    It’s good to know he’s against the government waging war and the death penalty.

    And apparently he thinks it’s legal for him to print his own money.

    I do not want to subscribe to his newsletter.

  • Chiroptera

    Huh. By that same argument, it’s okay to have an abortion if you feel you need one as long as you totally oppose its legality.

  • raven

    If we assign any power to government that we do not have a right to as an individual, then government becomes tyrannical

    It’s good to know he’s against the government waging war and the death penalty.

    And pro choice. If you don’t own and control your own body, what are you and what do you own and control?

  • Larry

    In other words “I got mine. The rest of y’all go fuck off.”

  • trucreep

    I would say I do understand what he’s saying about getting medicaid in order to stay out of the courts. Your children have to be insured. If you can’t put them on your plan, you have to get them medicaid.

    That being said, I’d imagine he doesn’t have them on his plan because putting TEN children under there would have to have astronomical costs. This is where his hypocrisy comes in to play. If only there was some sort of competitive marketplace for health insurance that allowed him to compare different plans and the various costs in order to find the most cost-effective plan for his family………Hmmmmmmmmm….

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Chiroptera “Huh. By that same argument, it’s okay to have an abortion if you feel you need one as long as you totally oppose its legality.”

    Scott DesJarlais…Mister Scott DesJarlais to the white courtesy phone….

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    I am against the foster care program, but I became a foster parent…

    This one truly does not compute. Does he think the proper way to become a foster parent is to randomly pick a kid up off the street, thereby avoiding any taint of government? Being a foster parent, by definition, means taking care of a kid who is a ward of the state.

    Hypocrisy seems to be the least of his problems. He has a hard time understanding how things work.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    The question shouldn’t be is this guy a hypocrite, but why is this guy allowed within a hundred feet of government.

    Against occupational licensing? Oh, you say you’re a doctor, well that’s good enough. You took apart your stereo? Well, I guess that makes you a master electrician. Here rewire my house.

    Against USDA inspections? Chicken is supposed be green and furry.

    Against building codes? Public libraries? National Parks?

  • Doug Little

    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

    Abstinence only sex ed is very obviously on the top of that list.

  • lpetrich

    Yet another teabagger anarchist, it seems. He states “When government is used to take money from one citizen and give it to another (even for a seemingly good cause) it simply amounts to legal plunder, making government, and those that support it, the criminal.” Does that apply to hiring soldiers or cops or prison guards or judges?

  • lpetrich

    Complaining about direct election of Senators — that’s stupid. It’s in our Constitution, no matter how much he dislikes it. What else in our supposedly sacred Constitution does he dislike? Prohibition of slavery?

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Complaining about direct election of Senators — that’s stupid. It’s in our Constitution, no matter how much he dislikes it.

    I’ve never understood the kooky right-wing objection to the 17th amendment. It has something to do with fetishism over states’ rights, but it fails to make sense even on those grounds. It was the states themselves who passed the amendment.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    …I am against public libraries, but my family uses them…

    Collett himself wants nothing to do with icky books.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    My how those Tea Party leaders like getting government money. They like it so much that they won’t give it back even when it was merely borrowed

    Few Oregonians have cheered the congressional budget impasse and federal government shutdown more loudly than John Kuzmanich, founder and chairman of the Oregon Tea Party.

    Since the Tea Party started in 2009, its members have clamored for smaller government, lower taxes and stronger border security. Party leaders—including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)—have helped push Republicans further to the right, making it more difficult for House GOP leaders to reach a compromise on funding the government.

    While less influential in Oregon, Kuzmanich and the state’s Tea Party have nonetheless cheered the confrontation with President Obama over the budget.

    Kuzmanich, for example, appeared on KATU Channel 2’s Your Voice, Your Vote on Oct. 6, where he told host Steve Dunn the forced budget austerity would help Americans return to “fiscal and personal responsibility.”

    “We are just good and decent principled Americans who believe in the Constitution and a fiscally responsible government,” said Kuzmanich.

    Even as he spoke those words, Kuzmanich was on the run from his own financial responsibilities.

    Washington County court records show Kuzmanich is more than three years behind in mortgage payments on a Beaverton duplex. The lender, the Federal National Mortgage Association, better known as Fannie Mae, has gone to extraordinary lengths—unsuccessfully, so far—to find Kuzmanich and serve him with court papers.

  • davefitz

    “I am against public libraries”

    Right. Because promoting literacy is just tyrannical.

  • UnknownEric the Apostate

    “I am against public libraries”

    Well, this librarian would like to tell Greg Collett to go stick his hand in a toaster.

  • jefferylanam

    The lender, the Federal National Mortgage Association, better known as Fannie Mae, has gone to extraordinary lengths—unsuccessfully, so far—to find Kuzmanich and serve him with court papers.

    Did they try baiting a trap with a camera and microphone?

  • Doug Little

    Did they try baiting a trap with a camera and microphone?

    Or a meeting with a high dollar donor.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Area Man “I’ve never understood the kooky right-wing objection to the 17th amendment. It has something to do with fetishism over states’ rights, but it fails to make sense even on those grounds. It was the states themselves who passed the amendment.”

    Well, Area Man, sit down and I’ll tell you a story:

    Once upon a time, a state (like Virginia or West Virginia) with Red people who voted for other Red people for their own state house also voted for Blue senators to send to DC. ‘Surely this cannot be.’ said the Red people, ‘We must put an stop to this.’ The end.”

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    When government is used to take money from one citizen and give it to another (even for a seemingly good cause) it simply amounts to legal plunder, making government, and those that support it, the criminal.

    It’s possible to use government programs that you disagree with without being a hypocrite. It’s not possible to declare those programs a form of criminal activity and then use them without being a hypocrite.

  • Cal

    But I thought participating in a program you adamantly oppose was a sign of support. Otherwise all those Christian businesses would have no reason to turn down same-sex couples because hey, its just a business transaction. I can bake a cake and accept money for my services without wholeheartedly throwing my support and acceptance into every event my services are used.

  • tubi

    I hope this guy’s next plane trip back to Washington takes off and lands without a hitch. “I oppose the FAA and Air Traffic Control, but I use their services whenever I fly into Reagan (PBUH) National Airport.”

    What a fucking tool. He does know that Ron Swanson is supposed to be a caricature and not a role model?

  • http://aceofsevens.wordpress.com Ace of Sevens

    I could see his point of the government preempted what he thinks the model should be. For instance, if someone opposes rationing, it’s not hypocritical of them to use their ration stamps, but unless he’s somehow paying more in taxes to support Medicaid than he’s claiming in benefits, this is hypocritical.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    …but unless he’s somehow paying more in taxes to support Medicaid than he’s claiming in benefits, this is hypocritical.

    The whole point of Medicaid is that you are too poor or disabled to buy health insurance yourself, so the odds of his paying more in taxes going toward Medicaid (about 7% of government expenditures, I think) than he receives in benefits are nil.

    FWIW, here is the Idaho eligibility criteria, and as it turns out, if the Collett household consists of 12 members, they could make up to $103,000 a year and still be eligible. I’m pretty sure after filing jointly and deducting 10 dependents, plus the $1000 per child federal tax credit, they aren’t paying any net tax even if their income really is that high. Which makes him a MOOCHER.

  • http://george-worroll.tumblr.com gworroll

    I’d have been more OK with his response if he detailed how getting rid of these programs would enable the private sector to provide superior programs to meet the needs the government ones do now. Taking what’s offered while fighting for something better is quite reasonable. I’ve been less than impressed by arguments that the private sector would do these things better, but at least it’s a morally consistent argument.

    Or even “Well, I’m just getting something back for my tax dollars”. You could argue some hypocrisy here, but I can’t really blame someone for figuring if he’s paying for it, he might as well benefit from it.

    He very vaguely hinted at the first, with no details offered in support. And he didn’t even approach the second.

  • demonhauntedworld

    He’s also an example of crank magnetism:

    When it comes to health care for our family, we do try to mitigate our risk as well as reduce our costs. We do not run to the doctor with every sniffle. We use natural remedies when we can. We try to eat as healthy as possible to avoid diet related diseases. I avoid all refined sugars and corn syrup, enriched flour products and other processed foods, GMO products, and foods that have unpronounceable ingredients.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Or even “Well, I’m just getting something back for my tax dollars”. You could argue some hypocrisy here, but I can’t really blame someone for figuring if he’s paying for it, he might as well benefit from it.

    He’s definitely not paying income taxes, unless he or his accountant are complete morons. In order for his children to qualify for Medicaid in the state of Idaho, his household income must be below $103,000. (Of course it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s committing fraud, but that’s a different kind of hypocrisy.) The standard deduction for married filing jointly is $12,200. Then there’s a personal exemption of $3900 per dependent. Add these together, and his maximum taxable income is $44,000 without any other deductions.

    Tax on that income comes out to $5734. But then he gets a $1000 per child tax credit (he’s below the income threshold for phase-out), so that entirely wipes out any taxes he may have owed. In fact, he comes nowhere close to owing federal taxes. And since in some cases the child tax credit is refundable, he may in fact be getting a free check from Uncle Sam on top of his subsidized medical care.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Area Man, wait. So the 47% who pay no federal income tax includes white people? Worse, it includes Patriotic American, America Loving, Family Values, Values Voters, Honest-to-God Republicans? That can’t be right. Check your math again.

  • Nihilismus

    The foundation of government is an equal right to life. Property, or natural resources and their derivatives, is essential to sustain life. Liberty is necessary to acquire and control property. . . . We also have an inherent right to secure these fundamental rights. . . . Our rights are limited by the rights of others. If we violate the rights of others, we have committed a crime. We hire government to help us secure our rights, which is accomplished by punishing crime.

    If everyone has an equal right to life, and property is essential to sustain life, then everyone has an equal right to ac

  • Nihilismus

    hmm…. not sure what happened there. It suddenly posted while I was typing.

    Anyway, if everyone has an equal right to life, and property is essential to sustain life, then everyone has an equal right to acquire and control property, and to secure that right. But, depending on where you are born or to what family, you could already have resources and property that others do not have. With only a finite amount of certain resources, not everybody has an equal right to acquire property. Unless you allow them to “secure” their right to property (and thus life) by taking from another directly. That is, we all have a right to acquire property, even from each other, in order to sustain life. If that is a crime, than so is keeping inherited property (which you did not personally acquire through your own labor) at the expense of other people possibly not having enough property to live. The government can be used to punish both crimes, or to secure both people’s right to acquire property by outlawing theft but taxing the wealthy and feeding the poor.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    They’re against the 17th amendment because they know they don’t do well in state-wide election. It”s much easier to win half of the gerrymander state districts that it is too win the whole state at once.

  • Nihilismus

    [16 Area Man] I’ve never understood the kooky right-wing objection to the 17th amendment. It has something to do with fetishism over states’ rights, but it fails to make sense even on those grounds.

    [23 Modusoperandi] Once upon a time, a state (like Virginia or West Virginia) with Red people who voted for other Red people for their own state house also voted for Blue senators to send to DC. ‘Surely this cannot be.’ said the Red people, ‘We must put an stop to this.’

    Modus is right, as far as why state governments would want to once again have control over who represents the state in the federal Senate. Sometimes the voters of a state legitimately like some policies of a person running for the Senate, and other policies of a person running for state office on other issues. But since the two politicians might not align on all the issues, the state representative (who thinks his constituents must think like him for every issue — after all, why did they vote for him?) feels that the Senator does not adequately represent the “state” as much as she would if she were appointed by the state legislature.

    In some cases, state government efforts on a particular issue might be hampered by federal regulations, and so state representatives think that their constituents must want those regulations repealed, and for their senator to be in constant consultation with the state legislature on every federal issue that comes up. The thought might not occur to the state representatives that the voters might actually want their state to operate within the bounds of federal regulations that apply equally to all states.

    In some cases, voters might vote for a candidate for state office even if they disagree with his positions on certain issues, knowing that certain issues are out of the hands of the state government. For example, a libertarian might vote for a Republican at the state level for state economic reasons even if the voter disagrees with the politician’s stance on the Civil Rights Act, knowing that the federal Constitution’s commerce clause and enforcement clause of the 14th Amendment will supersede the state politician’s social policies. Then, the libertarian might vote for a Democrat to enact certain social policies and stay out of a war, knowing that certain intrastate commerce and police power issues are out of the federal government’s control. This might frustrate the state politician, which is why he might want the 17th Amendment repealed.

    Of course, Modus’s explanation doesn’t fully explain why individual voters (rather than state representatives) would want the 17th repealed, considering that it would remove their ability to pick their own senator. Most of the people wanting it repealed will also make the “this is supposed to be a republic, not a democracy” argument, completely ignorant of what being a republic even means. What they are really objecting to is that the more democratic the voting system is, the more diverse the opinions needed for consensus will be, and the less likely the anti-17ers’ preferred policies at the federal level will get enacted. They are objecting to the reality that they are actually in the minority.

    Even though they are in the minority, they still can control the state governments for a few reasons. First, voter turnout is lower for state elections, with the larger body of moderates tending to stay home more often. Also, state districts are smaller geographically, and thus are less likely to be as diverse as the state at large, which could lead to over-representation of a particular minority at the state level. This could happen coincidentally, but it can also be done deliberately through gerrymandering. Also, as mentioned before, some voters intentionally vote for different parties at the state and federal levels, and so might allow the minority on federal issues to be the majority on some state issues, resulting in state representatives of one party and federal representatives of another. This “minority on federal issues” might not even realize they are the minority. After all, their preferred candidates are winning state elections — they just don’t realize that it is them plus the vote splitters that are causing these candidates to be elected.

    However, some of these people actually do know they are in the minority on federal issues. Since they have control of the state government, it is in their best interests to repeal the 17th, so that their preferred person is appointed to the federal Senate, even though that person could never win a state-wide popular vote. A person who thinks the 17th should be repealed is probably also a person who doesn’t think gerrymandering is a problem.

  • Nihilismus

    And while I was typing, holytape made one of my points more succinctly.

  • Nihilismus

    from demonhauntedworld’s quote of Collett @30:

    We try to eat as healthy as possible to avoid diet related diseases. I avoid all refined sugars and corn syrup, enriched flour products and other processed foods, GMO products, and foods that have unpronounceable ingredients.

    Yet, he’s against the USDA and presumably the FDA. They’re the reasons he even knows what the ingredients actually are and which foods are unhealthy. The ingredients are often unpronounceable because companies are trying to obfuscate what the actual ingredients are. If they had their way, they would just not mention the ingredients at all —- but we have federal regulations requiring disclosure. Some of the other ingredients are preservatives meant to prevent spoilage, and some foods are “processed” in that they are pasteurized — but without regulations, why would a company even bother? Also, it would be harder to avoid GMO products if there weren’t regulations requiring disclosure, or requiring care so that GMO crops don’t contaminate natural crops.

  • smrnda

    Some ingredients are just hard to pronounce if you don’t recall much chemistry…

  • dogmeat

    They’re against the 17th amendment because they know they don’t do well in state-wide election. It”s much easier to win half of the gerrymander state districts that it is too win the whole state at once.

    I consider it a multi-fold reasoning:

    1) Holytape is correct in that some of them recognize that they struggle to win statewide elections, but they can, and do, win state legislatures fairly consistently. It is a pragmatic argument in favor of political power posing as a principled argument in favor of some ill defined “liberty.”

    2) Part is that state’s rights fetish

    3) Part of it is the recognition that the pre-17th amendment situation allowed the wealthy to massively influence the Senate. These are the folks who do honestly believe that money = speech and also favor the idea that elites should have greater influence on our political agenda. These are also some of the same folks who argue in favor of property requirements to vote.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “Huh. By that same argument, it’s okay to have an abortion if you feel you need one as long as you totally oppose its legality.”

    Isn’t that known as the “Santorum Slidestep”?

    “We try to eat as healthy as possible to avoid diet related diseases..

    Like Kwashiorkor, beriberi, rickets, scurvy–that sortathang? Well, shit, you need a doctor to make a diagnosis–or you can just pray the pain and death away, I guess.

    “…I avoid all refined sugars and corn syrup, enriched flour products and other processed foods, GMO products, and foods that have unpronounceable ingredients.”

    I hate GMO stuff and I never eat it at home. I’m also sure that the minimum wage employees of Taco Bell, McDonalds and the like are scrupulous in that regard. What, you don’t like “pink slime” meat?

    I would love to have somebody follow this assdouche on his rounds and surreptitiously make a video of what he eats and drinks in an average day on the job. I’m bettin’ it ain’t all free-range whatev.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “3) Part of it is the recognition that the pre-17th amendment situation allowed the wealthy to massively influence the Senate.”

    And that is no longer the case?

  • caseloweraz

    Collett: I am against public libraries, but my family uses them; I am against public schools, but I occasionally use their facilities…

    This suggests he home-schooled his 10 kids* rather than sending them to public schools. If his kids had gone to public schools, why wouldn’t he mention that? I can only guess why he now “occasionally uses their facilities.” My guess would be for group constituent meetings because there are few other suitable meeting places in the part of Idaho he inhabits.

    * His “About” page says that’s correct.

    As for libraries, he should buy his own books. When his family checks a book or DVD out of the public library, they (in his phrase) “preemptively interfere in the lives of others” by denying those others the use of library materials.

    Since DARPA originated the Internet, he shouldn’t have a Web page. Elected officials got along fine without them for many years. (But at least his home page validates.)

    He opposes any restrictions on firearms ownership by law-abiding citizens — including mandatory training. (Apparently some local sheriffs in Idaho require training before they issue a concealed-carry permit.)