Subscribe via RSS Feed

Getting Something for Your Wages (or Tuition) is Theft

[ 77 ] March 9, 2012 |

One of the reasons Slate has improved greatly over the years is that it not longer publishes the inadvertently self-paradoic ramblings of Steven Landsburg.  (I particularly enjoyed his argument that you can’t tax the wealthy because other people will ultimately spend the money.  Oh.)   So when stalwart commenter gmack noted that Mr. Landsburg had weighed in on the Sandra Fluke story, I braced myself.   Landsburg does not, at least, quite call Fluke a “slut.”  But he does go all-asshole in defending Limbaugh’s particularly offensive analogy:

If the rest of us are to share in the costs of Ms. Fluke’s sex life, says Rush, we should also share in the benefits, via the magic of online video. For this, Rush is accused of denying Ms. Fluke her due respect.

But while Ms. Fluke herself deserves the same basic respect we owe to any human being, her position — which is what’s at issue here — deserves none whatseover. It deserves only to be ridiculed, mocked and jeered. To treat it with respect would be a travesty.

If you’re going to assert that someone’s position deserves no respect whatsoever, you’d better have a good argument to back it up. Alas, Landsburg’s counter to Fluke — or, more precisely, what he erroneously imagines Fluke’s argument to be — is not merely offensive but baldly stupid, and almost farcical in its comprehensive ignorance of the issues involved. Landsburg:

I expect there are respectable arguments for subsidizing contraception (though I am skeptical that there are arguments sufficiently respectable to win me over), but Ms. Fluke made no such argument. All she said, in effect, was that she and others want contraception and they don’t want to pay for it.

To his credit, Rush stepped in to provide the requisite mockery. To his far greater credit, he did so with a spot-on analogy: If I can reasonably be required to pay for someone else’s sex life (absent any argument about externalities or other market failures), then I can reasonably demand to share in the benefits. His dense and humorless critics notwithstanding, I am 99% sure that Rush doesn’t actually advocate mandatory on-line sex videos. What he advocates is logical consistency and an appreciation for ethical symmetry. So do I. Color me jealous for not having thought of this analogy myself.

There’s one place where I part company with Rush, though: He wants to brand Ms. Fluke a “slut” because, he says, she’s demanding to be paid for sex. There are two things wrong here. First, the word “slut” connotes (to me at least) precisely the sort of joyous enthusiasm that would render payment superfluous. A far better word might have been “prostitute” (or a five-letter synonym therefor), but that’s still wrong because Ms. Fluke is not in fact demanding to be paid for sex. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) She will, as I understand it, be having sex whether she gets paid or not. Her demand is to be paid. The right word for that is something much closer to “extortionist”. Or better yet, “extortionist with an overweening sense of entitlement”. Is there a single word for that?

But whether or not he chose the right word, what I just don’t get is why the pro-respect crowd is aiming all its fire at Rush. Which is more disrespectful — his harsh language or Sandra Fluke’s attempt to pick your pocket? That seems like a pretty clear call to me.

Let’s go through at least some of the more transparently idiotic aspects of Landsburg’s argument:

  • To start with the most glaring flaw, of course neither Landsburg nor Limbaugh will be “paying” for anything.   The insurer that provides the health plan for students at Georgetown Law would be paying for it.   Leaving aside books, room and board, and opportunity costs, Georgetown law costs about $47 grand a year, so this is not “picking anybody’s pocket” — Georgetown Law students receive health coverage as one condition of paying exorbitant tuition.   The new requirement to cover contraception, similarly, is not giving something for nothing to ordinary employees, who get health insurance in lieu of wages in large part because employers receive substantial tax benefits to pay workers with health insurance rather than cash. UPDATE: Hogan notes in comments that I’m actually being too generous too Landsburg here: Georgetown law students are actually required to purchase the school-provided insurance package if they don’t already have it. Georgetown law students are actually paying directly for what Landsburg claims he’s paying for.
  • Even if Landsburg and Limbaugh wouldn’t be paying for Sandra Fluke’s contraception — hence destroying their entire argument in one fell swoop — could we at least say that other Georgetown students who don’t use contraception are paying for it?   Not necessarily. After all, an unintended pregnancy would be far more expensive for an insurer than the modest cost involved in contraception.   It’s far from obvious that not covering contraception would allow Georgetown to get a cheaper health plan, and Landsburg cites no evidence for his assertion.
  • I note here that we don’t know anything about Sandra Fluke’s sex life and nothing in her testimony said anything about it.   Women may, for a variety of reasons, use the pill during periods of celibacy.   The only people bringing Sandra Fluke’s “sex life” into the discussion are reactionary thigh-rubbers.    Her actual testimony says absolutely nothing about whether she will have sex with or without Georgetown offering contraceptive coverage as part of its health plan.
  • In a gentlemanly concession, Landsburg argues that Fluke is not a “slut” — too joyless! — and only sort of a whore.    Rather, she is an “extortionist.”   Alas, Landsburg, in addition to being offensive, doesn’t seem to understand what an “extortionist” is.   What, exactly, is Fluke threatening to do to Georgetown Law if its health care package doesn’t cover insurance?  Fluke is not in a position to make any “demands.”
  • The larger problem is that, as is his trademark, Landsburg’s abstractions are completely divorced from the actual policy context.  Perhaps Landsburg would prefer a conservertarian dystopia in which people are simply denied health care if they can’t pay cash, and in the interim would settle for employers being able to get tax breaks for providing wages in the form of “insurance” that isn’t required to actually cover anything more than three aspirins a month.   But under our actually existing system, in which health insurance is primarily employer-based and employers get tax advantages for paying wages in the form of insurance, it’s obviously necessary to require that this insurance actually cover basic medical care.    Requiring that contraception be covered is no more “picking someone’s pocket” than requiring that, say, knee surgeries be covered.
  • Once we consider the actually existing policy universe, the grotesque sexism of the arguments being made by Landsburg and Limbaugh becomes readily apparent.    Have either of them freaked out because men are “picking the pockets” of mythical taxpayers because they use their insurance to get a prostrate exam?   If getting blood pressure meds partially covered by insurance allowed a man to resume sexual activity, would it ever occur to Landsburg or Limbaugh that a “logical consistency and an appreciation for ethical symmetry” requires that man to send them sex tapes?   Of course not.

Someone’s arguments here are certainly not entitled to the slightest respect, but it’s not Fluke’s.

UPDATE: More good commentary here.

UPDATE II: More here.

Comments (77)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. c u n d gulag says:

    Boy, he sure seemed smarter on “Barney Miller!”
    And funnier, too.

    What?
    Steven Landsburg, NOT Steve Landesberg?
    Really?

    No wonder he sounds teh stoopid, and not at all funny!

    Never miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiind…

  2. MPAVictoria says:

    Well done Scott. Best take down of a hack that I have seen in a long time.

  3. Hogan says:

    Great stuff. Just one correction: health insurance is not included with tuition; you’re required either to have it already or to buy it from Georgetown (or rather from UnitedHealthcare by way of Georgetown) for upwards of $3000/year. So not only are Limbaugh and Landsburg not paying for her insurance, she actually is.

    • commie atheist says:

      Wait – she’s paying for it, and she wants to be able to decide what gets covered? Who the hell does she think she is, anyway? I knew it was a mistake to give women the vote.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        It’s extortion! Or is it grand theft auto? I’m not sure — I’ll have to consult my edition of Ayn Rand’s Marginalia to sort this out.

        • Hogan says:

          “To that highly trained legal mind of yours it is instantly clear that the act will constitute a tort or misdemeanour, if not actual barratry or socage in fief.”

  4. pete says:

    Of course she’s making demands: She’s going to hold her breath till his balls turn blue. /eejit

  5. Joshua says:

    The type of people still talking about Ms. Fluke in relation to the amount of sex she has is, in my book, a complete pervert. Especially if they are getting up near 60, like this clown.

    The following 2 points need to be tattooed to the chest of this guy, Ace of Spades, and whatever other creep is out there:

    1. Birth control pills cost the same however much sex you have.
    2. Fluke’s testimony wasn’t even about her sex life.

    • Richard says:

      All Fluke said is that contraception should be included in mandated insurance plans, without an exception for religion affiliated employers or schools, because birth control pills are used to prevent certain medical maladies in addition to preventing conception. What could be more inoffensive than that. This, of course as Scott points out, has nothing to do with picking pockets or with sex. She made an argument and dickheads like Limbaugh and Landsburg either can’t understand it or have nothing to counter it so resort to inanities.

      • Njorl says:

        She has been examined and found to be a witch. Attempting to argue against this is speaking the devil’s words. Those words must not be heard. These words may seem fair and sensible, but they will turn one away from the manifest truth that she is a witch. Stop up your ears and bring wood.

      • Hogan says:

        What could be more inoffensive than that.

        It’s certainly milder than my position, which is that Benedict XVI should personally deliver a birth control pill to every female Georgetown (and Notre Dame and all those freakin’ Loyolas and whatnot) student every single day. In a nice little box with a ribbon around it.

    • commie atheist says:

      Nah, tattoing their chests isn’t good enough – no one can see it unless they’re shirtless. Tatto the forehead instead.

    • Victor says:

      Given that I think this is the guy who one wrote an article saying that the way to reduce STD risk is to encourage more prudish young people to sleep with more promiscuous older people, I think you might be on to something.

  6. thebewilderness says:

    It is astonishing how many column inches self styled journalists are getting out of pretending not to understand what an insurance premium is.

  7. Njorl says:

    It’s always nice when a strawman turns on its creator and pummels him.

  8. There is another aspect to this that is completely stupid and offensive: sex is singled out as a particular type of action that “we” should not be forced to pay for.
    Imagine this argument: since “we” all pay for the health insurance of georgetown students (not true, I know, but lets concede for the sake of argument), why should georgetown students be allowed to engage in any behavior at all that will cost us more money? Why should they be allowed to go rock-climbing since some (no doubt) will get hurt and we’ll have to pay for it? Why should “we” pay for the broken arm that someone got while playing football? Or the dislocated shoulder from a skiing accident? If we’re paying for the health of georgetown students, why should they be allowed to do anything but sit in a locked and padded room eating oat bran?
    Of course no one believes any of this. The whole premise of insurance is that a group of people pool their money to pay for necessary health care. Its by its nature a collective entity, which means trying to adopt these individualist arguments (why should my money go to your sex life) is completely absurd: the whole point of it is that my money is going to your life, just as, at some later point, your money will go towards my life. But that doesn’t mean we all get veto power over the life-choices of everyone else in the insurance pool.
    Why, its almost like conservatives are just failing around for some excuse, any excuse, to regulate female sexuality! I never…

    • Malaclypse says:

      If we’re paying for the health of georgetown students, why should they be allowed to do anything but sit in a locked and padded room eating oat bran?

      Exactly – why should “we” pay for Rush’s cigar habit?

      • catclub says:

        The concept that we are all in this together — perhaps the ideal of a nation,
        is utterly foreign to the conversation.

        Shorter:
        There is no US in USA.

    • mark f says:

      I had this exact argument with someone yesterday, except that in my example I used running (since he’s a recreational runner).

      Other dude: There are 2 reasons to have sex: 1) to procreate, 2) for pleasure. Health insurance should not cover birth control because it is used as a means for pleasure.

      Mark F: There are two reasons to run: 1) to escape from something, 2) for pleasure. Health insurance should not treat ankle sprains that derive from running for pleasure.

      Other dude: Incorrect statement. Running is a form of cardiovascular activity that improves your help and improves your heart rate.

      Other dude: Try again.

      Mark F: If sex isn’t providing those same ancillary benefits for you, you’re doing it wrong. Way wrong.

  9. BradP says:

    You will love this Scott:

    http://www.thebigquestions.com/2012/03/08/aftermath/

    President Seligman says that the mission of the university is to promote the free exchange of ideas and lively debate, and I agree. That mission is undermined whenever a member of the academic community elevates raw self-interest over the exchange of ideas.

    That’s what Sandra Fluke did. She observed that contraceptives are expensive, and therefore demanded that somebody other than herself and her fellow students pick up the tab. She didn’t even pretend to be interested in debating any of the serious issues raised by the question of when some of us should pick up the tab for others’ expenses.

    Yikes.

    I’m not good at snark, so you all have fun.

    • BradP says:

      Holy crap. He’s been really goin at this topic:

      The worst imaginable argument — the one I have difficulty believing was ever intended seriously — is this:

      It is cheaper to foot the bill for contraception than to to foot the bill for childbirth.

      This is probably might be true (though I haven’t seen any actual estimates of the number of childbirths prevented per dollar spent on contraceptive subsidies) but (and I am embarrassed to even have to point this out), so what? If we’re going to start making choices strictly on the basis of what’s cheapest, we should all stop eating.

      and

      Here’s a much stronger (but still failed) attempt:

      The externalities from childbirth are, on balance, negative. Therefore childbirth should be discouraged.

      There are two problems here. First, it’s by no means clear that the externalities from childbirth are in fact on balance negative. Second, and more fundamentally, if you’re out to discourage childbirth, the best way to do it is to tax childbirth, not to subsidize contraception.

      • Left_Wing_Fox says:

        Second, and more fundamentally, if you’re out to discourage childbirth, the best way to do it is to tax childbirth, not to subsidize contraception.

        The best way to prevent car accident is not to subsidize seatbelts, but to tax accident victims.

        The best way to prevent food poisoning is to sue the offending companies, not to regulate safe food handling.

        The best way to solve illiteracy is to tax the dropouts, not to subsidize education.

        I see a trend.

        • BradP says:

          The trend is trying to apply a Pigovian Tax to an economic activity that results in externalities, and that is valid.

          However, its application here is completely idiotic:

          1. Who is going to support a birth tax in the first place? Doesn’t that just add to the problem?

          2. Considering that Fluke was explaining how birth control falls by the margins for some students, Landsburg’s response is trying to squeeze blood from a turnip.

          3. The insurance companies pay for the costs of birth. Adding a tax to it would only increase the burden on everyone else in the pool.

          Although on that last one, forcing the university to pay (by proxy through the insurance company) for the costs of childbirth plus an additional tax for the social costs of the childbirth does have a bit of poetic justice to it.

          • Left_Wing_Fox says:

            The trend is trying to apply a Pigovian Tax to an economic activity that results in externalities, and that is valid.

            No it isn’t.

            For starters, it doesn’t work. France has much better tax subsidies for families than the US and subsidized healthcare, yet the birth rate is still less than the US (11.4 vs. 14.2 as of 2007 ( http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004395.html )

            It’s the same problem as Abstinance only education: making sex frightening and telling people not to do so or else results in greater rates of unintended pregnancy versus areas with comprehensive sex education and access to contraceptives.

            Second, and even more importantly, it continues the tradition of reducing all human motivations to economic motivations: that people are rational actors who don’t experience pain, emotional duress or quality of life decisions; only financial ones.

            Thus it is “better” to tax a person who has experienced the physical stresses of pregnancy for 9 months, and is now obligated to pay for the needs of a new human being to an additional financial burden, as opposed to paying a comparatively small cost to allow them greater freedom to seek their own pleasure and reduce the potential consequences of their actions.

            That’s barbaric. Worse, it hides behind logic and economic models to mask the fact that it’s an emotional argument supporting policies which do not work in the real world.

            • Furious Jorge says:

              For starters, it doesn’t work.

              It works sometimes. Just not in healthcare.

              I’m not surprised that Brad went for that, though. A lot of libertarians are seduced by the allure of the Pigouvian tax.

              • Left_Wing_Fox says:

                Sure, in a strictly financial scenario, taxing a product will lead to people moving to a competitive alternative: Domestic versus imported, green versus dirty.

                “Abstinence” is not competitive with “fucking”.

                Safer sex, on the other hand is competitive with unprotected sex.

              • BradP says:

                I’m not surprised that Brad went for that, though. A lot of libertarians are seduced by the allure of the Pigouvian tax.

                Note that I didn’t exactly go for Pigouvian taxes in this situation.

                But yes, I do like the concept of Pigovian taxes provided that they are administered along existing channels of taxation and the revenue is used to address and rectify the social costs.

      • thebewilderness says:

        I expect him to expire from terminal stupidity any moment now.

      • kerry says:

        so what? If we’re going to start making choices strictly on the basis of what’s cheapest

        Gosh, it’s almost like he has no idea how insurance companies actually function!

      • Greco says:

        If we’re going to start making choices strictly on the basis of what’s cheapest, we should all stop eating.

        Please do.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        The worst imaginable argument — the one I have difficulty believing was ever intended seriously — is this

        You have to be kidding. Landsburg is seriously arguing that the whether or not covering something increases the cost of insurance isn’t relevant to whether something increases the cost of insurance? Is this guy for real?

        • Scott Lemieux says:

          Also, if covering contraception costs less, how is it being “subsidized?” Jesus, these arguments are so stupid I can’t believe he hasn’t been made the editor of Breitbart.com yet.

          • Malaclypse says:

            Jonah Goldberg could out-stupid him while typing one-handed.

            So could our very own HoBo, for that matter.

            • Scott Lemieux says:

              I actually think this is unfair to Jonah. Landsburg’s post is the single stupidest thing I’ve read in a long time, and in that time I’ve seen people arguing that it’s a major scandal when a law student warmly introduces a professor.

              • Njorl says:

                I don’t think it aims high enough to be the stupidist thing this year. It pretends to attempt to be a logical argument, but it is just cheering on Limbaugh and hating women. The attempted argument is just a veneer of respectability he feels he must apply before joining the fun.

                I think Dr. Keith Ablow’s attempt to sell Newt as a good candidate for president because he betrayed two wives and was still able to convince a third to marry him is the stupidist thing. That was no ignorant hoopla. That was pure, cold, detached, analytical stupidity.

            • DrDick says:

              So could our very own HoBo, for that matter.

              We are limiting this competition to actual living human beings here.

    • mark f says:

      Sandra Fluke’s approach . . . amounts to a contemptuous dismissal of the very possibility of engaging these issues through intellectual discourse.

      Uhh . . . how so? This guy seems like a real class act.

  10. Rick Massimo says:

    What he advocates is logical consistency and an appreciation for ethical symmetry. So do I.

    So do I. You know, people who AREN’T lying, dumbass sexist douchebags get punched in the fucking face every day, so it only makes sense that …

    • Bill Murray says:

      I believe ethical symmetry requires kicking in the balls, right exactly between them, so as to be symmetric.

  11. wengler says:

    A part of Fluke’s testimony was talking about a friend of hers that was denied contraception that she needed due to ovarian cysts, because the healthcare provider thought it was just an excuse to have dirty, dirty sex. Her friend then had to have surgery to remove a cyst-filled ovary.

    Denying necessary medicine to sick people? Just another day for a ‘moral’ Republican.

    • Malaclypse says:

      Her friend then had to have surgery to remove a cyst-filled ovary.

      And then was left sterile, but remember, it is liberals who are anti-children, because shut up, that’s why.

  12. ema says:

    She made an argument and dickheads like Limbaugh and Landsburg either can’t understand it or have nothing to counter it so resort to inanities.

    Unless their claim is that they’re illiterate, blind, deaf, etc. and, thus, unable to read/hear Ms. Fluke’s testimony they are resorting to lying:

    All she said, in effect, was that she and others want contraception and they don’t want to pay for it.

    She said nothing, in effect or otherwise, about her personal contraceptive needs/wants. And she explicitly, and repeatedly, mentioned that students pay for their health insurance (We expected that when 94% of students oppose the policy the university would respect our choices regarding insurance students pay for – completely unsubsidized by the university.)

    All she said was that she and others want the non-partisan medical advice of the Institute of Medicine [contraception is preventive care] to be implemented [insurance must cover preventive care].

    Until, and unless, Limbaugh, Landsburg, et al publicly acknowledge and retract their lies, every mention of them (MSM are you listening?) should be the factual “the liar Limbaugh”, “the liar Landsburg”, etc. Hey, I can dream on, can’t I?

  13. J.W. Hamner says:

    I agree with conservatives that we are “all paying for it.” Health premiums are largely tax exempt, and a tax credit is functionally equivalent to an expenditure from a revenue stand point… so I think it’s accurate to say that we all pay for contraception in some sense. However the issue is that 90% of plans already do this, and that it’s been the law that plans that cover preventative care also cover contraception since 2000… so making an issue of the fact that the copay is being reduced to zero is fairly incoherent.

    • md rackham says:

      Health premiums are largely tax exempt

      Not when paid for by an individual like Ms. Fluke. Individuals get no tax deduction for medical expenses–including insurance–except for the portion which exceeds 2% of AGI.

      A starving student might reach that threshold without huge medical expenses, but then they’re likely not paying any income tax anyway because they’re so poor.

      Businesses do get to deduct medical insurance premiums, the same way they get to deduct (most) all business expenses.

      As with all things related to US income taxes, there are corner cases, but in general the idea that healthcare is subsidized via the tax code is not true.

      (We all do subsidize healthcare via higher costs to pay for those who can’t pay their bills, but that’s not a tax issue.)

      • J.W. Hamner says:

        I don’t believe this is accurate. This is about the group coverage offered by Georgetown we are talking about, which I imagine is tax exempt, not an individual plan. Fluke’s campaign was to get Georgetown to cover contraceptives. If it was about individual plans it would have nothing to do with Georgetown.

        • Hogan says:

          Is it group coverage that’s tax exempt, or specifically employee coverage?

          • J.W. Hamner says:

            I have no idea what the tax status of university offered health insurance is… but it wouldn’t take very high premiums for them to exceed the threshold to be tax deductible for a full time student. Regardless, I’m not convinced Fluke’s specific situation at Georgetown is particularly relevant to whether it is accurate to say we’d all be paying for contraception.

            Health insurance is heavily subsidized in this county indirectly through tax breaks and directly through Medicare/Medicaid/etc. If contraception is mandated then we are all paying for it.

            If this was a thread about the home mortgage interest deduction I don’t think it would be controversial to say that renters were subsidizing homeowners.

          • David M says:

            It is employee coverage that is tax deductible, student or individual coverage would not be.

            A group policy from Georgetown would almost certainly be “better” than anything a single individual could purchase on their own though.

  14. cpinva says:

    good to see the lie limbaugh’s whole, odious screed was predicated on is finally being given some air play. i noticed that about .023 seconds after i started reading the initial transcripts. absent the lie about who was paying for ms. fluke’s insurance, the rant wouldn’t probably even have made much sense to limbaugh’s adoring, addled fans.

    and yet, the rightwingnutosphere still defends his blatantly fraudulent spewing. i wonder which poor bastard janitor had to clean up that mess?

  15. mpowell says:

    This argumemnt is so terrible that it reaches back in time and makes Landsburg’s last public argument look even worse. Now I’m even more sure that we shouldn’t consider this guy to be a legitimate participant in public discourse (and probably should be wary of anyone pimping his last argument as well).

  16. [...] Which is to say: people shouldn’t be satisfied with making just ONE of the incredibly obvious responses to this phenomenon.  We should be actively making all of them.  Because at each level, the conservative treatment of Ms. Fluke betrays deep problems in their social picture.  So don’t just point out that many women use birth control for reasons that have nothing to do with sex (though of course that is true and important).  Don’t just point out that people have to pay taxes for things they don’t personally support all the time (though of course that is true and important).  Don’t just point out that the issue here is not taxes at all, but rather what the health insurance that individuals will pay for will cover (though of course that is true and important).  Say all of this and more.  See Scott Lemieux for a great example. [...]

  17. Aaron Baker says:

    Oh . . . my . . . God. Who is this fucking moron? He can’t really be a tenured professor somewhere, can he? You’re putting us on, Lemieux, I’m sure of it.

  18. Aaron Baker says:

    “. . . a contemptuous dismissal of the very possibility of engaging these issues through intellectual discourse.” This guy’s schtick is so obviously not intellectual discourse that . . . you’re putting us on, Lemieux, you must have made this guy up. Knock it off. Just stop now.

  19. Sooooo, every woman who has health insurance that covers contraception, is a slut because her potential sexual activity is being subsidized by others? Ok, well what about women who have health plans that cover pregnancy? Aside from the rare instances of artificial insemination, the vast majority of pregnancies are a result of (wait for it….) sex. So they are also having their sexual activity subsidized, only with a differing result.

    I don’t see how there can be any question that pregnancy is more expensive than contraception. In the best case scenario, the delivered child is healthy, but still needs years and years of doctor visits. Prenatal, delivery and then pediatric care (not to mention follow-up ob/gyn for mom) must quickly dwarf the costs of contraception.

  20. David M says:

    I’m sure it won’t be a surprise to anyone that he apparently did not publish a polite post of mine pointing out this was not true:

    [Sandra Fluke] observed that contraceptives are expensive, and therefore demanded that somebody other than herself and her fellow students pick up the tab

    She wanted the policies she and other students were paying for include contraceptive coverage. So not only is he blatantly lying, but he’s not publishing comments pointing that out or correcting his original post.

  21. ironic irony says:

    First of all, I want to say: long time lurker, first time poster. Love, love, love the blog.

    Second, I am not even close to being as smart as all of you, and your comments and discussions provide great food for thought.

    Third, don’t US taxpayers subsidize contraception for members of the military and their dependents already? I’m a veteran and married to a service member, and I just picked up my prescription for my birth control pills (just had a baby; don’t want to get pregnant again right away), and I didn’t pay a dime (nor would I as long as I use a military pharmacy)! Rush would have a heart attack! HA!

    So, why don’t Rush and his apologists go after service members the way he went after Ms. Fluke? It doesn’t make sense, seeing as how Georgetown students are paying for their insurance. Neither she nor her fellow students are getting something for nothing. Personally, not only does it highlight Rush’s woman bashing, it speaks to his anti-intellectualism as well. He just can’t seem to avoid taking cheap shots at smart people, can he?

    • c u n d gulag says:

      About the service members – don’t give them any idea’s…
      :-)

      • ironic irony says:

        They won’t go after service members, as it is “un-’Murikan”. In fact, Rush and his cohorts are so pro-service member that they will excuse them of anything and everything (i.e. Marines pissing on the dead, etc.).

        P.S. I enjoy your comments.

  22. [...] == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}You would have thought than Steven Landsburg’s argument couldn’t possibly get any worse. Alas, as his follow-up strawman burning indicates, he is unable to clear the extremely low bar set [...]

  23. [...] is obviously a variant of Landsburgism, but I’m also fascinated by the idea that if you have any remaining disposable income, [...]

  24. [...] or any other kind? On the good guys’ side, Lawyers Guns and Money rips apart yet another argument that women who want their birth control covered by insurance are just skanky ‘ho’s. [...]

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

  • Switch to our mobile site