Many years back,Â Megan McArdle wrote that people who want higher taxes can just tax themselves and donate the excess. Their failure do this reveals their hypocrisy, so they should STFU.
There was another example of this over the weekend. Tomi Lahren, Â a conservative internet personality, decries Obamacare to beat the band. It so turns out that the 24 year-old benefits from a central provision of the law (that children can remain on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26). To some (and to judge by internet trends many) this is some kind of rank hypocrisy:
Tomi LahrenÂ says theÂ Affordable Care ActÂ is a disaster thatâ€™s in a death spiral, but that hasnâ€™t stopped her from benefitting from it.
During anÂ interviewÂ with comedianÂ Chelsea HandlerÂ at Politicon, the controversial 24-year-old conservative commentator trashed Obamacare for 10 minutes before admitting to the crowd that she was, in fact, still on her parentsâ€™ health insurance plan.
â€œOkay, so do you have a health care plan or no?â€ Handler asked.
â€œWell, luckily Iâ€™m 24, so I am still on my parentsâ€™,â€ Lahren said.
The irony was not lost on the audience, which promptly started to boo, laugh and chant,Â â€œThanks, Obama!â€
A law as complex as Obamacare (it was many pages long, remember), affects pretty much everyone. This makes it nearly impossible for one to avoid benefiting (or suffering from) some of its provisions. The fact that Lahren benefits from a provision of it does not make her a hypocrite anymore than the non-volunteering tax payer of Megan McArdle’s imagination.
Indeed, as we’ve probably pointed out before, the practical impossibility of avoiding something is often a condition of laws. If this fact–the fact that you’re subject to thing you disagree with–were disqualifying, it’d be very hard to have disagreements in a democracy at all.
For more on tu quoque arguments, see this post by Scott.