In Politico, Byron Tau has a delicious, concise blog post that consists of two things: Newt Gingrich’s support for the “Chilean model” for retirement saving, and then Tau pointing out that the Chilean model relies on mandating that workers devote a certain portion of their wages to private investments. Gingrich also used to say good things about mandates for health insurance, but more importantly than the opportunistic flip-flopping is that Gingrich’s support for the Chilean model shows how potentially deadly the Republican jihad against the individual mandate could be. In a world where mandates to purchase a private sector good are either unconstitutional or just politically unpalatable, then already existing conservative ideas for reforming the welfare state could then be taken off the table. Also, if conservatives succeed in striking down the individual mandate, it might energize liberals to pursue policies like single payer health care, which are not preemptive compromises with conservatives wary of creating big, new state institutions.

Update: this post has been revised for clarity.

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