Implications of the new “tax-mandate”

posted at 6:41 pm on June 28, 2012 by J.E. Dyer

So, this is how I understand the Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare.  Congress wrote an individual mandate – to purchase approved health insurance – into the law.  President Obama spoke with great certainty of the provision being a mandate, and not a tax.  Congress didn’t write the mandate in words that would make it a tax.  The description of the provision doesn’t fit that of a tax.  The provision is that you are required to buy something from a commercial vendor – i.e., not send revenue to the government, which is the exact definition of what a tax does – and that you are required to do so if you fit a certain income or employment profile; if you don’t fit the profile, you aren’t required to make the purchase; but if you do fit the profile and fail to make the purchase, you will be fined.

The Supreme Court decided that that’s a tax.

This is what a tax now looks like?  This is an open invitation to “tax” via whatever mandate sounds good to you.  What sort of unequal-before-the-law mandate would not fit this definition of a tax?  Congress can do anything it wants, by the logic of this decision, with the judicial precedent set that levying mandates equals using the power to tax.

Let’s mandate that every adult in America with an income over $80,000 a year has to buy a Chevy Volt or pay a fine.  Make it a 5-year recurring requirement, with the vehicle selected according to the preferences of environmentalists and unions.  Use the IRS to gather the necessary data and enforce the requirement.  It’s just a tax – why not?

Why can’t Congress tell us the size of house we are allowed to buy, require us to buy it, and fine us if we don’t?  Congress would just be taxing us by doing this.  Why can’t Congress mandate that we pay for two weeks of vacation at the tourist hotspots approved by Congress, and fine us if we don’t?  Why can’t Congress order us to pay for college and fine us if we don’t?  Buy furniture, buy certain types or brands of food, use a certain minimum amount of electricity or natural gas; get tattoos, buy a minimum amount of clothing each year – or buy only a maximum amount of clothing, and use only a maximum amount of electricity or natural gas – why can’t Congress require any or all of these things via a Tax-Mandate?

This is a very serious question.  If nothing in the US Constitution or legal precedent can be held to stop Congress from levying an unequally applied health-insurance purchase mandate, then what could stop Congress from levying any other unequally applied purchase mandate?  The same things that would stop a lawn-care or makeup purchase mandate should have knocked down the health-insurance purchase mandate.

It is deeply saddening to see the torture of our law and our idea of law in this instance.  Congress did not, in fact, write a tax; Congress wrote and intended to write a mandate.  SCOTUS has done great harm by so dangerously enlarging the effective definition of a “tax” – and by assuming the privilege of telling Congress what Congress actually did when Congress meant to frame a mandate.  The difference between purchase “mandate” and “tax” is a very real one from every perspective of government and law, and SCOTUS has irresponsibly elided them.

I say the court did not have the constitutional power to do that.  For the purposes of enforcement and politics – in terms of their meaning to our lives – the two things are obviously different.  They are validly separate categories, and it is overriding reality and the common sense of the people to decide that the one is to be interpreted as the other – and will therefore be treated as the other in terms of Congress’s constitutional powers.

If this decision was to be made at all – that a mandate is a tax, and Congress is empowered accordingly – Congress should have made it.  This transformational decision about definitions and distinctions in the law wasn’t for the Supreme Court to make.  A better approach for the court would have been to accept that Congress intended to write a mandate, and rule – on the basis expressed in the majority opinion itself – that Congress doesn’t have that power.  The court could have added that if Congress wanted to write a tax, it could do so.

A bulwark for our constitutional liberty and rights has been smashed.  Taxes do not involve commercial-purchase mandates, and individual purchase mandates, if they are to be implemented at all, belong to the states.  If we do not abide by those definitions and limits, then there will be no limit on what SCOTUS will say the Congress can “tax-mandate” out of our wallets.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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This whole thing blows my mind beyond belief.

Philly on June 28, 2012 at 6:42 PM

The Supreme Court decided that that’s a tax.

And was completely wrong in doing so.

A tax is an amount of money that is to be contributed to the government based on the monetary value of a transaction, be that on a head, per-unit, or percentage basis. Levying a penalty for doing nothing is not a tax, it is a penalty.

A gasket has blown in Justice Roberts’ head.

Stoic Patriot on June 28, 2012 at 6:42 PM

A bulwark for our constitutional liberty and rights has been smashed. Taxes do not involve commercial-purchase mandates, and individual purchase mandates, if they are to be implemented at all, belong to the states. If we do not abide by those definitions and limits, then there will be no limit on what SCOTUS will say the Congress can “tax-mandate” out of our wallets.

What about a constitutional amendment to limit their powers to tax? Is that possible?

Terrye on June 28, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Sad, indeed.

birdhurd on June 28, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Mark Levin attacks Roberts’ lack of tax definition, Roberts’ dismissing “labels” as irrelevant.

Hewett interviewing great guests defining TAX definitions, limited powers per branch, etc.

maverick muse on June 28, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Do you own a gun? No? Then you’re taxed until you buy one.

Do you go to Church? No? Then you’re taxed until you go.

Libs would blow an aneurism if someone even mentioned those.

Whats a Seawolf on June 28, 2012 at 6:46 PM

I’d like to make Roberts buy a clue. Dammit, Bush appointees screw us again.

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Don’t you have to tax something? What is being taxed here is nothing. That doesn’t make a bit of sense. How is letting Congress do anything through the tax power better than letting Congress do anything through the Commerce Clause? I don’t get it.

besser tot als rot on June 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

vote

rob verdi on June 28, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Its over. Our corrupticians have won. We lost.

p0s3r on June 28, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Hey, if it’s a tax, can we deduct it like we do our sales and property taxes? why pay tax on something that we paid for as a requirement of the Federal Sugar Daddy?

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 6:48 PM

I’d like to make Roberts buy a clue.

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Good one.

besser tot als rot on June 28, 2012 at 6:48 PM

29th Amendment:

Congress’s power of taxation shall not extend to compel any person or entity to engage in commerce.

rbj on June 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

So we still so sure this assclown is getting voted out in November?

The JO obviously has some pretty powerful friends up there, and it ain’t the TEA Party.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Implications?

We are no longer a free people. We are screwed. America as we know it is doomed.

Pork-Chop on June 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Where’s the part that tells me where I can go to apply for my waiver ?

FlaMurph on June 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

well said JE….well said

cmsinaz on June 28, 2012 at 6:50 PM

November or S-E-C-E-D-E

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Implications? I’m madder than a hornet and November cannot get here soon enough.
I might have to consider the part of the constitution that says I am required to pay taxes. /s

HornetSting on June 28, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Can anyone please address the significance of the majority rejecting the idea that Obamacare can be justified under the Commerce Clause?
Is there a silver lining to this ruling – that a limit has been placed on the application of the Commerce Clause? Or has Roberts just made the Commerce Clause moot?

topdog on June 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

29th Amendment:

Congress’s power of taxation shall not extend to compel any person or entity to engage in commerce.

rbj on June 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

I’d donate to any candidate who signs that pledge.

Lawdawg86 on June 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Raise a billion $ or bust!
Raise a billion $ by the ides of August for Romney, RNC, the PACS, etc. Just spell out all the organizations that will report their $ to the total as we progress toward a $billion.
Ed, or another hotairer, all we need is you to make a post about the meme, and, perhaps call out to a couple of other movers and shakers to make a post on it, and we could have a kind of SUPER MONEY BOMB extended over a month or more, spread over most all conservative organizations.

Now with the scotus defeat we have the impetus to make the rallying cry, to present the billion $ challenge.
This would make a real difference.

anotherJoe on June 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

November or S-E-C-E-D-E

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Probably not that far off.

Oil Can on June 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

J.E., would you be more comfortable if it was framed as a raise in taxes for everyone, and you get a rebate if you purchase health insurance? It’s essentially the same thing.

red_herring on June 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

29th Amendment:

Congress’s power of taxation shall not extend to compel any person or entity to engage in commerce.

rbj on June 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM | Delete

Simple and beautiful. The states should move towards making this an amendment verbatim.

Stoic Patriot on June 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

You will refinance you prinicple residence every 5 years to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or your will get fine…taxed.

Oil Can on June 28, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Penalty = tax
/CJ Benedict Roberts

Bitter Clinger on June 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM

If Americans, particularly liberal Americans don’t wake up from this silly utopian nightmare they’re having then I guess we’ll have to go through the entire exercise of losing EVERYTHING and starting from scratch. I do mean everything. Like your electricity? Ain’t gonna be around a heck of a lot longer. Don’t know how to hunt or farm? Oh well, you starve. Just don’t go to rural areas expecting hand outs or squatting rights, it’ll likely get you killed.

My last hope for this country after obama drops the last shoe and throws that last straw on the camel’s back is that our military isn’t so full of liberals that they actually listen to this douchebag obama when he orders the troops to enforce his newest dictates. I hope they side with freedom and jettison the communists once and for all.

Wolfmoon on June 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Repealing Obamacare is not enough. We have to repeal the Roberts Tax Tyranny Rule. Now, the only solution, long term, is a constitutional amendment eliminating the income tax and restricting the tax authority. If you can be forced to do anything. Forced to buy anything. Forced to violate any principle or belief, simply by calling it a “tax”, then this is the only option remaining.

D0WNT0WN on June 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Why can’t Congress tell us the size of house we are allowed to buy, require us to buy it, and fine us if we don’t?

NEWSFLASH: Congress already requires us to buy houses and fines us if we don’t. They dress it up a bit–they raise tax rates and then give you a deduction if you own a house–but that’s mathematically identical to keeping rates the same and imposing an extra tax if you don’t buy insurance. Anyone shocked and astonished by this “new” power to engineer specific social outcomes via the tax code simply hasn’t been paying attention for the past sixty years.

Fabozz on June 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Roberts’ own choices of comparison–buying gas or earning an income–beggar belief.

He might just as well have chosen “buying lollipops”.

That phrase needs to hang around his neck for the rest of his life and follow him to the grave: Here lies Roberts, who could not discern a granular difference between taxing participatory commerce, and a punitive fine for not participating in the same.

TexasDan on June 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Probably not that far off.

Oil Can on June 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Funny thing, I’ve never been in favor of considering it, but now….

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM

So the states fight back and the lines get drawn. I can move if I have to, I don’t want to, but I can.

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

This is overblown. There are already tax credits for everything from buying Solar Panels to Dieting (as long as a doctor told you to). Government can use Taxes to “incentivize” us to do almost anything and has been doing so for decades. Any many things that started out as a credit are now effectively penalties – like the home interest deduction (e.g. renters pay more in taxes, that the same person who owned a home).

Don’t forget that new taxes come with HUGE electoral consequences. The PPACA is now seen for what it is: a tax and spend program, with credits for those who bought their own insurance. If Scott Brown hadn’t won that seat, this language in the bill would have been re-done along those lines anyway. Roberts made the right call here.

vimrich on June 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

As soon as it’s enforced in 2014, it will be challenged in court as unconstitutional due to not originating in the House. Tax bill must originate there, period.

SirGawain on June 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

It is time for a constitutional amendment to redefine the federal governments commerce and taxing powers.

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

I’d donate to any candidate who signs that pledge.

Lawdawg86 on June 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Election is coming up, ask the candidates. Get the word out. I don’t care about credit, I care about reining in government.

rbj on June 28, 2012 at 6:56 PM

This is worse decision than Dred Scott.

tommyboy on June 28, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Implication???

2 MILLION DOLLARS MORE for Romney

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/06/28/Romney-Raises-2-million-after-Obamacare-Decision

CW on June 28, 2012 at 6:56 PM

The events of today have been unbelievable. I never thought that the vote would go this way. Fine. Obama won this small battle, but just handed us all the ammunition we need to win the war.

TXMomof3 on June 28, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Somewhere George Orwell is laughing his ass off!

GarandFan on June 28, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Another horrific consequence of the SCOTUS obozocare decision:
“If Congress ever does need to mandate purchase of a product or service again, it can impose a tax for failing to buy it.”
…BUT it is even WORSE THAN THAT since it also opens the door to further socialist re-distribution of wealth and income. obozocare taxes in a manner to implement this socialist re-distribution by exempting the d-cRAT socialist privileged classes from any tax (and even gives them subsidies), while the successful are taxed progressively by the socialists just for being successful – the more successful, the more the tax (which then goes to the privileged classes).

TeaPartyNation on June 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

So the states fight back and the lines get drawn. I can move if I have to, I don’t want to, but I can.

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

They need to do like the Libs and the gays do in California (and elsewhere) and simply not take ‘no’ for an answer…hey, it’s obviously working for them!

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

This is overblown. …..

vimrich on June 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Yep another swipe at the Constitution…

overblown./

CW on June 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

vimrich on June 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

None of those credits increase your taxes for not buying something, and then promise to give the money back if you buy that same something.

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Why can’t Congress tell us the size of house we are allowed to buy, require us to buy it, and fine us if we don’t?

They just haven’t got around to it yet.

If nothing else, Chief Justice Roberts just taught us all that elections have consequences – sometimes severe and very unpleasant consequences.

It’s time to stop relying on the courts. This decision would never have been necessary if we as a people were vigilant enough to keep a bunch of leftists out of power.

The lesson here is to vote, persuade and stay active in the political process.

MessesWithTexas on June 28, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Obama won this small battle, but just handed us all the ammunition we need to win the war.

TXMomof3 on June 28, 2012 at 6:56 PM

I like Texans. Texans get it.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Can anyone please address the significance of the majority rejecting the idea that Obamacare can be justified under the Commerce Clause?

Is there a silver lining to this ruling – that a limit has been placed on the application of the Commerce Clause? Or has Roberts just made the Commerce Clause moot?

topdog on June 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

The fact that the majority rejected it is a silver lining. And Roberts didn’t make the CC moot, he and the majority placed a limit on it.

Del Dolemonte on June 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

It is time for a constitutional amendment to redefine the federal governments commerce and taxing powers.

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Agreed.

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

The Supreme Court decided that that’s a tax.

No. Roberts, and Roberts alone, decided that’s a tax. The Ginsburg gang shrugged and said, whatever. They did not need to call it a tax to support the mandate.

farsighted on June 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

and if it’s just a tax it can be passed through reconciliation in the Senate.

Wigglesworth on June 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

vimrich on June 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Tell us when you want to go buy your government mandated car, house or Air Jordans.

The government can incentivize all they want, but they CANNOT force a purchase of a product against my will.

Fluck Obama. And Fluck Roberts.

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Here’s a question: what happens to this law, then, in effect if a Flat or Fair tax were ever passed?

MikeknaJ on June 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

The Constitution simply doesn’t matter anymore…it can mean anything the left (who hate the Constitution) wants it to mean. If the powerful in this country don’t want to abide by the laws, they simply redefine them and press on…

BTW, Roberts isn’t a lefty…he’s just an idiot.

AUINSC on June 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Implications? I’m madder than a hornet and November cannot get here soon enough.
I might have to consider the part of the constitution that says I am required to pay taxes. /s

HornetSting on June 28, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I am depressed. I will get mad in about a day or so.

WTH is going on in Roberts mind?

SparkPlug on June 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

This is a tax. You can see and feel a tax in your reduced paycheck and the amount left over to buy things you need and want. This will be seen and felt and when it kicks in there will be a collective “Holy Shiite!” that the species who live in the Horsehead Nebula will be able to hear.

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 7:02 PM

TXMomof3 on June 28, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Texas might become an awfully popular place to move to if we decide we don’t want to stay on the sinking sunken ship that is the U.S.S America.

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Here’s a question: what happens to this law, then, in effect if a Flat or Fair tax were ever passed?
MikeknaJ on June 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Nothing. It will just be an additional tax to the flat tax. It doesn’t die unless repealed.

tommyboy on June 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Over at Drudge: Roberts on medication for seizures that cause forgetfulness, loss of memory. Michael Savage saying his medication could have been cause of his decision today.

silvernana on June 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Thanks.

TXMomof3 on June 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

No. Roberts, and Roberts alone, decided that’s a tax. The Ginsburg gang shrugged and said, whatever. They did not need to call it a tax to support the mandate.

farsighted on June 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

What’s your point? The courts won’t put an asterisk on this decision and mark it “Don’t use: written by John Roberts.” This is a terrible, terrible decision, and short of a constitutional amendment, I’m not sure how we recover from it.

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

This may be the best thing I’ve ever read on HotAir and I’ve read a lot of articles here.

Kudos.

VinceOfDoom on June 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

If nothing in the US Constitution or legal precedent can be held to stop Congress from levying an unequally applied health-insurance purchase mandate, then what could stop Congress from levying any other unequally applied purchase mandate?

Roberts’ answer would be “elections provide the backstop to Congress”.

Thin gruel and in-congruent to true representation in a republic.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Government mandated Broccoli anyone?

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Has Roberts ordered anyone to write his new tax into the tax code? I’d like to see how they write it up.

farsighted on June 28, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Thanks, Del

topdog on June 28, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Article 1 Section 8: The Congress shall have Power To Lay and Collect Taxes to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

They have always had the power. Roberts is forcing Congress to be honest in its terminology and the People to judge via the ballot box whether they want this result.

txmomof6 on June 28, 2012 at 7:04 PM

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Born and raised in Texas, spent my first 35 years there. I’ve been in North Dakota for almost three years. 3.8% unemployment rate and an exploding economy. Colder than Hell, though.

TXMomof3 on June 28, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Roberts was right about one thing…elections have consequences. Except for the effect on my children and grand children, I hope for the maximum pain on the idiots who elected the Marxist and still support him.

cajunpatriot on June 28, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Has Roberts ordered anyone to write his new tax into the tax code? I’d like to see how they write it up.

farsighted on June 28, 2012 at 7:04 PM

This is its own tax code. Inclusion in the tax code is not dispositive.

txmomof6 on June 28, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Justice Roberts:

First, and most importantly, it is abundantly clear the Constitution does not guarantee that individuals may avoid taxation through inactivity.

red_herring on June 28, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Will the unions and Missouri lose their waivers now? After all, this is a tax. The Catholic people ought to be happy too because they are tax exempt.

timberline on June 28, 2012 at 7:07 PM

SCOTUS Roberts has done great harm by so dangerously enlarging the effective definition of a “tax” – and by assuming the privilege of telling Congress what Congress actually did when Congress meant to frame a mandate.

Fixed it, because this is all his. The Ginsburg gang were fine with not calling the mandate a tax.

farsighted on June 28, 2012 at 7:07 PM

I’d like to make Roberts buy a clue.

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Would that be a taxable purchase?

LaserBeam on June 28, 2012 at 7:07 PM

WTH is going on in Roberts mind?

SparkPlug on June 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

He just put one over on the liberal justices, 0bama and the dems. He obamacare unworkable and that much easier for the people to repeal. He also made son of 0bamacare (grandson of Hilarycare) that much harder to pass during our kids time in control.

Oh, and he made Romney the next president and gave him coattails stronger than Superman’s cape.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 7:07 PM

They have always had the power. Roberts is forcing Congress to be honest in its terminology and the People to judge via the ballot box whether they want this result.

txmomof6 on June 28, 2012 at 7:04 PM

True enough, but that’s not the job of SCOTUS. Roberts re-defined the law and created a new one from the bench. He is a loathsome SOB as far as I’m concerned.

cajunpatriot on June 28, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I’m still stunned at all this. Et tu, Roberts?

changer1701 on June 28, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Great post by J. E. Dyer. Thank you.

LaserBeam on June 28, 2012 at 7:09 PM

You want implications? try these implications on for size.

See §5000A(b). That, according to the Government, means the mandate can be regarded as establishing a condition—not owning health insurance A Firearm—that triggers a tax—the required payment to the IRS. Under that theory, the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance a Firearm. Rather, it makes going without insurance a Firearm just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earn-ing income.

SWalker on June 28, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Great article. Obamacare in no way meets the definition of a tax. If Congress had written Obamacare as a tax-starting a new entitlement program, such as Medicare, with no age restrictions- and passed the bill with the reqired number of votes, (not under reconciliation), I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I could accept it, because such an event would be a legitimate extension of our accepted government.

But this is bizarre. I can’t understand how any intelligent person could apply such a twisted rationalization to justify maintining such an atrocious piece of legislation.

talkingpoints on June 28, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Implications? I’m madder than a hornet and November cannot get here soon enough.
I might have to consider the part of the constitution that says I am required to pay taxes. /s

HornetSting on June 28, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I am depressed. I will get mad in about a day or so.

WTH is going on in Roberts mind?

SparkPlug on June 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

The five stages of grief…..for the death of a great nation.

Denial…when Fox first stated that the mandate was found unconstitutional.

Anger….Finding out that BJ Roberts betrayed us.

Bargaining…..haven’t gotten here yet..

Depression…you are here, SP.

Acceptance…..NEVER. WAR!

HornetSting on June 28, 2012 at 7:10 PM

29th Amendment:

Congress’s power of taxation shall not extend to compel any person or entity to engage in commerce.

rbj on June 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

So? So what?

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 7:10 PM

The mandate is not a tax. It’s a mandate. If you comply with the mandate, no revenue flows to the government; it goes to insurance companies. That simply cannot be called a “tax.”

It’s a form of unconscionable coercion on the people, but it’s not a tax. Roberts is wrong to call it a tax. Therefore, no argument about taxes, per se, is relevant here.

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Even if ObamaCare is authorized pursuant to the taxing authority, it is still subject to the Bill of Rights and could still be struck down that way if it is not repealed first.

txmomof6 on June 28, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Welcome to Australia, Americans.

We pay a Medicare “levy” which is proportional to our income. For my family, it’s 1.5% of our gross income. That’s for public health cover for ‘everyone.’

If you earn over $168,000 per year per family, you ALSO have to pay for private health insurance with top hospital cover. If you don’t pay private health insurance, then you are ‘levied’ a fine which is equal to the cover you would have had. We are screwed either way. Health insurance premiums are through the roof, quality of health care is down, doctors are in short supply, rorting is everywhere.

Welcome to your future.

And before you say, geez Australians are stupid, how did they let that happen, must be dumb down there, just remember your country voted in a guy who has done exactly the above. And I know all Americans aren’t stupid. You just got hijacked, same as us.

Reagan was right back in 1961. Socialism through health care.

Ozwitch on June 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM

The Secretary Shall, at her discretion….

/The most dangerous words in Obamataxcare

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 7:13 PM

The mandate is not a tax. It’s a mandate. If you comply with the mandate, no revenue flows to the government; it goes to insurance companies. That simply cannot be called a “tax.”

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2012 at 7:10 PM

That’s why it won’t work as written.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Roberts cleary rewrote the statute to get to the result he had already decided he wanted to get to. A fine is now a tax – presto changeo. “Words mean whatever I want them to mean, nothing more and nothing less” – Humpty Dumpty

tommyboy on June 28, 2012 at 7:13 PM

29th Amendment:

Congress’s power of taxation shall not extend to compel any person or entity to engage in commerce.

rbj on June 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

I’d donate to any candidate who signs that pledge.

Lawdawg86 on June 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

See why need a pledge it’s in the constitution, pathetic that today its irrelevant.

Conservative4ev on June 28, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I can’t understand how any intelligent person could apply such a twisted rationalization to justify maintining such an atrocious piece of legislation.

talkingpoints on June 28, 2012 at 7:09 PM

This is how Roberts found a “limiting principle”.

When you want to vote to support something that is unconstitutional, call it a tax. Call it The Roberts Rule.

farsighted on June 28, 2012 at 7:14 PM

So? So what?

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 7:10 PM

It’s a suggestion to fix this mess. Even if Obamatax is repealed, this principle is still there now. We need to rein in Congress. Dems will be in the majority at some point.

rbj on June 28, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I still want to know what mechanisms are in place for “enforecement” of this “tax”.

IRS + Health Insurer = Government

Goodbye, HIPPA. (Bill Clinton)

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 7:14 PM

They have always had the power. Roberts is forcing Congress to be honest in its terminology and the People to judge via the ballot box whether they want this result.

txmomof6 on June 28, 2012 at 7:04 PM

No – they don’t have to be honest about it. They can lie their way all the way up to the Supreme Court, and SCOTUS will take it upon themselves to bail them out. That’s the lesson of this case.

JDF123 on June 28, 2012 at 7:14 PM

He just put one over on the liberal justices, 0bama and the dems. He obamacare unworkable and that much easier for the people to repeal. He also made son of 0bamacare (grandson of Hilarycare) that much harder to pass during our kids time in control.

Oh, and he made Romney the next president and gave him coattails stronger than Superman’s cape.

cozmo

They have always had the power. Roberts is forcing Congress to be honest in its terminology and the People to judge via the ballot box whether they want this result.

txmomof6

Bazinga!

1) Exposed the TAX LIARS for what they are.

2) Took a “radical court” out of Obama’s playbook

3) Energized the Republican base to take the whole damn thing back and rightly so.

Get off your a$$es and get OUT there. Make people screaming at Arlen Specter’s Town hall’s look like the warm-up.

tree hugging sister on June 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM

So it’s a tax. A tax bill has to originate in the House. Obamacare started in the Senate so should it now get thrown out? Or am I missing something that would make it stand? Was this mentioned in the decision?

aaron31 on June 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM

WTH is going on in Roberts mind?

SparkPlug on June 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

He just put one over on the liberal justices, 0bama and the dems. He obamacare unworkable and that much easier for the people to repeal. He also made son of 0bamacare (grandson of Hilarycare) that much harder to pass during our kids time in control.

Oh, and he made Romney the next president and gave him coattails stronger than Superman’s cape.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Respectfully DISSENT.

I don’t believe Roberts is being too-clever-by-half. His vote with the other four… including Anthony.Freakin.Kennedy for cover…would’ve sufficed.

He wanted to uphold O-Care (for some reason) and couldn’t agree the Commerce Clause permitted it.

So he plucked the ludicrous reason proffered by the Solicitor General in oral arguments (even Lib pundits laughed at the “it’s a tax” argument) and… Voila… the “Roberts Tax Doctrine” is born.

I guess it was worth it to him. But, I think he will intellectually rue the day he did this.

LaserBeam on June 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM

GOP needs to mandate we buy a gun. At least that is kind of in the Constitution.

AndrewsDad on June 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM

I’m still stuck in the anger stage…

RedSoxNation on June 28, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Ozwitch on June 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM

In other words, we took longer to fall for the line of bullshite the fascists are spewing.

The good news is that you will be ahead of us in rebuilding after it all eventually crumbles away; first dibs on the creative people.

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 7:16 PM

I still want to know what mechanisms are in place for “enforecement” of this “tax”.

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 7:14 PM

None

Before long more people will join you and catch on. There aren’t many of us, but certainly more than there were this morning.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 7:17 PM

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