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.
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@iowahawkblog: The last time Democrats gloated this hard after a health care victory, they lost 60 House seats. #victory #WINNING

LOL

tdpwells on June 28, 2012 at 7:17 PM

All I can say is the Dems must have something on Roberts.

Where the hellp is he getting this crap from?

stenwin77 on June 28, 2012 at 7:17 PM

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?

Exactly, why not? Just because crazy taxes like this have never been implemented, who says they’re un-Constitutional? From what I understand, the dissenter’s opined that their main reason for wanting to throw out the whole law was specifically because Congress said that the mandate was not a tax, not because it would be un-Constitutional if Congress said it was a tax.

Regardless of what Robert’s motives were, in one fell swoop, he’s transformed the Democrats from the party of tax and spend into the party that not only taxes and spends, but also creates crazy new taxes, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. So if you don’t like this crazy new tax, and don’t want to see even more crazy new taxes coming down the pike, don’t look to SCOTUS to save you, save yourselves by not voting for the party of crazy new taxes.

Sure, it would’ve been nice if SCOTUS overturned Obamacare, but in the long run, this ruling is poison for the Dems. The most massive tax increase in human history being levied at a time when Americans are revolting against high taxes.

ardenenoch on June 28, 2012 at 7:18 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

A little off topic, but wasn’t there actually a mandate a long time ago that did basically that?

red_herring on June 28, 2012 at 7:18 PM

aaron31 on June 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM

You are quite brilliant!

TXMomof3 on June 28, 2012 at 7:18 PM

. 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

Town Halls to be a thing of the past. Which congressman do you see having the courage to face a populace incensed at this decision, we hated it before it was enacted and now it’s SCOTUS approved.

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 7:19 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.

LaserBeam on June 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM

That’s fine. But a 5-4 ruling that 0bamacare is unconstitutional would have done our work for us, and made the socialists mad enough to cheat in force come November.

I think the man is that smart.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 7:19 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

I’m with you; very depressed…

RedSoxNation on June 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Fret not my dear friends. There is a silver lining. Since this is a tax and congress has the power to cut taxes, the young that have just been burdened with the greater portion of universal health care while reaping no instant benefit may finally see the folly of their choice. They might realizes their representative just screwed then into paying higher taxes, that is if they have a job. Payback is a bitch.

tom0508 on June 28, 2012 at 7:19 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

Robert’s says it’s Constitutional 5-4.

Who has the power to over rule the highest court in the land?

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 7:20 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

Amen!!

Bitter Clinger on June 28, 2012 at 7:20 PM

If Roberts thought he was pulling a fast one on Prezzy Fair Shot, he’s got another think coming’. Liars and cheats like our dear leader and his flying monkeys in congress can always find a way around laws, decisions from the courts, and the will of the people. Roberts basically punted to We the People with his statement that if we don’t like it, vote the politicians out that created it. We’re gonna try to do that in Nov, but that may end up being our last chance to save the country.

Kissmygrits on June 28, 2012 at 7:21 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

Right.

A tax has the express purpose of raising a defined amount of money for a specific purpose.

The mandate penalty is not a tax, it is a coercion stick, like a speeding ticket but more insidious.

farsighted on June 28, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Sure, it would’ve been nice if SCOTUS overturned Obamacare, but in the long run, this ruling is poison for the Dems. The most massive tax increase in human history being levied at a time when Americans are revolting against high taxes.

ardenenoch on June 28, 2012 at 7:18 PM

You are forgetting. We are rapidly approaching the tipping point where more than half of the voters get their sustenance from the other half. What then?

WitchDoctor on June 28, 2012 at 7:21 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

“A bill for raising revenue shall originate in the House” Article 1 Section 7. Ginsburg said this in oral argument that this was not designed to raise revenue but to penalize. So they must be arguing that this is a tax penalty not a revenue raiser.
This is a separate section than Section 8 which sets out the powers of Congress.

txmomof6 on June 28, 2012 at 7:21 PM

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

Ding, ding, ding. Elections have consequences.

when we get full control in January, we can start the Amendment process going on oh so many issues.

And boy, are we going to have fun taxing things like abortions, and Volts and green energy.

stenwin77 on June 28, 2012 at 7:22 PM

If it’s a tax, then how come the Prez can waive the paying of this tax by members of certain unions? Or the residents of entire states?

Can he do that with a real tax? Perhaps the federal income tax?

Obama: “Hey, I know a way to win Virginia’s electoral votes. I’ll waive their income tax for this year. Heck, even some of the Republicans would vote for me if I did that. They love lower taxes. John Roberts says it’s constitutional! And, it’s bipartisan to boot!”

LaserBeam on June 28, 2012 at 7:22 PM

The claim that this “guts the commerce clause” is nonsense in that congress no longer needs to rely on the commerce clause fiction to accomplish anything they want at the federal level. They just pass any law they want and add a massive tax for non-complaince. They will claim jurisdiction pursuant to Federal taxing authority rather than the commerce clause. This is a massive increase in the scope of Federal authority and jurisdiction.

tommyboy on June 28, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Who has the power to over rule the highest court in the land?

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 7:20 PM

I just spent two pages in the other thread tryin’ to clue you in.

If you don’t want to believe that’s fine by me, but I won’t continue to try and educate a brick wall.

Wait…and…see.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Now that the penalty relating to the mandate has been redefined as a tax, could it now be possible (once someone has paid the tax come 2014) to re-run this up the flag pole questioning the constitutionality of this no-activity tax? Or did Roberts define this “tax” thoroughly enough to pass constitutional muster?

Koa on June 28, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Why did little Bammie waste money sending lawyers to the Supreme Court to defend his legislation? It appears all they had to do was throw Obamacare over the transom and let CJ Roberts figure out their defense for them.

slickwillie2001 on June 28, 2012 at 7:24 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

Yep. It’s not going to happen overnight though. And the victory isn’t going to come from the most obvious quarters, either.

Young people are going to begin to realize that they have been scammed. Obamacare is the baby boom generation pulling up the ladders. Generations downstream from them will not have the same opportunities for advancement, by design. Young people will be indentured to toil for the benefit of their fat, greedy elders.

That’s not a recipe for future stability. Realignment will follow.

Gilda on June 28, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Robert’s says it’s Constitutional 5-4.

Who has the power to over rule the highest court in the land?

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Congress has to repeal the underlying law. I’ve never heard of a SC decision where a congressional repeal was overturned. (Someone correct me if I am wrong.)

Of course, Roberts just might vote to overturn the repeal of O-Care.

LaserBeam on June 28, 2012 at 7:26 PM

In Levin’s first hour today, he mentioned that in the opinion written by Roberts, Roberts declared the mandate NOT a tax where he wrote why there can’t be a challenge that it is a tax and not originated in the House.

Listen to Mark’s podcast on this. He is taking this line by line. Their brief to the court on this issue specifically stated WHY this could not be considered a tax and Roberts disregarded it entirely. In fact, the High Court didn’t even ask for oral arguments on something important in how Roberts twisted his ruling. I am not legally trained, so I am not explaining this well.

karenhasfreedom on June 28, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Who has the power to over rule the highest court in the land?
Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Only the military……..

tommyboy on June 28, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Barack Obama and John Roberts say: Support your local health insurance corporation!!!

Pay it “taxes”!!!

Resist We Much on June 28, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Roberts has declared that every cent you give to the government is essentially a tax.

Michael Milkin wasn’t fined for wrong doing. He was taxed.

All of those fines in the criminal code are really taxes.

farsighted on June 28, 2012 at 7:28 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

Not exactly. What Roberts seemed to say is that you can be taxed after the fact for not doing something. So this would be okay:

Did you buy a gun? No? Then you’re taxed.

Did you go to Church? No? Then you’re taxed.

Yep, not a lot of difference.

slickwillie2001 on June 28, 2012 at 7:28 PM

You are forgetting. We are rapidly approaching the tipping point where more than half of the voters get their sustenance from the other half. What then?

Europe.

Ozwitch on June 28, 2012 at 7:28 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

No, but the failure/refusal to buy a clue of the government’s design will subject him to a yearly fine, which will now be treated as a tax and therefore be held to be constitutional.

AZCoyote on June 28, 2012 at 7:28 PM

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.

Uh, J?
Congress already does that.
Child credit? Tax on the childless.
Mortgage interest deduction? Tax on renters and (full) home owners.
School loan interest deduction? Tax on people who didn’t take college loans.
C for C? Tax on people who didn’t buy a new car.

This changes nothing, except maybe drawing our attention to the fricken tax code. If we don’t want Congress pulling this crap on us, we need an amendment to ban deductions and credits. We should probably also ban business profit taxes while we’re at it.
Oh, and put a unanimous decision on the books that the there are limits to the Commerce Clause.

Count to 10 on June 28, 2012 at 7:30 PM

All of those fines in the criminal code are really taxes.

Speeding fines are now taxes. You don’t obey the speed limit, you are taxed.

Ozwitch on June 28, 2012 at 7:30 PM

My wife grew up in the USSR. She now says that she escaped one socialist country just to set up shop in another.

Bacon4allah on June 28, 2012 at 7:30 PM

and by assuming the privilege of telling Congress what Congress actually did when Congress meant to frame a mandate

Wonderfully phrased. If there was ever any doubt, this settles it. America’s public servants have become her masters. Now and for all time.

MJBrutus on June 28, 2012 at 7:30 PM

K St. was the only winner. Now every company will lobby Congress to ‘tax’ Americans to buy their product.

HellCat on June 28, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Torches ‘n Pitchforks

skeeterbite on June 28, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Don’t forget, the mandate doesn’t become a tax until after section II on page 15, since the end of section II states:

The Affordable Care Act does not require that the penalty for failing to comply with the individual mandate be treated as a tax for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Anti-Injunction Act therefore does not apply to this suit, and we may proceed to the merits.

Then … it becomes a tax. Within pages of the same insane decision.

This decision is really a wonder that will be the butt of laughter for many future populations (long into the future) as they get a kick out of how the most powerful and greatest nation to have ever existed could have killed itself with idiocy like this.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 28, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Not to trivialize the tax issue in this decision, but to my mind far worse for the average citizen and in much more need of a constitutional amendment fix is the Kelo decision. In that one, the government can pretty arbitrarily take everything you have– at least this decision limits it to your pocketbook only :)

nportnoy on June 28, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Can someone explain what the outcome will be if individual states choose to opt out of the Medicaid expansion in 2014 (without losing federal funding)?

Fallon on June 28, 2012 at 7:32 PM

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 7:23 PM

You are underestimating the fascist, they now exactly what they passed and Robert’s upheld. They now exactly how they are going to implement Obamacare. They have after all been planning for this moment for years.

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 7:33 PM

I’m going to find out which non-union groups are exempted and decide to become a member of one of them. I might just look good in one of those woolen suits. Go eff yourself, tax man, I’m AMISH!

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 7:33 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.

LaserBeam on June 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM

That’s fine. But a 5-4 ruling that 0bamacare is unconstitutional would have done our work for us, and made the socialists mad enough to cheat in force come November.

I think the man is that smart.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Sorry cozmo I aint buyin it.

Roberts is so smart he laid the perfect trap for the Dems…while ripping a hole so big in the US Constitution that the Dems could drive a semi-trailer through it?

Nope. Not buying this line of reasoning at all.

LaserBeam on June 28, 2012 at 7:34 PM

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.

Anyone who doesn’t make a $250 donation (yearly) to the RNC is fined $2500.

Perfectly legal, right?

malclave on June 28, 2012 at 7:35 PM

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

Terrye on June 28, 2012 at 6:43 PM

An amendment to the Constitution is unnecessary. The Constitution already declared itself the law of this land and everyone was subject to abide by it. Good ol’ legislation can fix this problem. Limit how the can develop and write opinions. Make the rely on primary commentary from the Founders and Constitution itself.

Conservative Independent on June 28, 2012 at 7:35 PM

It’s NOT a tax, folks. Nobody will remember the reasoning of the SCOTUS in two weeks. All that anybody will remember is that the thing is the law of the land. We can try to make hey out of the “tax” argument all we want, but it will be to no avail to the millions of folks who could give a rip about process.

Let’s not fool ourselves. And let’s never, ever, ever, ever, rely on the SCOTUS to do the voters’ work for them again. It will NEVER, ever, ever, ever, happen folks.

jdp629 on June 28, 2012 at 7:35 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

No, but the failure/refusal to buy a clue of the government’s design will subject him to a yearly fine, which will now be treated as a tax and therefore be held to be constitutional.

AZCoyote on June 28, 2012 at 7:28 PM

And, I’d like Robert’s yearly fine to be (puts pinky to corner of mouth) ONE BILLION DOLLARS!

LaserBeam on June 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM

I like Texans.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Can’t stand the bible bashing, creationist, young earth, climate change denying Southern Baptists – or their sister-wives.

I would like to ‘tax’ all their Noevske and Wilson Combat products into my safe though.

CorporatePiggy on June 28, 2012 at 7:36 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

Meh…a skunk called by any other name….well….you know.

timberline on June 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM

I’d like to make Roberts buy a clue.

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Oh no no no

I would never mandate that Roberts buy a clue.

I would just tax him if he didn’t.

PackerBronco on June 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM

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

Terrye on June 28, 2012 at 6:43 PM

THey don’t care about anything the Constitution says. They ignore all plain language. They declare something NOT a TAX and then rule it Constitutional because they decide that it is a tax – all in the same friggin decision! You can’t control lunatics like that with language.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Hey, how is Congress going to raise the expected revenues from the mandate “tax” if everyone buys health insurance? How are they going to fund whatever it is they planned to fund with the mandate “tax” with no revenue? How much revenue were they planning to raise from the mandate “tax” anyway?

farsighted on June 28, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Can someone explain what the outcome will be if individual states choose to opt out of the Medicaid expansion in 2014 (without losing federal funding)?

Fallon on June 28, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Ever greater federal deficits.

LaserBeam on June 28, 2012 at 7:38 PM

I’d like to make Roberts buy a clue.

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Or tax him until he gets one!

Conservative Independent on June 28, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Gilda, told my daughter that this morning. She’s peace….peace….peace…all the time. Told her and her children will be lucky to own anything in the future. She believes her generation is everything (Ron Paul supporters). I told her to respect her elders, cause once we’re gone, you’ll never realize what’s gone.

skeeterbite on June 28, 2012 at 7:38 PM

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM

I appreciate the attempt to find some positive aspect to this disaster, but I can’t go along. There is no good from this. No bright side. No silver lining. No clever gambit. This is catastrophic.

Even if Romney wins and we get control of Congress, it is just a matter of time before the Dems win back control and this ruling opens the door for unlimited mischief. We can do our best to push back the day of reckoning and dodge the ObamaCare bullet at the ballot box. But even if we are wildly successful, some day in the not too distant future this decision will come back to haunt us with a vengeance.

MJBrutus on June 28, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Can someone explain what the outcome will be if individual states choose to opt out of the Medicaid expansion in 2014 (without losing federal funding)?

Fallon on June 28, 2012 at 7:32 PM

What it means is that all those folks making poverty level to 133% of, will not be eligible for medicaid as they would be if their state participated. So they will have to go to the private market for health insurance or pay the fine errrrrrr tax.

Koa on June 28, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Uh, J?
Congress already does that.
Child credit? Tax on the childless.
Mortgage interest deduction? Tax on renters and (full) home owners.
Count to 10 on June 28, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Not really. That would only apply to people who earn enough income to pay taxes in the first place. If the childless or renters don’t don’t earn enough income to offset their taxes with the deductions (because they don’t owe any taxes – ie. over 45% of the population now) then these things don’t constitute a tax on them at all.

tommyboy on June 28, 2012 at 7:39 PM

I’m going to find out which non-union groups are exempted and decide to become a member of one of them. I might just look good in one of those woolen suits. Go eff yourself, tax man, I’m AMISH!

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 7:33 PM

But…but…this is a tax, and nobody is exempt from paying taxes. Wait until this tidbit hits the libs in their butts.

timberline on June 28, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Who has the power to over rule the highest court in the land?

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 7:20 PM

We do! By amending the Constitution. The atrociousness of this idiotic ruling is one of the best reasons I have seen for decades to start the amendment process.

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Excellent analysis, J.E.

Buy Danish on June 28, 2012 at 7:41 PM

You are underestimating the fascist, they now exactly what they passed and Robert’s upheld.

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Yeah, that Pelosi, Reid and 0bama are light years ahead of us in the brains department.

Nope. Not buying this line of reasoning at all.

LaserBeam on June 28, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Then don’t. I don’t care, other than helping you out.

Can’t stand the bible bashing, creationist, young earth, climate change denying Southern Baptists – or their sister-wives.

CorporatePiggy on June 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM

What did I tell you about leaving out neanderthal?

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 7:42 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

Oh bollox.

Roberts could/should have simply sent ObamaCare back to Congress with the message: “If you want to do this, you have set this up as a tax, not as a mandate.”

Instead he did the work for them and saved them the political fallout.

PackerBronco on June 28, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Roberts could/should have simply sent ObamaCare back to Congress with the message: “If you want to do this, you have set this up as a tax, not as a mandate.”
Instead he did the work for them and saved them the political fallout.
PackerBronco on June 28, 2012 at 7:44 PM

+100 A#1

tommyboy on June 28, 2012 at 7:45 PM

My heart is breaking over what happened today. Not so much for myself (as I am into my senior years and lifespan is getting shorter) but for my son and DIL and my young grandchildren.

Their futures just got a whole lot darker today.

GrannyDee on June 28, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Roberts could/should have simply sent ObamaCare back to Congress with the message: “If you want to do this, you have set this up as a tax, not as a mandate.”

Instead he did the work for them and saved them the political fallout.

PackerBronco on June 28, 2012 at 7:44 PM

The spot-on-ness is blinding.

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Let’s see, what might be in Pandora’s box?

“Sure, you can have an abortion, but you are going to have to pay a tax of $5,000 first. Don’t worry. The Supreme Court has ruled that we have the power to tax and it is not its job to pass judgment on the legitimacy or idiocy of a tax. Taxes, it posits, are political issues and your only recourse is at the ballot box. So, if you don’t like it, get your ID ready and vote us out.”

“Sure, you can burn that American flag, but you are going to have to pay a tax of $500,000 first. Don’t worry. The Supreme Court has ruled that we have the power to tax and it is not its job to pass judgment on the legitimacy or idiocy of a tax. Taxes, it posits, are political issues and your only recourse is at the ballot box. So, if you don’t like it, get your ID ready and vote us out.”

“Sure, you can assemble in front of the White House and Congress pursuant to your First Amendment right to petition the Federal government for redress of grievances, but you are going to pay a tax of $100,000 first. Don’t worry. The Supreme Court has ruled that we have the power to tax and it is not its job to pass judgment on the legitimacy or idiocy of a tax. Taxes, it posits, are political issues and your only recourse is at the ballot box. So, if you don’t like it, get your ID ready and vote us out.”

“Sure, you have a right to remain silent, but you are going to pay a tax of $25,000 first. Don’t worry. The Supreme Court has ruled that we have the power to tax and it is not its job to pass judgment on the legitimacy or idiocy of a tax. Taxes, it posits, are political issues and your only recourse is at the ballot box. So, if you don’t like it, get your ID ready and vote us out.”

“Sure, you have a right to remain counsel, a speedy trial, habeas corpus, and to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, but you are going to pay a tax of $2,500,000 before your asses evah see any of those. Don’t worry. The Supreme Court has ruled that we have the power to tax and it is not its job to pass judgment on the legitimacy or idiocy of a tax. Taxes, it posits, are political issues and your only recourse is at the ballot box. So, if you don’t like it, get your ID ready and vote us out.”

Champagne cork-popping time. What a precedent!

Resist We Much on June 28, 2012 at 7:46 PM

I sent another donation to Romney’s campaign today.

MJBrutus on June 28, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Excellent analysis, J.E.

Buy Danish on June 28, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Agreed. I’ll be passing it along.

J.E. very effectively illustrates, underlines, and highlights absurdity of Roberts reasoning, such as it is.

farsighted on June 28, 2012 at 7:46 PM

THey don’t care about anything the Constitution says. They ignore all plain language. They declare something NOT a TAX and then rule it Constitutional because they decide that it is a tax – all in the same friggin decision! You can’t control lunatics like that with language.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM

`When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

`The question is,’ said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

`The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master – - that’s all.’

PackerBronco on June 28, 2012 at 7:46 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

Brilliant. Can we elect you?

Saltyron on June 28, 2012 at 7:46 PM

As far as the POLITICS of this…
…well, let’s just say that “tax” angle cuts both ways.

Over at Ace of Spades:
http://minx.cc/?post=330548

Ace writes: “And so if I have this right: The Federal Government may now levy a special tax on me if I do not comply with their specific directives about what I should buy, or do?
Can they tax abortions at a high rate?”

To which Post #95 adds:
“Oh, and ace’s comment about abortion made me think of this…

Remember thay in China it isnt illegal to have a second child, you just have to pay a $6000 fine to do it. It’s when you can’t pay the tax that they kidnap you, abort your 7 month old baby, and rip out your uterus.”

THIS is how stupid Robert’s reasoning is.

Czar of Defenestration on June 28, 2012 at 7:48 PM

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

What’s the point of a Constitutional Amendment? When anything written in the Constitution is subject to the interpretation of a court, then it will inevitably be rendered meaningless by the same kind of grotesquely contorted logic that Roberts applied here.
And this isn’t the first time the court twisted itself into knots to accommodate a contemporary convenience. The notion that the Constitution can be blatantly ignored if the government can credibly demonstrate a “compelling interest” in one cause or another, is plenty to take the government just about anywhere they want to go.
Even the next election doesn’t give us any more than a brief window of relief. The only real answer is blatant nullification and resistance, or something that strikes real fear into the hearts of anyone thinking along those lines. Without real fear to limit their options, there is no real limit and no real safety for any of us.

Lew on June 28, 2012 at 7:49 PM

this is so much worse than douglas’ “penumbras and emanations”. at least he admitted his finding wasnt based in the constitution but instead in his interpretation. roberts is claiming his tax crap is in the constitution everyone else before just missed it. if credible evidence ever surfaces that his vote was for any other reason (undue pressure, save court’s reputation, etc.) impeachment needs to begin immediately!

chasdal on June 28, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Anyone who doesn’t make a $250 donation (yearly) to the RNC is fined $2500.
Perfectly legal, right?
malclave on June 28, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Nope. Won’t work. Will have to be to the RNC AND the DNC to be passed.

Then it will be “Ironclad”

LegendHasIt on June 28, 2012 at 7:50 PM

If this atrocity does not get repealed immediately after the election, or, God forbid, Obama actually gets re-elected, it’s over folks. It is truly over. America, 7 months from now will become Amerika. Signed, sealed and delivered.
If the GOP fails to win in November, and or this does not get repealed, everything up to this point will be the good old days. The Democrats will be just warming up. Obama, if he is re-elected, will go after us all with a vengeance.

Our nation has 7 more months left to make it’s decision. Will we be free or will we be slaves. There is a large number of Americans, perhaps a clear majority, who have no idea what is coming if Obama is re-elected and or this atrocity remains law. Massive inflation, massive taxation, massive regulation over the tiniest details of our lives. The attacks on freedom, free speech, property rights, the 2nd amendment and more hasn’t even begun. Obama, and the Democrats if the can remain in power in the Senate, will be zealous in destroying what is left of our American system. What will stop them? Nothing. They will be cheered on by a willing, gleeful media. Eager to see conservative pay.

It doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks of what I am saying. It is the truth. No one will be able to stop Obama if he is re-elected. No one. Not the courts and not a GOP lead House.

JellyToast on June 28, 2012 at 7:50 PM

To which Post #95 adds:
“Oh, and ace’s comment about abortion made me think of this…

Remember thay in China it isnt illegal to have a second child, you just have to pay a $6000 fine to do it. It’s when you can’t pay the tax that they kidnap you, abort your 7 month old baby, and rip out your uterus.”

THIS is how stupid Robert’s reasoning is.

Czar of Defenestration on June 28, 2012 at 7:48 PM

But but but, that can/will never, ever happen in the U.S.

Uh-huh. /

GrannyDee on June 28, 2012 at 7:50 PM

My heart is breaking over what happened today. Not so much for myself (as I am into my senior years and lifespan is getting shorter) but for my son and DIL and my young grandchildren.

Their futures just got a whole lot darker today.

GrannyDee on June 28, 2012 at 7:45 PM

They are also the ones who will hopefully have the courage to set things right again, and if my own kids are an example, they will.

“For some day sons and daughters
Will rise up and fight while we stood still”

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 7:51 PM

In general, Republican politicians won’t support keeping Obamacare as is, especially as it is now supported by a big tax increase on the middle class. Democrats, on the other hand, might try to, and when they do, I want to be there with an axe when they put their political necks on the chopping block.

RebeccaH on June 28, 2012 at 7:52 PM

They are also the ones who will hopefully have the courage to set things right again, and if my own kids are an example, they will.

“For some day sons and daughters
Will rise up and fight while we stood still”

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Thnx, Bishop.

GrannyDee on June 28, 2012 at 7:53 PM

rbj on June 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Great start. But if we’re going to amend the Constitution, let’s also establish that,

1. Congress’s power of taxation shall not extend to compel any person or entity to engage in commerce.
2. Congress may not regulate the citizens of any state in their right to produce, buy or sell any good or service.
3. Congress may not infringe upon the right of any individual to enter in to a mutually agreed contract.

In short, let’s close the door on the years of abuse starting with Griswold and extending through Raich, etc all the way up to this abominable decision!

MJBrutus on June 28, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Thnx, Bishop.

GrannyDee on June 28, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Sure thing. BTW those words are from a song about Anne Frank, I figure if she could endure and keep hope alive then our kids can too, and they will one day kick some ass for what this generation failed to do.

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 7:56 PM

4. Congress shall have no jurisdiction to regulate purely intrastate activity regardless of the effect such intrastate activity may have on interstate activity.

tommyboy on June 28, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Oldie but goodie:

Yeah, we’re gettin’ the impression that you think we are not relevant to these proceedings, and dismissing our input into the situation

.

mike_NC9 on June 28, 2012 at 7:57 PM

tommyboy on June 28, 2012 at 7:56 PM

YES! I was trying to say as much, but you put it more succinctly :-)

MJBrutus on June 28, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Roberts could/should have simply sent ObamaCare back to Congress with the message: “If you want to do this, you have set this up as a tax, not as a mandate.”

Instead he did the work for them and saved them the political fallout.

PackerBronco on June 28, 2012 at 7:44 PM

The spot-on-ness is blinding.

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2012 at 7:45 PM

He could have. Or he could make the people of this country do the work. Is it just too hard? Is Freedom supposed to be free? Whining does nothing. He interpreted the law as within Congress’s enumerated powers. Fine. Move on and deal with the reality before us. Exercising the power of the ballot box and pressuring Congress to do our will is the power we have. I say we make full use of Citizens United, which Roberts upheld again this week and WIN IN NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!!

txmomof6 on June 28, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Should we change the name of the McDonald’s Drive-Thru to something like “Tax Revenue Drop-Off Lane”?

Now, that the Court has ruled that paying corporations for products and services is a form of “taxation”…..

Why do the so-called “best and brightest” always get us into the worst situations (Vietnam, housing bubble, runaway deficits, credit default swaps, stock market crashes, etc.) and make complete asses of themselves (paying Blue Cross premiums = paying your taxes) then wonder why we are so critical of government and despise those in authority? Who the hell wants to be governed by a dunces rejected by the Confederacy and even Banana Republics and vanities…unworthy of any bonfire?

I’m with Buckley. I’d rather be governed by the first 300 names in the Boston phonebook than the current ruling “elite” and the faculty lounge of Harvard and Yale any day.

Resist We Much on June 28, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Yeah, that Pelosi, Reid and 0bama are light years ahead of us in the brains department.cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 7:42 PM

You think they wrote the Affordable Care Act LOL.

Try again, these people aren’t writing anything, they are just getting it passed, for the people who fund their campaigns.

If you liked TARP, GM Bailouts, and Porkulus, you are gonna love ACA. Who was the recipient of all that legislation? Have you gotten your bail out or stimulus check yet SNORT.

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 8:03 PM

These implications are, I think, especially important.

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

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

He just put one over on the liberal justices, 0bama and the dems. He [made] obamacare unworkable and that much easier for the people to repeal.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 7:07 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

Some really bright minds at work!

topdog on June 28, 2012 at 8:04 PM

txmomof6 on June 28, 2012 at 8:01 PM

The problem is that even the political victory that we’re hoping for will be short lived. Some day the D’s will gain control of Congress again. And on that day there will be no limits to what they do. This decision gives them the power to force us to do whatever they want just by taxing us to death if we don’t comply.

MJBrutus on June 28, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Whatever, I tried.

txmomof6 on June 28, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Did I mention that I really like Texans. Texans get it.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 8:06 PM

The problem is that even the political victory that we’re hoping for will be short lived. Some day the D’s will gain control of Congress again. And on that day there will be no limits to what they do. This decision gives them the power to force us to do whatever they want just by taxing us to death if we don’t comply.

MJBrutus on June 28, 2012 at 8:06 PM

They are already doing this. They have been doing this since FDR.

Count to 10 on June 28, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Didn’t the supremes at one time pass judgement on poll taxes?

MRegine on June 28, 2012 at 8:10 PM

topdog on June 28, 2012 at 8:04 PM
I do not know how many times I have to keep saying this, but here goes again. The Bill of Rights applies to tax laws also. It is already under attack in the 4th Circuit under the Equal Protection clause and the Establishment Clause by Liberty University, because of the religious exemptions and abortion.
I think the bill did originate in the House. They just substituted the body from the Senate into another bill, which they can do.

txmomof6 on June 28, 2012 at 8:12 PM

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Whatever gives you comfort, we all have our own coping mechanisms.

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 8:12 PM

He interpreted the law as within Congress’s enumerated powers. Fine. Move on and deal with the reality before us. Exercising the power of the ballot box and pressuring Congress to do our will is the power we have. I say we make full use of Citizens United, which Roberts upheld again this week and WIN IN NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!!

txmomof6 on June 28, 2012 at 8:01 PM

The problem is that it’s NOT fine. We’re stuck with much more than Obamacare here. We’ve got a bizarre, off-the-wall judicial precedent now. According to this precedent, mandating that the people buy things, and fining them if they don’t, is the same as imposing a tax.

Congress has the power to tax, and a pretty much unlimited one. If Congress wants to tax you on the length of your hair, the Constitution doesn’t say it can’t. If any old form of coercion now equals “taxing” the people, then God help us. Need to raise revenue? Just mandate a bunch of stuff and then fine the people for not buying it.

Of course we need to make a big change through the ballot box. But repealing Obamacare isn’t enough. Congress and the president — and if necessary, the people — need to invalidate today’s ruling for the rest of time. If we don’t, Congress can do anything it wants, as long as there is a fine involved and the courts can deem the fine to be a tax.

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Everyone has a price I guess

tomas on June 28, 2012 at 8:14 PM

MJBrutus on June 28, 2012 at 8:06 PM
Fine then we start an Amendment movement and change the Constitution.

txmomof6 on June 28, 2012 at 8:14 PM

MJBrutus on June 28, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Why do you think Robert’s did this? He just loathes the “Republic”?

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Did I mention that I really like Texans. Texans get it.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Me too. Can’t say I like the Longhorns, but I’ve got family all over Texas, Dad was born in Fort Worth, and I really, really like Texans. Almost as much as I like Okies.

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2012 at 8:15 PM

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation…

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security…

The history of the present… is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world:

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. [refusing to enforce immigration laws and stating that he will explicitly forbid ICE to respond to normal calls by Arizona; also see his failure to enforce DOMA, a duly enacted piece of legislation passed by Congress]

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. [See above, and note the courts' rejection of SB1070 - a duly passed piece of legislation enacted by the properly elected legislature of Arizona.]

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers. [Used executive priveledge entirely improperly to protect Eric Holder and thereby obstructing justice.]

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance. [He has multiplied czars, and numerous administration offices such as the EPA, which do indeed harass our people and eat out their substance.]

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation. [Note the increased reference to the United Nations; at least one Supreme Court Justice has gone on record implying that international law should have significant weight in dispensing justice.]

For imposing taxes on us without our consent. [This should be obvious.]

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments. [Abolishing and / or ignoring immigration laws, and nominating unelected officials and bureaucracies to govern us, which are nowhere specified in the Constitution.]

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us. [We are no longer under the protection of the govenment regarding immigration; also, the most vulnerable among us - the unborn - are clearly outside his protection. War also is being waged - race war, class war, social war.]

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people…

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states… and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Just saying…

psrch on June 28, 2012 at 8:15 PM

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