Video: Working-class hero celebrates legality of gigantic regressive new “tax”

posted at 5:21 pm on June 28, 2012 by Allahpundit

Says Amanda Carpenter, “If Obamacare was presented as a tax, it would have never passed.” Certainly true; the White House itself was careful to dismiss that argument in its talking points on O-Care in order to make Blue Dog Dems more comfortable with the bill. And yet here we are. By the numbers: 26 million people, 70-75 percent of whom make less than $200,000 a year, are now on the hook for a fat new “tax” thanks to a guy who swore he’d avoid new taxes on the middle class. Be sure to tell an undecided centrist friend before November.

If it makes you feel better, The One did have to endure 200-300 seconds of despair this morning.

Standing with White House chief of staff Jack Lew and looking at a television in the “Outer Oval” featuring a split screen of four different networks, the president saw graphics on the screens of the first two cable news networks to break the news — CNN and Fox News Channel — announcing, wrongly, that he had lost.

Senior administration officials say the president was calm.

A couple minutes later, White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler came to Outer Oval and gave him two thumbs-up. Ruemmler had gotten the correct information from a White House lawyer at the Supreme Court and from SCOTUSblog.com.

Some righties are arguing this afternoon that this decision was actually a big win for conservatives because we did, after all, carry the day on the Commerce Clause. Don’t get caught up in O-Care being upheld, as catastrophic as that might be, they say. Focus on the fact that the biggest weapon in the left’s constitutional arsenal for regulating the economy is a little smaller now than it was yesterday. Is it really smaller, though? For one thing, there have been “landmark” rulings imposing limits on the Commerce Clause before that never went anywhere precedentially afterward. The Lopez case in 1995 was supposed to herald a new golden age of limited federal power. Ten years later, it was politely distinguished away in the terrible, terrible Raich ruling — and that was without any conservatives on the Court being replaced by liberals in the interim. Beyond that, who cares whether Congress has to use the taxing power instead of the Commerce Clause to impose a mandate? To use the ol’ broccoli example, it’s apparently now unconstitutional for Congress to order you to buy veggies on penalty of paying a fine but it is constitutional for them to impose a “tax” on people who don’t buy veggies. You’re being forced into commerce either way; the distinction’s mainly semantic. As Jacob Sullum, who’s lamented the lameness of “Commerce vs. tax” formalism before, puts it, “We’re not locking you up for disobedience, we’re locking you up for failing to pay the tax on disobedience.” Yay?

The only compelling reason to be happy about the decision, it seems to me, is that by forcing Congress to frame future power grabs as “taxes,” it’ll be harder to pass them. Then again, this case stands for the proposition that Congress doesn’t have to frame them that way; the Court will re-frame the bill for them and uphold it on tax grounds even if the government explicitly and repeatedly denies that what it’s engaged in as taxation. And as for the supposedly valuable Commerce Clause precedent that was set here, I think con law Prof. Douglas Laycock has it right:

Laycock, a constitutional law professor at the University of Virginia, says it was unexpected that the Supreme Court made a distinction between activity and inactivity. But, he says, it’s hard to think of a situation where this will matter much…

What’s more, the fact that the individual mandate has been interpreted as a tax still gives lawmakers plenty of leeway. Congress might not be able to compel all Americans to purchase broccoli under the Commerce Clause. But, Laycock says, Roberts’ ruling has shown a way around this. “If Congress ever does need to mandate purchase of a product or service again,” he notes, “it can impose a tax for failing to buy it.”

Some conservatives seem to agree that the impact will be small. “Holding the mandate exceeds the scope of the Commerce and Necessary and Proper Clauses poses no threat to any other existing federal program or law that was not already in jeopardy,” writes Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University.

Read the opinion and you’ll find that Roberts and the other four conservatives stood by the holding in Raich. If they had tossed that and said it was wrongly decided, that would be a provocative ruling worth celebrating insofar as it might really herald a broad new trend towards limiting Congress’s regulatory power under the Commerce Clause. They didn’t. Not much of a win. And besides: What good is the prospect of future victories if you’re losing on cases as epochal as the ObamaCare decision? It’s like losing the Super Bowl but celebrating afterwards because your defense played well enough to make you think you might win some games next season. Who cares?

Needless to say, if O wins in November and gets to replace one of the conservatives on the Court, the exciting new precedent forbidding mandates under the Commerce Clause likely won’t live to see the end of the decade. Exit quotation via Timothy Carney: “They’ll trample Roberts’ Commerce Clause firewall when the need to. But his tax trick means they may never need to.”


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To the people spinning this as some sort of super-awesome long term win for conservatism:

Roberts could have gutted the Commerce Clause and STILL called the whole thing unconstitutional.

Or, even better, he could have gutted the Commerce Clause and said it would be permissable as a tax, but since it wasn’t written or argued that way rejected the whole thing.

With four other justices on board for full repeal, this was set up to be the most EPIC smack down of leftist philosophy and federal government overreach in history. And instead, we end up with some bizzaro world judicial activism re-writing the administration’s argument for them in order to make it legal.

Awfulness all around.

BadgerHawk on June 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM | Delete

BadgerHawk on June 28, 2012 at 5:54 PM

At least this means the exceptions for Nevada and NH and such are flat out unconstitutional. Taxes cannot be state specific.

pedestrian on June 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

That is true according to the US Constitution ,
which Roberts killed today because he wants the bully Hussein to like him

burrata on June 28, 2012 at 5:54 PM

I sent $ to Mitt and West. Also wrote Dear leader a “nice” note at Whitehouse.gov. Made me less angry.

Dingbat63 on June 28, 2012 at 5:55 PM

The GOP agenda should be this

Repeal obamacare
Impeach And replace Roberts

Conservative4ev on June 28, 2012 at 5:51 PM

How about just call it a gigantic tax on the middle class and beat the hell out of anyone who supported it?

rockmom on June 28, 2012 at 5:53 PM

But Obama is a nice guy

Conservative4ev on June 28, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Many people are claiming this helps Mitt but I don’t think it does. One of the reasons the right has been lining up behind someone with dubious conservative credentials is because of scotus picks. But if we can’t trust John Effing Roberts (Bush appointee who was sold to us as some kind of conservative super genius) not to sodomize us then what the hell difference does those pics make?

Roberts rewrote the law for Obama to make it constitutional by calling the penalty a tax instead of mandate. He could have joined Kennedy, Kennedy if he had wanted to and deep sixed the entire thing. He wanted this uphled. End of story.

Kataklysmic on June 28, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Amen.

I never want to hear that pathetic “support our GOP Establishment presidential nominee because of SCOTUS” BS ever again.

Norwegian on June 28, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Go Fluke yourself with a red hot pitchfork.

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 5:51 PM

No need to gettin’ mad dude. You will catch on…eventually.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Obamacare got Scott Brown elected 3 years ago. I wonder if it can get him reelected and send a bunch of other Republicans to Congress to vote against it.

Jill1066 on June 28, 2012 at 5:35 PM

The tax on medical devices may hit MA hard, as severel manufacturers are located there, and may have to re-locate overseas to cove the additional cost of the tax.

Obama outsourced medical devices with his tax!

Wethal on June 28, 2012 at 5:56 PM

The GOP agenda should be this

Repeal obamacare

Impeach And replace Roberts

Conservative4ev on June 28, 2012 at 5:51 PM

They are having a difficult time getting back to their conservative roots. If the impeachment of Roberts doesn’t involve a political advantage over democrats they aren’t interested.

It comes down to how bad does Romney want to be president, because the Bush wing of the republican party is going to be no help whatsoever.

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 5:56 PM

No need to gettin’ mad dude. You will catch on…eventually.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Has it occurred to you people just don’t agree with you?

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Took a motorcycle ride, had a few beers on the dock with some buddies, and took a breather. Has the “OMG I’m moving to Cambodia or anywhere but here!” crap settled down yet because it was pretty depressing.

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Not calming down until November 7, b**ches.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Roberts could have gutted the Commerce Clause and STILL called the whole thing unconstitutional.

BadgerHawk on June 28, 2012 at 5:54 PM

And turned rightys into leftys when it comes to them wanting old folks in robes to do the bidding they themselves should do.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

You have to buy health care or you are going to be taxed not penalized, who collects that tax/money? Private Insurers.

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 5:52 PM

I get this argument, really I do. But Roberts phrased it as you have the choice to either buy health insurance or pay the tax. You are not forced to pay the “tax” to the insurance company if you choose to pay the actual tax to the government.

Reasonable people can disagree on this.

rockmom on June 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Today, Chief Justice (JUDAS) Roberts removed the blindfold from Lady Justice.

RedRobin145 on June 28, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Laycock.

Ben Hur on June 28, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Yeah, I don’t see any of this as a victory. The one bone thrown at us vis a vis the Commerce Clause doesn’t matter. Blah.

Been funny to see the Left now celebrate split, 5-4 decisions though. The new hotness. Tools, the lot of em.

changer1701 on June 28, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Or, even better, he could have gutted the Commerce Clause and said it would be permissable as a tax, but since it wasn’t written or argued that way rejected the whole thing.

It was argued that way, we just didn’t pay much attention to that part of the argument and neither did the government. The government didn’t want it upheld as a tax, for sure, but they did argue it.

rockmom on June 28, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Has it occurred to you people just don’t agree with you?

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Since this ruling came out.

But, more people are figuring it out.

Some are just mad and want to slash anybody who doesn’t agree.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I am literally sick over this. America is over.

Change.

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM

We need to “copy & paste”: The BARACK OBAMA HEALTH CARE TAX!! to as many sites as we can, and as often as we can, to let everyone know exactly what’s going to happen to their income. By calling it what it is, people will BE INFORMED come November

THE BARACK OBAMA HEALTH CARE TAX!!

DixT on June 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM

The message Roberts sent to Obama is that if Obama applies public pressure to Roberts then Roberts bends.

Mark1971 on June 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Not calming down until November 7, b**ches.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

But have you bought your one-way ticket to NZ yet?

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Some on the right are more delusional than the leftists.

Schadenfreude on June 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM

If it’s argued before the bench as constitutional through the commerce clause, instead of upholding it under the ruling that it is actually a tax, why not kick it back to Congress to be passed as a tax?

nico on June 28, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Veterans now get to pay the ObamaCare ObamaTax as well, even though they have VA health benefits. Because it is a “tax” they must pay just like all other Americans.

Excluding Eric Holder’s “people” and his Mexicans.

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:03 PM

But have you bought your one-way ticket to NZ yet?

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

NZ is one of the most socialist Utopian places on Earth. They, however, do not allow easy immigration, due to national health care and other payments/’goodies’.

Schadenfreude on June 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM

And turned rightys into leftys when it comes to them wanting old folks in robes to do the bidding they themselves should do.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

What are you talking about? This was judicial activism at its worst. Roberts re-wrote the administration’s position for them – a position they specifically refused to argue – so that it would be constitutional.

It’s one thing to overturn a law; it’s something else entirely for one unelected justice to re-write a law to make it legal.

BadgerHawk on June 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM

gotta step away from all of this for a little bit…just so bloody angry right

I I I I I

cmsinaz on June 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Veterans now get to pay the ObamaCare ObamaTax as well, even though they have VA health benefits. Because it is a “tax” they must pay just like all other Americans.

Excluding Eric Holder’s “people” and his Mexicans.

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:03 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

Obama and Napolitano consider them, and retired law officers, potential “domestic terrorists”.

Schadenfreude on June 28, 2012 at 6:05 PM

“If Congress ever does need to mandate purchase of a product or service again,” he notes, “it can impose a tax for failing to buy it.”
…BUT it is even WORSE THAN THAT since it 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.

TeaPartyNation on June 28, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Should be interesting to see Karl Rove/Crossroads running anti Obamacare ads this fall after their boss’s handpicked Chief Justice affirmed it all.

kevinkristy on June 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

A good question was asked earlier, and I didn’t see the answer.

What happens to all those waivers now that Obamacare is officially a tax?

POTUS can’t just issue waivers to a tax to all his buddies, can he? I dunno. It’s Obama so maybe he can.

bitsy on June 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

gotta step away from all of this for a little bit…just so bloody angry right

I I I I I

cmsinaz on June 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM

I hear that. This is a good place to vent, though.

changer1701 on June 28, 2012 at 6:07 PM

I am literally sick over this. America is over.

Change.

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Yep. America, Fundamentally Deformed. We have witnessed the birth of the American Socialist Superstate.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 28, 2012 at 6:08 PM

POTUS can’t just issue waivers to a tax to all his buddies, can he? I dunno. It’s Obama so maybe he can.

bitsy on June 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

Heh. I suspect today’s decision opens the door to many more lawsuits.

BadgerHawk on June 28, 2012 at 6:08 PM

This is a loss for us down the line. A great number of people are not paying attention to this at all (half of the people I talked to today didn’t even know about the Supreme Court case, let alone the ruling) and the media WILL NOT report what it really means. Instead they will pitch the “mandatax” as a tax on evil insurance companies which falls right in line with Obama’s popular “tax the rich” meme. I appreciate the effort to see a silver lining, but there isn’t one. Even if (and it is a HUGE if) Romney wins and we get control of the Senate and keep the House, do you really expect a reversal? Based on what, exactly? Because they say that’s what they’ll do? And we should believe that?

natasha333 on June 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Hello Allah,

Read the opinion and you’ll find that Roberts and the other four conservatives stood by the holding in Raich. If they had tossed that and said it was wrongly decided, that would be a provocative ruling worth celebrating insofar as it might really herald a broad new trend towards limiting Congress’s regulatory power under the Commerce Clause. They didn’t. Not much of a win.

Uh, actually, that’s not true, Allah.

There were three justices who dissented to the “right” on Raich. O’Connor and Rehnquist and, more absolutely, Clarence Thomas. Thomas still remains on the Court.

And today he issued a separate dissent which makes clear his deep skepticism of post-Wickard commerce clause case law, and cited explictly his dissent in Raich: ” I adhere to my view that “the very notion of a ‘substantial effects’ test under the Commerce Clause is inconsistent with the original understanding of Congress’ powers and with this Court’s early Commerce Clause cases.”

So there’s at least one justice who still thinks Raich was wrongly decided. That’s not much, but it’s worth noting.

The_Jacobite on June 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Levin is on. Must hear radio!

kevinkristy on June 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

This is the very reason Newt mentioned impeaching activist judges. Many people mocked him. Roberts has just made the leap into liberal crazy land. I’m guessing that he’s having dinner with Pelosi tonight.

cajunpatriot on June 28, 2012 at 6:10 PM

By declaring it a tax, the way is paved for repeal simply on the grounds that it did not originate in the House of Representatives. On those grounds, this new tax is unconstitutional.

nitzsche on June 28, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Heh. I suspect today’s decision opens the door to many more lawsuits.

BadgerHawk on June 28, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Yes but apparently Chief Justice Roberts is their fix it guy so there’s that.

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Curious if Roberts used a Ouiji board, crystal ball or penseive to arrive at this conclusion:

The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part. The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax . . .

marinetbryant on June 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Settling in to hear Mark Levin on this. He knows this is no victory. It’s a direct assault on the individual and it doesn’t get any worse than this.

TarheelBen on June 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Or, even better, he could have gutted the Commerce Clause and said it would be permissable as a tax, but since it wasn’t written or argued that way rejected the whole thing.

Roberts declared once and for all that you can’t use the commerce clause to force people to buy something.

He also made sure that Democrats now have to sell to the people the biggest tax increase in history. That will have far more negative consequences for Democrats than the presidential election.

And if Roberts had struck down Obamacare, Obama would have lied his way to winning re-election on the backs of the evil GOP who took away their free health care.

And instead, we end up with some bizzaro world judicial activism re-writing the administration’s argument for them in order to make it legal.

Awfulness all around.

BadgerHawk on June 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM | Delete

BadgerHawk on June 28, 2012 at 5:54 PM

That’s the one thing I don’t like about the decision. If SCOTUS has to redefine a law, it should strike it down. But (see above) I’m actually glad he didn’t.

The Rogue Tomato on June 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

I will admit, I was pretty mad, then depressed, then mad again after I heard the verdict. But the more I think about it I keep coming back to “what if they had delayed this until after the election?”

Repeal needs to be top priority now, priority one, driving out the left needs to happen. We may be trading one bunch of snakes for another, but at least we can hold them accountable to some extent.

We need to force them to repeal this monster.

We need to win, House, Senate, Presidency, the whole ball of wax.

We need to win.

Gatsu on June 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

By declaring it a tax, the way is paved for repeal simply on the grounds that it did not originate in the House of Representatives. On those grounds, this new tax is unconstitutional.

nitzsche on June 28, 2012 at 6:10 PM

It did originate in the House.

Schadenfreude on June 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

A good question was asked earlier, and I didn’t see the answer.

What happens to all those waivers now that Obamacare is officially a tax?

POTUS can’t just issue waivers to a tax to all his buddies, can he? I dunno. It’s Obama so maybe he can.

bitsy on June 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

The Marxist dictator can do what ever he wishes and nobody will stop him. November is our only hope. Let’s hope that Romney destroys him in the debates.

cajunpatriot on June 28, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Veterans now get to pay the ObamaCare ObamaTax as well, even though they have VA health benefits. Because it is a “tax” they must pay just like all other Americans.

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Nope.

lexhamfox on June 28, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Roberts’ decision is far worse than it seems.

By shifting the rationale for the federal government’s right to do whatever it wants, Roberts has precluded a future Commerce Clause finding from limiting government activity. Never mind another Supreme Court decision; even if we were to pass a constitutional amendment reaffirming the 9th and 10th Amendment principles of enumerated powers, this precedent means that courts will simply shift the rationale to taxing powers.

That means that the conservative hope to one day invalidate the cynical house of cards which everyone on every side of politics knows is BS – the Wickard-Fillburn principle of “interstate commerce” being anything existing on planet Earth – is dead.

Save the “cunning plan” nonsense. It literally would have been better if Obama wrote the opinion himself.

HitNRun on June 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

It’s one thing to overturn a law; it’s something else entirely for one unelected justice to re-write a law to make it legal.

BadgerHawk on June 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM

One more time…

The law did not get rewritten by the court.

The court told the legislature how the law could be changed in order to meet constitutional muster in one area.

0bamacare cannot be fully implemented as written. Changes will have to be made.

How will those changes get passed?

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

No need to gettin’ mad dude. You will catch on…eventually.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 5:56 PM

STFU. Roberts sh!t his pants because he didn’t want to repudiate Congress and the President in such a huge way with only 5-4 votes. So instead we get this absolute mess in which he rewrites the damn law to fit his sole interpretation. Not one other justice on this court agrees with him. The four mentally challenged justices went along with him because they were not going to get their way with a limitless Commerce Clause. The only thing I will ever “catch on” is the fact that Roberts is apparently a mealy mouthed Fluke, and far too many on our side are gullible imbeciles.

At the end of the day this ruling may remove just about every Democrat in Washington, but that does not fix the horribleness of this gibberish that Roberts spouted today. Someday we will have another leftist leaning congress, and they will have this awful ruling to fall back on as precedent for stealing more of our freedoms.

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

POTUS can’t just issue waivers to a tax to all his buddies, can he? I dunno. It’s Obama so maybe he can.

bitsy on June 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban
Heh. I suspect today’s decision opens the door to many more lawsuits.

BadgerHawk on June 28, 2012 at 6:08 PM

The waivers are going to be a problem. Waivers from taxes?

So are the people who won’t pay premiums, but pay the $750 tax instead. The carriers need a lot of premiums to fund the expense of preexisting ocnditions.

Wethal on June 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

It did originate in the House.

Schadenfreude on June 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

The House voted on the version passed by the Senate, because Brown won.

pedestrian on June 28, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Obama and Napolitano consider them, and retired law officers, potential “domestic terrorists”.

Schadenfreude on June 28, 2012 at 6:05 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

Suxta be living in this Obamination of a country. I hope he is literally crushed in November and that his likeness will forever be the ch*t sandwich he made our Nation into during his short reign of terror.

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Congress might not be able to compel all Americans to purchase broccoli under the Commerce Clause. But, Laycock says, Roberts’ ruling has shown a way around this.

Exactly. All Roberts did was give them another tool to use in addition to the commerce clause. This is in no way a victory for freedom or limited government. It is actually a total disaster.

If Roberts had any integrity he would have told Congress that they need to go back and debate and vote on this as a tax, so that it is presented honestly to the American people.

Obama’s hide the ball strategy worked here and, as AP says, they can keep using it. They never present anything as a tax, but SCOTUS interprets it as a tax anyway. Best of both worlds for lawmakers. They can pass taxes without calling them taxes.

JohnInCA on June 28, 2012 at 6:14 PM

I get this argument, really I do. But Roberts phrased it as you have the choice to either buy health insurance or pay the tax. You are not forced to pay the “tax” to the insurance company if you choose to pay the actual tax to the government.

Reasonable people can disagree on this.

rockmom on June 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Paying for the insurance is the tax Slow Joe.

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Just think how many TAXES politicians can now impose on you for NOT doing something.

No solar on your roof? TAX
No hybrid or all-electric car? TAX
Did not vote in the last election? TAX
Haven’t purchased a US built car in 7 years? TAX
Actually have a ‘savings account’? TAX

GarandFan on June 28, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Do you honestly think ANY of those things would EVER pass in any Congress?

rockmom on June 28, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Yes I do. Another congress like the one in power from 2006 to 2010? Absolutely. They just had bigger fish to fry first.

However, the more I step back emotionally from this decision, the more I like what Roberts did, in declaring unequivocably that Obamacare is a tax. He made it a much easier target to take down politically, legislatively, and idealogically – so long as we do our part in November and beyond – and never, ever fall back into the state of conservative complacency that got us here in the first place.

Harbingeing on June 28, 2012 at 6:14 PM

If it’s argued before the bench as constitutional through the commerce clause, instead of upholding it under the ruling that it is actually a tax, why not kick it back to Congress to be passed as a tax?

nico on June 28, 2012 at 6:03 PM

By declaring it a tax, the way is paved for repeal simply on the grounds that it did not originate in the House of Representatives. On those grounds, this new tax is unconstitutional.

nitzsche on June 28, 2012 at 6:10 PM

But, why even bother? It’s a tax. Strike it down as a tax and let the House deliberate. Roberts has assumed the legislative mantle.

nico on June 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Someday we will have another leftist leaning congress, and they will have this awful ruling to fall back on as precedent for stealing more of our freedoms.

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

About once a generation. Roberts took the commerce clause out of their bag of tricks. Now they will have to call a tax a tax.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

So Obamacare was actually THE OBAMA MASSIVE STEALTH TAX INCREASE BILL.

Here’s a bumpersticker:

OBAMACARE 2012-
Read his lips- No new taxes?

profitsbeard on June 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

The House voted on the version passed by the Senate, because Brown won.

pedestrian on June 28, 2012 at 6:14 PM

The Senate version was the gutted out remains of House bill HR 3590, a junk bill about the first-time home buyer’s credit.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

The waivers are going to be a problem. Waivers from taxes?

So are the people who won’t pay premiums, but pay the $750 tax instead. The carriers need a lot of premiums to fund the expense of preexisting ocnditions.

Wethal on June 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

Health carriers will buckle and fail over the “mandate” oops I mean “tax” that forces them to keep administrative costs at or below 15%. In a few short months, these carriers will be forced oops I mean “taxed” into penalties for failure to comply with the original mandate oops I mean “tax”.

Watch United Health care. They’ll be the first to fall. And when they go, so do their Medicare part B customers.

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Thank you for pointing out an important fact AP:

ROBERTS CALLED IT A TAX — coming up with this tax increase line of attack will have to be smart because O and even the defense claimed that it was not… And you guys keep posting the vids of O saying just that!

Roberts screwed this one bad by creating a LOOPHOLE IN THE CONSTITUTION

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on June 28, 2012 at 6:17 PM

TeaPartyNation on June 28, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Then it all falls apart.

I won’t expand my business, I won’t hire anyone new, I won’t purchase any new equipment and will use duct tape if I have to in order to keep the old stuff going. I won’t buy anything I don’t absolutely need and I will expand the barter clan I’m currently involved with to anything and everything.

If the American Nazi Party wants to continually hit me for being more successful than some ahole who doesn’t have the motivation to climb out of bed in the morning, well then they are going to find a dry pit of emptiness waiting for them.

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Bumper sticker:

“And you fools thought it was going to be free”

LOL

ObamaTax 2012 and beyond!

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Many people are claiming this helps Mitt but I don’t think it does. One of the reasons the right has been lining up behind someone with dubious conservative credentials is because of scotus picks. But if we can’t trust John Effing Roberts (Bush appointee who was sold to us as some kind of conservative super genius) not to sodomize us then what the hell difference does those pics make?

Roberts rewrote the law for Obama to make it constitutional by calling the penalty a tax instead of mandate. He could have joined Kennedy, Kennedy if he had wanted to and deep sixed the entire thing. He wanted this uphled. End of story.

Kataklysmic on June 28, 2012 at 5:52 PM

If it is played right, it will help Romney immensely.

I’m somewhat surprised by your reaction. Usually you see the long game better. I’d rather have our side fired up rather than the liberals, as they would have been had it been shot down.

The only win today was something like a 6-3 or even a 7-2, which was never going to happen. If it would have went with a 5-4 to shut it down, then the liberals would have been moaning and it would have given them and the LSM their talking points of corrupt SCOTUS, racism, etc, etc, etc. That’s all we would have been hearing about for months. As it is, let them gloat over this nifty horse that was brought to their door (thank you can’t remember who said Trojan horse earlier) while the tax point is hammered over and over and over.

Let’s remain positive and clear in our goals – removal of Obama and his corrupt cronies.

Mind you, if Romney kicks this one around the field then all bets are off. Let’s hope he’s better than that.

kim roy on June 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Someday we will have another leftist leaning congress, and they will have this awful ruling to fall back on as precedent for stealing more of our freedoms.

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Well said. We may be able to repel Obamacare, but the long-term consequences of this decision are horrible. This just kicked the door open for more big government schemes.

JohnInCA on June 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

But, in the beginning of the “decision” the mandate was definitely NOT a tax in order to get arund the Anti-Injunction Act and even hear the case before “taxes” were assessed. Then … lo and behold, it became a “tax” in mid-decision.

There is no good part of this abomination from the SCOTASS, Supreme Court of the American Socialist Superstate.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

“If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up. If you make $200,000 a year or less, your taxes will go down.”

- Barack Obama, 7 October 2008

“The mandate is not a mandate. It is a tax.”

- SCOTUS, 28 June 2012

Obama lied. His pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class died.

Resist We Much on June 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

I just want to say thank you Allahpundit for remaining a consistent Eeyore. Nothing would have been more annoying if you expected the worse before the decision, but then tried to give pep talks after the decision, thanks for being a realist.

I’ve said the same thing on Facebook to friends, that whatever precedent Roberts, conservative spinsters or neurotic liberals thinks was set today could and would easily be undone with one more liberal justice as if Roberts had never existed.

How are we going to win the fight between Original Intent versus the “Living Constitution” when the guys on our side refuse to fight? It seems like we are always one justice short. Roberts is a smart and decent guy, but he chickened out plain and simple. The only precedent that will stick is that now the elected congress can pass a new tax without calling it a tax in public and the unelected court can just call it a tax later – wonderful.

How do you rule against the administration’s main argument and then create your own “winning” argument for them? Eat your heart out Earl Warren.

Daemonocracy on June 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

By declaring it a tax, the way is paved for repeal simply on the grounds that it did not originate in the House of Representatives. On those grounds, this new tax is unconstitutional.

nitzsche on June 28, 2012 at 6:10 PM

It did originate in the House.

Schadenfreude on June 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Just run it by Chief Justice Roberts. He will tell you they had every intention of originating it in the house so it must be constitutional, regardless of where it actual came from.

bitsy on June 28, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I can not even listen to Obama anymore. When he comes on TV, I mute him.

Terrye on June 28, 2012 at 6:20 PM

“George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition… My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I’m taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but… I absolutely reject that notion (that the mandate penalty is a tax).”

- President Barack Obama, 21 September 2009

“Barack Obama, the Constitutional scholar” shot down in flames.

Obama, the Constitutional scholar = His claim that his Indonesian step-grandpappy was killed by that tried-’n-true, old-fangled Dutch soldier method of killing natives:

“Death by standing natives on a chair and making them hang drapes.”

**EYEROLL**

Resist We Much on June 28, 2012 at 6:21 PM

overall i think that forcing the corruptocrats to say we’re going to tax your brains out is a good thing

although i generally agree with AP. The progressive project continues. we have 4 hard left justices that vote en bloc

we know that for our country to not go the way of greece is going to take a huge amount of work…scotus can not protect us from crooked pols.

it wound have been a massive to overturn barry.care. the left has the full support of the media, the schools and the entertainment industry

the left fabricates myths like global warming and the media repeats them daily

r keller on June 28, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Mind you, if Romney kicks this one around the field then all bets are off. Let’s hope he’s better than that.

kim roy on June 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

He already did. His response to this was PATHETIC. He actually had to stand for no pre-existing conditions and other cr@p. The guy is stone cold idiot. Just plain dumb. He’s still better than the Indonesian Dog-Eater, but not by very much. If he keeps going this way he’s going to McCain this whole thing.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 28, 2012 at 6:22 PM

At the end of the day this ruling may remove just about every Democrat in Washington, but that does not fix the horribleness of this gibberish that Roberts spouted today. Someday we will have another leftist leaning congress, and they will have this awful ruling to fall back on as precedent for stealing more of our freedoms.

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Right, because voting for massive tax increases on the middle class is such a winning formula for members of Congress — so winning, in fact, that they have to lie and call them something else. Now they won’t be able to do that. Good luck finding the votes.

Rational Thought on June 28, 2012 at 6:22 PM

At the end of the day this ruling may remove just about every Democrat in Washington, but that does not fix the horribleness of this gibberish that Roberts spouted today. Someday we will have another leftist leaning congress, and they will have this awful ruling to fall back on as precedent for stealing more of our freedoms.

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

I saw this on twitter. This is the most appropriate place to quote it:

@DLoesch: We are paying the price for past apathy. It is a MARATHON not a SPRINT folks.

kim roy on June 28, 2012 at 6:23 PM

About once a generation. Roberts took the commerce clause out of their bag of tricks. Now they will have to call a tax a tax.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

No he did not! He rewrote the law so he could write his Solemn like hackery. He changed the mandate to a tax, thus avoiding the answering the question whether this is overreach under the Commerce Clause entirely! And without Roberts it is 4-4 on that question.

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Next up? The General Motors and General Electric Tax.

You don’t have a GM car? You’re taxed. Pay $1250 a year penalty.
You don’t have a GE bulb? You’re taxed. Pay $150 a year penalty.

You don’t own a Michelle Obama approved yoga exercise mat? You’re taxed. Pay $9000 a year penalty (she needs her vacay)

You don’t own a government approved scale in your bathroom? You’re taxed 10% for every pound over your preferred BMI.

This will NEVER end.

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Yep and when they’re gone, there will be only one place to turn for health insurance coverage.

Calling it a tax is going to have what effect on the 49% who don’t pay federal income tax? Obama “we just want them to pay their fair share” we are just going to tax them a “tiny” bit more really an insignificant amount……. say that’s not a 32 oz soda you’re drinking is it. You know that’s not good for you, who sold that to you? I am going to see if they need to be better regulated……

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Rombo wants more than a single term and conservatives are now watching him like an amoeba under a microscope. If he doesn’t work to repeal this horror within the first couple of months of his tenure then he will find himself a lame duck by the end of his first year. 2016 will see him primaried and defeated. Have faith.

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Right, because voting for massive tax increases on the middle class is such a winning formula for members of Congress — so winning, in fact, that they have to lie and call them something else. Now they won’t be able to do that. Good luck finding the votes.

Rational Thought on June 28, 2012 at 6:22 PM

No they don’t. Roberts was very clear that SCOTUS will do that for them. He cited a precedent that SCOTUS has to bend over and find a way to interpret the law as constitutional if at all possible.

pedestrian on June 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

… lo and behold, it became a “tax” in mid-decision.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Thereby opening it to that challenge as well as there being no way to collect the tax under the current law….because they specifically left it out so it couldn’t be construed as a tax.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Roberts and his lib SCOTUS colleagues invented a Bizarro World definition of “tax” today.

A general charge (applicable regardless of status) payable to the government to provide for a public service received (or made available generally) is a TAX.

A charge payable to the government for FAILING to comply with a law (such as the ACA) is a FINE…NOT a TAX!

From what law schools did these idiots graduate?

LaserBeam on June 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Don’t know if this has been answered at HA yet:

With the SC ruling today, where does leave Ohio? Voters overwhelmingly passed amendment to state constitution to exempt residents from O-Care (if I’m remembering correctly.)

What now?

GrannyDee on June 28, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Right, because voting for massive tax increases on the middle class is such a winning formula for members of Congress — so winning, in fact, that they have to lie and call them something else. Now they won’t be able to do that. Good luck finding the votes.

Rational Thought on June 28, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Why can’t they? They did it just now and Roberts conveniently rewrote it for them. Why won’t that work again in the future?

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 6:27 PM

I’ve had it with black robes and black presidents

Nemesis of Jihad on June 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Dr Evil on June 28, 2012 at 6:23 PM | Delete

Doc, it’s not that simple. I’m in the insurance business. They are going to force the Seniors out first, then collapse what is left of private health care.

At least with private health policies you have the ability to arbitrate disputes or file law suits. The ObamaTax removes the ability due to sovereign immunity.

The impact of this is so far reaching, we haven’t a clue what they have the power to do.

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Mind you, if Romney kicks this one around the field then all bets are off. Let’s hope he’s better than that.

kim roy on June 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

He already did. His response to this was PATHETIC. He actually had to stand for no pre-existing conditions and other cr@p. The guy is stone cold idiot. Just plain dumb. He’s still better than the Indonesian Dog-Eater, but not by very much. If he keeps going this way he’s going to McCain this whole thing.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 28, 2012 at 6:22 PM

I don’t think it was that bad. Like another poster said, he didn’t go Howard Dean about it and that’s good. He said what he needed to say and reiterated that he’s going to repeal it.

Now. Do you want someone who has stated that it will be repealed, with a R senate and R congress putting it on his desk or do you want an unencumbered Obama?

Yes, it sucks, but what else choice do we have? Hide under the desk in the fetal position or fight?

kim roy on June 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Seeing all of the whining on here is actually kind of funny to me, because it’s a bunch of conservatives whining that Big Daddy Supreme Court justice didn’t come in and save them. What Roberts did here was put the power where it belongs — with the people. Don’t want Obamacare? Vote the b*stards out. And vote in people who will serve your will. It’s really that simple. Think they’re going to tax us into oblivion in the future because of this ruling? The democrats have always wanted to tax us into oblivion, and they’ve always had the authority to in Congress. That is nothing new. Show up on election day. Make sure everyone you know shows up. And show these SOBs the door. It has always been political suicide to be a big taxer. Make sure it stays that way.

Rational Thought on June 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

In a few days we’ll get a Bloomberg poll showing 85% approval of SCOTUS decision.

Mark1971 on June 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

So, , since it’s a tax, can we now call charges for our health insurance deductible, like we do our sales and property taxes?

No? Well then Fluck Obama.

john1schn on June 28, 2012 at 6:29 PM

kim roy on June 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

I’m getting close to moving.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 28, 2012 at 6:29 PM

The only silver lining is that by upholding it as a tax vs. the Commerce Clause the burden to repeal it legislatively is lesser. Instead of needing 60 Senators + the White House we need simple majorities plus the White House.

Jill1066 on June 28, 2012 at 5:35 PM

The Maine problem with that is that even if we barely win the Senate, which is possible, we have an infestation of RINOs that won’t want to overturn the TFBGP’s signature (and probably only) accomplishment.

slickwillie2001 on June 28, 2012 at 6:29 PM

I’ve had it with black robes and black presidents

Nemesis of Jihad on June 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

I’ve had it with life time appointments on SCOTUS. They can serve 10 year terms, that’s it. And no retirement.

/Slumpy Ginsberg. That woman looks like a corpse propped up only by a sturdy pair of Depends.

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Because the old words are as true today as they were then, “Eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

Let them scheme and enact and crush the economy, we will catch up to Europe eventually and then the balloon goes up. Yeah it sucks but it seems there are a majority of Americans who need to be lit on fire to know that flame really does burn.

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Why can’t they? They did it just now and Roberts conveniently rewrote it for them. Why won’t that work again in the future?

NotCoach on June 28, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Roberts didn’t rewrite it for them. The federal government argued in the lower courts, whose decisions the SC was actually responding to, that it was a tax. Roberts didn’t come up with that on his own. It was what they argued. And, of course, it is a tax, being collected through the IRS.

Rational Thought on June 28, 2012 at 6:31 PM

I’m getting close to moving.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 28, 2012 at 6:29 PM

There is no place to move to. This is freedom’s final stand.

pedestrian on June 28, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Seeing all of the whining on here is actually kind of funny to me, because it’s a bunch of conservatives whining that Big Daddy Supreme Court justice didn’t come in and save them. What Roberts did here was put the power where it belongs — with the people. Don’t want Obamacare? Vote the b*stards out. And vote in people who will serve your will. It’s really that simple. Think they’re going to tax us into oblivion in the future because of this ruling? The democrats have always wanted to tax us into oblivion, and they’ve always had the authority to in Congress. That is nothing new. Show up on election day. Make sure everyone you know shows up. And show these SOBs the door. It has always been political suicide to be a big taxer. Make sure it stays that way.

Rational Thought on June 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Dear God. Thank you so much for this. *sigh*

I’m getting close to moving.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 28, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Yes, it’s getting to that point, but one last kick and if Obama wins after all this then you know it’s over.

Hang in there. This is what they want. Don’t give it to them.

kim roy on June 28, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Says Amanda Carpenter, “If Obamacare was presented as a tax, it would have never passed.”

Who cares. They passed it, and Roberts declared it was a tax. Now it’s a done deal.

Some righties are arguing this afternoon that this decision was actually a big win for conservatives because we did, after all, carry the day on the Commerce Clause.

Even Ken Cucinelli, who should know better, was making this inane argument today. So SCOTUS put an outer limit on the Commerce Clause. Big deal. Congress has managed to have a lot of fun hitherto while remaining within those limits, and the limits were hardly shrunk today. Still plenty of room in there. Of course, thanks to Roberts, Congress has explicit permission to use their taxation power to venture outside those limits.

When you outgrow those old shoes, get yourself some new ones!

The only compelling reason to be happy about the decision, it seems to me, is that by forcing Congress to frame future power grabs as “taxes,” it’ll be harder to pass them. Then again, this case stands for the proposition that Congress doesn’t have to frame them that way; the Court will re-frame the bill for them and uphold it on tax grounds even if the government explicitly and repeatedly denies that what it’s engaged in as taxation.

That there’s the kicker. SCOTUS did the Democrats work for them today, and nothing can stop it from doing the Democrats work for them in the future.

We now officially have a government without limits.

I said today that this is one of the worst rulings in the history of American jurisprudence. Let me rephrase that. It is the worst ruling in the history of American jurisprudence.

Mr. Arkadin on June 28, 2012 at 6:33 PM

/Slumpy Ginsberg. That woman looks like a corpse propped up only by a sturdy pair of Depends.

Key West Reader on June 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM

..possibly the most tragically funny image on a tragic, unfunny day. Thanks for the smile!

The War Planner on June 28, 2012 at 6:33 PM

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