Roberts spurns Federalism, Supreme Court now top ‘tax’ collector

June 28, 2012
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If you like the idea of an all powerful federal government, if you love the idea of judges looking behind every fig leaf possible to grant said federal government more power, and if you get just absolutely giddy over the idea of bureaucrats dictating your healthcare, then you want to give Chief Justice John Roberts one big lip smacking, deep throated, slobbering kiss right now.

Yes, it’s a disgusting image.

But even more disgusting is what Roberts did today to the foundational principles of individual liberty and limited government.

The initial headlines across the Internet all said, “mandate struck down”.  For a few brief seconds it was as predicted (and known to anyone with more than one functioning brain cell) that the Democrats had indeed overstepped their authority by using the Commerce Clause to justify forcing Americans to buy health insurance.

Yet less than two minutes later, it was also clear that something was very, very amiss.

As the second set of flashes declared, “ACA stands, mandate constitutional under “taxing” authority, I could almost hear the collective “HUH?” from the hundreds of thousands of us signed onto the live blog.

Even though when passing the legislation and later when defending it in court the administration bent over backwards arguing that the mandate was NOT a tax, Roberts leaped out of his robe to throw a lifeline to the administration.

Declaring that in his view the mandate was essentially a tax and because it was a tax it was fully within Congress’ “taxing” authority and therefore the ACA (Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obama-care) was indeed constitutional.

I know now how intelligent people felt in 1857 when another Court handed down a similarly “wtf” decision known as Dred Scott.

I do not disagree at all that Congress has the authority to tax the American people in whatever manner it “mandates” and deems politically feasible.

But the issue that what was supposed to be before the Court was could the commerce clause be used to force Americans to engage in private commerce.

There is absolutely no doubt that healthcare costs are out of control and this nation’s system is in desperate need of reform.

Yet for all the spin from the Dems, the ACA misses on all points.

It essentially only does three things:

Mandate that every adult American either purchase private health insurance or pay a fine.  (er sorry, “tax” according to Chief Justice Roberts)

Expand Medicaid roles beyond the states ability to pay for them in the future.

Establishes the Department of Health and Human Services as the all-powerful arbiter of what is and what will be healthcare in this country.

It does not:

Lower the cost curve

Provide meaningful tort reform

Allow purchase of health insurance across state lines

Prevent the bankruptcy of Medicare

Decrease the deficit.

So yes, I am angry, yes I am shaking my head in disbelief.  BUT, as regular readers know, I also know my history.

Just as Obama, Pelosi, Reid and our own Claire McCaskill are cheering today, so too was the Japanese High Command feeling quite victorious on December 8th, 1941.

And Admiral Yamamoto’s fear of awakening the “sleeping giant” faced him far sooner than he had ever imagined.

For just 6 months later a little thing called the Battle of Midway put them forever back onto their heels and set the stage for their ultimate, absolute defeat.

It is just a little over 4 months until November 6th, 2012, and no one deserves another Battle of Midway history lesson more than one Barack Hussein Obama.

For the sake of our children, grandchildren, and the very future of this nation, let us hope that lesson is delivered loud and clear.

And if you think the “analysis” of tax vs. mandate is a bit too harsh, the video clip of Dear Leader himself declaring it absolutely NOT a tax should clear up any confusion.  Evidently Justice Roberts doesn’t know about YouTube.

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2 Responses to Roberts spurns Federalism, Supreme Court now top ‘tax’ collector

  1. anson burlingame on June 29, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I believe that most Americans were “snookered” by the passage of ACA. How many times did we hear from a variety of sources “This in NOT a tax”. Such words came from both Democrates in Congress and from the White House. Yet we are now told by the Supreme Court that in fact ACA WAS a tax.

    According to today’s Globe there are some 50 million (or so) Americans without HC insurance. Now (actually as of Jan 1, 2014 they are required by law to purchase such insurance or face a penalty (tax). Now do the math. Assume (probably too low a number) that annual HC insurance payments for each of those people (50 million) is $2,000 per year. That is a $100 Billion increase in income for private insurance companies OR the federal government (if the penalty/tax is assumed to be $2,000 per year)

    And of course that money is going to come out of the pockets of the youngest as well as “poorest” folks in America that have previously chosen NOT to purchase HC insurance. It will probably go down in history as the most regressive and largest tax on people that can least afford to pay such money, out of their own pockets.

    If all of that was carefully and publicly explained to Americans during the debate over ACA I cannot imagine ANYONE in Congress voting for such passage. In fact we the people were told, outright, by the Speaker of the House “We won’t know what is in the bill untill we pass it”!!!

    Well now we KNOW “what is in the bill”. Many Americans thought more “free” HC was coming their way. Not so for sure, now. The least likely to be able to pay for HC insurance now are faced with doing so or face a tax, an onnerous tax that far exceeds rescinding the Bush tax cuts on the “rich” that of course already HAVE very good HC insurance paid for out of their own or their employers pockets.

    Sometime in the future Robert’s may well have done a great thing for America, however. In the well written majority opinion, he drove a very sharp legal stake into using the Commerce Clause to coerce Americans to ENGAGE in unwanted commerce. I am certain that that was the “deal” offered to the four liberal judges by the Chief Justice. You agree to negate any future attempts to use the commerce clause and I will support allowing Congress to “tax” Ameridcans to pay for HC.

    Go read the lengthy Ginsburg “critique” of the majority opinion. It reads like a dissent AGAINST that majority opinion (which she agreed to) in denoucing in strong terms the Chief Justice’s denunciation of the used of the Commerce Clause for such purposes. She obviously was trying to have her cake and eat it too.

    Well the good news is Dems can not longer use the “crap” about “it is not a tax” when they try to get more money out of citizens. They are now forced to swallow their own words and say “yep, we just passed the most regressive tax in American history”. Of course they won’t say that but the GOP certainly can do so.

    Which of course results in HC reform now being sent back to our democratic process to resolve, which is where it belongs, in my view. Come 2014 some 50 million Americans will be required to pay a few more thousands of dollars to either the federal government or to private insurance companies that previously they have not had to forgo or pay. I wonder how those 50 million people will vote in November 2012?

    And of course those 50 million people, mostly young and poorer Americans (or both) are a MAJOR part of the Dem base that elected Obama in 2008.

    Chief Justice Roberts may well have delivered the Presidential vote to Romney on a silver platter with his legal move. If one assumes that all 50 million would have voted for Obama in 2012 then even if 10 million “swing” there vote to the GOP instead, well it takes about 62 million votes to win the Presidential election so that 10 million vote swing could have HUGE election consequences for the country, thereby sending ACA into the dustbin of a FAILED law, democratically.

    We will see.

    Anson

  2. […] the wind and a lifeline to the administration when he re-wrote the ACA statute to say that the “mandate” was now, under his interpretation a “tax” and therefore completely fine under Congress’ all encompassing power to take whatever monies […]

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