|The Court deliberates.|
Obamacare is the Tar Baby. The Tar Baby sticks to the Economy, the Job Market, Politicians, the National Debt, Doctors, Governors, Mitt Romney, SCOTUS, and everything it touches it smears.
The most bizzarre aspect of yesterday's decision is it's defense by the cadre of beltway 'Part-Time' Conservatives. Apparently the media cannot afford the healthcare costs on fulltime Conservatives. Anyway, the spin goes kind of like this- "Brilliant Robert's is a tactician" or "...thinking generations ahead like a master chess player".
How about 'leftist bozo'? Can we not take a man at his word?
Lets look at this jewel of cognition:
"as far as Anti-Injunction Act is concerned,
it is NOT a tax. As far as mandate is concerned, it IS." (emphasis added)
~ John RobertsWhat?
Now I know some of you Part-time Conservatives just lept for joy at this- "wow it must be secret code for no mandates"- "Let's play it backwards on an old phonograph and see if the real ruling can be heard!!!"
What seems to be missing in the analysis of the likes of beltway boys like George Will and Charles Krauthammer is that the Roberts majority changed the complaint and gave the Left an unlimited ability to tax you on what you do or don't do and use those taxes selectively and punitively. How's that sound? Big victory? Obamacare doesn't seem to ration rationalizations.
"That'll be $1.32 for the gum."
"I didn't ask for gum."
"No problem, that'll be $2.55 for refusing gum."
Now think about that nice gun collection you have or your penchant for ice cream and soda, or perhaps those extra vehicles or coin collections! Your behavior- positive or negative- is now well within the realm of taxation. Nudge, nudge, John Roberts!
So how's that for a victory? Well Mitt Romney sure is vindicated! Romneycare is Consteetooshun'l as well!
So what did the dissenters say?
Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito forcefully disagree with Roberts in their dissent. “[W]e cannot rewrite the statute to be what it is not,” the four Justices write. “[W]e have never—never—treated as a tax an exaction which faces up to the critical difference between a tax and a penalty, and explicitly denominates the exaction a ‘penalty.’ Eighteen times in §5000A itself and elsewhere throughout the Act, Congress called the exaction in §5000A(b) a ‘penalty.’”
In spite of the spin what 'conservative' John Roberts did was an exercise in extreme judicial activism. Was it the epilepsy drugs effecting his cognitive abilities as Michael Savage suggests? I dunno. I'm taking him at his word and his word is devastating to the Constitution by expanding the enumerated tax categories and thus the reach of the Federal Government to control you. I prefer Mark Levin's characterization:
Here is what Mr. Ron Paul had to say:
“Today we should remember that virtually everything government does is a ‘mandate.’ The issue is not whether Congress can compel commerce by forcing you to buy insurance, or simply compel you to pay a tax if you don’t. The issue is that this compulsion implies the use of government force against those who refuse. The fundamental hallmark of a free society should be the rejection of force. In a free society, therefore, individuals could opt out of “Obamacare” without paying a government tribute."I'm not big on Paul but here he is spot on.
So Mr. Establishment Republican and Mrs. Part-time Conservative did your day end with more Liberty or less? That is the question and we all know the answer.
Written by Chief Justice John Roberts, with justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan:
“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.”
“Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”
“The individual mandate forces individuals into commerce precisely because they elected to refrain from commercial activity. Such a law cannot be sustained under a clause authorizing Congress to ‘regulate Commerce.’ ”
“The mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance. Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income. And if the mandate is in effect just a tax hike on certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance, it may be within Congress’s constitutional power to tax.”
“First, and most importantly, it is abundantly clear the Constitution does not guarantee that individuals may avoid taxation through inactivity. A capitation, after all, is a tax that everyone must pay simply for existing, and capitations are expressly contemplated by the Constitution. The Court today holds that our Constitution protects us from federal regulation under the Commerce Clause so long as we abstain from the regulated activity. But from its creation, the Constitution has made no such promise with respect to taxes. See Letter from Benjamin Franklin to M. Le Roy (Nov. 13, 1789) (“Our new Constitution is now established ... but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”).”
By justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito:
“What is absolutely clear, affirmed by the text of the 1789 Constitution, by the Tenth Amendment ratified in 1791, and by innumerable cases of ours in the 220 years since, is that there are structural limits upon federal power, upon what it can prescribe with respect to private conduct, and upon what it can impose upon the sovereign States.”
“To say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute, but to rewrite it. Judicial tax-writing is particularly troubling. Taxes have never been popular, see, e.g., Stamp Act of 1765, and in part for that reason, the Constitution requires tax increases to originate in the House of Representatives. See Art. I, §7, cl. 1. That is to say, they must originate in the legislative body most accountable to the people, where legislators must weigh the need for the tax against the terrible price they might pay at their next election, which is never more than two years off.”
“The values that should have determined our course today are caution, minimalism, and the understanding that the Federal Government is one of limited powers. But the Court’s ruling undermines those values at every turn. In the name of restraint, it overreaches. In the name of constitutional avoidance, it creates new constitutional questions. In the name of cooperative federalism, it undermines state sovereignty.”
“The fragmentation of power produced by the structure of our Government is central to liberty, and when we destroy it, we place liberty at peril. Today’s decision should have vindicated, should have taught, this truth; instead, our judgment today has disregarded it.”