The Fee That Is A Tax

 

During the 2009 debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama insisted that the law’s “shared responsibility payment,” assessed on Americans who fail to obtain government-approved medical coverage, is not a tax. “I absolutely reject that notion,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that September. “For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.”

Testifying before Congress 15 Feb 2012, President Obama’s acting budget director Jeffrey Zients directly undercut one of the administration’s key legal defenses of its national health care law as it nears a hearing before the Supreme Court.  In a hearing of the House Budget Committee Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., pressed Zients on whether the penalty that the health care law imposes on individuals who do not purchase health insurance constitutes a tax. Eventually, Zients said it did not.

We were repeatedly told this wasn’t a tax.  Leftists and the complicit media scoffed as people like Sarah Palin stated that it was a tax.  Over and over again, we were told this wasn’t a tax.  This allowed Obama to say he’s kept his pledge not to raise taxes on people making under $200,000/yr.  They also told us that this was all perfectly legitimate via the Commerce Clause.  To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes; (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3)  So, what do we get today?

The ruling relied on a technical explanation of how the individual mandate could be categorized. Roberts, in the opinion, said the mandate could not be upheld under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. However, it could be upheld under the government’s power to tax.

“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,” Roberts wrote. “That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage 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.”

Read more: here.

I vehemently disagree with Justice Roberts.  It is not reasonable to construe that Congress increased taxes, or that was their intentions.  We, the people, were specifically told it was not.  And, this was the only way it could have been passed as a law!  What sort of jackwagon says its reasonable to assume a huge mandate was passed by deception and then upholds the intentional deception?  If congress wanted to pay for this by adding a tax they should have plainly stated as such.  Now, apparently, our supreme court not only interprets written law, they are performing a mind-reading act.  And divining intent when all that was necessary was to simply put in writing the actual intent.   

But, this is much worse than simply that.  If we are to understand Roberts correctly, the federal government can then force all of its citizens to purchase whatever they deem proper for us and then simply call it a tax and this holds now under judicial precedence!  Let’s carry this to the extreme.  For our safety and health, we should all purchase a cell phone with the 911 GPS tracker in them.  We’ll pool the money so we can call this a tax.  What is to prevent the U.S. government from mandating such?

The four dissenters stated,

Four Justices Wanted The Whole Law Thrown Out

In their dissent, Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito describe the Affordable Care Act as a “massive state-administered federal welfare program,” and argue that the decision should have been a no-brainer:

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. Whatever may be the conceptual limits upon the Commerce Clause and upon the power to tax and spend, they cannot be such as will enable the Federal Government to regulate all private conduct and to compel the States to function as administrators of federal programs.

And they wanted the whole law invalidated — every bit of it.

The Act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying nonconsenting States all Medicaid funding. These parts of the Act are central to its design and operation, and all the Act’s other provisions would not have been enacted without them. In our view it must follow that the entire statute is inoperative.

The majority’s decision, “creates a debilitated, inoperable version of health-care regulation that Congress did not enact and the public does not expect. It makes enactment of sensible health-care regulation more difficult, since Congress cannot start afresh but must take as its point of departure a jumble of now senseless provisions, provisions that certain interests favored under the Court’s new design will struggle to retain. And it leaves the public and the States to expend vast sums of money on requirements that may or may not survive the necessary congressional revision.”

This sets as a fine example of how far we’ve fallen as a free society.  We’ve much work to do. 

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46 Responses to The Fee That Is A Tax

  1. philjourdan says:

    Another Obama lie.

    But while the ruling is a disappointment for what it portends, it demonstrates 2 incontrovertible facts:

    #1 – Pelosi does not know what she is talking about, and does not know the constitution (the mandate was ruled to be unconstitutional, and SCOTUS changed it to a tax).
    #2 – Obama has raised taxes more than any president in history. And he did it ALL on the backs of the middle class. The rich are unaffected.

    • philjourdan says:

      Oh, and one more thing. Weiner is still a wiener.

    • suyts says:

      Yep, And, we need to drive these points home. Hopefully, we can get some new appointments on the bench to start interpreting laws instead of divining what Congress really meant.

      And, yes, Weiner is still a wiener.

  2. DirkH says:

    Wait a moment. When an American loses his job, he often also loses his health insurance, right? Meanng that he would now be punished by this new tax for losing his health insurance, do I see that correctly? In other words, the more unemployed, the higher the income of this tax, right?

    Or did I misunderstand it?

    • suyts says:

      Sort of. He will be compelled to continue to carry the insurance, even though he can’t afford it. But, if he doesn’t make his payments, and drops it, then he’ll be punished.

      The intent isn’t to simply raise the cost of insurance for us all, it is the break the people who struggle to stay afloat.

      Once the poor bastard is destitute, he can then enroll in the free insurance program. This will be minimal coverage which will be payed for by higher premiums of the ones who do have the regular coverage.

      It’s a sad day for liberty.

      • DirkH says:

        You Americans have interesting motivational programs for the unemployed.
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2012/03/28/the-big-problem-with-obamacare-it-doesnt-help-many/
        “And as Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito pointed out in arguments Tuesday, the typical 27-year-old could be much worse off under Obamacare: She consumes, on average, less than $900 a year in healthcare services but will be required to spend more than five times that much to buy an insurance policy with many bells and whistles, like low deductibles and pediatric care, that most young consumers don’t need.”

        Hey, just like in Germany! You have arrived in the promised land! Welcome! Wanna become part of the Eurozone next? 🙂

        • suyts says:

          Lol, you’re going to make me cry!! ….. wait…. how much bailout money will you guys send us?

        • DirkH says:

          You have to reduce your deficit to 3% first before you can enter. Sorry. After that, no probs.

        • suyts says:

          Lol, this sucks! U.S. can’t get into the Eurozone but Greece and Italy could! 😦

        • philjourdan says:

          You really know how to kick a guy when he is down. 😉

          As far as the Eurozone, don’t you think we have ENOUGH problems already?

        • philjourdan says:

          A seroius question for DirkH – Was the 3% requirement before PIIGS were admitted? It seems like it could not have been given their current state.

        • DirkH says:

          As far as I know, only the Greek have been proven to have cheated with their statistics.
          And for a long time, until the onset of the fiscal crisis things seemed to work. It was in fact Germany who first violated the 3 % limit after the introduction of the Euro, about 2003; and our then chancellor Schröder, social democrat with Green coalition partner, had to enact austerity measures – newly employed public servants got lower wages, and unemployment benefits got limited to 1 year, followed by a kind of social security.

          That, unfortunately, thwarted my plan of becoming a long term unemployed. Socialism doesn’t work for me.

          So basically, we were the first who did a little bit of austerity so in 2008 we came out in top of the others…

    • philjourdan says:

      Like Suyts says, sort of. He would not be “taxed” if he bought his own insurance. But if his employer did not have a policy (and was paying the tax), then he has no choice but to buy a policy, or be taxed. So yes, more unemployment, more tax revenue.

      As a side note, the first time I was laid off, I could not afford Insurance, so I went without. But I was young and healthy (as was my wife and children), so a year later (I had a PT job in the interim) when I got a job, with insurance, we had managed to not go bankrupt, and were still healthy.

      You no longer have that option.

      • suyts says:

        Exactly. As a young adult, I opted out of insurance for several years, because it was so darned expensive. I paid as I went for about 10 years. I couldn’t have made it any other way.

        Now, this liberty is gone.

  3. philjourdan says:

    suyts says:
    June 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Lol, you’re going to make me cry!! ….. wait…. how much bailout money will you guys send us?

    Uh, I think they want OUR bailout money!

    • suyts says:

      Oh no….. I think Germany enjoys handing it out! They weren’t content with just floating Greece, the other day the Eurozone agreed to handing Spain 100 billion euros! And Iceland, and Portugal, and …. I just figured, we could get in line as well. 🙂

      • DirkH says:

        Iceland didn’t need to. The state refused to refinance their banks, let’em go bust, and devalued their Krona – they are not part of the EU but, like Norway, a kind of associated nation with free trade privilegues. They never wanted to become part because that would have given EU nations the right to fish around their shore, I think.

        Iceland is recovering due to the devaluation. They regained competitiveness; but of course, they paid a price in the form of living standard – their imports got more expensive for the populace.

      • suyts says:

        Lol, I was just digging at you…. yeh, they got in IMF loan. Iceland is recovering now, but, they went through some enormous amount of capital in a very short time. And, while the zone didn’t technically bail them out, many of the banks were left holding that huge bag of debt Iceland filled. That’s the beauty of such a global economy.

      • philjourdan says:

        I think Germany is finally saying “ENOUGH”. That is what is causing a lot of controversy. Germany would love to have us help with the bailing.

        There is a reason that Germany is the Bailer and not the Bailee.

  4. Greg locke says:

    Having now read the opinion, I think Justice Roberts may have done conservatives a favor here, even though his essential rewritng of ACA is, in my view, activist in the extreme, and very unjudicial. First, he agrees with the dissent that the mandate fails under Commerce Clause anlysis and jurisprudence. That’s good, because the left can’t go back and start requiring mandates of all sorts of things unless they openly declare a tax increase, a position deeply unpopular with most of the electorate. Secondly, because the mandate has been declared a tax by the liberals on the Court, vaunted Constitutional scholar Barack Obama and his minions Pelosi and Reid either don’t recognize a tax when they pass one, or lied to the American People about what the mandate was all about, legislated one of the largest tax increase in history using false pretenses, and then cheered in public that they got away with their scam. This could be a very powerful political tool for the Republicans on several levels. First, it reemphasises that Mr. Obama is a charlatan. Second, he violated, in a huge way, his promise that he wouldn’t raise taxes on “ordinary” citizens. Third, it throws open the door for the argument that this is all about controlling people’s lives, and shows that Mr. Obama and his acolytes will do and say anything for that power.

    Of course, the Republicans in general, and Mr. Romney in particular, are too weak and mealy mouthed to point all this out. They’ll whine about a repeal that will never happen, and wail and gnash their teeth at Roberts to no effect. What they seem incapable of doing is taking this gift and pushing Mr. Obama into retirement with it. And so it goes.

    • suyts says:

      Well, they may be too weak, but, this will be brought up over and over again until election time. But, your right, a repeal is very improbable.

    • Obama: if you make less than $250,000.00 your taxes will not go up one dime:

      Plenty of video proof:

    • “And I can make a firm pledge…..”

      ~Barack Obama

    • Another video where Barack Obama clearly states he will not raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000.00. (in the first 26 seconds he speaks prophetically about himself, 😉 )

      • Now, to keep his word, he must come out and say since the Supreme Court says ObamaCare is a tax he will throw it away.

      • suyts says:

        You’re assuming he has integrity and cares if his word is kept.

        • I am wondering if some people that voted for him that really thought he was going to bring hope and change are connecting the dots of “not one dime” in new tax but now Obamacare is a plethora of new tax will not vote for him now?

        • suyts says:

          I think many who voted for him will just stay home this time around. I’m pretty optimistic about the outcome of the next election…… sort of. My optimism is that at least we won’t have someone who is openly hostile to the American way of life.

    • philjourdan says:

      Greg,

      If I gave you an outstanding for your analysis, I would be guilty of a very bad sin – Pride. For you have basically stated what I also see from this ruling. Almost to a T! Court Activism (rewriting law), and a republican campaign issue.

      If I have any disagreement with your summary, it woudl be in what Romney will do. I think you underestimate him (not the rest of the mealy mouthed republicans in congress). I believe he will indeed pointout that very fact – that Obama is now the most taxing president in history, and he has saddled the middle class with a HUGE tax (that does not affect the poor or rich), as well as having passed more tax increases than ANY president in history (there are 21 in the Obamacare bill alone).

      For those of old enough to remember (at least for me), I held my nose to vote for Reagan in 1980. I had a lot of reservations. I enthusiastically voted for him in 1984. He fulfilled almost all my expectations. I will not say Romney will be as good. But for the first time in 30 years, I have hope that he will be.

      • I have no hope in politicians. I only have hope in God. My prayers and love for him is what will help change America. My trust in a politician and my vote for them will only lead me to disappointment, as it always has in the past. All trust in God, no hope in man.

        • philjourdan says:

          Yea, Hope may be a strong word. Perhaps I should have said “I wish that he will be”.

  5. When John Roberts was nominated by George Bush I had a feeling he was a compromise on Bush’s part for fear of having a real conservative voted down, or get “Borked”. Damn if I wasn’t right.

    And all these right wing radio chaps go on and on how important it is to get a president from the right so they will nominate only Constitutional originalists to the Supreme Court. Worked out great, hey guys?

  6. OT

    Strange scene in Dearborn, Michigan: Muslim kids throwing a hailstorm of whatever is at hand at Christians carrying signs at a carnival. At 14:15 an angry Muslim policeman jumps in and starts telling them what they can and cannot do. The policeman is talking in an irrational way. I never even imagined I would see this in America.

  7. David says:

    Amino, wow, just wow, talk about indoctrination into PC progressive thinking. Liberal enabling may be one of the worst aspects of liberal thought.

    • America has to return to its original intent. I am hoping and praying this kind of tension will not continue to escalate. But I also fear the worst may come where there will be violence between Muslims and Americans that don’t want to be pushed around by Muslims.

  8. DirkH says:

    It looks like America will, for the foreseeable future, have good and strong ties with the Muslim Brothers and Sisters.
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2012/06/27/Why-Is-Sec-Clinton-Giving-Hundreds-of-Millions-of-U-S-Dollars-to-the-Muslim-Brotherhood

  9. kim2ooo says:

    Albeit: I agree with the article AND comments here, I must also laugh.

    Why? says you

    Well…says I
    This has been defined as a tax.

    So? says you

    Well…says I
    Remember all those back-room deals and passes / waivers given by the Obama team?

    Yes but Why? says you

    Well…says I
    Can those unions that received waivers be exempt from a tax? Can government workers be exempt from this tax and how about members of congress?

    So? says you

    Well…says I

    The President can’t give tax exemptions – unless those organizations ARE TAX EXEMPT. 🙂

  10. deikh66 says:

    Having a discussion on this subject with your cousin Glen on Facebook so I posted a link for him! Hopefully he’ll check out your blog so he can argue with you instead! lol

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