OBAMACARE: THE POWER TO TAX
June 28, 2012
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
ARTICLE I; Section 8; Paragraph 1 U.S. Constitution
The Supreme Court decision to let The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, stand just gave the Democratic party its impetus to tax everything from the air we breathe and the well water we may drink to the things we haven't thought about purchasing or needing, like maybe shading for our back porches or haircuts for everyone, including bald men.
Here me correctly now: Liberals, i.e. socialists, progressives, communists and all the other anti-constitutionalists, were just handed a constitutional reason to continue to redistribute income through taxation.
In his decision, Chief Justice John Roberts opened a Pandora's Box by reminding Democrats that if they control both Houses of Congress and the White House, they can levy fines and penalties, by way of taxes on everybody for everything imaginable. The sad thing about his decision is that it is correct!
Article I; Section 8; Paragraph 1 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to tax. But when properly misunderstood, as almost all Democrats are prone to do, its like handing a loaded gun to a bank robber and telling him to use it without fear of repercussion. I know "loaded gun" is not a particularly appealing phrase for liberals, but there it is.
Taxing is what Democrats are good at. They do it night and day, at work or at play, in the office and in their sleep. The irony of all of this is that President Obama, in his own words, declares that the fine (read "penalty") to be levied for those not purchasing healthcare insurance is "not a tax." More than that, during his 2008 campaign, while running against Hillary Clinton, he took the position that he was against an individual mandate, thus distinguishing between his plan and that of Clinton.
Here is what he told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos back in September, 2009:
STEPHANOPOULOS: You were against the individual mandate…
STEPHANOPOULOS: …during the campaign. Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?
OBAMA: Well, hold on a second, George. Here — here’s what’s happening. You and I are both paying $900, on average — our families — in higher premiums because of uncompensated care. Now what I’ve said is that if you can’t afford health insurance, you certainly shouldn’t be punished for that. That’s just piling on. If, on the other hand, we’re giving tax credits, we’ve set up an exchange, you are now part of a big pool, we’ve driven down the costs, we’ve done everything we can and you actually can afford health insurance, but you’ve just decided, you know what, I want to take my chances. And then you get hit by a bus and you and I have to pay for the emergency room care, that’s…
STEPHANOPOULOS: That may be, but it’s still a tax increase.
OBAMA: No. That’s not true, George. The — for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I’m not covering all the costs.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it may be fair, it may be good public policy…
OBAMA: No, but — but, George, you — you can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase.
What a spin! Our President is good at it, even with one of his media men playing devil's advocate.
Will President Obama now work to change his precious Affordable Health Care Act because the power to force people to purchase healthcare was based upon the "commerce clause" of the Constitution rather than a forced tax?
Absolutely no! To him, as to all of his far-left progressive friends, its a victory and will be interpreted as a go ahead to find other government programs they can thrust upon the people under penalty of taxation.
There is one bright spot in the court's decision and this is what could really wreak havoc on Obama's signature program. Noting that the expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program threatened states' existing funding, the court ruled that the federal government can't put sanctions on states' existing Medicaid funding if the states decline to go along with the Medicaid expansion.
What does this mean?
The ruling may give more leeway to states that don't want to cooperate with the law by letting them avoid punishment for refusing to expand Medicaid.
Currently, states and the federal government split the costs of Medicaid, which provides health insurance for the poor. Under the health-care law, the federal government is set to pick up most of the cost of expanding Medicaid, but states would eventually have to chip in part. If states refused to pay their part, the law allowed the federal government to threaten to withdraw all Medicaid funding.
In a word, the Justices gave a little nod to the Tenth Amendment, something Democrats are loathed to do since most interpret the phrase "State's Rights" in a pre-Civil War fashion.
So, in essence, Chief Justice Roberts merely labeled Democrats in general, and President Obama in particular, "Tax Raisers," and left it up to the voters to do something about it if they don't like more taxes levied.
This is a good enough argument for me to vote against any candidate with the letter "D" after their name in the next election (and any election as long as I breathe and the United States exists).
House Speaker John Boehner has promised a vote on the repeal of Obamacare the week of July 9th. There is no doubt it will pass the House. Mustering 17 non-Republican members of the Senate to support it won't happen and even if it did, Obama won't bat an eyelash as he pulls our his trusted "veto pen."
We now know this: Republican governors are planning to ignore the Supreme Court's decision hoping that the issue will drive voters to dump President Obama in favor of Mitt Romney who has vowed to kill Obamacare.
After the decision, the Republican Governors Association said that nothing should be done by the states until after the election which is a clear signal that they believe a GOP president, House and Senate will kill the health care reform pushed through by only Democrats and opposed by every Republican.
RGA Chairman and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said, "Today's ruling crystallizes all that's at stake in November's election. The only way to stop Barack Obama's budget-busting health care takeover is by electing a new president. Barack Obama's health care takeover encapsulates his presidency: Obamacare increases taxes, grows the size of government and puts bureaucrats over patients while doing nothing to improve the economy."
Well said, Governor! Now we know what the November elections will be all about: Obamacare and more taxes from Democrats versus scaling down government intrusion into our personal lives from Republicans.
We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.