You know there are supremely bad Supreme Court calls–Swann v. Charolotte-Mechlenburg County Board of Education, which created racial busing; Gibbons v. Ogden, which gave the government too much power in regulating commerce; South Dakota v. Dole, which gave the federal government the right to control internal state matters; Kelo, which abolished private property rights–and there are truly evil Supreme Court calls (Dred Scott, Plessey, Korematsu…actually Kelo belongs in this category)…there are even well intentioned but just supremely stupid calls like Brown v Board of Education whose answer to government overreach of power was to give the government more power or Roe which for all the right reasons created the most useless headache in American history.
And then there is this shit which has me going WTF.
So let me get this straight. The Commerce Clause is limited, and the Obamacare isn’t Constitutional under the Commerce Clause. This would be nice if we interpreted this decision as over turning judicial BS like Gibbons and Wickard v Filburn which have always given the government the right to regulate all commerce (which the Founders never intended and were quite against) not just interstate commerce. And if this ruling is used to strike down such socialistic abuses of the federal government and restore us to a more capitalistic society, then great.
But while that is a correct interpretation of the Commerce Clause…Roberts and his idiotic liberal friends find an interpretation of the taxing clause to be so insane I have to ask if LSD has been put in the Supreme Court drinking water.
Here is everything the Constitution has to say about taxes:
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;
The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken. (This clause changed by the 16th Amendment)
AMENDMENT XVI : The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
Now, I’m not a Constitutional scholar, but I’m well read and can reason for myself. Most of the points about taxes have no bearing on this debate. The only relevant parts are the last two lines. Article 1 Section 9 denying all taxes but in direct proportion to the census and Amendment giving the federal government the right to tax income. Now stop me if I’m wrong here, but nowhere does it say they can tax me for not doing something. Further the 16th Amendment only gives the right to tax income, not punish, not impose fees. The government does have the right to impose fees and charges under the Commerce Clause, but we’ve already dealt with the fact that Obamacare is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause.
The 16th Amendment gives the right to tax income and income alone. I don’t see the right to tax actions or more importantly the lack of action. So please explain to me how this court decision does not give almost infinite power to compel obedience through the taxing clause instead of the commerce clause.
Now some conservative commentators have been trying to defend Roberts’ actions, as if stripping the Commerce Clause alone was a great thing. But what profit it conservatives if they should gain the commerce clause but lose capitalism? Roberts took us one step forward and 10 steps back. Excuse me if I’m not thrilled. What the hell was Robert’s thinking?
If they can “tax” me for not buying insurance, what else can I be taxed for? Can I be “taxed” for owning a foreign made car every year (after all we have to give Government Motors running)? Can I be taxed every year for not joining a union? Can I be taxed for not giving money to his divine holiness Barack Obama’s campaign? Where is the limit to taxing power Roberts and his ilk created today?
And how is a “tax” for non-action not in violation of the 5th and 14th Amendments guarantee I will not be deprived of property without Due Process? How is a fine designed to coerce action, which by nature must be unusually high, not in violation of the 8th Amendment’s statement that excessive fines will not be imposed. How is all of this not in violation of the general idea of the Constitution as a document to limit government power, not give carte blanche?
So Roberts is an idiot. And please don’t come off with your “you’re Constitutional scholar” crap unless you can tell me where the government has the right to tax me into compliance with their laws. I may not be a Constitutional scholar, but I am a citizen and it is not only my right, it is my responsibility to know the Constitution and question the action of government officials.
Now with the theoretical and long term problems this could present in that it now gives the government power to tax you into slavery…let’s deal with the pragmatic results and long term solutions…
First off, Obama just lost the election. One of the few things he had going for him was saying that he never raised taxes on the middle class (a lie, but he could get out of it by technicality). That technicality just ended. It’s a tax and he’s putting it right on the backs of the middle class.
And given how unpopular this law is, it’s not a shock that Romney has raised over 2 million since the Supreme Court came out with its brainless call this morning.
Instead of Romney having one issue to run on, the economy, he now has two to run on the economy and Obamacare. (Now add the fact that Egypt is probably going to do something psychotically evil and Europe is about to collapse, he’ll also have foreign policy to run on before November). Obama was at best running neck and neck this morning…now the conservative base is energized like never before, independents have something to fear, and the Tea Party has been given a shot of atropine to the heart. It’s over Barry.
Also a short term pragmatic effect is that this will kill any possibility of economic growth before November. Some businesses might have been hiring with hope that Obamacare was about to be overturned. That won’t happen now. Businesses aren’t stupid and they’re not going to take a risk on what they can’t afford…they will wait until November and see what happens rather than commit economic suicide and saddle themselves with employees they can’t afford. This in turn will help Romney win, but expect a few more months of hardship economically.
Okay so let’s ask how do we deal with this long term?
Well the first thing is we need to overturn Obamacare.
It needs to be replaced with tort reform to make care cheaper, reform of regulations in the FDA and drug companies to make the drugs cheaper, allowing insurance companies to cross state lines which will lower costs across the board. Further we need real immigration reform (1) to get rid of the illegals who are living off the taxpayer dole and who have been responsible for massive ER and medical provider closures throughout the country and massive state debts and (2) to further help attract those who are qualified medical care providers which we are short of right now.
As to the two popular points of Obamacare the covering of children until 26 and the preexisting condition coverage, both are actually easily fixed. You can require that insurance companies offer coverage of children until they are 26 for premiums to be paid by the parents. Most insurance companies are already saying they’re going to offer the 26 thing even if Obamacare is overturned…why? Because they get to justify raising their premiums to cover a segment of the population that next to never need medical attention. Better to make it an optional idea and then only if your parents want to pay are you still covered (even if they offered it for an extra 50 they’d still make a profit…the real question is are you such a whining college drop out that your parents aren’t going to waste the money on your useless liberal ass).
As for preexisting conditions, we all know why insurance companies don’t like to take them on. They’re going to pay more money for your care and thus not make a profit. They’re in business to make a profit. Your doctor is in business to make a profit. Every sane person is out to make a profit. Only the insane and evil are self-sacrificing. Now what we can do is write laws that, if you have a preexisting condition they get to charge you more, which is only fair as I would say the majority of preexisting conditions are at least partly caused by behavior and lifestyle…and that if you have a preexisting condition you agree to pay for that policy for a specified amount of time (say 15 years) which guarantees that you won’t just stop insurance once you get the treatment you need (the reason why taking on preexisting conditions is usually a loss) and that if you kick the bucket your insurance company is the first creditor to be paid off. This is both a just way to deal with the situation and it takes much of the risk out of taking on preexisting conditions.
However just solving the problem of Obamacare isn’t the only problem.
We still have the problem that the Supreme Court just expanded the powers of the government to what the Founding Fathers would have shot people over.
Now there is the fact that I can hope Romney will appoint better people than Bush did. But that still doesn’t fix the problem entirely.
And I know that getting a constitutional amendment passed is near impossible these days but we have to push for these if this nation is to survive.
- We need an Amendment overturning this decision and Kelo reaffirming that private property is sacrosanct and that private property rights are one of the most central reasons for government to exist in the first place.
- We need an Amendment limiting the government’s taxing power to only taxing actual monetary transactions (which bars them from taxing you for NOT doing something). I would prefer changing the whole thing to only being able to tax sales and abolish the income tax, but I’ll take barring them from not taxing me for not doing something.
- We need an Amendment limiting the power of the Commerce Clause to ONLY commerce that crosses state lines (not theoretically could cross, not commerce that is tangentially involved in interstate, ONLY COMMERCE THAT CROSSES STATE LINES).
And we probably need something reaffirming the sacrosanct nature of a contract…but that’s tangential to this argument.
I know just the laws of tort reform and repealing Obamacare are going to be huge hurdles in and of themselves…but we need to focus on Amendments like this more than anything else or we risk legislation like this and bad court decisions like this every time the nation goes stupid and elects a liberal.