John Roberts is said to be quite concerned about the way in which history will view his tour of duty as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Well, he doesn’t have to worry any longer; for his remarkable decision allowing Congress to impose a tax improperly and in a previously unconstitutional manner will secure his place in Court history for all time.
Very few—including Obama himself—believed that the scheme of presenting the individual mandate penalty as a tax would pass constitutional muster. The DOJ included the “the penalty is actually a tax” argument in an ObamaCare brief to the Supreme Court, to be sure. But that was a typical lawyers’ game of “throw everything against the wall,and see if it will stick.” It was upon the Commerce Clause powers of Congress—and to a lesser extent the Necessary and Proper clause– that the DOJ and Solicitor General Donald Verrilli depended to convince the Court that the mandate was constitutional.
In fact,Obama himself told the American public that the penalty was NOT a tax,as did White House budget director Jeff Zients.
“So if I am part of a family that does not buy health insurance in violation of the president’s health-care program and I have to pay [a fine] because of that, that is not a tax increase – that is not a tax on me?” asked Congressman Scott Garrett of Zeints. “The Affordable Care Act saves money,” Zeints evaded. But Garrett reminded the budget director that a moment earlier in his testimony, Zeints claimed there would BE no tax increase. “So [the mandate penalty],that’s not a tax,” pressed Garrett? “No,” Zeints responded.
Indeed, nowhere in the massive text of the Affordable Care Act is the individual mandate referred to as a tax. Although ordered to be collected by the IRS, the mandate is deliberately and diligently referred to as a “penalty” throughout. The reason? “To be a constitutional tax, it must be an excise tax, an income tax, or a proportional capitation tax.” These are the ONLY types of tax that the United State Congress has a recognized,constitutional power to impose. Cato Institute policy analyst and law professor Dave Kopel explains:
The 16th Amendment grants Congress the power to “collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived.” The Supreme Court has defined “derived” income to mean “undeniable accessions to wealth.” Here, the mere refusal to purchase a product is not any kind of “income” or accession of wealth.
Likewise, the penalty cannot be an excise tax. An excise tax is imposed on an event or item, such as the acquisition of a machine gun. Again, there is no event to be taxed, and never in American history has a federal excise tax been imposed on an American’s inactivity.
Thus, the tax is constitutionally a “direct tax” – similar to a head tax,or a tax on real estate. The Constitution requires that such taxes be imposed “in Proportion to the Census.” The mandate penalty is not so apportioned.
Kopel’s conclusion is startling:
The Obama tax theory, in effect, would give Congress the power to make laws on any subject, impose a fine for noncompliance, have the IRS collect the fine, and then claim that the entire regulatory structure is part of the tax power. The result would nullify Article I of the Constitution, which carefully grants Congress 18 specific powers -and does not grant a general power to legislate on everything.
With his ruling,Chief Justice John Roberts gives the impression of a judge desperately searching for a way to find a buddy’s illegal argument legal. As experts in the field of constitutional law comment on his decision, they must conclude that the Justice eliminated what little remained of the liberty we the people were asked by the Founders to safeguard for ourselves and future generations. What a disgrace. What a tragedy.
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The Chief Coward of the Supreme Court has struck a second deadly blow against freedom and the rule of the Constitution and its amendment process over the rule of mere statists such as himself. His first act of treason against the Constitution was swearing into office a man that he knew perfectly well was ineligible to serve. That act of cowardice or treason was a harbinger of the opinion he supported that put government dictatorship above individual liberty. What a closet socialist! What a two-faced stealth-progressive CINO jurist! He just gave the store away and invited the bandits in to take everything that they want, -the Constitution be damned, majority rule overthrows that Constitution’s established means to amendment our foundational charter. From now on, no more constitutional amendments! We don’t need no stinking amendments! The mob is now in charge and it will have its way. Unless a mighty wave in defense of freedom arises to turn back the tsunami of socialism that is sweeping over the country in the form of useful idiots and wolves in sheep clothing. A.R. Nash
Morons can blather about the penalty being a tax, but the fact is that just because a moron sitting on the high court calls it a tax does not make it a tax. Taxes are not penalties. Penalties are punishment. Taxes are not punishment. Does the IRS require American workers to annually pay their annual income penalties or annual income taxes? Juvenile manipulation of the meaning of words is astonishing coming from a chief justice.
Without having read the “opinion of the court” yet, I find it near impossible to believe that it says something as stupid as what everyone is describing it as saying. If it actually does, then we’re being ruled by a gang-of-five that is the most corrupt, intellectually dishonest people to ever serve on the high court. Are they five socialist traitors or five socialist idiots?
Either way is seriously bad. Realize that our pathetic systems gives more power to one man that all of the elected representatives of the nation combined, along with the President. That, my friends, is a very real form of soft dictatorship. That’s god-like power. But Congress has the constitutional authority to reign in the court and there’s nothing they could do about it. It’s time that that happened, but no one in Washington has the spine to even bring up the subject because they are all lap-dogs for the status quo. Their attitude is: “oh, well, the court has spoken”, i.e., the court has voiced its treason so the only thing left for everyone to do is roll-over at their command. Truly we’re ruled by a clique of cowards. AN
Transfomers, the movie was on again tonight and it presented an excellent analogy to liberals,-Decepticons. They hide in plain sight as something that they really aren’t, taking an innocuous and everyday form but inside they have an insidious nature that is not like ours, and a secret motive to enslave everyone under their all-powerful rule.
Judging by the fact that no President yet has refused the grossly overgenerous benefits they receive for life, (like Congressmen) so one must conclude that we have never yet had a truly conservative person serve as President in our life-time. They would probably all have vetoed a bill to reign-in the largess that so wonderfully benefits themselves. How do you get the foxes that guard the hen house to reign-in their authority over the hen house? You can’t without voting in people openly the enemy of the Washington status quo AN
The American public is so ignorant of and distant from fundamental principles that they don’t even know how to think in fundamental terms anymore. All they can think about is how it affects them personally, viewing everything in terms of how they’d like things to be, and not in terms of how they should be, and how they were meant to be. Without moral fundamentals, the rule of law can and will become so bastardized in time that a nation ends up with a rule such as the two just handled down from Olympus. Then when everything goes to hell in a hand basket, it’s finally discovered that it happened because things were not as they *must* be in order to prevent self-centered self-aggrandizement and betrayal of moral fundamentals from becoming the norm among the dependent-class of all ages. AN