Is Obamacare a penalty or a tax?
Justice Roberts upheld the individual mandate as a tax, not a penalty. He also said it would not be “unlawful” for Americans to break the law’s mandate that they “shall” buy health insurance if they are willing to pay the “penalty” for breaking the law.
Roberts had to get a degree from Harvard to come up with this? It’s a penalty for the purposes of one argument and a tax for another?
Then there is the tax anti-injunction act which is a United States federal statute that prohibits the SCOTUS from ruling on a tax case unless the tax has been levied and a complaint filed with the IRS.
So, the tax anti-injunction act made a ruling by SCOTUS impossible, right? No, not according to Roberts, who for the purposes of the anti-injunction act, says Obamacare is a penalty because Congress called it a penalty.
Roberts said that Obamacare’s individual mandate (the funding mechanism for Obamacare) cannot be upheld under the commerce clause but it can be upheld as a tax.
Roberts also thinks this tax is no big deal –
“Under the mandate, if an individual does not maintain health insurance, the only consequence is that he must make an additional payment to the IRS when he pays his taxes. That, according to the Government, means the mandate can be regarded as establishing a condition—not owning health insurance—that triggers a tax—the required payment to the IRS. Under that theory, 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.”
It seems impossible to believe that Roberts gave his decision any real thought about the power he was handing over to the federal government. As the WSJ said, the government now has a “vast new taxing power.”
The government can now tax us for not doing something. The government has punitive taxing power thanks to the Supreme Court. This is now our law and even if we elect a new President, Justice Roberts screwed us for life.
Dingbat Pelosi called it a ta-penalty but who can blame her for being confused on this one –
President Obama lied when he told George Stephanopoulos it was not a tax at the same time he was sending his solicitor general into the Supreme Court to argue that it was a tax.
On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and voted to approve a resolution for independence from Britain. Ironic, isn’t it?