Friday, June 29, 2012

Making up theory, making excuses

The more I think about it, the more the decision on Obamacare bothers me.

Chief Justice Roberts writes:
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. See §5000A(b). That, according to the Government,means the mandate can be regarded as establishing acondition—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.
But the justice also notes:
The Affordable Care Act describes the payment as a “penalty,” not a “tax.”
The court, rather than remand the flawed legislation back to Congress for a rewrite to fall within what the court deems constitutional bounds, has instead created a theory to bypass the legislative branch to allow the law to stand. Rather than overturning what the court deems a constitutionally flawed penalty, the court has chose to stretch its scope of power and made an excuse for the law to stand.

Under the new Roberts' rules of taxation, Congress now has authority to lie. It can pass any tax it wants but thanks to the Roberts' decision, Congress seemingly has a green light to go to great lengths to deceive the American people and insist a tax is not a tax. And then turn around and enforce collection of the falsely labeled tax as a tax.

Thanks to the supposed conservative Justice Roberts, we the people now have more reason than ever to distrust the government. We now know we have a Supreme Court willing to whip up a legal theory to excuse Congressional deception rather than force the Congress to be honest with those it was elected to represent.

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