I was not surprised at all by the ruling yesterday, in my opinion there was a better than 50/50 chance that the Affordable Care Act was going to receive the stamp of approval from the SCOTUS. What I was surprised by was the means by which the result was reached. I thought the “Commerce Claws” was going to be cited as the basis for requiring someone to engage in commerce and purchase health insurance but instead it was ruled that ACA is a tax, and it falls within the Congress’s power to tax.
A few things jumped out at me more than others when reading articles and Robert’s and Scalia’s opinions since the ruling.
The ruling seems pre-determined. The result was known going in or shortly after this dance started. The time spent deliberating was likely not spent discussing the constitutionality of the law but how they can twist reality into a believable pretzel. I still think justice Kennedy was the swing vote, I believe if he would have voted to uphold the law, Roberts would have voted against it, knowing it would be upheld anyway. But when Kennedy voted to strike it down, Roberts went the other way.
The most dangerous thing is that now the definition of “tax” has been further broadened. It is now a penalty not only for an action, but a penalty for inaction. They can’t mandate that you buy insurance but they can tax you for not doing so. I am having a hard time seeing the difference.
Roberts is the “Chief Justice” and he very likely was looking at this not just in terms of constitutionality but as the head administrator of an institution. He may have been afraid of what would happen to the reputation/viability of the Supreme Court and the Federal government in general if such a high publicity law was struck down, especially by a narrow margin. I believe at least part of this ruling has to do with Roberts being a bureaucrat and protecting the institution of the federal government while biting his thumb at its true responsibilities which is protecting our freedom and rights. Much in the same way PSU and the Catholic Church tried cover up the wrong-doings of their members in the hopes of saving the institution from the controversy. Much like those instances the truth will eventually come out, even executive privilege can’t change facts.
With a ruling of 5-4 and Justice Roberts voting in favor of it, the vote was essentially decided by a single person; it might as well have been a 1-0 vote (only the delta matters). I can read the headlines and mental gymnastics now; Romney will get a boost in donations from people who believe he will fight to repeal Obamacare, right after he audits the Fed (hahaha). I don’t need to remind you that Obamacare was designed in the mold of Massachusetts’s Romney-Care. Of course we could make sure we vote in a conservative so the next justice(s) are appointed as conservative(s) by a conservative president. Except Roberts was appointed by the conservative (lol) George W. Bush. I can only speculate, but if this ruling had come out say 3-4 months ago, Ron Paul would have become a more viable candidate to the people outside of his dedicated 10% that do not support Obamacare.
Some random thoughts/questions?
• If I choose not to vote for either of the evil emperors running for Fuhrer in November can I be taxed/fined/penalized for my inaction?
• When is biometric info like your BMI going to become a requirement on govt ID or other filing system similar to a W4 followed by the “fat tax”?
• If I go to a Chinese Buffet and I see an overweight person eating what I deem excessive quantities of food, can I “cut him/her off” because we are now all “in this together”?
• Can I refer to my next speeding ticket as a “tax”, and my School/Property Taxes as “penalties”?
• How is this not simply coercion? The definition being the act of gaining compliance through the use of force and/or intimidation. If any entity other than govt did this, it would not be legal. So is if is only legal because of who is committing the act, how is it not immoral?
• Can renters have taxes/penalties/fines levied against them for not being homeowners if it is decided that such a tax/penalty/fine would improve housing and be beneficial to the public?
• What is going to happen when an incident similar to the “Boston Tea Party” occurs? Remember, that was an assault and destruction of property; from the perspective of the British (or any other oppressive govt) this would be considered an act of terrorism.
Liberty/freedom is your 16 year old daughter; she is tall, fit, smart and beautiful. Politicians/Govts are the virile 17 year old boys that go to high school with her. He acts nice, he tells her how smart and pretty she is. He says he likes “just hanging” out with her and she thinks he likes her for “her mind” and he’ll wait until she is ready. Don’t kid yourself, all of them have only one goal, to f%#k your liberty. What are you going to do about it?
Justice Marshall was quoted as saying “the power to tax is the power to destroy”; he was referencing that if govt had unlimited power to tax, it could levy taxes to the point of destroying whatever it chooses. Here it is taxing choice/freedom, in the hopes of destroying it.
poof, it’s gone…