Friday, June 29, 2012

It’s A Tax! It’s A Mandate! It’s Supersocialism!

I’m still sorting through Justice Roberts’s opinion trying to find something, anything, logical which would point to why he ruled as he did. So far, the only answer I can come up with is that he had a stroke. It’s too early for me to address this constitutional cataclysm without sputtering, so I thought I’d talk about something tangential.

Using the same kind of crazed logic, but reaching the opposite conclusion, some time back Barack Obama appeared on ABC TV to discuss the mandate with Democratic flack George Stephanopoulos. Thinking that a mandate to purchase an item so the government can regulate it under the interstate commerce clause is perfectly constitutional, Obama doubled down on his contention that he would not raise taxes one penny for 95% of the American people.

Even a Democratic talking head can spot a skunk when he sees one. And Stephanopoulos was bolder than most of his fellow Obama-worshipers. Stephanopoulos started the interview by saying that Americans would be required to buy health insurance, or be fined up to $900. “How is that not a tax?” asked George. Completely dodging the actual question, Obama replied: “A responsibility to get health insurance is not a tax increase.” That, by the way, is what “begging the question” really means.

George then made the mistake of reading the definition of “tax” from a Webster’s dictionary. For Obama, that meant that Stephanopoulos wasn’t on solid ground. “The fact you looked it up, the definition of tax increase, indicates that you’re stretching a little bit right now.” But Georgie Boy didn’t read the definition of “tax increase,” he read the definition of “tax,” no stretch at all.

The interview went on, and Obama continued to deny the obvious. But the thing I see as ironic is that Obama found it worse to suggest that Obamacare is a tax than to suggest it is a landmark unconstitutional mandate. His babbling managed to confuse at least one Supreme Court Justice. The Chief Justice, no less. Instead of simply and obviously finding the mandate clearly unconstitutional, Roberts decided to redefine the mandate as a tax. If that was somehow supposed to be a slapdown to Obama, it failed. As if that will make much difference in the economic morass either would produce.

On the upside, I am pleased that conservatives, along with a few moderates and independents have so strongly expressed their disdain for the majority opinion. I think it’s highly probable that there will be a new President and a new Senate come next January. And along with that will come the dismantling of Obamacare. And that’s a good thing.

But there’s something far more troubling here. Reversing Obamacare is imperative. But given the long train of history, it could rear its ugly head again in the future. Until some future Supreme Court overturns the current decision, we will always be under the threat of a government that reads Roberts’s decision as meaning that the power of the federal government is essentially unlimited.

Obama is fond of using the word “unprecedented” for pretty much anything he disagrees with. A constitutional law professor shouldn’t be throwing that word around so loosely. Thursday’s action by the Supreme Court is truly unprecedented. Whether it’s a tax, or a mandate, or as I believe both, this is an all-new precedent that confirms the Progressive belief that the Constitution is infinitely malleable. Shame on Chief Justice Roberts.

65 comments:

K said...

I'm missing the Bush family a lot less now that Justice Souter the second just stabbed more than half the electorate and the founding fathers in the back. If we can get Jeb into office I'm sure he would finish the job of turning the Constitution into a sheepskin handiwipe.

DCAlleyKat said...

Bev posted - 'The only reason is that others who have faced the same prospects had the good grace to resign first to avoid the public shaming. We no longer have grace or shame.'

That pretty much expresses how I feel about both of today's issues....and sad, very sad for our nation.

ArmChairGeneral said...

It is an unconstitutional tax.

Writer X said...

The decision yesterday was stunning. If nothing else, it strengthened support for Romney in November.

LawHawk, what are your thoughts whether ObamaCare could get repealed if Romney wins in November? And I hope to god he does.

tryanmax said...

Indie, well put! One of my biggest frustrations with the majority of self-appointed conservatives is that they fail to understand that the States are not (nor should they be) limited as the Federal government is meant to be. It makes the "throw it back to the States" argument seem pretty disingenuous when you know that a good chunk of the people using it have no intention of letting the States take the issue up once it's tossed to them. And, of course, it brings many to vilify Mitt Romney for doing something that was valid at the State level because it's invalid at the Federal level.

T-Rav said...

"Until some future Supreme Court overturns the current decision, we will always be under the threat of a government that reads Roberts’s decision as meaning that the power of the federal government is essentially unlimited."

Exactly. Because we all know how much the judiciary just loves its precious "case precedent" rather than constitutionality. What a bunch of f---ups. All of them. Can we just start cloning Justice Thomas already?

Tam said...

Bev, this is NOT Europe and Americans are NOT Greeks. We are rebellious at heart and I do not believe that nonsense they are pulling across the pond would fly here. If we could survive and thrive after the revolution, if Lincoln could keep the country together in the Civil War, if we could survive Carter, we can survive this.

I have never seen the white hot anger from conservatives and the producers ever before that I have seen lately. 2010 was big. I have absolute faith and confidence in the American people. Just because it is an entitlement doesn't make a difference. It CAN be taken away. It WILL be taken away if the rebels don't give up DON'T GIVE UP! Please.

At least not until November. If we lose in November, then I'm going underground. Let it burn.

P.S. Not that I take Dick Morris's word, but due to the widespread, unwavering, and even growing unpopularity of the ObamaTax, he predicts Romney will win by the approximate % disapproval of ObamaTax.

Individualist said...

Tam and Bev I made this point in a discussion on another blog. It regards the diffrence between the government taxing you and the government taking over your life.

Money can usually be regained though hard work but Freedom can usually only be obtained thorugh Bloodshed.

Unfortunately I don't have the faith that Tam does. Illegals being imported have not the American Dream in mind and there is no attempt to melt them into American society anymore, the schools are no longer teaching American history, the Progs have for the last 30 years been De-Americanizing a great many people in this country.

I won;t give up, I will stay active in our electorial process but I am going to be prepared for what may be the inevitable because the 800 ton Gorilla on the White House Lawn is we can't afford to pay for Obamacare.

LawHawkRFD said...

K: I'm mystified. This decision is incomprehensible, and I don't know if Roberts's participation is an anomoly or if we can expect this to continue. Each justice has his or her own "pet" theory that can skew an otherwise decent judicial career. Though I never expected him to carry it this far, Roberts's pet theory is "deferring to the political branch for political matters." We'll see in upcoming decisions where he's really headed. I'm not convinced we have a new Blackmun or Souter yet, but maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.

T-Rav said...

Tam, I unfortunately have to agree with Bev. Maybe a couple generations ago it would have been different, but today--today most Americans will just lie down and take it, like they take everything else. When you still have a bunch of conservatives pleading that their subsidies be excepted from deficit-cutting, and a bunch of red-state voters fooled into voting for an Obamatron Democrat just because he poses with a shotgun in his campaign ads, I have little faith that the spirit of 1776 could truly be revived. It would take some kind of life-altering, life-threatening disaster to shake people out of their complacency, and what happens after that is anyone's guess.

LawHawkRFD said...

DCAlleyKat: As I said to Bev, I only agree partway. I'm not going to paint every public servant with the same brush as I use for the Obama crooks. There have always been corrupt officials, and there have always been reformers. I think the reformers are going to win this round ultimately.

AndrewPrice said...

I love how this isn't a tax, but it is a tax. This is going to hang around the neck of Obama in this election, I'm sure of that. This may ultimately turn out to be a good thing.

T-Rav said...

Update: Spontaneous Romney moneybomb now at $4.6 million. Apparently there are 43,000+ minions of the Koch brothers.

LawHawkRFD said...

ACG: I see it as an unconstitutional mandate and a politically/economically idiotic tax. But as I've said a couple of times, the Court has ruled and now we have to work around it.

LawHawkRFD said...

WriterX: I think Obamacare will be repealed and fairly early on. The Democrats keep saying that there are more important things to deal with. They're wrong. It's one of the largest tax increases in American history, it's burdensome, and it stifles freedom of choice. The American people see that.

On the other hand, I wish Romney would tone down the rhetoric about Obamacare in just one way. His promise to repeal the Act on Day One sounds a lot like Obama's promises that the seas will stop rising, the climate will improve instantly, and the economy will turn around overnight. Over-promising can quickly come back to haunt a president. Romney needs to change his "Day One" speech to "as quickly as humanly possible."

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: And now all we have to do is put that in words that the general public will understand and agree with.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Obviously you've been reading my thoughts. I've said more than once that of all the Justices, Thomas comes closest to my view of the Constitution.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tam: I agree. We are not Greece, and I don't think we ever will be. But we still need to keep putting on the heat and stoking the fires of rebellion against an all-powerful central government.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: We have to keep up the drumbeat of "we can't afford it." The parasites on society don't vote in the same percentages as those who have to pay for them. That's the group we have to reach.

Tam said...

Bev, I am ready for armed rebellion. It makes me sick to my stomach and the idea terrifies me, but not many of the revolutionaries in 1776 wanted armed rebellion. They were just families who wanted to be left alone. Not many of the civil war people wanted to fight like they did, but when it came to it, what they were fighting for was worth it. I have no doubt that things will get worse before they get better. It is not going to be easy or popular to be right, but we ARE right. And good will triumph over evil.

I know the faith in God argument doesn't work in the mainstream because most people tune out when you start with it, but it is my faith in God that prepares me for battle. This IS the promised land.

I'm ready to rumble.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I agree with your sentiment, but not with your conclusions. I simply don't think this will come to armed rebellion and I do believe Obamacare will in large part be repealed. If the malcontents want to riot over it, I'm prepared.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Much though I revere the Spirit of 1776, I think we really only need the Spirit of 1994. The Republicans need to win, then keep their promises (unlike '94). The sheeple had their chance, now we're going to take the reins back and leave them to their bleating.

LawHawkRFD said...

And I should add that the Tea Party is the most visible example of the unwillingness of most Americans to submit to Leviathan.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Couldn't agree more. Now Obama has seemingly chosen to characterize Obamacare's mandate as neither a mandate nor a tax, but rather a penalty. Goody, that's just what we need. A penalty for exercising our God-given and Constitutional right to freedom of choice.

rlaWTX said...

I hate this. I hate this. I hate this.
And I hate those #$%& who hold the offices of President and Attorney General. I will not do anything violent regardless of my deep, intense, burning hatred. However, I will be vocal, and I will vote accordingly.

We need to clean up...

And if the self-appointed arbiters of one-sided, double-standard "decency in rhetoric" thought things were unpleasant before, boy, are they gonna have a rude shock between now and November... :P

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Damn! That Koch family is really prolific. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Tam: I don't see it coming to armed rebellion, but America's strength is that we are really good at being reluctant warriors.

BevfromNYC said...

Our economic existance depends on cutting spending and we've seen how well that has worked out in the last 10 years. Everyone is willing to cut programs, LOTS and LOTS of programs...as long as it isn't THEIR programs. And I am not talking just about Congressional pork projects, I am talking about individuals' pet programs.

Artists are quite willing to cut spending, as long as we don't touch spending for artists' programs. My artist friends even go so far to generously throw in tax reform so that all of those nasty deductions that rich people take are gutted. But guess which deductions that they are ungenerously are not will to give up...yeah, deductions for non-profit arts and humanities programs. Gee thanks for the great sacrifice.

Oh, and Education advocates are more than willing to cut all sorts of programs that they deem non-essential as long as A) we do not cut edcuational programs and B) we spend MORE on education programs.

SS/Medicare/Medicaid/Welfare etc. are also totaling willing to cut OTHER programs, just not their programs.

The list goes on...Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Farms, Big on and on are ALL willing to gut OTHER programs, just not theirs.

So far the Department of Defense/military spending is the only budget that anyone can agree should be cut drastically. So that's cut the military budget by 300% and no other budgets and then just add an entirely new program to the mix. It's a giant freakin' farce that would shame Moliere!

Grrrrrr....

Tam said...

I hope it doesn't come to armed rebellion. If it does, I know I'm not alone. We are reluctant warriors, but we are warriors.

T-Rav said...

rla, I'm really hoping Romney takes the gloves off in the debates. To heck with common courtesy and respect; I want Nancy Pelosi shrieking about "indecent behavior" the next day, and I want her and everyone in the media to get similar treatment. If anyone at a Tea Party rally gets grilled by an MSNBC hack, get in their face and make them explain their network's behavior. Playing nice hasn't gotten us anywhere; there's no point in continuing.

tryanmax said...

LawHawk, if the general public doesn't understand, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," then I am stymied as to how it could be simpler. :-(

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: I'm with you. And there's nothing more invigorating than a little good, healthy hate.

tryanmax said...

Quick thought: Mr. Franklin got it wrong. I know the question posed was, "What have we got--a Republic or a Monarchy?" but Ben should have taken opportunity to correct the premise. Then people might recall that we are a federation (or at least we once were).

patti said...

bev: i feel your pain, sista.

i'm so discouraged, so distressed, all i can think about is: where's my isolated island? and i'm a texan, dagnabit. we don't cut and run.

maybe a short vacay is all i need to come back with my boots on. maybe...

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, obviously the Constitution did give the federal government the power to control health care and whatever else it likes. You just have to read between the lines. Really, really hard.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Outstanding post, LawHawk!

I understand the pessismism of my fellow conservatives. This SCOTUS decision stinks to high heaven.

The only good thing about it is that it will galvanize conservatives and independents (or the squishy voters) to elect Romney and more republicans (mostly conservative) this November.

I do believe that Obamascaretax will be repealed next year.
Some on the left will riot as a result, unlike us conservatives who haven't thrown a tantrum and broken any laws.

So be it. Rioting will only turn more Americans against them. And, unlike Greece there will be no majority of Americans sympathizing with their foolish causes.

@#$% them! When, not if they riot they deserve to be jailed and woe be to those rioters who decide to invade private property owners who will protect their property and their lives.

I think even the squishy neocon republicans will get onboard, because above all else, they wanna be reelected and they can see the signs on the wall.
If they don't their career is over.

It's incumbent on all patriots to tell the truth about the biggest tax increase in history, and how it will make healthcare costs skyrocket like never before, and close down all of our religious hospitals and discourage folks from becoming doctors.

We must tell of the consequences of this foolish legislation that no one read before passing it.
It will not only cost us all a helluva lot more money, it will lower the quality of healthcare we now have and stifle new inovations and competition.

England is a great example to use. Patients there die from lack of water or are euthanized if their considered too old or "useless" to society.

I don't believe most Americans want corrupt, egomaniac, malignant narcissist, borderline psychopathic bureaurats in charge of their healthcare at the expense of theirr liberty and always...more, much more money!

We must get fired up and speak out! And do everything we can to put a stop to this madness.

If George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and all our Founding Fathers (and their wives) could win the Revolution with a minority of Americans, we can win this war against fascist socialism.

As long as I draw breath I believe that the fight for liberty can be won!

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I feel your frustration. And I'm not even related to the Clintons. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Tam: I have my Minute Man uniform and musket hidden in the back storage room, just in case.

Tam said...

USS Ben, can I call you Patrick Henry?

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I don't want Romney to go overboard, but if Pelosi isn't complaining about Romney's "rude behavior" after each debate, he's doing it wrong.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: Liberals and living consitutionalists have zero grasp of the clear and obvious.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: The knot in my stomach is only now beginning to loosen a little bit. This was a bitter pill to swallow, but we have to recover and move on with gutting the legislation since we can't immediately overcome the court decision.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Try going to law school. Half of the constitutional law classes are devoted to umbras, penumbras and emanations from a clearly-written, no-nonsense core document. "Substantive due process" was created out of whole cloth and brought to its pinnacle by the Warren Court, and we've been getting screwed by it ever since. The Founders talked about fundamental fairness and uniformity of legal actions (procedural due process). They never dreamed how much that could be perverted by courts who practice social engineering and legislation from the bench.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: Once the idea was established that "federal government" = "national government," we were on the road to ruin. The 10th Amendment has been repealed, even without formal action. It must be restored.

LawHawkRFD said...

USSBen: Pessimism, particularly after a blow like the one we just took, is very human and totally normal. In fact, pessimism serves the very useful purpose of keeping thinking people from accepting rosy statements from lying politicians. But pessimism can't degenerate into despair. In certain theologies, despair is a deadly sin because it denies the redemptive power of God. I'm a natural-born pessimist, but I refuse to give in to despair. Dum spiro, spero.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tam: And as long as you brought up Patrick Henry, let's remember some of Thomas Paine's most famous words: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country. But he who stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Henry's "give me liberty or give me death" ain't half bad either, and totally appropriate.

Tennessee Jed said...

I thought about this for a long time last night and this morning. I am so used to having the football pulled out by Lucy, it is hard to have any faith in our country right now. These justices are human, and sadly, they do think about outcomes, not just about sound legal reasoning. I honestly believe Roberts was worried about degradation of the court's supposed "legitimacy" because the left media would paint them as partisan after election 200, and Citizens United. I think in his heart, he felt this was really a question for the electorate to decide. My biggest problem with that is I thought if anyone would rule on the basis of law, it would have been Roberts. Here, he literally re-wrote the statute for an administration.

As far as how much this hurts Obama remains to be seen. Dick Morris claims the numbers against RobertsCare have been unshakable all along, so this will be decisive. I hope he is right, but remember the left has a lot of main stream media and Hollywood to re-package. It's hard for LSU and Bama to beat each other twice.

I am ready to give money to Romney and I haven't done that in a long time.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Like you, I'm still willing to think that Roberts made a terrible mistake in bending over backwards to defer to the political branches. I'd have been less horrified if he hadn't gone into la-la land with his redefinition of the mandate as a tax. Now we're stuck with a ruling that seems to say the federal power is unlimited, and I find it hard to believe that Roberts actually supports that position. It was a truly strange majority opinion, but then two liberals took the opposite position. I'm still flummoxed by the whole thing.

I haven't given any substantial donations since the first W. campaign. I have rarely felt the Republic was in this much danger, so like you, I'm giving what I can to the Romney campaign.

Tam said...

Tennessee Jed, I think that all the leftists (Pelosi, Carney, WH, Obama campaign, to name a few) squawking today that this is "a penalty, not a tax" is very telling. I still think they are in trouble and they know it. And, Dingy Harry "warning" Republicans not to fight yesterday's battles is another indication of their fear of dealing with this monster for 130 (ahh...130) more days.

I've seen comments all over the place where conservatives are taking up the ObamaTax name. If I know conservatives, it won't go away.

Tam said...

My point, it will be harder to repackage than they think, even with the media and hollywood.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tam: I don't see how they are ultimately going to benefit by dropping "mandate" and "tax" and replacing it with "penalty." How can you be penalized for exercising your constitutional right to choose not to do something? Let's just add to the old dictum that "the power to tax is the power to destroy." The power to penalize is the power to destroy, mandate and tax. Same thing, different package. Unfortunately, Roberts apparently doesn't know the other expression: "a distinction without a difference."

LawHawkRFD said...

Tam: I think we all took your meaning, and I suspect most of us agree with it.

BevfromNYC said...

Oh, and just for fun - the Justice Department stated that they will not prosecute Holder on the contempt charges or bring it before a before a Grand Jury becuase "a bungled gun-tracking operation...does not constitute a crime." The Obama Administration has finally outdone the Nixon Administration. And I am sure that we can count on Justice Roberts to hold the line for them. So Holder et al. will quite literally get away with murder. Let's hear it for Liberty and Freedom for Tyranny.

rlaWTX said...

Bev, I refer you to the first thing I posted on this thread: "...And I hate those #$%& who hold the offices of President and Attorney General...."

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: You're jumping the gun. It comes as absolutely no surprise that the Justice Department will not prosecute. That was expected. End of issue. Now, the Justice Department is taken out of the formula being expected to investigate itself. The civil contempt charge was always the more important one. Now the House can go to a court and request a civil judgment requiring DOJ to turn over the documents. That is a much more likely result than to expect Holder to prosecute himself.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: Well, I can't claim I'm any different from you on that matter, since I've written several articles on my feelings about Obama, including one with the main theme "why I hate Obama." It was a counter to Jonathan Alter at the New Republic's older "why I hate Bush," and was only half-kidding.

BevfromNYC said...

Yes, and it was expected that the SC would find Obamacare unconstitutional. I now have no faith in our systems of laws or quite frankly our Constitutional form of government. But I will get over it and "move forward" like a good little socialist...

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I have more faith in you than you have in yourself. You will not only get over it, but you'll bounce back stronger than ever. On the other hand, if the Republicans don't immediately start dismantling Obamacare and finish the job in January, I will join you in throwing up my hands and giving up. And then I'll lock and load.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Tam!

Why soitenly you can. :^)
Those are mighty big boots to fill, though.
Some of my relatives are gonna get pretty sick n' tired of hearing me repeat what Patrick Henry, Ben Franklin and our other Founding Fathers have said.

Actually, I think they already are. I never seen a quieter bunch of liberals when I'm around, LOL.
I love them but they are woefully misguided and ignorant.

Hopefully, some of them will start to listen and see that we truly are losing our liberties at an increasing rate.

Patti said...

law: the last thing you said to bev. me too.

T-Rav said...

I'll be donating money as soon as my mom isn't looking at my bank account. (She doesn't mind my political involvement, but it annoys her if I start laying out cash for it. Love you, Mom.)

StanH said...

There is also another more cynical explanation. All of establishment Washington wants this…they’ve over promised for decades, now they have to deliver. We have an invasion of illegal’s, ten to twenty million that bombard the emergency rooms. We have a permanent parasite class, who have lived on the public dole going on two generations. We now have the worst generation coming of age, the baby-boomers, of which I’m a member. This will put millions more on Medicare, bellyaching about, what’s in it for me? The Imperial Federal Government has created the perfect inverted pyramid, soon gravity will take over, and it will all collapse, look to the Weimar Republic for historical perspective. Roberts is part of the machine now, and he’ll tie himself into world class pretzel logic, to save his beloved government. He also doesn’t want to make the Boy King look any worse than he does. So, I believe they all want the same thing, because of political self preservation. Our job is to fire as many of these lying bastards as possible, for a decade of elections, and go back to the nexus “SOCIAL SECURITY!”, and jerk that POS out by the root, and replace it for private accounts.

Also the damn tax code rears it’s ugly head again. Drastic times call for drastic measures, repeal the 16th Amendment and replace the income tax with a consumption tax, I like the Fair Tax. If we don’t, we’ll have some government bastard, like Roberts shredding our rights, given to us by the Founders of our great nation. If we don’t, many a war have been sparked by far less. Overly dramatic perhaps, time will tell as history informs.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: Does that make us a support group?

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I got in trouble with my wife two decades ago for making a political contribution from my business account. You can't hide much when your wife is also your bookkeeper. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan? Plenty of big decisions coming out this year when they return in October. We'll know soon if Roberts has gone establishment or merely had a mini-stroke.

I don't think that as long as 49% of voters pay no taxes that we'll ever entirely get rid of the 16th Amendment. It's a major pander point for politicians of both parties. If we can slowly erode the current "progressive" tax code, the public could be gotten accustomed to reasonable taxes and perhaps convinced to adopt the fair tax or flat tax. But that's a long way down the road.

Let's face it, there's a lot of education to be done first. We have five generations of public school grads who think there has always been an income tax.

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