Friday, June 29, 2012
It’s A Tax! It’s A Mandate! It’s Supersocialism!
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.