Individual mandate, a tax; Administration lied.
Cartoon: By Glen McCoy.
With the “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead” carbon tax about to come into effect, Australians are resigned to the fact that Gillard lied through her teeth to us prior to the 2010 election. We are waiting for the next one so we can get rid of her, her government, and her party.
The US Administration, despite having a hold on all three branches of government and a super majority in the Senate, was barely able to enact the Obama-care bill and then, only by a fairly questionable tactical maneuver. It’s signature rule; the individual mandate was and always has been promoted as being something other than a tax, in fact it has always been denied that it is one. President Obama clearly states that it is not a tax increase here.
When the Administration’s argument for the mandate in the Supreme Court byway of the Commerce Clause was met with skepticism though, a secondary argument was introduced to the effect that it was in fact a tax. Now the highest court in the land has accepted that it is in fact a tax and by extension, that the Administration lied to the people:
Just as the individual mandate cannot be sustained as a law regulating the substantial effects of the failure to purchase health insurance, neither can it be upheld as a "necessary and proper" component of the insurance reforms. The commerce power thus does not authorize the mandate. ... That is not the end of the matter. Because the Commerce Clause does not support the individual mandate, it is necessary to turn to the Government's second argument: that the mandate may be upheld as within Congress's enumerated power to "lay and collect Taxes.” …There is though a troubling argument as to the validity of the individual mandate, that because Congress passed it, it must be lawful:
The Affordable Care Act's requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness. …
_ It is estimated that four million people each year will choose to pay the IRS rather than buy insurance ... We would expect Congress to be troubled by that prospect if such conduct were unlawful. That Congress apparently regards such extensive failure to comply with the mandate as tolerable suggests that Congress did not think it was creating four million outlaws. …One of the roles of the Supreme Court is to rule on the validity of laws passed by Congress. Here it seems to be saying that the fact that Congress has passed a law makes that law valid in its own right as long as Congressmen are not troubled by it. This would seem to make a mockery of the Constitution, which is there to set limits on what actions the government may take. In fairness, perhaps this is only the case if a big new tax applies to such a law.
Americans will get their opportunity to rectify the situation they find themselves in before we do. Don’t waste it!