#rsrh The Health Tax, Reconciliation, and the Nightmare Scenario.

Well, that was exciting, no?

Short version, from what I can tell: the court decided that Obamacare’s individual mandate is not permitted under the Commerce Clause, but is permitted in terms of being a tax.ย  Which means three things:

  • The President is a poor Constitutional Scholar, given that he claimed that the health tax was permitted under the Commerce Clause;
  • The President is a liar, as he promised not to raise taxes on the middle class.
  • Vote Republican in November.ย  As a tax, we can get rid of this monstrosity with a simple majority vote in the Senate (HI, RECONCILIATION!).

That’s it.


  • HeartbreakRidge says:

    People are all over the place on what “individual mandate” means. People generally KNOW that they DO NOT like taxes. I forsee many D’s getting microphones stuck in their faces and being asked about TAXES. This will not end well for them.

  • Aruges says:

    Lets put a new justice or two on the court while we’re at it. We came THIS close to revitalizing the Commerce Clause. Kennedy of all people was for dumping the whole thing! I can see Roberts not wanting to reverse the old FDR era tax/not tax mistake as settled law (don’t like it, but that was his path of least resistence), but it’s got to go eventually.

  • HeartbreakRidge says:

    Ann Althouse is still processing, but this is worth quoting: “Let’s not be distracted by the breadth of the taxing power. The American people exert tremendous political power against taxing. Look at the Tea Party. A political price will be paid โ€” both for the tax and the deceit about imposing a tax.”

  • Finrod says:

    This is also why we need six or seven conservatives on the Supreme Court, not five– for which we also need a Republican President and Senate.

  • Jbird says:

    So will the Dems be ok with President Romney enacting their court packing idea they were plugging up until 2 hours ago?

  • Rob Crawford says:

    How will voting Republican help? Do we really think the political class will give up the power to “tax” us into performing like monkeys?
    The Supreme Court declared us all livestock today, and I unless Romney has a lot more fire in his gut than he shows, he’s not the one who will change that.

  • acat says:

    Aruges – in actuarial terms, the next POTUS will get to replace, at minimum, 3.

    Ginsberg is 79
    Scalia is 76
    Kennedy is 75
    Breyer is 73
    Thomas is 64.. and is included in this list to show how much of an age gap there is .. everyone else is 50something.


  • Brad S says:

    “The Supreme Court declared us all livestock today, and I unless Romney has a lot more fire in his gut than he shows, heโ€™s not the one who will change that.”

    This is…nonsense. All SCOTUS did was agree that a FEE (for not having insurance) is a TAX. Grover Norquist would applaud this ruling.

  • Jbird says:

    acat: I’m actually a little surprised that Ginsburg didn’t retire so that Obama could name her replacement.

  • Aruges says:

    Jbird, she still can.

  • Jbird says:

    Aruges: wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants. Scalia will be a big loss no matter who picks his replacement, and getting a more consistently conservative judge in Kennedy’s place would be nice. But, replacing Ginsburg with a conservative would be huge. I can see Breyer trying to outlast Romney and holding out for a Democrat president.

  • Rob Crawford says:

    “All SCOTUS did was agree that a FEE (for not having insurance) is a TAX. ”
    And that there’s no limit to what you can be charged a FEE for doing or not doing. They cannot mandate you eat your broccoli, but they can TAX your non-consumption of it.

  • Luke says:

    I’m just sick.

    There’s a law for that.

  • Spegen says:

    Words fail me, more Bush big-government from Roberts

  • Liber Ex Machina says:

    I am so filled with rage right now about this that I can’t even see straight. My current employer already gives me the one-two punch of no benefits, a terrible wage (made around 15K last year), and no real chance at promotion. Now [expletive] John Roberts says I have to choose between giving somewhere between 50-75% of my yearly salary (before I try to pay rent) to buy a [expletive] ridiculously overstuffed insurance policy or go to jail for tax fraud/evasion. All because he apparently could not see the downside of forcing that Osborn-esque decision. The forces of tyranny won today; and we have too many people in office/running for President “on our side” that are ultimately okay with that. I still have not heard Romney say his version of “I deserve to go to jail for the heinous crime of not being able to afford health insurance” was a despicable thing that should also be overturned.
    Any of ya’ll that threw a fit over Harriet Miers having the buyer’s remorse right now? I thought having a nice, mildly dimwitted barely-a-lawyer lady would be an improvement over another Ivy League elitist. Who knew fighting against that would be our country’s ultimate ruin.
    Rant over; sorry for the length…

  • RND(8348394) says:


    My gut feeling is that there is some subtlety to this opinion. When was the last time that the scope of the commerce clause been checked by the court? In my mind it’s like a three way chess game and instead of bringing out the queen, Roberts moved a knight and reshaped the board by denying some territory rather then by outright occupying it.

    Another analogy would be that Roberts needed to be careful with the large political charge around the ACA (what the founders would have termed passions). Could he have chosen to redirect that energy back into the traditional channels as laid by the constitution (Congress, specifically the House?) instead of grounding it in the supreme court?

    Then again I could be getting way to meta about this and it would only make sense if Roberts was acting like a statesman for the supreme court.

  • Darin H says:

    Liber – Alito was the replacement for the failed Miers nomination.

  • DaveP. says:

    I wonder if Roberts realizes that he just worked hismelf out of a job? If the only purpose of the Supremes is to rubberstamp any asinine expansion of power the Administration wants, why does the Administration need a Supreme Court…?
    Followon: Now that he has rewarded President Obama’s pressure and intimidation of the Court, does Roberts think he’s going to get less of it in the future? Does he think that, now it’s been shown to work, the intimidation and villification is going to stop even if Obama leaves office?

  • Liber Ex Machina says:

    @Darin- Oh, that’s right. Now that the rage has receded to the normal mild depression, I can think a little straighter.

    I still maintain that at least one of the justices only law experience has been to read the Constitution. That keeps justices from getting too smart for their own good…

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