What were some Arguments in Support of and Against Constitutionality of Obamacare
Argument: Doesn‘t general welfare clause cover this?
My Response: No. General Welfare only includes those powers enumerated in Article I Section 8, as Thomas Jefferson put it-
“Our tenet ever was that Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated, and that, as it was never meant that they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money. ”
— Thomas Jefferson letter to Albert Gallatin, 1817
Argument: What about these parts of Article I Section 8-
“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”
“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”
Doesn’t congress have the power to lay and collect taxes and to regulate commerce?
My Response: Yes, and yes.
However, the ACA (Affordable care Act) does not claim the penalty to be a tax; nor does this clause allow congress to FORCE or COMPEL an economic activity to occur. You only have to pay taxes if you have an income, you only buy car insurance if you have a car and want to drive it on state roads- but nowhere does the Constitution give Congress the ability to COMPEL you to take part in trade or market activity. Pure. Evil.
It is identified as a “penalty” in the law, and also states that an American “shall” obtain health insurance. Congress does not have the ability to compel the purchase of a product, only to regulate commerce and products already in existence or as they are being sold, willfully, by the parties involved in the free sale. Imposing a tax for not purchasing a product is coercion and may be forcing/compelling individuals to purchase the healthcare due to the undue burden such oppressive taxation would cause.
The court is also not in a place to subjectively determine the burden of such taxations, but is to support the people of the United States in defense against Governmental Authoritarianism. The intent of the checks and balances of the governmental bodies is to protect the people from government, not to protect the government and make it easy to operate.
“They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare…. [G]iving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.”
— Thomas Jefferson
Ruling: The Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper clause does not give congress the ability to compel individuals to become active in the marketplace. The ACA is not constitutional under the argument using the commerce clause.
Argument: The Anti-Injunction Act Prevents the ACA (Affordable Care Act- Obamacare) from being brought to court because it is imposing a Tax, and you can’t sue to stop a tax until it’s been implemented.
My Response: The Anti-Injunction Act applies to taxes, while the ACA specifically describes the charges as “shared responsibility payments” and “penalties”. The bill itself does not define them as taxes, while direct tax increases have already taken effect in other parts of the bill.
Ruling: Anti-injunction Act does not apply because the ACA describes them as penalties, not taxes. But they will be viewed as taxes for the rest of the argument.
So, How did the Supreme Court Validate Obamacare? The Black Robed Oligarchy –
‘A Tax that’s not really a tax, but is a tax’ and ‘Shall obtain doesn’t really mean shall obtain, but kinda does’
Page 2 explains why the Anti-Injunction Act does not apply:
“But Congress did not intend the payment to be treated as a “tax” for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Affordable Care Act describes the payment as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label cannot control whether the payment is a tax for purposes of the Constitution, but it does determine the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Anti-Injunction Act therefore does not bar this suit.”
And then again as to why the ACA is unconstitutional under the regulate commerce clause:
“The individual mandate, however, does not regulate existing commercial activity. It instead compels individuals to become active in commerce by purchasing a product, on the ground that their failure to do so affects interstate commerce.
Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority. Congress already possesses expansive power to regulate what people do. Upholding the Affordable Care Act under the Commerce Clause would give Congress the same license to regulate what people do not do. The Framers knew the difference between doing something and doing nothing. They gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it. Ignoring that distinction would undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited and enumerated powers.”
The Anti-Injunction Act basically says you cannot stop a tax from being collected before it’s been collected. It must be collected first and then you can sue to retrieve it. This is to prevent people from holding up tax payments in courts for years while disrupting the revenue of the government. The court also treats the law as unconstitutional under the regulate commerce clause.
The problem with the courts argument is they change their opinion of the penalty and how they will interpret the law in mid-stream. The court proves their bias when they alter the meaning of words and their interpretation of the words under another clause in order to validate the individual mandate and the penalty:
“CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS concluded in Part III–B that the individual mandate must be construed as imposing a tax on those who do not have health insurance, if such a construction is reasonable.
The most straightforward reading of the individual mandate is that it commands individuals to purchase insurance. But, for the reasons explained, the Commerce Clause does not give Congress that power. It is therefore necessary to turn to the Government’s alternative argument: that the mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s power to “lay and collect Taxes.” Art. I, §8, cl. 1. In pressing its taxing power argument, the Government asks the Court to view the mandate as imposing a tax on those who do not buy that product.”
Notice that the court is now treating the penalty as a tax. Obama violated his promise that there are no taxes in Obamacare (no surprise). What’s more unnerving is that the Supreme Court is redefining words in order to validate a law.
The court tries to explain away it’s redefining of words by claiming it’s attempting to interpret the law using “reasonable contruction”-
“Because “every reasonable construction must be resorted to, in order to save a statute from unconstitutionality,” Hooper v. California, 155” Page 3
The court is now literally rewriting the law, redefining the word penalty to mean “tax”… but not totally a tax… just really really like one.
“4. CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Part III–C, concluding that the individual mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s power under the Taxing Clause. Pp. 33– 44”
The courts logic shows us that penalties and fees are to be considered taxes and that the government may enforce your purchase of any item with a penalty or fee, as they are taxes. The court then shows that they interpreted the mandate as imposing a penalty for the purpose of hearing the law (so the Anti-Injunction Act couldn’t block it), and then determined it was a tax all along:
“(a) The Affordable Care Act describes the “[s]hared responsibility payment” as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. It does not, however, control whether an exaction is within Congress’s power to tax. In answering that constitutional question, this Court follows a functional approach,“[d]isregarding the designation of the exaction, and viewing its substance and application.” United States v. Constantine, 296 U. S. 287,
294. Pp. 33–35.
(b) Such an analysis suggests that the shared responsibility payment may for constitutional purposes be considered a tax.”
The court then makes a subjective determination that the tax isn’t SO high that you are forced to purchase health insurance, but it is still high enough to induce your purchase of it. So it’s all cool guys- it’s not not kind of forcing you but not, like, making you purchase health insurance.
“The payment is not so high that there is really no choice but to buy health insurance; the payment is not limited to willful violations, as penalties for unlawful acts often are; and the payment is collected solely by the IRS through the normal means of taxation. Cf. Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co., 259 U. S. 20, 36–37. None of this is to say that payment is not intended to induce the purchase of health insurance.”
And then here’s a whopper of a concept- When congress makes a law that says you “shall” do something, such a mandate doesn’t really mean you’re doing something unlawful when you don’t obey it.
“But the mandate need not be read to declare that failing to do so is unlawful.
…Congress’s choice of language—stating that individuals “shall” obtain insurance or pay a “penalty”—does not require reading §5000A as punishing unlawful conduct.”
What? Say again?
“It may also be read as imposing a tax on those who go without insurance. See New York v. United States, 505 U. S. 144, 169–174. Pp. 35–40.”
Oh ok, so even though it still says it’s a mandate, it’s really kind of not… as long as you read it that way.
Mandate shouldn’t really be construed as mandate. Penalty is a tax, but not totally. “Shall do”, to us normal people means “compelled to do”, “will do”… but not to the court. The court single-handedly rewrote an unconstitutional law without physically rewriting it, by redefining words.
Instead of the court striking down the law and demanding they rewrite it saying, “Here’s what unconstitutional about it, change it and come back next time,” the court upheld an unconstitutional law and redefined words and changed the context of the law based on whimsical opinions of the Obama Administration.
What does this mean for you and me?
Rarely in history does a government that obtains more power hand it back to the people. We have proven time and again that once you get a boulder rolling downhill, it does not roll back up without some heavy lifting. The courts have opened the flood-gates for ever more deceptive forms of government control over the American People.
The frightening aspect of this law is that congress is able to pass a blatantly unconstitutional law and have liberal courts perform mental and verbal gymnastics in order to validate it…
(I can just hear the Administration talking to Roberts:
Hell, you wouldn’t want to strike down the first “Black President’s” major piece of legislature, would you- you frickin racist- would you?)
The imposition of taxes on select groups of people is unjust, and to attribute to them “penalties which are sort of not not taxes” and “mandates that aren’t but kind of are mandates” in order to induce the purchase of a product from anyone disregards our basic American right to Liberty.
We should have the right to not purchase any product and deal with the natural repercussions of that choice without having the government penalty-tax us for the purpose of behavior modification.
The next court and congress will relativistically determine what is a reasonable tax; just as a court considered it reasonable that a woman should be allowed to murder human beings because it’s her right to privacy; just as a court determined it was right to own slaves or separate groups of people or change the value of their vote because they were a part of a certain group.
Irreparable damage has been done to the constitution- the government is able to mandate your compliance and lifestyle decisions or face decimation in the face of whatever tax and penalty-fee-tax they want.
Thanks Chief Justice Roberts, you coward.
Now the question is, what group will you be a part of? The kind to roll over and die when appeasement to a tyrannical government isn’t enough or the kind that pays penalty-taxes? Or are you one of the hundreds and hundreds who are exempt from Obamacare because it’s so awesome that you just can’t afford- er I mean, handle it?