Thursday, June 28, 2012

THE EDGE OF THE END

INDIVIDUAL MANDATE HELD UNCONSTITUTIONAL UNDER COMMERCE POWER, but Scotusblog says it survives as a tax. “It’s very complicated, so we’re still figuring it out.”

I feel sorry for the folks on TV trying to read this opinion and talk at the same time.

UPDATE: From ScotusBlog: “The bottom line: the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read.” Plus: “The money quote from the section on the mandate: ‘Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it.’”

So it was upheld on a basis — the taxing power — that the Administration didn’t advance. In fact, Obama denied that it was a tax. This just supports what Mike Graetz told me in Tax class years ago: “The constitution stops where the Internal Revenue Code begins.”

On the upside, the Lopez revolution, which some believed dead, appears to be revived.

So, liberals, does this mean the Supreme Court is legitimate again?

And what’s next? Republicans will have to push for repeal, or look like losers. Now Romney needs to make an issue of repealing the “Obama Healthcare Tax,” I guess. And, of course, it’s important to note that just because the Supreme Court — barely — found the Act constitutional doesn’t mean that it’s actually a good idea.

Text of the opinion is still not online. But here’s ScotusBlog’s summary:

In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding. . . . Yes, to answer a common question, the whole ACA is constitutional, so the provision requiring insurers to cover young adults until they are 26 survives as well.

So there you are. The Supreme Court has refused to save us from ourselves. The remedy now will have to be political.

(End of article)

John Roberts has made mish-mash of the law and has set the stage for what is to come: a "national crisis" that will preclude elections in November and will perpetuate Obama's "presidency."

What Roberts has done, in spite of the rash of rationalizations, punditry and suppositions, is to have solidified the president's power to side-step congress, the law and the Constitution.

These are solemn times.

34 comments:

Lone Ranger said...

This is easy to understand. The government has now progressed from the power to tax every human activity to the power to tax every human inactivity. You don't want to buy a Chevy Volt? That's a pollution tax. You send your kids to a Catholic school? That's a separation of church and state tax. Whether we like it or not, this country's last hope is the election of Mitt Romney.

Xavier Onassis said...

Oh yes! A Mormon flip-flopper who campaigns against the exact same health care plan that he pioneered while trying to portray himself as a "true conservative" after governing Ted Kennedy's Massachusets.

Riiiggghhhttt!

And you call US gullible!

You are so silly.

Lone Ranger said...

And now we find that xo is also bigoted against Mormons. And you call conservatives bigots?

Craig said...

Whether we like it or not, this country's last hope is the election of Mitt Romney.

Our experience also demonstrates that getting every citizen insured doesn't have to break the bank. First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages "free riders" to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others.

Mitt Romney (R- Planet Kolob), in an editorial he wrote in 2009 for USA Today. He's your savior?

What Roberts has done... is to have solidified the president's power to side-step congress, the law and the Constitution.

Huh? ACA was debated and passed in congress, signed into law and upheld by the Supremes. What are you missing?

Knuckledraggin said...

Bottom line..The Constitution is now meaningless.~

Joe said...

Cragi: You obviously have not read "ACA."

Ivan Wolanski said...

Obamacare was passed by anti-American socialists, who bullied some moderate democrats into voting with them.
Obama has already proven himself to be an inept, inexperienced, incompetent, anti-American, socialistic, Muslim-leaning, ex-lawyer dufus.

Our Supreme Court should be slapping down the idiotic legislation passed by clueless democrats and signed by an equally clueless inept President Obama.
The court is made of cowards, afraid of doing what they swore to uphold.
And there is corruption in government because the so called Progressive American people have allowed it!
I did something that I had never done before in my life, I donated $25.00 ( that was just about all I am able to afford) to Mitt Romney’s campaign. Today alone donations to Mitt Romney’s campaign have exceeded over 3 million. How much did Zipo raise today?
And by the way, didn’t the President lie once again this time to his OWN party and to Independents and Republicans and Libertarians when he said the Mandate wasn't a tax. Obama lies, again!
The economy is going to plummet as will the Stock Market, and jobless rates will skyrocket.. The American people overwhelming oppose Obamacare. And now more than ever before it is time for the American people to wise up and take our government back from this socialist with a Muslim name who hates his own country!
Lets hope that Mitt Romney is wise enough to see this as a gift, and use it to energize our base!
It is up to us folks to keep this alive in the next four months before the election.
You know damn well that the Democrats will do everything in their power to dredge up all kinds of scandals, and other issues to deflect our attention, it doesn’t even matter if they are true or not,--they may even come up with another Congressman Weiner if that's what it takes to refocus the media and they can't find something juicy enough on Romney. I don't trust them as far as I cant throw them.

Chateau Robert said...

All I can say is welcome to the People's Republic of West Kenya.!
And Goodbye America.

Craig said...

Cragi: You obviously have not read "ACA."

I've read parts of it. What does that have to do with anything re my previous comment? Why the quotes around ACA (Affordable Care Act)? Would you feel better if I called it Obamacare? Okay, Obamacare. How about Barrycare or Husseincare. It doesn't matter what I call it, it's the law.

All I can say is welcome to the People's Republic of West Kenya.!
And Goodbye America.


Do what these brilliant Patriots are threatening to do,

Walter Weldon @WallyWeldon

I'm moving to Canada, the United States is entirely too socialist.

This Maddening World said...

Candidate Obama, SEIU health forum 2007

If the House passes the Senate healthcare bill tomorrow, it will be seen merely as a stepping stone to further reforms, including the public option, which has always been and always will be part of achieving universal healthcare, i.e., total federal takeover of the American healthcare system, fully 1/6th of the the U.S. economy.



The term "Socialized Medicine" is used to describe a system of publicly administered national health care.

Ducky's here said...

Well, it's a first step. It would have been a real blow to drop back to square one and give up the minimum progress this law represents.

Don't worry, Joe. We won't forget you. Progressives will continue to work for basic standards foe all.

Keep an eye on Vermont --- New England, tip of the spear.

Ducky's here said...

Joe gets health insurance from a system with less than 5% overhead.

He'd rather be with a system that hits him with 25 - 30% vigorish and maybe denies his claim in the process.

Plus the additional staff needed to deal with billing at hospitals and medical offices. They could probably be better used to deliver care but Joe likes plenty of overhead when it comes to his health care.

Go figure.

Remember Joe, Craig, XO and myself work hard to help you live the life of the mind.

Mark said...

Joe, the bottom line is this:

No Government has any right to force anyone to buy anything under penalty of law. Period.

Craig said...

No Government has any right to force anyone to buy anything under penalty of law. Period.

Do you drive a car Mark? I hope you have insurance, it's mandatory.

WWFFD? (what would the founding fathers do?).

The Uniform Militia Acts, passed by Congress May 8, 1792 and signed by George Washington.

By law, each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years ...shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia They weren't big on standing armies back then.

Here's where they force them to buy (obtain) something under penalty of law,

every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges,

Officers were forced too, The commissioned officers to furnish themselves with good horses of at least fourteen hands and an half high, and to be armed with a sword and pair of pistols, the holsters of which to be covered with bearskin caps.

This was GW, father of our country, and a Congress that included 20 framers forcing white guys to buy all that stuff.

Why do you hate George Washington and why do you hate America? Maybe you just don't know enough about America.

Mark said...

"Do you drive a car Mark? I hope you have insurance, it's mandatory."

I was hoping some Lib would bring this up. Yes I do drive and yes I do have car insurance, but no, I don't believe even State government should compel me to buy car insurance under penalty of law.

It is 100% unconstitutional. Go ahead, Craig. Show me in the Constitution where it says the government has the right to force us to purchase anything. Go ahead.

While I think car insurance is a darn good idea and everyone should have it, I believe we American citizens have the right to refuse to buy insurance without having to suffer a penalty.

As far as the founding fathers and their rules for militiamen:

They were paid a salary with which I am sure they paid for their equipment. So they weren't compelled to pay for anything they couldn't afford. like health insurance will be especially under Obama's rules and regulations.

Xavier Onassis said...

Mark - "It is 100% unconstitutional. Go ahead, Craig. Show me in the Constitution where it says the government has the right to force us to purchase anything. Go ahead."

If you TRULY believe that, put your convictions where your mouth is, refuse to buy insurance and take it to court. Fight it all the way up to the Supreme Court.

Because whether you like it or not, it's the Supreme Court who gets to decide what is an isn't Constitutional. Not you, Mark-the Constitutional-Scholar, but the Supreme Court.

That's the way the Founding Father's established the process in the Constitution that you pretend to be so familiar with.

Xavier Onassis said...

Mark - "They were paid a salary with which I am sure they paid for their equipment. So they weren't compelled to pay for anything they couldn't afford."

Really? I'm not familiar with the details of that arrangement.

Please educate us.

How much did pay did conscripts and officers receive under the Washington Administration and how much did those GOVERNMENT MANDATED PURCHASES cost?

What percentage of the soldier's military pay went to equipping themselves and how much did that leave to reimburse them for their soldiery?

Please, I can't wait to examine the numbers. Enlighten us with your insights into the impact of the GOVERNMENT MANDATED PURCHASES of President George Washington on his soldiers.

Ducky's here said...

Mark, whether you believe you should be compelled to buy insurance or not is irrelevant.

It's law and i has been law for some time although, as XO says, you are free to petition the court because you feel you should be able to drive irresponsibly.

Get in line with those that are going to challenge the latest although Roberts did a nice job of closing the door on them.

Man, your boy let you down. Must really frost you.

Ducky's here said...

I don't know XO, my guess is that Mark the Constitutional Scholar will be filing to overturn Marbury vs. Madison any day now so that he can let his auto insurance lapse.

Xavier Onassis said...

My guess is that Mark doesn't know squat about the Constitution or about how our legal system actually works.

Most "conservatives", especially the ones around here, are like 10 year olds who don't like being told to make their bed and clean their room.

They're petulant children who think they know better than the grown ups.

I kind of enjoy watching Fox News these days. Their apoplexy amuses me. It's like watching an immature child throw themselves on the floor kicking and screaming.

It's so funny that they think that will actually effect reality.

Mark said...

Still no one has shown me where in the Constitution it says Government can force me to pay for anything under penalty of law.

But, plenty of trying to change the subject. Just like Libs.

I have car insurance and health insurance because it's the wise thing to do, but, Constitutionally, I should have the right to refuse to have it. In other words, we all have the right to be unwise, just like XO and Ducky have the right to be stupid.

And damned if they don't exercise that right on a daily basis.

Xavier Onassis said...

Mark - "But, plenty of trying to change the subject. Just like Libs."

Not trying to change the subject at all. Just trying to get you to back up your ridiculous assertions with some actual facts.

Do you know what facts are? Do you know how to back up what you say?

"Constitutionally, I should have the right to refuse to have it. In other words, we all have the right to be unwise..."

Really. Being such an astute constitutional scholar, I'm sure you will be eager to point out where in the Constitution it grants you the right to disobey laws and be "unwise".

Go for it.

Waiting.

Mark said...

XO, I said nothing about disobeying laws.

I did say, I SHOULD have the right to refuse insurance. I didn't say the law allows me to refuse. I abide by the law in this case, but I don't have to like or agree with it.

The Constitution does not "grant" us any rights, but merely enumerates our rights granted to us by God, such as Life, Liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and of property.

The right of liberty would cover your right to be stupid, which you continue to exercise freely, and the right of property implies no one but myself can determine for me how I spend my money.

No one. Especially the Government.

And by the way, I don't have to be astute. I can read, and I have, unlike you, common sense.

Mark said...

To elaborate further, because you don't seem to understand the simplest of concepts--

My money is my property. I have a right to own property, and no one. not you, and not the government, has the right to take it from me without my permission or under penalty of law.

As I said.

Now, for the third time, show me where the Constitution gives Government the right to take my property.

Xavier Onassis said...

Mark - "The Constitution does not "grant" us any rights, but merely enumerates our rights granted to us by God, such as Life, Liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and of property."

Whoa, dude. I don't know how to break this to you, but there is no Great American Sky Daddy bestowing rights on people.

The Constitution is a piece of parchment covered in ink written by men. It's not a Golden Tablet inscribed by The Finger of God.

The Constitution does indeed"grant" you your rights. If you don't think so, go to a country like Egypt that doesn't have a Constitution and ask them what rights they have. God given or otherwise.

"My money is my property..." LOL! No it's not. Money isn't "property". Money is a social construct of of our financial structure. It's a way of keeping score. It's a bunch of binary bits that get transferred back and forth between your employer, Quick Trips and banks.

A creditor with a claim against you can get a court order to garnishee your wages and take your money before it ever becomes "your money".

You clearly have no idea what money is or how the modern economy works.

So just stop.

Xavier Onassis said...

Mark - "The Constitution does not "grant" us any rights, but merely enumerates our rights granted to us by God, such as Life, Liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and of property."

Property?

The Constitution mentions the word "property" once.

"Article. IV. Section. 3.; Clause 2: The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State."

You have NO IDEA what you are talking about. You just have some opinions.

Stop. You're embarassing yourself.

Craig said...

Mark, stop digging.

but no, I don't believe even State government should compel me to buy car insurance under penalty of law...It is 100% unconstitutional.

Driving is a privilege the state grants you. It can revoke that privilege for a number of reasons. It can also put conditions on that privilege like having insurance. It protects you and the other drivers.

Go ahead, Craig. Show me in the Constitution where it says the government has the right to force us to purchase anything. Go ahead.

I can't. I can't show you where the Constitution says money is speech or corporations have the same rights as a person. This is a lame argument. The converse is just as true, the constitution doesn't say govt. can't make you buy something either.

The example of the Uniform Militia Act is important because it was passed by the people who wrote the Constitution. They didn't find any problem forcing white men to buy muskets, horses, uniforms and fanny packs. No, Mark, they weren't paid. It was a condition of citizenship. The only remuneration they got is what amounted to a tax exemption on their purchases. Read the Act, I linked to it. The only opposition to the Act in Congress was from those who thought it was an undue burden on the poor. Several years later a small stipend was added to compensate for time missed from work when they mustered for training twice a year.

My money is my property. I have a right to own property, and no one. not you, and not the government, has the right to take it from me without my permission or under penalty of law.

Dude, Article 1, Section 8. The Constitution clearly states that Congress has the right to tax (take your "property"). Why do you hate the Constitution?

I'm not a big fan of the mandate either, but for different reasons. There are lots of good things in Obamacare like eliminating preexisting conditions, eliminating life time caps, allowing kids to stay on parents plan to 26, making ins. cos. spend 80% of premiums on actual health care, closing the doughnut hole in Joe's prescription coverage, etc. I understand that the mandate is a way to expand the pool of insured to cover these things. It's clumsy and guarantees 30M new customers for private ins.

Without ACA, people like you and me, who have ins., pay for the uninsured, anyway, in higher premiums. Unless you're in the "let 'em die" camp, you'll agree that a civilized society wouldn't turn away the sick, injured and dying for lack of money. Getting everyone to pay what they can into the pool only makes sense. Of course, what would make the most sense, as Joe has unwittingly made an excellent case for, is Medicare for all. The system's in place, bump the Medicare payroll tax a few percentage points (it's currently a whopping 1.45%), write a new bill (it would fit on 1 page), you're done. We already know it's Constitutional.

Joe said...

XO: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or PROPERTY, without due process of law; nor shall private PROPERTY be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Amendment 5

You stand corrected.

Joe said...

XO: "Persuit of happiness" is not in the Constitution.

Craig said...

XO: "Persuit of happiness" is not in the Constitution.

This should be addressed to Mark. XO was quoting Mark.

Joe said...

Craig: As usual, liberals can't read. It was XO who said, "The Constitution mentions the word "property" once."

Actually, it mentions it several times, so XO was blatantly wrong, no matter who he was addressing.

And don't come here telling me who I should address.

"There are lots of good things in Obamacare..."

Would that include what you have to do if you sell your house?

That's in there.

Try reading it (but be aware that it is pretty long...being a liberal, you might not be able to).

Craig said...

Joe, All I said was, XO didn't say what you said he did about pursuit of happiness. Mark said it. I didn't say anything about his "property" statement.


Would that include what you have to do if you sell your house?


I wouldn't have to do anything. There's a 3.8% tax on capital gains over $500,000 for a couple. My house isn't worth over $500K and I don't own it free and clear. If a couple sells a house for $1M that they still owed $400K on, their capital gain that would be subject to the tax would be $100K. That's a $3,800 tax on a total capital gain of $600K. They'll survive.

Did you read it or are you regurgitating what you read on a Righty blog?

Mark said...

Craig, the phrase, "Pursuit of happiness" (not persuit) is in the Declaration of Independence. The first draft of the Declaration stated Life, Liberty, and property, and was later changed in the final draft.

XO, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" Romans 1:21

I will no longer argue with you. By your admission that you don't believe in God, you have shown yourself to be a fool, and I don't argue with fools.

Atheism doesn't end well. I urge you to consider your eternal fate before it's too late.

Xavier Onassis said...

Mark - I have considered my eternal fate and have concluded, based on an OVERWHELMING lack of evidence to the contrary, that there isn't one. Dead is dead. When you die you simply cease to exist. The reward you believe awaits you has no more validity than Islam's promise of 72 virgins. They are both fairy tales told to the gullible to coerce their behavior. And because you will no longer argue with me I guess I get the last word on the matter. Sweet.