Taxes, Spending and Obamacare Put to the Constitutional Test
We know government has nothing to give anyone ranging from your neighbor to Pakistan. What government gives it must first take from you. The Constitution had an effective clamp on Federal taxing power before the 16th Amendment (income tax) and a century of Positive case law. Today, jurists only argue the fine points. Today, taxing is taking property that rightfully belongs to American citizens, residents and businesses. Spending is largely giving people, Corporations and States benefits they have not earned.
The point is—has always been—control. A company is taxed at confiscatory rates then is given deductions or exemptions to act, perform or behave in a government specified way. This pressure is shows up as many things such as “clean air and water” but it is known this year as “job creation.” States get the same treatment. Medicaid is a prime example of the Federal government attaching pages of requirements and regulations to the Medicaid payments. Of course the money granted came from the productive citizens of the several States. State that fall I line will receive money from citizens of more principled States. (Remember the government has nothing.)
Obamacare Is the Complete Package
No single piece of legislation has ever put all factors of power together like this before. We can learn much from Justice Scalia’s dissent on Obamacare concerning the Medicaid provision.
(A bit of Background. In the majority opinion, seven justices agreed that Congress had overreached when it threatened states with the loss of all Medicaid funding if they didn’t sign up for ACA’s new Medicaid expansion. This, they said, was too coercive. It’s OK to make new funding contingent on acceptance of new rules, but you can’t make existing funding contingent on new rules.) Did you get that—too coercive? Coercive is fine; just not TOO COERSIVE.
Scalia agreed, but said the court can’t simply strike down this penalty. Instead, it has to invalidate the entire Medicaid expansion:
The reality that States were given no real choice but to expand Medicaid was not an accident. Congress assumed States would have no choice, and the ACA depends on States’ having no choice, because its Mandate requires low-income individuals to obtain insurance many of them can afford only through the Medicaid Expansion. Furthermore, a State’s withdrawal might subject everyone in the State to much higher insurance premiums.
….Worse, the Government’s proposed remedy introduces a new dynamic: States must choose between expanding Medicaid or paying huge tax sums to the federal fisc [treasury] for the sole benefit of expanding Medicaid in other States. If this divisive dynamic between and among States can be introduced at all, it should be by conscious congressional choice, not by Court-invented interpretation.
This is representative of the entire 2700 pages. It pits State against State, age groups against other age groups, doctor against patient and even disease against disease. Make no mistake, the new disease “reproductive rights” is to be given higher priority than, say, dementia.
The new far reaching (perhaps unending) taxing authority that is the law under Obamacare now puts the Internal Revenue Service in charge of healthcare. Not, you, the patient. Not the Doctor. Not the clinic. Not some insurance company. Not some “Insurance Exchange.” Not the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The IRS will be in charge of your health care. Did I make that clear? The IRS will be in charge of your health care. No, I can’t explain it. When someone does (within weeks if not days) we will link the explanation here.
Update: (August 3, 2012) America’s #1 tax resolution authority, Dan Pilla has masterfully unwound the PPACA rats nest and presented it in stark clear terms. This monster is many, many times worse that any of us had imagined. Click here, read it now then send everyone you can to the article.
For this reason alone, Obamacare must be repealed in its entirety. If we hold the House—and we must—and if we take the Senate—and we must—and if we elect Mitt Romney President—and we must, we can and will repel Obamacare. We know a President Romney is not a Justice Scalia or Thomas and we know he is not Michele Bachmann, Mike Pence or Jim DeMint. To go where those men and women will lead—and we must—we will need to get beyond a President Romney. The work ahead is long as well as hard. Our Liberty Listers positions must comfortably stand on the commitment to restoring Constitutional law as the Constitutional champions named above.