Skip to comments.Roberts Didn't Expand Government's Taxing Power
Posted on 07/05/2012 2:42:28 PM PDT by neverdem
I've been a little surprised by the continued outrage on the right and chest-thumping on the left regarding the Supreme Court's health care decision. The right got everything it wanted in the ruling, save for the actual outcome. The left got legal reasoning that, up until the minute the decision was handed down, it had maintained would mark the end of government as we know it. Sad to say, but the main takeaway is that most court-watchers, left and right, care a lot about the outcome and very little about the law.
Some on the right are latching onto one bit of doctrine as cause for unhappiness in the case. In particular, they claim that John Roberts expanded the governments taxing power substantially, such that it now provides an endless capacity that Congress lacked with the commerce clause.
This is nonsense. There are two reasons why. First, all nine justices, and even some of the lawyers arguing against the health care law, agreed that the individual mandate could be enforced under the power to tax. Heres the joint dissent: Of course in many cases, what was a regulatory mandate enforced by a penalty could have been imposed as a tax upon permissible action, or what was imposed as a tax upon permissible action could have been a regulatory mandate enforced by a penalty. . . . The issue [here] is not whether Congress had the power to frame the minimum-coverage provision as a tax, but whether it did so."
In other words, the fight among the justices was not an epic struggle regarding the extent of the taxation power. It was a rather mundane fight over statutory interpretation, and whether the mandate, as written, could be construed as a tax or not...
(Excerpt) Read more at realclearpolitics.com ...
What a friggin' ASS CLOWN.
Transcript...@Supreme Court: The Health Care Law And The Individual Mandate
It's got this little number in it...
The legislative history is replete with members of Congress explaining that this law is constitutional as an exercise of the taxing power. It was attacked as a tax by its opponents. So I don't think this is a situation where you can say that Congress was avoiding any mention of the tax power.
It would be one thing if Congress explicitly disavowed an exercise of the tax power. But given that it hasn't done so, it seems to me that it's not only is it fair to read this as an exercise of the tax power, but this Court has got an obligation to construe it as an exercise of the tax power, if it can be upheld on that basis.
Sounds to me like Congress knew it was a tax during debate.
@It Was Always a Tax
In part...Mr. President, the bill before us is clearly an appropriate exercise of the commerce clause. We further believe Congress has power to enact this legislation pursuant to the taxing and spending powers.
Snip...House Democrats likewise argued that Obamacare is constitutionally justified as an exercise of Congresss power to levy taxes and spend money. Thus, Rep. George Miller of California said:
A really good article, IMO.
Be sure to read this...
I rather liked this towards the end...
I love all of these posts. The more people see what was actually done the more irate they'll be.
And this is why Scalia and Thomas dissented.
COME ON, GET A CLUE.
NONE of the examples you cited included a person PAYING A TAX because he purchased NOTHING or peformed NO ACTIVITY.
Fail. You lose.
“...If I do not to have health insurance, then my tax liability goes up via the tax penalty.
I call that not the same thing...”
You dont have kids? Your tax liability goes up...
You dont have a mortgage? Your tax liability goes up...
You dont give to charity? Your tax liability goes up...
You dont contribute to a 401K plan? Your tax liability goes up...
You didnt put in a new high efficiency air conditioner? Your tax liability goes up...
You didnt buy an alternative fuel vehicle? Your tax liability goes up...
You dont have health insurance? Your tax liability goes up...
Same damn thing.
In some cases, it may be appropriate for judges to pretend that statutes say things slightly different from what's actually in the text, if what the text actually says would be unconstitutional or meaningless, but it's fairly clear (possibly from legislative history) what the statute was supposed to say. This occurs most often in cases where some sections of the law get renumbered without properly updating other sections that make reference to them. It has long been considered perfectly proper for judges to apply minor tweaks to a statute in cases where the text of the statute was clearly erroneous (e.g. section 123.4 of a statute says "Except as described in 123.6, various rules apply"; section 123.6 has nothing to do with the situations in question, and section 123.7 begins, "Exceptions to 123.4 include..."); it would not be judicial overreach to interpret section 123.4 as referring to section 123.7.
The bigger problem here is that the Court has dropped any pretense that legitimate taxes must at least claim to be intended to raise revenue, rather than punish behavior. Ironically, Roberts threw the concept of "legislative intent" completely out the window. The people who wrote the legislation used the term "penalty" to refer to the monies people would have to pay if they didn't buy acceptable insurance. It's pretty clear they intended that the fines were intended to be considered punitive. In order to justify his decision, Roberts is declaring that he knows better than the legislature what they meant when they wrote the legislation. Judicial activism in the extreme.
You don’t buy health insurance, you don’t get a health insurance tax credit makes sense. If that is the way they had set it up, I would not say a word.
But forcing people to buy health insurance or they get a tax penalty is an entirely different story. It may just be semantics to you but giving people an incentive to do something is very much different from penalizing them for not doing something.
The first case you have a choice to get the incentive or not. It will only cost you the incentive. The second case costs you either way. You have to pay for something you would not normally buy. Or pay a tax for not doing it.
I would not label that mere semantics.
You don’t have any earnings or pay any taxes?
You get tax credits.
And now you get `free’ health care.
So don’t worry about paying that ambu-lance bill next time you
lay your old lady out `cause her tongue is hinged on both ends.
“...NONE of the examples you cited included a person PAYING A TAX because he purchased NOTHING or performed NO ACTIVITY...”
You dont have kids? You pay more taxes because you purchased nothing or performed no activity...
You dont have a mortgage? You pay more taxes because you purchased nothing or performed no activity...
You dont give to charity? You pay more taxes because you purchased nothing or performed no activity...
You dont contribute to a 401K plan? You pay more taxes because you purchased nothing or performed no activity...
You didnt put in a new high efficiency air conditioner? You pay more taxes because you purchased nothing or performed no activity...
You didnt buy an alternative fuel vehicle? You pay more taxes because you purchased nothing or performed no activity...
You dont have health insurance? You pay more taxes because you purchased nothing or performed no activity...
“...Epic fail...Fail...You lose...”
No, what has failed is “We the People”.
“...If that is the way they had set it up, I would not say a word...”
What difference does it make as to “how they set it up” when the effect is the same?
“...What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet...”
[Romeo and Juliet Act II. Scene II]
You don’t get it.
You don’t get it.
I agree with you that there is a full line of tax abuse where they can FAVOR people for certain purchases.
What you seem to be completely oblivious to, is that Roberts has given them a 2nd full line of tax abuse to employ.
So today childless people can’t receive a tax break that people with children get. Tomorrow, not only will childless people get the tax break you don’t get, but you will also be subject to paying ADDITIONAL TAX MONEY OUT OF POCKET to the government because you lack children.
Do you get it yet????????????????????????????????????????
Yes, I agree that I am penalized if I don’t get a tax break for not owning a home. I get it already? Do you get it that ON TOP of my not getting a tax break for not owning a home, because of Roberts the government can now make me pay ADDITIONAL TAX MONEY OUT OF POCKET because I don’t own a house.
Take every single example you gave. In every example, you simply lack the benefit someone else receives.
What just got changed is, in addition to lacking the benefit others received, you can not be assessed an additional PUNISHMENT on top of it.
You don’t think that is significant?
So, let me see if I understand you...
You think that
a plus in the minus column
is not the same as
a minus in the plus column.
You’re right, I don’t get it.
You sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher:
“...Wa Waaa Wa Waa Wa...”
A tax credit and a tax penalty are not the same thing.
With the health insurance tax penalty I’m being penalized for not doing what the government is trying to coerce me to do. I have no option. Do as they say or be penalized. The IRS will enforce this.
There’s no coercion with tax credits. I don’t have to take a tax credit, even if I qualify for one. There’s no forced penalty if I choose not to take the credit. I’d be foolish not to take it, but there’s no IRS forcing me to.
The IRS didn’t hire 15,000 plus agents to force people to take tax credits.
You don’t have to pay. You just miss out on the credit.
You have to pay or you get fined.
Perhaps numbers would make more sense to you since words are going over your head.
If you pay 0 for health insurance and you choose to get 0 in tax credit.
No money out of your pocket at all
You pay 20,000 for a health insurance plan or you pay 8000 in tax.
Out of pocket here is 20,000 or 8,000 dollars. Way more than the 0 dollars in the first case.
Neither 8000 dollars nor 20,000 dollars out of my pocket is as sweet as 0 dollars. But if you’ve got that amount of money is just semantics to you, why not just hand it over to the govt. now?
Silly me. I thought the purpose of a tax was to raise revenue. Roberts says it can be used as a punishment imposed on those who fail to do what the government wants them to do. I also thought a tax was constitutional only if the revenue it raised was used to fund the common defense or promote the general welfare. If Roberts wanted to OK the mandate under the government’s taxing power he should have said so and sent it back to Congress to be re-written as a tax law. But no-—he, in a classic example of judicial activism, re-wrote the law himself.
“...A tax credit and a tax penalty are not the same thing...”
How so to the bottom line?
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