Well, it’s official. It’s now constitutional for politicians to tell huge lies, and not only get away with doing so, but be rewarded for doing so. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare this past week confirmed what most of us realized all along, that President Obama and congressional supporters of the “Affordable Care Act” lied to the nation and to all of us! They told us that it was not a tax increase, ardently, vehemently, and ad nauseam; yet, that’s the very justification the Supreme Court used to rule it constitutional last week.
While debating the Act in Congress, proponents claimed constitutional authority for the hostile takeover of the health care industry based on the Commerce Clause. And when Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued the case in front of the Supreme Court justices, the Act’s constitutionality was based on the Commerce Clause, not on its merits as a tax.
But the end result is that one of the largest and most regressive tax increases ever, $1.76 trillion over ten years according to updated figures from the Congressional Budget Office, has been thrust upon the taxpayers, courtesy of Obama and congressional Democrats. In a bizarre twist of irony, it’s their lie that allowed it to be ruled constitutional! And from a constitutional basis, we’re supposed to ignore the fact that as a tax bill, it originated in the Senate, another strike against its constitutionality.
Prior to Obamacare’s passage in 2010, Obama denied it was a tax. In September 2009, Obama told ABC News that the law “is absolutely not a tax increase.” In fact, in nearly every major sales pitches for the Act, he would reassert that “for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.”
And he was not alone. All the congressional Democrats sang the same tune. Notably, the White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, declared in 2010 that not only was it not a tax increase, but it certainly didn’t violate Obama’s pledge of absolutely no new taxes on the middle class. We all remember him promising in every campaign stop through the 2008 campaign, “I can make a firm pledge – under my plan, no family making less that $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.” Yet, of the 21 taxes included in the Act, nearly half will affect the middle class-the economic stratum that Obama promised no tax increases to.
There is one truly significant aspect to the ruling last Thursday that is actually encouraging. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice Roberts ruled the “individual mandate,” relative to the commerce clause, in fact unconstitutional. Roberts wrote: “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.”
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