Patterico's Pontifications

6/29/2012

White House: The Mandate Is a Penalty, Not a Tax

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:32 pm

If Romney does not absolutely tear them to pieces on this, I may not bother to walk to the polls to vote for him:

The White House said Friday that the Obamacare insurance mandate tax is a penalty for not having insurance – a statement that directly contradicts what the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

According to press reports, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that the penalty was not a tax but a penalty.

“It’s a penalty, because you have a choice. You don’t have a choice to pay your taxes, right,” Carney is quoted as saying by Yahoo News.

It doesn’t just contradict what the Supreme Court said. It contradicts what his own lawyers said in court.

Let’s get this straight.

Obama clearly stated that this was not a tax — to get it passed.

Then he sent his lawyers into court to argue it was a tax — to get it upheld.

Then he sent his press secretary before the press to claim it was not a tax — to get the decision accepted.

Mitt Romney must bring this up again and again. He must bring it up more than once in each Presidential debate. And when he does, he should say something like this:

Barack Obama claimed that this wasn’t a tax. He said that, because he knew if he said it was a tax, it would never be passed. Then he argued in court that this was a tax. He said that, because he knew that if he said it wasn’t a tax, it could not be upheld. Now, as soon as I finish my answer, he is going to tell you again that it’s not a tax. He will say that, because he knows that if he admits it’s a tax, you voters will blame him for raising taxes. This President just ping pongs back and forth between positions, willy-nilly, and hopes you won’t notice. He’s about to do it again. Just watch. Mr. President, did your lawyers say this was a tax? And when you had them argue that, were they telling the truth?

Mitt Romney, please don’t put me in a situation where I’m screaming at the TV because there is a good argument to be made, and you’re not making it.

Nail this guy to the wall on this issue.

Nail him to the wall.

UPDATE:

Thanks to Jay Batman.

141 Responses to “White House: The Mandate Is a Penalty, Not a Tax”

  1. I can’t take the hypocrisy.

    Can’t take it.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  2. it’s a tax on a choice you see…

    freedom eff yeah!

    best goddamn fourth of july EVAH

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  3. As was demonstrated in ’08, anything that passes the lips of The Won exceeds its veracity quotient.
    Everything the man says is a lie including “and” and “the”.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  4. give a wham give a bam but don’t give a damn cause the benefit gang are gonna pay

    thank you obama, lord of all harvard trash and duke of mom jeans

    praise him!

    i put these food stamps here

    i put these food stamps here

    i put these food stamps…

    over here

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  5. Glad I checked before hitting publish

    JD (ad6f40)

  6. I have a choice: I can buy solar panels, or I can pay a higher income tax. Or is that an “income penalty” now?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  7. The word “dissemble” comes to mind.

    JVW (f28a18)

  8. You’re joking, right?

    We are -so- fscked.

    htom (412a17)

  9. Carnie has to sit in those staff meetings and say “you want me to say what. ?!?!”

    JD (ad6f40)

  10. It’s Friday. Throw it against the porous media wall and see if it sticks. It won’t be operative by Monday. Carney will do a mea culpa.

    Ed from SFV (68921e)

  11. ROMNEY: Mr. President, did your lawyers say this was a tax? And when you had them argue that, were they telling the truth?

    OBAMA: Governor, the American people don’t care whether you or I or the lawyers call it a tax. What the American people care about is that because of the ACA, their insurance company cannot cancel their health care if they get sick. The American people care that a pre-existing condition cannot be used to deny … [blah blah blah] …

    aunursa (7014a8)

  12. I was watching Krauthammer on Hannity tonight talking about the tax/penalty/whateverwerecallingitnow. While I don’t have the exact quote, he said something like this. “A tax is to raise revenue. A penalty is to discourage an action.” While both take money out of our pockets, the words are NOT interchangeable. You can avoid a penalty by not doing the prohibited action, not so with a tax.

    With the administration and their defenders switching at will between “it’s a tax” and “it’s a penalty”, for some reason I get the feeling I’m being lied to. Maybe it’s just me???

    Cube (2f8665)

  13. UPDATE:

    Thanks to Jay Batman.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  14. you have to think that when he is alone, jay looks in the mirror and says… “I’m Batman!”

    Aaron "Worthing" Walker (23789b)

  15. Vote Mormon, not Moron 2012.

    Gazzer (177df0)

  16. Aaron, you’re out…I mean back. Welcome

    Gazzer (177df0)

  17. ______________________________________________

    That photo of laughing leftists is quite fitting, because far too many people who vote for such politicians are more than willing to be their supplicants and suckers—and liberals like Obama fully know that. So they both appreciate but also condescend towards (and laugh at) such saps.

    As for Obamacare, if the disingenuous liberalism behind that isn’t absurd enough, look at what Obama’s and the Democrat’s counterparts in France are up to. As with the Supreme Court’s twisted ruling and Obamacare itself, you almost can’t make this stuff up:

    Reuters, June 7, 2012:

    France’s new Socialist government is planning to ramp up the cost of laying off workers for companies in the coming months, its labor minister said on Thursday after data showed the jobless rate hit the highest level this century at 10 percent.

    The push to make firing more difficult in France, where making layoffs is already tightly regulated and often costly for employers, contrasts with moves under way in other euro zone countries such as Italy and Spain to make job cuts easier.

    With the economy stalling, Labor Minister Michel Sapin said urgent measures were needed against unemployment and that he aimed to put forward legislation after the summer break. “The main idea is to make layoffs so expensive for companies that it’s not worth it,” Sapin said in an interview with France Info radio.

    “It’s not a question of sanctions, but workers have to have compensation at the right level,” he said.

    Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg is also planning legislation that would force companies to sell plants they want to get rid of at market prices to avoid closures and job losses.

    The government and unions are bracing for a wave of layoffs after the legislative election, fearing companies have put off job cuts until after the election period.

    Unemployment in France has now risen even higher than in the wake of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, rising from 9.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 to the highest level since the third quarter of 1999.

    Sapin said in an interview with Les Echos business daily that the budget for state-aided jobs needed to be raised, or else 112,000 jobs on such contracts could be put at risk in the second half of the year. “That would be extremely harmful at a time when all resources need to be mobilized against unemployment,” he said, adding that the state-run jobs agency also needed more funds.

    Mark (90205b)

  18. Let me get this out of way up front.

    Obama will say anything he thinks will work. He’ll claim to have increased oil production during his tenure. Which right now stands at about 3 1/2 years.

    And the next minute he’ll tell you drilling won’t bring down oil prices in the short term because it takes at least 5 years from when you start drilling a new well until that oil hits the market.

    How oil from ANWR would take at least 10 years until production effects prices; I know this because Joe Biden’s been saying for at least 30 years that it’s silly to talk about drilling for oil in ANWR because it’ll take a decade for it to hit the market.

    Then the next minute Obama will be back to taking credit for increasing oil production during his first term. In a scant 3 1/2 years.

    Now he’s doing the same thing with his ObamaCare law. If one minute the penalty needs to be a tax, it’s a tax. If the next minute the tax needs to be a penalty, it’s a penalty. Then he keeps going back and forth.

    Romney has to make it clear that even Obama can’t even believe half of what he says himself, considering how many things he’s willing to say.

    You’ve got to understand, though, that the fact Obama does what he does appeals to a certain element in his base. He’s playing to his crowd, the same way he does when he gives his opponent the finger while pretending he’s just absentmindedly scratching his head.

    But let’s give credit where credit’s due, he’s right. It’s a penalty, not a tax.

    Four justices were able to grasp that. Including Kennedy.

    And they recognized the Government’s tax argument for what it was; baseless, self-serving legal posturing. We wouldn’t even have to talk about the word games Obama plays to get what he wants through court challenges if Roberts had either half the brains or half the integrity of Kennedy.

    And no, I never thought I’d say that.

    Sorry, I’ll crawl back to one of other threads now.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  19. The best cross-examination questions are those tied most closely to factual premises that can’t be quibbled about. Thus, I’d slightly re-cast Patterico’s excellent suggested question for Gov. Romney to use in confronting Obama:

    Within the first half-dozen sentences of his oral argument before the United States Supreme Court on March 26, 2012, Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. asserted, quote, “the minimum coverage provision of the Affordable Care Act is an exercise of Congress’s taxing power.” When he made and repeated that representation to the highest court of this land — and to all of the American people — was he speaking with or without authority on behalf of you and your Administration?
    Beldar (271d30)

  20. If Romney asks about it with anything but a specific and direct quote, he’ll get a response from Obama like this:

    I don’t accept that premise, Gov. Romney. Now, I know you know this, because you’ve got a Harvard law degree just like I have, so we both know that context matters, especially in legal interpretation, and your question deliberately leaves out all of the important context. Yes, of course, in defending the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act — and I’m happy to call it Obamacare, and I’m happy the Supreme Court confirmed its constitutionality for the benefit of millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans — my Administration’s lawyers pointed out to the Supreme Court all the different grounds on which its constitutionality could be defended. We also relied upon the Commerce Clause, and as you know, a near-majority of the Supreme Court would have used that as an alternate ground for upholding Obamacare. But yes, on my instructions, my lawyers pointed out the Court the different context of the word “tax” when used for certain procedural terms peculiar to federal court jurisdiction, and they distinguished that from the Congress’ Taxing Power as a basis for what the Solicitor General correctly called Obamacare’s “tax penalty” when it came down instead to the very different purposes of the constitutional analysis on the merits. So blah blah blah blah blah drivel drone blah ….

    Obama will be satisfied if he can appear to have wiggled off the hook, even if, substantively, he hasn’t. So one has to force him into “Yes, but …” answers — answers in which it’s obvious that he’s conceded a point which had to be conceded, and it’s therefore also obvious that whatever follows is simply him piling excuses and distractions atop that concession.

    Beldar (271d30)

  21. It’s particularly irritating that most folks simply won’t understand what’s in this law until the all of the law kicks into effect, after the election.

    That shows consciousness of guilt on the part of those who drafted the bill and deceived the American people about what the bill would be.

    Dustin (330eed)

  22. Lying = breathing
    Ends justify means
    The little people want to be talked down to
    ‘Winning’ is everything
    I know three Hillary Rosen’s

    Icy (11b47c)

  23. The best cross-examination questions are those tied most closely to factual premises that can’t be quibbled about. Thus, I’d slightly re-cast Patterico’s excellent suggested question for Gov. Romney to use in confronting Obama:

    That’s absolutely true. Debate isn’t quite cross examination, of course, as much as we’d like it to be. Obama will spin and refuse to answer the question asked no matter how irrefutable are the premises of the question, and it needs to be posed in a way that makes the best political points, not necessarily the best “debate” points.

    But that’s kind of true of cross examination too.

    I got to do a fun cross of an expert recently. I followed the Beldar advice mentioned above to the letter, and I think it worked well. It went something like this: “Here we have this hypothetical situation. Now, surely you would agree that [point the expert can't possibly disagree with #1]. And you would probably agree with me that [point the expert can't possibly disagree with #2].” By the time we got to the point the expert couldn’t possibly disagree with #5, he had essentially agreed that his response to the hypo was precisely what I wanted it to be.

    At that point, onlookers were wondering why the defense called this guy.

    The thing is, you have to size up your witness. Some experts (or other witnesses) will not quibble with premises they can’t possibly quibble with. They’re sort of “honest” — like the expert in my recent trial. Others will look ahead to your ultimate point, and toss all kinds of irrelevant crap in there to argue against your ultimate point. That’s how Obama would be.

    You can’t treat each kind of witness the same. You have to size up their honesty and adjust your approach accordingly. It’s what makes it fun.

    God, I hope Romney has the ability to do that.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  24. All you need is this from 2010:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/health/policy/18health.html

    WASHINGTON — When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”

    And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

    Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.

    There you have it, from 2010, in the administration’s sycophantic NY Times. It’s a tax. The administration says so. In the “paper of record”.

    crosspatch (6adcc9)

  25. Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
    ~~ HL Mencken

    Kinda what Roberts said, no?

    Chants (67ba16)

  26. 15- lucky for you they are the same candidate

    tye (eab943)

  27. “Governor Romney has accused my administration of inconsistency in the matter of the ACA. He claims that we have at one time described the individual mandate as a ‘penalty’ and at other times as a ‘tax’.

    “I believe that we should reject such false choices.”

    Pious Agnostic (ee2c24)

  28. Read Black’s definitions on “penalty”. Obama’s spin is much much worse that what is “is”.

    If it’s a “penalty” then it’s a “fine” and is due to a “crime”. Which means it is a crime not buy insurance, which in turn has to be based on the Commerce Clause.

    However, for confusion, it’s not that bad. But Romney needs to simply say – Obama has just made all Americans criminals. I.E., he needs a simple sound bite back.

    cedarhill (9e0ffa)

  29. So Obama’s denial of the mandate as a tax makes the entire bill unconstitutional?

    This is coming from one statement in Ann Althouse’ post: The bill is constitutional only because the mandate is a tax.

    lurker9876 (e62692)

  30. Mandate TAX is a penalty?

    Obamacare’s “tax penalty”

    Sounds similar to Jonah’s Tyranny of Cliches…

    lurker9876 (e62692)

  31. It is important to continue to make Obama own the economy, he’d love to forget about that. ALways refer to the Obamacare Obamatax.

    Robert of Ottawa (2c842f)

  32. So we have total, comprehensive national vaporlock.

    Three branches of Federal government, the loyal opposition, our entire political class and voters themselves have and will continue to choose the status quo:

    A single payer who is not me.

    Your champion in the battle to undo Federal healthcare himself champions State healthcare funded by Federal transfer payments.

    Your champion is a champion of tax cuts-not to say reform-to be paid for with ‘revenue enhancements”, possibly a VAT.

    Half of legally eligible voters will turnout Nov. 6, and of those perhaps a quarter, c. 25%, will not be voting for a candidate with a chance to win.

    Catatonia or rigor?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  33. Force an election season rhetoric by telling the public that Obama’s ObamaTAX doing more damage to our economy and the ability to create new jobs.

    http://www.taxpolitics.com/2012/06/when-is-a-tax-not-a-tax-when-the-white-house-says-so/

    lurker9876 (e62692)

  34. Yesterday the Market went thru the roof on the news that the EU has a plan to have a plan and will no longer be first in line for payback.

    This was a ‘breakthrough’. Banks got 10 cents on the dollar when the money printers at the ECB got paid a dollar that they passed to Greek debtors with their other hand. All hands are inked green as no goods produced or services rendered.

    Next time everyone gets a Metro token back.

    So monday expect the Market to sell off, or Tuesday, depends on how tired Summer fun leaves investors. Churn.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  35. Drag them into a vote. Make the house declare it a tax, or not a tax. This is where Robert’s opinion really went off the rails… He should not have insulated congress and in particular the house from plain language about the Intention to fund this plan with new taxes.

    He hold have sent it back and said: you decide.

    Sarahw (60267b)

  36. Obama: The mandate is not a tax
    WH lawyers: It’s a tax
    John Roberts: OK, it’s a tax
    White House: It’s not a tax!

    Eric Lindholm (fc2de7)

  37. Sorry, no power reduces me to my nemesis, thumb typing.

    Sarahw (60267b)

  38. Powerline notices even MN is in limbo:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/06/minnesota-is-up-for-grabs.php

    BHO “can’t make it to 50%”. No kidding. Governor Prozac won by only 7000 votes. The problem being his opposition was a conservative. MN elected a GOP majority in her Senate for the first time since 1976 or something.

    Potential and actuality require commitment to meet. Romany came in a distant third in the closed primary.

    Miasma.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  39. Prof. Jacobson on Roberts’ “victory”:

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/06/what-if-that-huge-conservative-doctrinal-achievement-was-mere-dicta/

    Alito was the Miers replacement, just sayin.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  40. Thank you, Mark, for pointing out that there is a government more insane than that of the US.

    As for our socialist, the public wants to believe anything he says, so they will. Already we hear “free health care for me! Whee”

    It won’t be pretty.

    Patricia (e1d89d)

  41. It’s a breath mint; no it’s a candy mint. No, it’s two mints in one!

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  42. I woke up this morning filled with resolve, at least partly due to the excellent piece over at the Daily Beast written by Randy Barnett whom I respect enormously. (You should all read it if you have not) Then, I encountered Sonny Dee over at the “Today’s Obamacare decision” thread where we’ve been venting and I kinda went ballistic. Everyone is welcome to your opinion as to whether my comment was justified or not. But since I freely admit that I’m going to be kind of cranky from now through Nov., I thought I’d put it out out on this thread as well. Just as fair warning.

    Sonny–step away from the edge with the rhetoric. You do not come across as Patrick Henry. You come across as a leftist axelturf version of how they think a extremist right-winger speaks.

    We have an election coming up. We have several months to get our act together as Americans. The “it’s a tax” theme gives us both a powerful marketing and a powerful practical path we lacked before Thursday. Now, as a result of the SC ruling we can overturn Obamatax with 51 votes in the senate. Let’s get them. We can overturn Obamatax with Mitt as president who said he’d immediately sign to repeal the bill. Let’s elect him. Let’s convince those who are vowing to vote for a third party candidate, or Nor Laup, that the road to repeal is through a Republican majority senate and a Repub president. There will be “defecting” Democrats who vote to repeal as well at that point.

    Fair warning. I’m going to judge people over the next few months. I am going to judge whether they are working to clear a path to help get Obamatax repealed, or whether they are standing in the way–shouting and raving– while looking and sounding clueless and solving nothing.

    elissa (ab12d4)

  43. I don’t care if Romney cross-examines Obama about the ObamaCare tax/penalty issue because liberals and independents don’t care about hypocrisy, unless it’s by conservatives. However, if Romney does choose to do that, he should point out the same reasons Chief Justice Roberts relied on in his opinion (at p. 33): [NOTE: The excerpt is one paragraph in the Roberts' opinion but I've broken it up into multiple paragraphs for easier reading. Bolding added.]

    The exaction the Affordable Care Act imposes on those without health insurance looks like a tax in many respects.

    The “[s]hared responsibility payment,” as the statute entitles it, is paid into the Treasury by “taxpayer[s]” when they file their tax returns. 26 U. S. C. §5000A(b).

    It does not apply to individuals who do not pay federal income taxes because their household income is less than the filing threshold in the Internal Revenue Code. §5000A(e)(2).

    For taxpayers who do owe the payment, its amount is determined by such familiar factors as taxable income, number of dependents, and joint filing status. §§5000A(b)(3), (c)(2), (c)(4).

    The requirement to pay is found in the Internal Revenue Code and enforced by the IRS, which—as we previously explained—must assess and collect it “in the same manner as taxes.” Supra, at 13–14.

    This process yields the essential feature of any tax: it produces at least some revenue for the Government. United States v. Kahriger, 345 U. S. 22, 28, n. 4 (1953). Indeed, the payment is expected to raise about $4 billion per year by 2017. Congressional Budget Office, Payments of Penalties for Being Uninsured Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Apr. 30, 2010), in Selected CBO Publications Related to Health Care Legislation,2009–2010, p. 71 (rev. 2010).

    After hearing this, people won’t have to decide whether to believe Romney or Obama. They will believe it’s a tax because Roberts’ examples will convince them.

    I’d also suggest that Romney carry a copy of the holding from the Roberts’ decision, and repeat it now and then:

    We do not make light of the severe burden that taxation—especially taxation motivated by a regulatory purpose—can impose. But imposition of a tax nonetheless leaves an individual with a lawful choice to do or not do a certain act, so long as he is willing to pay a tax levied on that choice.11 The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  44. Can we all chip in and buy tye a book of insults, his portfolio is just completely lame.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. 43. Yeah well ranting and doing nothing I’m still sayin’ with only 40% of legally eligible voters opting for one of the majors we could easily elect a real option.

    Not Paul, or Johnson, or Bloomberg, or Trump, a real option. With the internets it wouldn’t need to cost a fortune.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  46. Texas Senator John Cornyn argues the ObamaCare decision shows the GOP needs to win the Senate almost as much as it needs to win the White House. He’s right.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  47. you must pass teh tax
    to know what is in teh tax
    cuz He’s Teh TaxMan

    Colonel Haiku (9b0a55)

  48. despise ACA
    tether Him to tax increase
    thrust on center stage

    Colonel Haiku (9b0a55)

  49. won Epic Battle
    but cuz too clever by half
    He. Will. Lose. Teh. War.

    Colonel Haiku (9b0a55)

  50. EPIC!!!

    Colonel Haiku (9b0a55)

  51. Don’t worry, politicians wouldn’t lie about such an important thing as medical care or taxes!

    Patricia (e1d89d)

  52. 47.”Texas Senator John Cornyn argues the ObamaCare decision shows the GOP needs to win the Senate almost as much as more than it needs to win the White House. He’s right.”

    FIFY. Can’t sign unless repealed.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  53. Obama: The mandate is not a tax
    WH lawyers: It’s a tax
    John Roberts: OK, it’s a tax
    White House: It’s not a tax!
    Comment by Eric Lindholm — 6/30/2012 @ 6:24 am

    – Hope & Change has become “Hope you have enough change to pay Teh Penalty!”

    Icy (9332cf)

  54. Flip-flopping and hypocrisy won’t convince independents or liberals not to vote for Obama. Obama’s flip-flops are legendary and they don’t hurt him with his base or independents because his ability to win validates that he (and they) were right all along.

    In addition, Romney has flip-flopping issues so (at best) Obama’s hypocrisy would be a wash and non-conservatives will tune it out.

    However, I think it could help if Obama persists in claiming this is not a tax, as opposed to saying it’s a tax but a good one. Not only can we hit Obama with the ObamaCare tax but also frame this as Obama lies. Obama supporters won’t care if he flip-flops but they may think twice if they decide he’s lying to them.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  55. If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
    If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat,
    If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat,
    If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.

    Icy (9332cf)

  56. Specifically, Obama is the “Hope & Change” President. It’s okay to flip-flop in today’s world but lying is old school.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  57. Re: Senate, from Riehl(who seems to have banned me before losing his gig at Breitbart):

    Democrats/Independents seeking re-election

    Dianne Feinstein of California
    Tom Carper of Delaware
    Bill Nelson of Florida
    Ben Cardin of Maryland
    Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
    Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
    Claire McCaskill of Missouri
    Jon Tester of Montana
    Bob Menendez of New Jersey
    Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
    Sherrod Brown of Ohio
    Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania
    Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island
    Bernie Sanders of Vermont (Independent)
    Maria Cantwell of Washington
    Joe Manchin of West Virginia

    Note: ND, WI and NE can be counted flips and Brown, MA, seems at least odds on fave.

    There’s a couple/three flips in there I’d guess.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  58. Framing the “mandate” in simple terms that average voters can easily understand—priceless! And under the United States Supreme Court’s imprimatur no less.

    elissa (ab12d4)

  59. If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
    If you don’t drive, you owe me five;
    If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat,
    If you try to stand, it will be ten;
    If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat,
    If cold you stay, the more you’ll pay;
    If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet,
    If you have no feet, it’s a C-note each.

    That is the holding, Icy.

    nk (875f57)

  60. Interestingly, Claire McCaskill of Missouri “recently disclosed she won’t be attending the Democratic National Convention.”
    “She added that she’s “absolutely not” trying to distance herself from the Democratic Party.”

    The reason she gave was that she faces a tough reelection bid and needs to stay in Missouri.
    Right.
    The convention lasts what, four days? And she would only need to put in an appearance on ONE of those days to support the President(?)
    It’s starting to get chippy over in the DNC, folks. Obama did not campaign for the opposition in the Scott Walker recall election, and now some key Dems are skipping the convention. (But not little Chuckie Schumer; he heard there are gonna be cameras there, so he’s in)

    Icy (9332cf)

  61. And if you can be taxed for not buying something, does that mean stores can tax you for browsing?

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  62. if it’s not Us, Who?
    to give them good kick in Nads!
    and if not Now, When?

    Colonel Haiku (9b0a55)

  63. Each of you must pay “fair share”,
    I’ll tax you if you breathe the air.

    Icy (9332cf)

  64. all teh way to November!

    Colonel Haiku (9b0a55)

  65. we’re just givin’ healthcare… to teh chillun…

    Colonel Haiku (9b0a55)

  66. ” ‘scuse me while I tax dis guy”…

    - Jimi 0bama

    Colonel Haiku (9b0a55)

  67. And if you can be taxed for not buying something, does that mean stores can tax you for browsing?
    Comment by Ghost — 6/30/2012 @ 9:09 am

    Hey, this is not a lending library. If you’re not going to buy that thing, put it down or I’ll blow your heads off!
    – Apu, the Kwik-E-Mart clerk, in “Krusty Gets Busted”, from The Simpsons

    Icy (9332cf)

  68. “I am teh smegman… they are teh smegmen… I am teh TaxMan”

    - Winston 0bama

    Colonel Haiku (9b0a55)

  69. 58- Brown will vote with the left as he believes it’s his only chance of continuing prostituting the peoples seat.

    mg (44de53)

  70. “And you’re working for no one but meh”

    Icy (9332cf)

  71. R.I.P. The marriage of Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes

    Awww . . .

    Icy (9332cf)

  72. Another problem is how the media is framing it: On this morning’s news panel, the commentator brought up Obamacare and asked about the new tax being levied toward the lower-middle class, and the WH respondent immediately re-framed the question with his response with how President Obama has now made is entirely possible for *all* people to take personal responsibility for their health coverage – and isn’t that what the Republican party is all about?

    Unfortunately, the commentator nor anyone on the panel, heard me yelling at them to correct him. So, not only does November matter most, but it’s clear a complicit/ignorant MSM will once again be spoon feeding us the WH company line without batting an eye.

    Dana (292dcf)

  73. mg you are clearly making up stuff about Scott Brown when you assert he would vote with the left to preserve Obamatax. What is your game plan?

    elissa (73bddc)

  74. Obama’s people are responding with this.

    Romney’s mandate is a tax too

    Gerald A (89ab20)

  75. Of course I don’t think Romney ever said both that it was and wasn’t a tax.

    Gerald A (89ab20)

  76. REVEALED!!! Obama is Humpty Dumpty!

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

    Indeed, the question is “which is to be master”.

    ExRat (b9abd6)

  77. Patterico: this is where I think you and many other make a mistake. From Michelle Malkin’s page I pulled the 2nd pragraph of Carney’s statement: “So if you don’t buy it, and you can afford it, it is an irresponsible thing to do to ask the rest of America’s taxpayers to pay for your care when you go to the emergency room. So your choice is to purchase health care reform or a penalty will be administered.”

    Analyze what he says here: “…and you can afford it”. AAAHH! So who will decide whether or not an individual can afford it? SEE the bigger transfer of wealth coming? This is even more insidious than most realize.

    john b (924972)

  78. I like this bit from Ann Althouse today regarding the Constitutional right to lie:

    The President can say it’s not a tax, and it’s still a tax for the purposes of analyzing the taxing power. The Supreme Court has validated lying.

    Did you notice the other case that came out last Thursday also put the stamp of approval on lying? It was United States v. Alvarez — the “Stolen Valor” case. A man who lied and said he’d won the Congressional Medal of Honor was prosecuted, and he won on free speech grounds in the Supreme Court.

    So Thursday in the U.S. Supreme Court was a great day for the grand old human practice of lying. From Justice Alito’s dissenting opinion in Alvarez:

    Respondent’s brief features a veritable paean to lying. According to respondent, his lie about the Medal of Honor was nothing out of the ordinary for 21st-century Americans. “Everyone lies,” he says. Brief for Respondent 10. “We lie all the time.” Ibid. “[H]uman beings are constantly forced to choose the persona we present to the world, and our choices nearly always involve intentional omissions and misrepresentations, if not outright deception.” Id., at 39.

    Everybody’s always lying.

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  79. Great audio with Prof. Rob Natelson that explains Chief Justice Roberts’ mistakes in understanding tax history and law.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  80. low spark high-heeled boyz
    liberal dimocrats are
    testosterone-lite

    Colonel Haiku (9b0a55)

  81. DRJ – The mandate seems more like a stem cell to me under the majority opinion. It can be anything you want it to be depending on the angle you look at it.

    It is reasonable to view the mandate as a tax and “fairly possible” to consider it a tax in order to avoid rendering the entire act unconstitutional.

    It is also reasonable to consider the intent of the legislators and view the mandate as a penalty for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  82. Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
    ~~ HL Mencken

    Note that the last time the Court let everyone have a sweeping law like this “good and hard” (McCain-Feingold), they had a change of heart only a few years later and struck it down.

    Put Romney in the WH then replace Ginsberg and Breyer with folks like Janice Brown or Randy Barnett (yeah, 60+ and unlikely, but whatever) and we’ll see what stays standing. Is this decision the first breath of a new direction, or the last gasp of the old.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  83. daleyrocks,

    Prof. Natelson has convinced me Roberts is wrong on the law. As Natelson concludes in the audio link above:

    We can speculate on the motives for why Justice Roberts adopted such a flimsy basis for deciding the case the way he did, but let’s not do that today. It’s enough today to say it’s [the tax analysis] a flimsy and unresearched part of the opinion.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  84. Specifically, not only wasn’t this a valid tax in the the Founders’ view, it was the kind of tax that led to the American Revolution.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  85. 75.Obama’s people are responding with this.

    Romney’s mandate is a tax too

    Comment by Gerald A — 6/30/2012 @ 10:00 am

    Yeah, but nobody ever lied about it being a penalty, the way the Obama admin lied about their penalty being a tax.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  86. “Prof. Natelson has convinced me Roberts is wrong on the law.”

    DRJ – My comment is not about whether Roberts is right or wrong, but how under his opinion the character of the mandate morphs from a tax to a penalty.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  87. “Prof. Natelson has convinced me Roberts is wrong on the law.”

    DRJ – I’m not convinced Roberts is an idiot and ready to begin bashing him.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  88. I’m for sure convinced Roberts thinks the rest of us are idiots

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  89. I don’t think DRJ is calling him and idiot. There is about a mile in between wrong and idiot.

    JD (318f81)

  90. Like Prof. Natelson, I shouldn’t speculate on why Chief Justice Roberts wrote his opinion the way he did. However, I believe Roberts understands the history and legal issues involved, so I don’t ascribe his analysis to ignorance.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  91. But … (so much for not speculating) … if I had to guess now, it would be that the tax analysis was written at the last minute — a relative term, since they could have spent weeks researching and writing it, but it’s still a short time compared to how long these opinions usually take — or perhaps it wasn’t shared with the other justices until the last minute. It reads like an afterthought added to an important document, similar to a blog post where the real information is in an update instead of the post itself.

    It’s also possible Chief Justice Roberts will do anything to protect the long-term image of the “Roberts Court.” I suspect that’s the case but I hope not.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  92. Roberts’ opinion is certainly not the first time a decision has relied on shaky analysis from the perspective of earlier court precedent in order to reach a particular outcome. Griswold? Roe? Lawrence?

    What Roberts did here was distance the court from a divisive policy debate while at the same time asserting the Court’s authority to draw new boundaries regarding the limits of Congressional authority.

    The Commerce Clause — after ACA, Morrison and Lopez — is not longer the bottomless cookie jar for Congress to reach into in order to engineer what it considers socially beneficial legislation. You can argue over whether that section of Roberts’ opinion constitutes controlling authority or dicta, but any Court of Appeals that chooses to disregard it as dicta might find their case quickly taken up since its clear 5 Justices have a pretty strong view on the matter.

    Further, Congress can no longer use federal funding as a “stick” to coerce states to follow their instructions. If Congress offers states money to do XYZ, and a state says “no”, Congress can no longer take away other money in retaliation. That proposition garnered 7 votes — and that is a huge development.

    But, by relying on the tax “dodge”, Roberts also pulled the court away from the abyss, and denied left wing critics of the court the ammunition to marginalize it in the same way CJ Marshall did in Marbury. If Marshall had ruled against Jefferson in Marbury, Jefferson could have ignored him and the principle of judicial review would have been lost.

    Roberts gave the liberals in Congress a victory on ACA, but only at the cost of the vast expansive power they were seeking to exercise and ensconce in the law. At the same time, he served up their legislation to the political process. If voters in November choose to not repudiate Obamacare by not returning its architect to the Oval Office, then the voters get the government which they have chosen until they decide to act differently.

    shipwreckedcrew (06750d)

  93. Obviously I’m not a Supreme Court Justice but one reason we have multiple justices on important courts is because they improve their opinions and writing by sharing it with the other Justices. Just as we talk about things here and it can improve our analysis, and just as the army of Davids know more than one man alone, so too can a group of judges refine a decision and make it better.

    The tax analysis in the ObamaCare decision doesn’t read like an opinion that has been subjected to the give-and-take and refinements that come from Supreme Court discussions.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  94. Roberts is NOT an idiot, but he IS wrong.

    Icy (9332cf)

  95. “However, I believe Roberts understands the history and legal issues involved, so I don’t ascribe his analysis to ignorance.”

    DRJ – I accept that. I probably chose the wrong word. I’m very unhappy with both the decision and the Roberts bashing. I’m sure he has reasons for what appears to be a big stretch in his opinion, I just don’t understand them.

    There are several conservative pundits who follow and agree with his reasoning, but I’m not there yet.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  96. Previously, I have said that ObamaCare is John Roberts’ Dred Scott.
    Now, if this decision prompts the voters far and wide to pull back on what they have previously allowed the Feds to get away with, I will give Roberts credit for being a “pathfinder”; if the voters just “go along to get along” and the Infernal Revenue Code becomes the pathway of our descent into Euro-Hell, Roberts deserves every brick that gets thrown his way – and probably a few more that won’t be.

    And, in most things, Mencken was right.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  97. “Previously, I have said that ObamaCare is John Roberts’ Dred Scott.”

    AD – Didn’t Chris Matthews use that line first? GMTA.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  98. shipwreckedcrew,

    We have existing Supreme Court case law on the Commerce Clause and we have dicta from Roberts’ opinion. It’s true that 5 current Justices seemingly agree with that dicta (did the other 4 concur?), but I don’t see how this will make a significant impact on future appellate cases. We need an actual Commerce Clause case for that to happen.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  99. daleyrocks,

    Supreme Court Justices speak through their writings. Roberts has a problem if there are flaws in his writing because he can’t defend it in the court of public opinion.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  100. Actually, that’s a big reason why conservative lawyers wanted a justice like Roberts instead of Miers. He has the background to know how to write authoritatively and persuasively.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  101. 88. “Prof. Natelson has convinced me Roberts is wrong on the law.”

    DRJ – I’m not convinced Roberts is an idiot and ready to begin bashing him.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 6/30/2012 @ 11:10 am

    I’ve criticized his brains and his integrity, but I don’t think he’s an idiot.

    He’s lost sight of the object of the exercise, something that even Kennedy hasn’t. Laws are supposed to serve as guides to action. What I find so depressingly disappointing about Roberts’ opinion is that in his zeal to find some way to find a way to declare ObamaCare Constitutional, he’s trashed that whole concept. Only a justice with a particular goal in mind, “I’m not going to overturn this law,” would have descended to these depths. He admits the clearest reading is that it’s a penalty. He then goes on to try to find a “fairly possible” reading of the law that would make it possible to construe it as Constitutional (Why didn’t the AZ immigration law get the same respect, by the way, legal beagles?) and came up with a really implausible interpretation of the law. And by that I mean ridiculous.

    He sees ambiguity where it doesn’t exist and reduces two words that have very different meanings to mere labels. Even though the way Congress wrote this law, much as I hate it, shows Congress understood what Roberts pretends not to. “Tax” and “penalty” aren’t just labels but different words.

    He doesn’t face reality. For instance, earlier a commenter quoted from the ruling how Roberts lists all the ways this “penalty” looks like a tax. Of course, as the dissent points out, lots of penalties collected by the IRS look like taxes. What matters are the differences between taxes and penalties which Roberts willfully ignores to arrive at his preconceived destination.

    As an aside, under any other circumstances I would have marveled in amusement at how he threads the needle between declaring this is a tax for the purposes of the Constitution but not the Anti-Injunction Act. I suggest if we ever get a really powerful animal rights lobby and a national “marriage equality” act, I suggest tapping Roberts to write the decision if we want to arrive at the foreordained conclusion that a Chimpanzee is a human being for purposes of the Constitution but you still can’t marry one. Roberts will be able to ignore the crucial genetic differences between ape and man in order to find its got just enough human DNA for the one, but not the other.

    I have no idea what Roberts’ “long game” is. I can think of some possibilities. It’s to maintain some sort of working relationship with the other two branches of government. Maybe it’s just to maintain amiable working relationships among the justices he sees every day. He’s going to be chief justice for a long time, so he split the baby by agreeing with all the conservatives and moderate Kennedy that their arguments were correct but agreed with the liberals that their goal was worthy. Now everyone’s going to have a good time at the post-session picnic and softball game.

    I can tell you what it’s not. It’s to ensure that the law can serve as a guide to citizens as to how to keep their affairs legal. If this law could have been Constitutional if Congress had based it on its power to tax, the only intellectually honest thing for Roberts to do was to join the dissent and send it back so it says that.

    Instead now I and everyone else is in the distasteful position of having to say it’s a tax when the text of the statute plainly says it isn’t. When the way the law is constructed plainly shows it isn’t. And as I said earlier, Obama can always point to the printed word and say, “What do you mean it’s a tax? It says right there it’s a penalty.”

    I think we’ve got plenty of room to go after the serial liar in chief (although whether we can as long as Romney wants to keep talking about how Obama is such a nice guy is still in question), don’t get me wrong.

    But I expect Obama to say anything, then its opposite, to get his way. Did Roberts really have be so short-sighted and gullible as to buy it, though? Jimminy Christmas, even Kennedy wasn’t that much of a sucker. Ah, well, perhaps Kennedy wasn’t worried about the reputation of the court. Just his own reputation for intellectual integrity.

    Thanks for nothing, CJRo.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  102. Shipwreckedcrew, I always enjoy and learn from your analysis, but this last post of yours raises more questions than answers.

    Roberts’ opinion is certainly not the first time a decision has relied on shaky analysis from the perspective of earlier court precedent in order to reach a particular outcome. Griswold? Roe? Lawrence?

    If by “shaky” you mean, as the four justices in dissent said, “baseless” and “self-serving” then I agree. But if Roberts was trying to bolster respect for the court, that’s a pretty counterproductive means to that end.

    As I said, I expect a shameless politician to get his way up until now by hook and by crook. But up until now I never considered Roberts a shameless politician.

    What Roberts did here was distance the court from a divisive policy debate while at the same time asserting the Court’s authority to draw new boundaries regarding the limits of Congressional authority.

    On both counts, just how do you figure? As you can see by my earlier comment, on the first count in my view it’s the exact opposite. Even you say he arrived intended to arrive at a particular outcome, and in my view reasoned backward to get there using in your charitable words “shaky” analysis. In what way wasn’t this political?

    And what limits?

    The Commerce Clause — after ACA, Morrison and Lopez — is not longer the bottomless cookie jar for Congress to reach into in order to engineer what it considers socially beneficial legislation. You can argue over whether that section of Roberts’ opinion constitutes controlling authority or dicta, but any Court of Appeals that chooses to disregard it as dicta might find their case quickly taken up since its clear 5 Justices have a pretty strong view on the matter.

    OK, now and in the future no Congress will try to use regulations based upon the Commerce Clause to engineer socially beneficial outcomes.

    Now, thanks to Roberts, they’ll just use the tax code. Why should I be happy about this, again?

    Further, Congress can no longer use federal funding as a “stick” to coerce states to follow their instructions. If Congress offers states money to do XYZ, and a state says “no”, Congress can no longer take away other money in retaliation. That proposition garnered 7 votes — and that is a huge development.

    Here, I agree. That’s the one silver lining. Now that the PPACA is (for legislative and legal purposes ONLY) a tax act, and the feds can’t shift the costs to the states as they thought they could, repealing ObamaCare via reconciliation has been made much easier.

    But, by relying on the tax “dodge”, Roberts also pulled the court away from the abyss, and denied left wing critics of the court the ammunition to marginalize it in the same way CJ Marshall did in Marbury. If Marshall had ruled against Jefferson in Marbury, Jefferson could have ignored him and the principle of judicial review would have been lost.

    No, by delivering the right result Roberts denied the left wing critics of the court ammunition. Wait until the next 5-4 decision goes against these same left wing critics and see if Roberts and his court is still feeling the love.

    Roberts gave the liberals in Congress a victory on ACA, but only at the cost of the vast expansive power they were seeking to exercise and ensconce in the law. At the same time, he served up their legislation to the political process. If voters in November choose to not repudiate Obamacare by not returning its architect to the Oval Office, then the voters get the government which they have chosen until they decide to act differently.

    He had to work overtime in order to deliver unto them a totally unnecessary and totally undeserved victory on the PPACA. And got nothing in return. five justices in two separate non-concurring opinions rejected Congress’ claim that the Commerce Clause lets them compel activity where there is none.

    So what boundary markers do you believe were laid down here?

    And then Roberts joined the four justices who thought it was a great idea to force people through Commerce Clause regulation to do what they otherwise wouldn’t to say you can use the tax code to achieve the same end.

    On top of that, Roberts basically joined the Obama administration in agreeing that it’s perfectly fine to foist a legislative fraud on the American people if that’s what “judicial modesty” requires him to do to avoid declaring a law unconstitutional.

    What the Obama administration (and the Congress that passed this abomination) didn’t want to say to the American people in order to get it to the point it became law, they were willing to say to the SCOTUS in order to get it to the point it could be declared Constitutional.

    And Roberts agreed to go along to the point where he was willing to see what wasn’t there in order to declare the law said what it didn’t.

    Now that Obama has gotten the result he’s wanted, he’s saying Roberts said something that Roberts actually did say, but denied in his own decision. This law is Constitutional as written. We have a mandate and an attendant penalty for disobeying the mandate. Only Roberts is able to maintain the level of cognitive dissonance required to deny this. Those who joined Roberts wanted exactly that result. Those who dissented valued their own intellectual honesty and couldn’t go along with the fraud.

    I’m not seeing what you’re seeing.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  103. 74- He can’t win without pandering to the left. His voting record on key votes are not what I expect from my senator. I already have john effin kerry for that. Sorry elissa I Call em as I see em. By the way, I picked the verdict 5-4. Brown is all fluff and truck.

    mg (44de53)

  104. By the way, SWC, did you see Richard Epstein’s article the other day? He teaches law at NYU and is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute.

    It’s excerpted here:

    In an ironic twist, the chief justice simultaneously accepted the conservative argument that Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce did not include the power to regulate economic inactivity, like a decision not to purchase health care.

    …But his [Roberts'] decision is wrong. As a matter of constitutional text, legal history and logic, the power to regulate commerce and the power to tax should not be separated. It is not good for the court or the country that the chief justice’s position in such an important case is confused at its core.

    …Chief Justice Roberts has ignored this fundamental principle: If direct regulation is beyond the scope of the Commerce Clause (as he held), then taxation as an indirect route to the same regulation should be off limits as well (as he failed to hold).

    I have no idea how Roberts would counter that. Even he would say that, based upon the clearest reading of the law, Epstein is exactly right. Only on his piss-poor but in his own contorted “fairly possible” (really, impossible) reading is what for all intents and purposes a penalty for failing to purchase insurance a revenue measure.

    If he tried to defend his decision as if he actually believes the “shared responsibility payment” was ever really intended as a tax, he’d just look even more ridiculous than he already does.

    So of course he should have ruled that if you can’t regulate inactivity to compel activity, you can’t tax inactivity either.

    Instead, he did exactly the wrong thing.

    And do you believe even Roberts believes what he said in his own decision? I don’t.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  105. ________________________________________________

    The requirement to pay is found in the Internal Revenue Code and enforced by the IRS, which—as we previously explained—must assess and collect it “in the same manner as taxes.” Supra, at 13–14.

    Of all the things that irritates me the most about Obamacare, nothing comes close to the fact that not only will the IRS be enforcing the insurance mandate, but that agency will be expanded — in both staffing and budget — in order to handle all the new BS paperwork and requirements. Obama, in fact, within the past several months has allocated an additional $500 million to the IRS.

    I think the phrase “tax cheat” just about — or flat-out — deserves to start losing any “Scarlett letter” vibe or sting it once had or still has. After all, since the left has made so many aspects of our culture no longer scandalous, outrageous or even embarrassing (Hello, Bill Clinton and Monica!! Hi, GLBT crowd!), the notion that it’s such a black mark to cheat on one’s taxes should now be considered no less prudish, if you will, as anything else.

    And the way things are going, treating the federal tax agency like a criminal enterprise and the upcoming revised tax forms it’s gunning to issue as a shakedown, in and of itself, should eventually be considered a sensible, sound reaction, even a badge of honor.

    Come to think of it, since some of the Obama administration’s very own people, no less — particularly the Secretary of the Treasury — are known to owe back taxes, and since the left considers President “Goddamn America” as such a hip and wonderful figurehead, it really does make sense for everyone to start buying into the idea that finagling on one’s taxes is a mainstream, appropriate thing to do.

    Mark (90205b)

  106. it really does make sense for everyone to start buying into the idea that finagling on one’s taxes is a mainstream, appropriate thing to do.

    But conservatives aren’t going to be the first to make tax evasion socially acceptable. Aside from a few billionaire investors who’ve found a loophole, most conservatives believe that you don’t get something for nothing.

    However, tax-selection; where you figure out what percentage of your taxes go to legitimate causes and only pay those, might become a practice among conservatives once liberals have fully embraced tax evasion as the new hip movement. But we won’t be survivin’ to that point.

    Brandon (d777af)

  107. Come to think of it, since some of the Obama administration’s very own people, no less — particularly the Secretary of the Treasury — are known to owe back taxes…

    As we’ve seen, Mark, the very definition of the word “tax” changes considerably according to what’s in one’s own best interest.

    So demonstrating Roberts-esque “judicial modesty” the Obama administration defines at something you and I have to pay on time according to our income levels and other financial circumstances.

    Then there are those times and places when a different definition applies.

    But getting back to the topic at hand, I believe the only really honest way, and hopefully an effective way to nail Obama with this tax v. penalty thingy is to skip the Roberts decision entirely and just pin the whole mess on the Obama administration as they’re the font of all this.

    If Obama tries to say he never called it a tax, the SCOTUS did, then tell him to his face the only reason they did that was because he argued it was a tax. And the court found Obama’s argument convincing.

    Roberts didn’t just dream up the tax dodge. Obama (and I’m speaking of him and his administration as if they were one thing, and I’d like to see if he’s stupid enough to pretend he’s not in charge of his own admitration)did. If Obama doesn’t believe it’s a tax, why did he tell the SCOTUS it was?

    That’s the only reason we’re still talking about it. And if Obama believes it’s a penalty, then he better unilaterally decide not to enforce his own law.

    Obama’s a big one for not enforcing what he considers to be unconstitutional laws, like DOMA. Since we know that the penalty-as-penalty is unconstitutional, then why is he going ahead with his program.

    Maybe along the way ask him, “well, if you don’t think it’s a tax but you convinced the Supreme Court it was to get the result you wanted, does that mean you knew people couldn’t really keep their own doctors when you were telling them they could? That if they liked their policy they’d be able to keep it, even though he knew his plan would entice companies to drop their coverage? That he just told people they’d see their premiums drop, when he knew they’d go up?”

    We know all those things aren’t true, just like he knows penalty’s not a tax. But he argued all those things as if they were true, including that the penalty for failing to do what is mandated is a tax.

    Unless he wants to say he’s not really in charge of what all these people who work for him are doing, then ask him, “so, why are you running again, and why should we vote for a guy who’s been President for almost four years and still isn’t in charge?”

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  108. most conservatives believe that you don’t get something for nothing.

    Brandon, the thing is conservatives are figuring out we’re getting worse than nothing for a whole lot of somethin’ somethin.’

    Ask the people of AZ. They can’t use state funds for border control and immigration enforcement. Obama’s told them that. So they’re paying income tax to the feds so they can, let’s see, oh yeah! Divert ICE resources from border control and immigration enforcement to processing amnesty applications.

    You see, our overlords believe their core constituencies should get something for nothing. Guess who they plan to get that something they’re going to spread around to their supports from?

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  109. ==74- He can’t win without pandering to the left. His voting record on key votes are not what I expect from my senator. I already have john effin kerry for that. Sorry elissa I Call em as I see em. …. Brown is all fluff and truck.
    Comment by mg — 6/30/2012 @ 1:11 pm==

    Fine. Scott brown is not as conservative as you want. You don’t like some of his votes in the senate. (I don’t either) Did you like many of Brown’s votes? (I definitely did.) So, again I ask, what is your end game? Are you not going to vote at all? Will you be happier with Fauxachontas as your Junior Senator? Do you prefer a proved socialist tag team of Lurch and Liawatha representing you? You claim Scott Brown can’t win again without “pandering” to the left and you also imply you don’t want him to pander to the left in blue Massachussetts. You are saying you do not want him to win then? Even with the senate leadership and committee chairmanships at stake you’d risk one less R senator on the floor because you think he’s fluff and truck?

    elissa (330e5f)

  110. If this came up to vote in the senate, I believe he would vote to keep the peoples seat over stopping the obama tax. Lurch and granny are just two in a stable of millions in this state. I would like to see Scott wake up the wannabe harvard elite with a in your face speech on why Ma. needs to be more conservative. Grabbing the silver against liawatha by pandering to the left is not what conservatism is about. Scott-grow a pair.
    Of course I’ll vote for the Maine sisters little brother.

    mg (44de53)

  111. “Supreme Court Justices speak through their writings. Roberts has a problem if there are flaws in his writing because he can’t defend it in the court of public opinion.”

    DRJ – Defend it to who? Some people are obviously happy with the decision, others, including myself are not. Do controversial 5-4 decisions receive unanimous support? I think not. There are as I mentioned above conservative pundits who claim to understand and agree with his decision, allowing it to speak for itself as you point out.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  112. “I’ve criticized his brains and his integrity, but I don’t think he’s an idiot.”

    Steve57 – How brave. Bully for you.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  113. mg–

    Thanks for replying. Since Brown initially won his seat by openly campaigning that he’d try to stop Obamacare, that seems to prove there are quite a few folks in MA who liked the sound of that. Why would he flip flop now on Obamatax? It certainly has not gained more popularity in polls.You know, it’s even possible that once Brown is safely re-elected and won’t have to run again for several years (if ever), he may surprise you and be more courageously conservative on many issues than you expect.

    Massachusetts is one of the states I’ll be watching closely on election night. Believe me, living in a blue state myself your frustration is not unknown to me.

    elissa (330e5f)

  114. mg, if you think Brown is the equivalent of Kerry, then you are wasting our time. He’s not as conservative as I’d like either, but he’s not Kerry and its silly to claim so.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  115. daleyrocks,

    I’m not talking about Justice Roberts defending his opinion in the political arena. I’m talking about defending it in the legal arena. Judges, law professors and lawyers will pick it apart. Of course, Justice Roberts gets the last word because his word is law, but he can’t respond to specific criticism. His opinion has to speak for him and the better the opinion is formulated and written, the better it makes him look. The tax analysis of this opinion doesn’t make him look very good.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  116. 115- Voting for dodd-frank,jobs bill,financial reform, and when he voted to put the oceans and coast lines under the U. N. that puts him in county kerry. I feel honored you took the time to read my bile.

    mg (44de53)

  117. 113. “I’ve criticized his brains and his integrity, but I don’t think he’s an idiot.”

    Steve57 – How brave. Bully for you.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 6/30/2012 @ 4:45 pm

    It wasn’t meant to be brave, daleyrocks. Let me ask you, do you think he actually believes his own ruling?

    I don’t think he does. I know he’s a very smart man.

    So if he doesn’t, I do think it calls his integrity into question (and if he does believe his own ruling I’d have to rethink the idiot part).

    As far as “questioning his brains” go, what interests of the court do you think he advanced with this hash of a ruling? I can think of several candidates he may have intended to advance, but this ruling is counterproductive to achieving the goal.

    You’ll notice there are certain objectives we normally expect a supreme court justice to have foremost in mind whenever a law of questionable constitutionality comes before him and his colleagues that I’ve skipped right over as too ridiculous to contemplate in this case.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  118. elissa- after witnessing the catastrophe thur. anything is possible.
    Especially in ma. I want Brown to win, as you say he is far better than lieawatha. How you vote on important issues defines your conservatism. His conservatism is frustrating.

    mg (44de53)

  119. What the last three and a half years should have taught us is:

    1) The left lies to get its adjenda accomplished;

    2) The media is part of the left.

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  120. I no longer care what the President says. If his mouth is moving, he’s lying. You have no idea how freeing this realization is.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  121. It’s a penalty, because you have a choice. You don’t have a choice to pay your taxes, right,” Carney is quoted as saying by Yahoo News.

    An article in the New York Times Saturday called it a “tax penalty” and I like that formulation.

    << Democrats suggested that Mr. Romney was constrained by the health care law he signed as Governor of Massachusetts, which is structured similarly to Mr. Obama's health care overhaul and which Mr. Romney has in past years acknowledged relies on a tax penalty to enforce the requirement that everyone purchase insurance coverage. >>

    - article by Jackie Calmes, entitled “Tax or Penalty? Both Campaigns Are Quick to Define Court’s Health Care Ruling” on page A12 of he Saturday, June 30, 2012 New York Times.

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

  122. Comment by lurker9876 — 6/30/2012 @ 5:45 am

    This is coming from one statement in Ann Althouse’ post: The bill is constitutional only because the mandate is a tax.

    Not the mandate, the penalty. And the solicitor general, and Chief Justice Roberts specifically said it is not unlawful to choose to pay the tax.

    So actually the mandate isn’t a mandate, it’s something for which if you do you get a tax credit. Carney claims only 1% of the people will pay the tax. (some are exempted because of low income, others because they are covered by Medicare or Medicaid – actually this whole Medicaid thing is a big problem. Medicaid has an asset test. I think $2,500 is the maximum savings you are allowed to have. Although there are lawyers and tax accountants who know how to shelter assets beyond that (in trusts for instance, like Socrates’ mother set up for him)

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

  123. 44. Comment by DRJ — 6/30/2012 @ 8:01 am

    After hearing this, people won’t have to decide whether to believe Romney or Obama. They will believe it’s a tax because Roberts’ examples will convince them.

    Obama has two possible responses to that:

    1) Romney did the same thing in Massachusetts – and is Romney willing to admit he raised taxes on the middle class ad the poor? Romney’s is going to want to say no. So Romney’s not going to want to raise this argument in the first place.

    2) Very few people will really pay this tax — instead they’ll get insurance (even it it costs more) or they’ll be exempt. Obama will say there are subsidies for the insurance.

    Again I bring up the problem of the Medicaid asset test.

    By the way some people may be too poor to get he subsidy (if you have less than 100% of poverty you are supposed to go on Medicaid)

    By way Governor John Kasich of Ohio has said 40% of the people currently eligible for Medicaid (they think, because I would suspect some of these people are not truly eligible, or soon might not be) are not actually enrolled, so Obamacare can expect to increase state Medicaid costs even without the Medicaid eligibility expansion!!

    It could be added that this extra enrollment will do very little to improve health (since when people are really sick or in an accident, they do get they do get emergency treatment, although they do get illed at the highest possible rates which then gets discounted if they protest, and they do get enrolled then in Medicaid for later treatment if eligible, and so do pregnant women

    It will do little to increase health but will cause people (and the state) to incur more medical costs.

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

  124. Don’t forget, the Republican nominee is not Gingrich or Santorum. Romney just wants to make every issue go away except for the economy, and even there he doesn’t want to say anything, except that it is bad and Obama hasn’t fixed it.

    If you want anything more specific, you can give $50,000 (or collect $100,000 from yourself or others) to a pro-Romney Superpac (he is not allowed to co-ordinate spending but he can help them get money)

    And then maybe you’ll get the awesome privilege of hearing a few campaign promises if you agree to keep them confidential.

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

  125. Actually not campaign promises – just hints and musings and speeches or lectures by people Romney selects.

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

  126. Also pitches for more money. How it is needed.

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

  127. ___________________________________________

    So actually the mandate isn’t a mandate, it’s something for which if you do you get a tax credit.

    By the same token, if a person ignores edicts from the IRS, perhaps we as a society should start construing that as nothing to feel ashamed about. And if a person does everything possible to scam the system (ie, the bureaucracy, notably the IRS, etc), we as a nation should start perceiving that as being no more unethical than, say, driving 65 mph on a freeway with a 55-mph speed limit.

    I might have once said this with pure sarcasm, but nowadays — in Obama’s “Goddamn America” — I’m finding it hard not to sense that with everything in general being dumbed down, cheapened (except the level of taxes and government rules) and slopped up, that certain comments once perhaps tongue-in-cheek should now be seen as sincere and even practical.

    I know that in leftist/socialist, pro-tax societies like Greece, quite a few people don’t think it’s necessarily a bad or dishonorable thing to fudge on their taxes, and that such a practice is even widespread.

    Closer to home, we have the example of our Secretary of the Treasury, per below. On a more personal level, I’m acquainted with a dyed-in-the-wool liberal associated with my workplace who has mentioned how he has purchased cars out of state in order to avoid paying California’s high sales tax. He also has recommended that businesses try switching their workers from the designation of employee to “independent contractor” so that they no longer have to be covered by government-mandated provisions, including worker compensation and social security.

    If Obamacare, among other things, contributes to making society’s attitudes towards tax evasion as something increasingly less serious or shameful, then maybe that will be not just understandable, but even appropriate, if not good.

    online.wsj.com, January 2009:

    [President-elect Obama's] Timothy Geithner didn’t pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for several years while he worked for the International Monetary Fund, and he employed an immigrant housekeeper who briefly lacked proper work papers.

    Several senators said after the meeting that they intended to remain supporters of Mr. Geithner, who has playing a central role in tackling the financial crisis. Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) called the issue serious, but not disqualifying.

    The tax issue relates to Mr. Geithner’s work for the International Monetary Fund between 2001 and 2004. As an American citizen working for the IMF, Mr. Geithner was technically considered self-employed and was required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for himself as both an employer and an employee. In 2006, the IRS audited Mr. Geithner’s 2003 and 2004 taxes and concluded he owed taxes and interest totaling $17,230, according to documents released by the Senate Finance Committee. The IRS waived the related penalties.

    The Obama team said Mr. Geithner’s taxes have been paid in full, and that he didn’t intend to avoid payment, but made a mistake common for employees of international institutions. That characterization was contested by Senate Finance Republicans, who produced IMF documents showing that employees are repeatedly told they are responsible for paying their payroll taxes.

    As to why Mr. Geithner didn’t pay all his back taxes after the 2006 audit, an Obama aide said the nominee was advised by his accountant he had no further liability. Senate Finance aides said they were concerned either Mr. Geithner or his accountant used the IRS’s statute of limitations to avoid further back-tax payments at the time of the audit.

    Other tax issues also surfaced during the vetting, including the fact Mr. Geithner used his child’s time at overnight camps in 2001, 2004 and 2005 to calculate dependent-care tax deductions. Sleepaway camps don’t qualify.

    Amended tax returns that Mr. Geithner filed recently include $4,334 in additional taxes, and $1,232 in interest for infractions, such as an early-withdrawal penalty from a retirement plan, an improper small-business deduction, a charitable-contribution deduction for ineligible items, and the expensing of utility costs that went for personal use.

    Mark (90205b)

  128. There’s no reason why our political dialogue has to follow what makes justice Roberts feel good about turning his back on the teanut wing of the court.

    spointer (77ac66)

  129. 129. There’s no reason why our political dialogue has to follow what makes justice Roberts feel good about turning his back on the teanut wing of the court.

    Comment by spointer — 7/1/2012 @ 10:58 am

    By “teanut” I take it you mean by that the wing of the court that got every argument correct?

    He agreed with the reasoning of the dissent whereas he didn’t agree with the reasoning of the moonbat wing he voted with.

    Yeah, actually, it does.

    But then you come across as an Obamabot. So I take it you’re claiming there’s no reason our political discourse needs to take facts into account? And that if Obama wants to claim the SCOTUS agreed it’s a penalty, he can?

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  130. “By “teanut” I take it you mean by that the wing of the court that got every argument correct?”

    The people who would rule that, say, menu labeling provisions of the ACA are unconstitutional because… who cares because? Scalia clearly said he didn’t feel like reading the law.

    spointer (77ac66)

  131. cite, Obamabot?

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  132. The oral argument.

    spointer (77ac66)

  133. In other words, you can’t support your baseless accusations.

    I was really expecting you to do better, Obamabot, and selectively quote from the decision.

    You fall below the already low expectations I had for you. Just like your President.

    As for our political discourse, it does need to focus on the reason Roberts aligned himself with the Moonbat wing of the court.

    Obama lied. He lied to get into office. He lied to get ObamaCare passed. He lied to get the SCOTUS to declare ObamaCare Constitutional. He’s lying now about how if you fail to obey the mandate the resulting fine collected by the IRS isn’t a tax but a penalty. And he’s lying in general just to get re-elected.

    Now that we’ve got the evidence, our political discourse needs to focus on exactly that.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  134. The tendency of the left portion of the political spectrum to label opinions held by large pluralities of the American populace as “ridiculous” really shows their hatred of democracy more than even their brazen attempts to undermine it.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  135. “teanut” – because a political movement borne of the idea that introducing only a tiny portion of frugality to government is obvious insane.

    Or at least, that’s what the true intolerant of our politics – the left – would repeat to themselves as a mantra to overwhelm any chance of reality seeping into their consciousness.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  136. “I was really expecting you to do better, Obamabot, and selectively quote from the decision. ”

    Why would I quote from the decision? Scalia said it was too hard to read laws at the oral argument. Not in the decision. Kagan even made fun of him for it.

    “The tendency of the left portion of the political spectrum to label opinions held by large pluralities of the American populace as “ridiculous” really shows their hatred of democracy more than even their brazen attempts to undermine it.”

    Large majorities have often held ridiculous opinions. Take a look at how long it took for people to accept interracial dating, or same sex marriage.

    spointer (77ac66)

  137. Which is why Romney and the GOP nees to feature videos and pictures of laughing, mocking leftists like Reid, Pelosi, Hoyer, et al, prominently in all their adds.

    Along with the DNC chair’s tweet calling Americans “b*****s.”

    As Iowahawk pointed out, the last time the leftists laughed and gloated over a health care victory they lost 60 house seats.

    Let them spike the ball and do their end zone dance. And flip the bird at the crowd, I say.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  138. Why would I quote from the decision?

    You’re not very smart, are you? That’s the result you claim was so “ridiculous” Roberts couldn’t abide it.

    When in fact he drafted an opinion that agreed with it. Because when he departed from it, everyone noticed Roberts’ decision was ridiculous.

    It turns out the world is exactly the opposite as you describe, isn’t it?

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  139. When in fact he drafted an opinion that agreed with it

    …on nearly all key points.

    Because when he departed from it

    …to issue an unsupportable decision out of left field.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  140. Large majorities have often held ridiculous opinions. Take a look at how long it took for people to accept interracial dating, or same sex marriage.
    Comment by spointer — 7/1/2012 @ 12:11 pm

    – I see that he infected this thread with his silliness as well. *sigh*

    Icy (c18630)


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