Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama's "Not-a-Tax" Is Un-Constitutional

We see another example of why the Rule of Law is becoming a laughingstock. (Roe, of course, is the single most significant example, since Plessy was reversed.)

Of course, a health-care mandate would not regulate any "activity," such as employment or growing pot in the bathroom, at all. Simply being an American would trigger it.

Health-care backers understand this and—like Lewis Carroll's Red Queen insisting that some hills are valleys—have framed the mandate as a "tax" rather than a regulation. Under Sen. Max Baucus's (D., Mont.) most recent plan, people who do not maintain health insurance for themselves and their families would be forced to pay an "excise tax" of up to $1,500 per year—roughly comparable to the cost of insurance coverage under the new plan.

But Congress cannot so simply avoid the constitutional limits on its power. Taxation can favor one industry or course of action over another, but a "tax" that falls exclusively on anyone who is uninsured is a penalty beyond Congress's authority. If the rule were otherwise, Congress could evade all constitutional limits by "taxing" anyone who doesn't follow an order of any kind—whether to obtain health-care insurance, or to join a health club, or exercise regularly, or even eat your vegetables.

It won't be the first time that Congress (and/or the President) has 'gamed' the system toward the erosion of the Rule of Law.

HT: FoxPolitics

1 comment:

Dan said...

It will be interesting to see how the courts rule on this and other issues involving Obama. Will they be intimidated or will they rule based on the constitution?
And what the heck is with a 9 letter spam letter at 11:15 at night? :)