I’ve given more sanguine views a hearing as reflected in my linkfest yesterday. But I am convinced that, whatever his motives, John Roberts’ Obamacare ruling is an absurd and dangerous expansion of federal power. Ace of Spades captures that very well:
It wasn't a tax for purposes of getting it passed politically, also wasn't a tax for purposes of delaying judgment based on the Anti-Injunction Act, but then magically became a tax in order to be upheld.
If the government now has the power under the taxing power to enforce its preferences regarding how citizens live their lives, Ed Morrissey proposes, modestly, a new tax on those who refuse to buy guns.
Allah[pundit] considered a similar question yesterday: Whether the government could put a punitive tax on you for owning a gun. Gun ownership is a right, he thought, so the ObamaTax logic wouldn't fully apply. You can't burden a right.
Well, owning a gun is a right, but not owning a gun is not a right. Or at least it's no more of a right than not owning insurance.
We can pass a great many laws like this, enforcing our preferences in any area that isn't an explicit (or penumbra-ish) right under the Constitution.
Don't go to Church regularly? Why, we can tax that. And before you say it's your right not to go to church -- of course it is, but we can compel all Americans to spend at least two hours each week on philosophical contemplation, whether it be at church or in Quiet Home Study of non-religious philosophical texts.
If a temporary majority in Congress thinks it's a good idea -- tax away!
The Constitution apparently gives the government the right to dictate almost all of our personal choices, so long as it enforces these preferences via punitive taxes. So let's get started.
And here is Ed Morrissey having some fun with Roberts’ ruling with a Modest Proposal.
Remember the Romney campaign raising $100,000 in less than an hour after the ruling? It’s now over $4.3 million and counting.
But do not think it is all wine and roses between conservatives and the Republicans. Ace again goes yard with a blunt (language warning) open letter to the GOP, “Dear GOP: You get one more chance.”
And that is my sentiment as well, which I intend to spell out in due time.
By the way, expect a fight next year in the Senate over reconciliation. I expect that will be how repeal passes.
Initial polling does not look good for Obama on this subject. I find a Survey USA poll of Florida particularly notable: Voters disagree with the court 50/39, 47% expect their health care to get worse while only 20% expect it to improve, and 51% think it will get more expensive, too. Only 6% of Florida seniors expect health-care costs to decline, while 44% expect costs to rise.