Having discovered that Brian Williams has been a pathological liar for years and that the unemployment rate for full time workers is now, perhaps, the worst it’s been at any time in American history, I decided to do some light reading to lift my spirits. I wasn’t disappointed. Did you know that that good ole Justice Roberts totally understands me? Sure, listen to this from page 41 of his decision:
“There may, however, be a more fundamental objection to a tax on those who lack health insurance. Even if only a tax, the payment under §5000A(b) remains a burden that the Federal Government imposes for an omission, not an act. If it is troubling to interpret the Commerce Clause as authorizing Congress to regulate those who abstain from commerce, perhaps it should be similarly troubling to permit Congress to impose a tax for not doing something” (41)
When I read this, I about jumped off the couch and yelled: “That’s almost exactly what I wrote in my recent article on this same issue,” (see “When a Tax is not a Tax…”.) I couldn’t believe it. Someone actually read one of my articles! Then I remembered that Roberts wrote this before I penned my piece because, well, I wrote the article responding to Roberts’ Banana Republic logic.
Anyhow my mood lifted as I continued reading Robert’s opinion: “Three considerations allay this concern…” Oh, I thought, that wise Supreme, he not only understood my concerns, but he was working hard to allay my fears. Then I read:
“First, and most importantly, it is abundantly clear the Constitution does not guarantee that individuals may avoid taxation through inactivity. A capitation, after all, is a tax that every-one must pay simply for existing, and capitations are expressly contemplated by the Constitution (41)…”
I belly laughed. I felt much better. Roberts himself had stopped helping, but he had got me following through on his logic, and that was wild enough to take the edge off the economy’s new normal.
First, the mandate’s penalty is not like the capitation tax mentioned in Article One of the Constitution. A capitation tax (or decapitation tax as some like to think of it), was not a tax based on a choice not to act. As Roberts recognizes, everyone who could be counted had to pay the tax. The choice not to be born doesn’t come into play at all. (Although some have suggested informing the fetus about Obamacare could be used as a sort of late term abortion technique, little actual scientific progress has been made along these lines.)
Roberts has made a constitutional precedent that allows a class of people to be taxed because they don’t live the way the majority feels they should. The decapitation tax applied to everyone. If you had a head, you were counted. The new Roberts’ tax, (and it is his…For say what you will, the Liberals themselves were not crazy enough to propose such a “tax” except as a desperate defense for their absurd bill) is a tax on what is exactly at the core of our natural right to pursue our own happiness.
Then I saw Justice Roberts’ wisdom. Who needs happiness? It’s far overrated. As long as the government is happy, I feel we should just tough it out. For instance, Justice Roberts has just found new revenue streams for the federal government. With its 18 trillion dollar deficit, congress could certainly use that. But forget congress. Its probably legal now if the various federal agencies just began mainlining our revenue. For instance, if we don’t use an approved NSA-correct anti-virus software, we should certainly be taxed. Furthermore, if we don’t have solar panels on our homes or participate is other green initiatives, we absolutely deserve to be taxed into extinction. So who needs congress? The NSA and the EPA know what’s best for us. They’re experts. If there are not already non-participation taxes for rectal screenings in the Affordable Care Act, I say, “Why not?”
But what I really want to know is whether or not the IRS will visit our high schools with bananas? And what if, what if we refuse to put their pale yellow fruit on our low cholesterol cereal? Will my wife and children get a tax write-off for squealing? Will the participating spouse always get custody? I think they should. Again, since the IRS has proven very trustworthy over the years, why wait for congress to act? If the IRS gets squeamish about its new role as Obamacare’s thug enforcement, Michelle Obama as food czar can certainly make these calls, and she should.