Trying to rise above the disappointing display of our leadership in America, and pondering our future, I started to think about this Mandate v. Tax situation. Obama is on record over a long period of time proclaiming to the heavens that this new healthcare law is NOT a tax. What was really revealing was Obama’s treatment of an interviewer who had the temerity and gall to produce a dictionary and read the definition of “tax.” The interviewer was insulted, demeaned and otherwise attacked for schooling the fellow sitting in the Whitehouse.
Then I pondered the inventive language of the Supreme Court’s decision. It seems that we have a pattern here. Whenever there is a controversial subject, the court ignores both the Constitution and most dictionaries in favor of a new language that only they can parse. It happened in Dred Scott (1859) where citizenship in America was defined to exclude any slaves or former slaves. It happened in Roe v. Wade (1973) when the court rewrote the Bill of Rights to include yet another right, the right to privacy. And hidden behind the curtains of this privacy was the mandated practice of infanticide for which all Americans are taxed. It happened in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) when the highest court of the land, acknowledging the abolition of slavery with the 13th Amendment and that one’s status as a “citizen” was not a function of culture or color in the 14th Amendment, they still found the language to accept those same distinctions as lawful at the (southern) state level. Now we have The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2012 and more commonly called “Obamcare”). The high court not only invented language that wasn’t there, they took the liberty to insert it into the law. Even though Congress never said it was a tax, the Supreme Court said, “That’s ok. Maybe they didn’t know what they were doing. It is. So it’s okay.”
There are a whole bunch of questions that immediately come to mind. Like… what does a 3.8% investment TAX have to do with health care and patient protection? That’s another new tax coming your way. If I went into a store that advertised a certain product for sale at $4.99 and upon arrival found that same item listed at $9.99, I believe they would call that “bait and switch.” Oh, I must have missed the small print that said, “Subject to a prior sale.” Well, the store (Whitehouse) advertized a mandate, lied about it and sold a tax. How can you have a representative government when the representatives lie about it so much? Shouldn’t it be thrown out because it is bait and switch?
If the IRS is the collection agent on this one, how are they going to assess premiums from the 50% of Americans who don’t pay taxes? The new law says, buy insurance or pay a penalty tax. If folks don’t pay taxes in the first place, how will this collection agency make sure that everyone is being treated fairly? Is everyone buying insurance or paying their “tax?” I couldn’t find it in the bill, but I’m wondering if this applies to members of Congress. Oh, I forgot; they have their own separate but equal health program. Where’s Plessy when you need him?
But then I started to wonder. Hmmm… taxes are deductible in America. The real mandate in this law is either have insurance or pay a tax. So, aren’t they being treated equally? Insurance or tax, your choice. There’s nothing in the bill about the relative value of insurance premiums and the penalty tax. So, it seems they are equal with regard to the mandate.
This means that individuals and businesses can deduct all the costs for insurance premiums from their tax liability. Now this might just spark up further interest.
A post scriptum about what is Constitutional. While our jurists are bound by the letter of the law and case histories, they are also bound by the spirit with which it was written. Now we’ve witnessed the court dodge the letter of the law on several occasions and rest their gerrymandering and contortions on the so-called “spirit.” Whenever they do this either-or, scorched-earth policy of one or the other, they fail miserably to exercise justice in America. American citizens (the “unum” in e pluribus unum) look for justice in our courts, honesty from our leaders and right-thinking by our lawmakers.