In the ruling written by Chief Justice John Roberts, he said, “Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 500A need not be read to do more than impose t tax. This is sufficient to sustain it.
When ObamaCare passed it did so without a single Republican vote. Thus we now have an official pronouncement from the highest court in the land that President Obama and Democrats in Congress have unilaterally passed one of the largest tax increases in American history.
This declaration of the mandate being a tax is a sore spot with Obama. In a 2009 interview with George Stephanopoulos, the president vigorously denied the mandate was a tax.
“For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,” Obama said. “What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase.”
Well, the Supreme Court has disagreed said it most certainly is a tax. At a time when Americans are still reeling from a poor economy for the Democrats to have passed this tax increase could be problematic for them. Remember, during the 2008 campaign then candidate Obama promised he would not raise taxes on the middle class.
The decision did not address whether the tax itself was proper, but simply on whether had the authority to do so. In fact, the court rejected the argument that the Commerce clause of the Constitution authorized the government to force Americans to buy a product.
Another problem for the administration is that by declaring it to be a tax means the issue is not over.
The court took special care to note in its ruling. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”
Courts have generally ruled that plaintiffs cannot sue over any type of tax until it actually takes effect. The individual mandate will take effect in 2014 and once that happens, individuals could possibly challenge the law once again on the constitutionality of the tax.
Additionally the decision will serve as a rallying cry to Tea Party groups. The movement began as a protest against ObamaCare’s intrusive provisions including the individual mandate.
Despite attempts by the Democrats to spin the bill as benefit for all, the majority of Americans remain opposed to the bill. With this declaration the law is a tax and with every Republican voting against the bill, this ruling could provide a golden opportunity for the GOP in November.
The mandate affects every American and now the GOP can run as the party of lower taxes on the middle class. Try as they might the Democrats cannot get away from the fact that this tax increase was solely the responsibility of their party.
The Democratic Party has long fought the characterization of being tax and spend. The ruling has now made that label official. Obama and the Democrats may be cheering today, but they could come to regret the ruling.
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