By STEPHEN MOORE
Talk about bitter irony. The details of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the ObamaCare law are still being interpreted, but what is certain is that what saved the law was the “ObamaCare tax.” The Court ruled that the individual mandate to purchase health care or face a fine is a tax, not a requirement.
In other words, the Court said that Congress can impose a “tax” on people if they don’t buy health insurance.
When Congress was debating for months and months, the Obama team argued that the individual mandate “is not a tax.” This was to spare the White House the embarrassment of admitting that President Obama was violating right out of the box his sacred promise not to tax anyone earning less than $200,000. According to Congressional figures 70% to 75% of the “tax” falls on those who earn less than $200,000 per year, and that is 8 million non-rich people. So Mr. Obama argued this was a mandate and a fine to enforce the requirement to buy health care.
But then in front of the Supreme Court and lower courts, the Obama legal team shifted strategies and argued it was a tax after all. The Supreme Court has traditionally and regrettably granted unlimited taxing authority to the Congress and they did so again on Tuesday.
The decision is an absurd and extraordinarily dangerous interpretation of the taxing power. If Congress wants to mandate people to eat right, exercise, say their prayers at night, would it be constitutional if Congress taxes people for not complying?