(Update:) Of Democratic Party deception, falsehood, and double talk: Chief Justice Roberts informs the American poor and middle class they got hit with a monstrous tax hike during a recession
Update: Here is a good summation of Roberts’ opinion over at Townhall. In summary, Roberts pretty much is saying that though the law is bad but constitutional and it is up to the people to elect leaders to write and enact laws, being responsible for the leaders that they elect. Elections have consequences as we have heard so many times.
I am not going to try to defend Justice Robert’s awful error that likely was no doubt caused by a selfish preference toward his legacy as a Supreme Court Chief Justice. He really screwed up. I think I understand what he did here. He was looking for a way to keep the Judicial Branch from striking down an Act and punting it back to the voters for the ultimate decision whom will elect congressmen and a President to determine Obamacare’s fate beyond 2012. He as Chief Justice of the Court, wanted to keep the Judicial Branch out of it. Yeah, I think this was a punt by Justice Roberts but the problem is, he didn’t have any grounds to punt. The fundamental flaw with Robert’s reasoning for joining the liberal justices is simply this. Congress and President Obama stated that the penalty wasn’t a tax repeatedly. If they had truthfully stated what we all knew it really was, Obamacare wouldn’t have had a prayer of passing Congress. To raise taxes during a recession would have resulted in ridicule and anger from the people. So they had to devise a way to avoid calling it what it really was so the individual mandate was put in there to make the legislation financially viable but also to be able to claim that the penalty wasn’t a tax. If you recall that key exchange between Justice Breyer and Donald Verelli, Verelli let the cat out of the bag by stating that the penalty was a tax in response to questioning and Breyer had to correct him by helping him remember that it was a penalty. After all, if Verelli’s statements would have stood uncorrected, the GOP would have been all over the Solicitor General and President Obama for lying to their former Democratic congressmen and to the People.
The Democratic majority of Congress and President Obama stated that the penalty wasn’t a tax and the law was passed. So the states challenged the individual mandate, rightly so, claiming that this was a violation of the Commerce Clause. The states in reality won their case as the majority of justices stated that the individual mandate was a violation of the Commerce Clause and was thus unconstitutional as Roberts pointed out. And yet, when a law which had been passed where the majorities in the Legislative Branch and the President stated that the law did not levy a tax on non-participating Americans but was a penalty, Roberts stated that the penalty was a tax. Yes, Congress does have the power to tax but the problem was Congress and President Obama passed the law stating that the penalty wasn’t a tax. The question that undoes all of Justice Robert’s reasoning is:
How can you say that the penalty imposed by the individual mandate is a tax when the legislation created by the Legislative and Executive Branches state that it wasn’t prior to and when the law was passed? Congress and the President FORFEITED Congress’s power of taxation by calling it a penalty, relying on the individual mandate as the funding mechanism, not taxes on the American people, to fund the legislation by making Americans buy health insurance under threat of penalty.
It really is that simple. Thus, the individual mandate being found unconstitutional, should have invalidated the entire Act. I don’t know if Justice Roberts realizes it, but he just told the American people that President Obama enacted a tax without representation.
As conservatives have pointed out, Roberts re-wrote the legislation by calling the individual mandate penalty a tax, not a penalty. Now I am not a lawyer and maybe I am not qualified to criticize Justice Roberts’ decision. He is human and humans screw up. Just using my common sense and how the Constitution reads, this was a big, big screw-up. This has the appearance of a man who was trying to protect his legacy and legal reputation in the eyes of the Washington elite. I am not going to resort to calling Justice Roberts names but he really disappointed me today. His decision was double-minded, much like the double talking Democratic public officials we have in our nation today.
There are some silver linings to this defeat we had today. I am not going to spin this. This was a defeat for individual liberty today. By Justice Roberts calling this a tax, many here believe that this gives Mitt Romney an awfully potent weapon to drill Barack Obama with. “President Obama signed into law the biggest tax increase in American history on the poor and middle class during a recession. He tricked and deceived you (roll the Stephanopolous tape) by stating that the mandate wasn’t a tax. Justice Robert’s deciding vote in the Supreme Court said it was. I will undo this tax and the Obamacare legislation if I am elected into office.” To hit the American poor and middle class with a tax increase during a recession is economic madness. To do so by lying to their faces is criminal and deserves to be booted out of office.
Another silver lining as pointed out by the Red State contributors is Obamacare can be repealed by reconciliation since the mandate is a tax and that falls in the budget legislation parameters that justify using reconciliation. Romney can make it revenue neutral by granting an Obamacare waiver to all 50 states. Democrats used reconcilation to pass Obamacare in the House. The GOP can use reconcilation to repeal it. Payback is a…..let’s not go there yet. There is a lot of work to do.
We need 51+ GOP Senators, President Romney, and a GOP majority in the House. The Democrats are really at a disadvantage in 2012 and 2014. There are 23 Democratic Senators up for re-election vs. 10 for the GOP in 2012 alone. Below is the target list and status of race:
Bill Nelson – Florida – Connie Mack (toss-up)
Debbie Stabenow – Michigan – Pete Hoekstra (Dem lean)
Claire McCaskill – Missouri – TBD (likely GOP pick up)
Jon Tester – Montana – Denny Rehberg (lean GOP pick up)
Deb Fischer – Nebraska – Bob Kerry (likely GOP pick up)
Heidi Heitkamp – North Dakota – Rick Berg (lean GOP pick up)
Tim Kaine – Virginia – George Allen (toss-up)
Tammy Baldwin – Wisconsin – TBD (lean GOP pickup)
Sherrod Brown – Ohio – Josh Mandel (slight Dem hold)
Martin Heinrich – New Mexico – Heather Wilson (slight Dem hold)
Joe Manchin – West Virginia – John Raese (likely Dem hold)
Bob Casey, Jr – Pennsylvania – Tom Smith (likely Dem hold)
The open seat in Connecticut (Joe Lieberman retiring) (likely Dem Hold)
Amy Klobuchar – Minnesota – TBD (likely Dem Hold)
I won’t bother with the others that are out there as I think they are locks. There are some important GOP holds that are needed like Scott Brown in Massachusetts, Dean Heller needs to hold against Shelly Berkley in Nevada, Richard Mourdock holding against Joe Donnelly, and Jeff Flake holding against Richard Carmona in Arizona. Electing Ted Cruz in Texas is another. The Maine seat being vacated by Olympia Snowe could be lost because Angus King hasn’t stated whom he will caucus with. If this winds up being a wave election in November, a 10 seat pickup is the topline by looking at everything. Right now I see Wisconsin, Missouri, North Dakota, Montana, and Nebraska as being the most likely pick-ups. Florida, Ohio and Virginia could be coattail pick-ups. I think a 5-7 seat pick up realistically is not out of the question. That would be enough for a majority in the Senate. It’s up to us to donate, put and keep as many GOP Senators in office and elect Mitt Romney the 45th president of the United States.
Our Republic, our economy, and our ability to defend our country abroad and on our shores (due to our economy) is in such great peril, that it would be a dereliction of duty to sit out and not vote in this election. People may grow weary of this fight but it will never end because freedom is always under attack. The reason why we are at where we are today is because we were asleep too long for decades. There is no way this country can pay for another massive entitlement. Be awake, be vigilant, be resolved.