Don’t Blame Roberts, Blame Obama

Bruce Bialosky

7/9/2012 12:01:00 AM - Bruce Bialosky

Feeling misled? You certainly should. Congress created a law so complex that it occupies between 2,400 and 2,800 pages depending on who says what, almost all of them unread by the people who voted for it. President Obama and his Democratic colleagues told you many things about the law – most of which were either mischaracterizations or outright lies. What Chief Justice John Roberts did was tell the truth, and now we can move forward.

This is all on Chief Justice Roberts. The four liberals who concurred with him don’t believe that the individual mandate is a tax. They firmly believed that the government had the right under the commerce clause to expand the power of the federal government in a sweeping manner. They inherently believe in these matters that the government has few limitations. They were so convinced of that they appeared to be willing to emasculate the commerce clause to expand the federal government’s grip over 18% of our economy. The four signed on to what Roberts wrote and sacrificed the future of their souls for achieving their goals today. But the question remains did they sacrifice anything?

Roberts did do two major things in his opinion. First, he stated the court has limited powers to control the legislative branch. In effect, he told Americans that “You elected these people, they are your representatives, and you have to live with their actions.” Second, he put a stop to the damnable lies about taxes. Politicians lie all the time about the manner in which they extract increasing amounts from your pocket, usually calling them fees, dues, excise fees, duties, levies, or something else. Roberts just confirmed what we all know: if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck – it is a duck. Remember this penalty -- which is estimated to hit four million Americans -- is to be collected by the 20,000 new IRS agents. Roberts may have done it for contrived reasons, but elected officials can never again claim that additional money going to government is anything other than a tax.

Even the best and brightest are still duped by the verbiage. Charles Krauthammer said that he’s open to fines, but not taxes. What he’s missing is that fines are now much more than mere penalties; a parking ticket that used to cost $20 is now $50 – and is used to balance the city budget. A “fine” levied against a corporation by the SEC doesn’t go to the aggrieved stockholders, but to the coffers of the federal government; what was once $500,000 has become $5,000,000. States love delinquent taxpayers because they rake in huge fines that get increased with every budget shortfall. Fines are nothing more than a duck not called a duck.

But now we can have an honest debate about the value of the Affordable Care Act, which, frankly, is a complete fraud. Its supporters tout that children up to 26 years old can remain on their parents’ plans, but never mention that the parents must then pay for comprehensive insurance plans that cost substantially more than healthy young adults can obtain on their own. They applaud the elimination of lifetime caps on payments by insurance companies without pointing out the obvious consequence that premiums will increase significantly to cover these costs. And these are just two of many misleading claims.

Now we must convey how deceptive this law is at its core. If you don’t believe me, believe Obama’s Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. He stated “The ACA represents the largest set of tax law changes in more than 20 years and presents a major challenge to the Internal Revenue Service.” It includes 20 new taxes (now 21 after Roberts’ ruling), few of which have gone into effect and most of which are deviously imposed on us by raising them on third parties. For example, there is a new tax on medical devices that will be passed through to insurance companies – and then, of course, to policyholders (you). Democrats have already imposed a new tax on pharmaceutical companies, which raises the cost of your prescriptions through higher premiums or larger out-of-pocket costs. Americans need to familiarize themselves with these 21 new taxes and realize that when our medical costs and insurance premiums costs soar, it is ultimately ObamaCare that is responsible. Furthermore, these tax rates will inevitably increase, with the overwhelming portion of the burden squarely on the shoulders of the middle class. That’s because that’s where the money is.

We have to inform the American people that there are 157 commissions and boards that will start going into effect in 2013. These will be filled with government wonk types convinced that they know how the health care system should operate. They will write thousands of pages of regulations and make decisions for every one of us. Your health care will no longer be determined by you or your doctor.

We now have a moment of clarity. The mandate is what everybody, except the lawyers for the President, was unwilling to call it. ObamaCare is a huge tax increase that will hit every working American – specifically the working class upon whom Obama promised not to raise taxes. The law will put a stranglehold around the neck of all Americans, and ultimately centralize every decision about health care in Washington.

Democrats have created their mantra – this is over, let’s move on. Mr. Romney must, with the help of all of us, communicate to the electorate that ObamaCare is a disaster. Justice Roberts has given us that opportunity. If we cannot accomplish this goal, we deserve to lose the election – a loss that would put an end to the America we know.