Once ubiquitous, the tie is now frequently being shunned. Whether you’re a presidential candidate, a successful entrepreneur, a cable pundit or a young rebel bucking the Establishment, the open neck look is in style these days. For those who say it is a sign of society’s downward spiral that so many are shunning “appropriate business attire,” the Supreme Court may have the answer: a tax.
By now, we are all well aware that the federal government cannot use the Commerce Clause or Necessary and Proper Clause of our beloved constitution to compel us to wear ties, but they apparently have the power to tax us if we do not!
Sure, it may be a bit cumbersome. Presumably, a panel of unelected bureaucrats would decide which careers require ties and those that do not. Women would likely be exempt, though that would raise 14th Amendment concerns. Speaking of the Constitution, let’s look at one snippet from Chief Justice Robert’s opinion:
“Under that theory, the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance. Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earn¬ing income. And if the mandate is in effect just a tax hike on certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance, it may be within Congress’s constitutional power to tax.”
Now, just replace “certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance” with “certain taxpayers who do not wear ties.” As National Public Radio would say, you now have the Supreme Court’s “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”
Of course, the possibility of such an absurd tax moving through the system is unlikely; in fact, it is far more likely Congress will find a way to exercise fiscal restraint by cutting spending. Of course, given last week’s jet fume-induced boondoggle, fiscal responsibility is not regularly on display in Washington.
Two bills were particularly horrifying.
First, a massive omnibus-style bill that reauthorized highway and transit programs, extended subsidized student loan interest rates and reauthorized federal flood insurance. Although each deserved separate consideration, the bills were merged together and rushed through on a Friday afternoon, just hours after lawmakers received a Congressional Budget Office report on the cost of the package.
The House waived the rules to make is all happen, but why the rush? According to a senior Republican lawmaker the rush was because “99.9 percent” of lawmakers “want to go home Friday.” Or maybe it was rushed because if the American people knew the bill contained an $18 billion bailout of the Highway Trust Fund, they would be up in arms.