The government wants you to change your profession … move to another state … buy more cotton clothing … purchase an American-made car … own no less than a dozen pair of American-made shoes … limit your stock purchases to only unionized companies … put solar panels on your roof … perhaps even start watching MSNBC for a minimum of one hour every night. All of this the government might well be able to do so long as a penalty is levied for your failure to comply with the government directive. The penalty would, of course, be nothing more than a tax, and the regulatory requirement would merely be the government exercising its taxing power. Well … the watching MSNBC requirement might violate the 8th Amendment. They’ll just have to work around that one.
Remember when some reporter asked Nancy Pelosi if the individual mandate was constitutional? Her reply? “Are you serious? Are you serious?” Now she can simply say “Taxing authority, bub. Taxing authority.”
This is a sad day indeed for our Constitution. The Supreme Court has ruled that Obama’s insurance mandate is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause. It’s perfectly fine, though, since there’s a fine for non-compliance. This column is short – because the message is simple. Sit back now and try to imagine anything the federal government cannot require of you – just so long as there is a penalty if you say “no."