Do Americans – do you -- really understand the gravity of what happened in the Supreme Court yesterday? Do you have any idea at all how the power of the Imperial Federal Government of the United States has been exponentially increased?
Answer? No, you probably don’t. You really can’t be faulted for that, I guess. After all, our wonderful government school system was designed to educate you, but only to the point that you don’t become a threat to your political rulers. The American people are a product of those schools, and the American people are, by and large, acting in the manner proscribed by those who “educated” them.
I spent the better part of yesterday listening to various pundits and reading blogs and columns about the ObamaCare decision. I think a lot of people are missing something here; missing something very important. The Court’s ruling on ObamaCare grants the Congress of the United States the power to command virtually any action – any action that would not in and of itself constitute a crime – of any individual in this country, and to demand compliance with that command or be penalized. The federal government can now regulate virtually any human activity in which you wish to engage, and to regulate whether or not you will be allowed to refuse to participate in that activity, so long as a penalty is attached to your noncompliance.
Perhaps I’m not making my point here; so let me try some scenarios:
Let’s say that you are not a homeowner, but you are wealthy enough to purchase a home if you wished to. Arguably, under today’s ruling the government could force you to purchase that new home. This the government could do in order to promote job creation in the construction industry, and it would be perfectly constitutional so long as a penalty is assessed for your non-compliance. The government would merely say that you are being taxed for your decision not to buy a new home, and our Supreme Court would uphold the law as a bona fide exercise of the government’s taxing power.
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."
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