Like Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the nation, I’m still working through what to make of today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the ObamaCare individual mandate, not as a mandate, but as a tax. It’s been more difficult for me because of unfortunate timing — I spent most of the day either in an airport or on a plane, and while I did have connectivity here and there it wasn’t the best of circumstances to wrap my head around such a complex decision. And make no mistake, the ObamaCare decision is a complex one. If today’s decision did nothing else, it destroyed the left’s image of the Roberts court as predictably swinging from the right. Roberts himself comes out of today as perhaps the most mercurial and strategic thinker in all of American politics.
The easiest takeaway — that ObamaCare stands — is probably wrong in the end. The court left most of it in place, sure, but the states still get to chip away at it. The federal government still can issue waivers that end up cracking it and opening up the case for its unfairness. And a new president and Congress can do away with it. Today’s ruling may have made repeal easier by classifying it as a tax that cannot be filibustered against. The ruling certainly wasn’t the last word. My twitter feeds today were rocking with congressmen promising to repeal, and a vote is scheduled to do just that on July 11. The way the SCOTUS ruling may turn out to work may make the communications side of repeal easier, as ObamaCare can now be rebadged as ObamaTax. That’s really what it is, according to the four liberals on the court and its chief justice. It’s a tax, and that’s how they justified allowing it to stand. That changes everything.
When he was selling his plan to the American people, President Obama insisted that it was not a tax. He promised not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 per year.
The Supreme Court’s liberal wing plus Chief Justict Roberts have publicly charged Obama with lying to the American people.
ObamaTax is a particularly onerous and invasive tax that liberal commentators are already comparing to such mundane aspects of life as buying groceries. Will we see a federal tax/mandate for that in a second Obama administration? Buy salads instead of burgers or face the loving embrace of the IRS? Why not? They’re already banning sugary drinks on the local level. Obama II could usher in the wrath of the broccoli for all of us.
Once the American public digests the fact — not opinion now, but fact — that President Obama broke one of his core promises in enacting this law that remains unpopular, he ought to pay a heavy price for it. That he and his Democratic Party own that regressive tax lock, stock and barrel ought to heavily influence the November election. That they together foisted this tax on a public that did not support it, and that their tax has proven to be a threat to an already weak economy, ought to galvanize both business and tea party interests to fight as hard as they possibly can to help out in the repeal effort at the state and federal levels.
So that’s my take as of now. Obama won today, but his victory was Pyrrhic. ObamaTax is unlikely to last.