Judge Roberts simpered, "We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders. We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the challenged provisions." But other Supreme Courts have rejected arguments put to them on the grounds that they're merely subterfuges designed to accomplish what the government has no legitimate right to do. Nitpicking only over whether the individual mandate is a penalty or a tax is sheer obfuscation, because this mandate to buy health insurance is far more than either. The ACA turns the Surgeon General into an unaccountable dictator, and everyone who is compelled to buy insurance is also being compelled to submit to tyranny over the details of their personal lives, based on the quackery, fraud and charlatanism of fanatical cultists with political connections in the highest places. If one faction has unlimited power to oppress others under the pretext of the power to tax, it nullifies the rest of the Constitution. It's a complete abrogation of our individual rights, as fundamental as establishing a compulsory state religion and compelling everyone to worship at its altar. But Judge Roberts averted his eyes from the destruction it would cause because he's a traitor. He swore to uphold the Constitution, and refused to do so.
Chief Supreme Court Judge John G. Roberts, Harvard 1976, Harvard Law 1979, was associate counsel to President Ronald Reagan until leaving in 1986 to join Hogan & Hartson, the law firm of former U.S. Rep. Paul G. Rogers, who sent vast sums of money to the National Institutes of Health during his political career and lobbied for it afterward. From 1989 until 1993, he was Principal Deputy Solicitor General under President George H.W. Bush. He represented the government in Helling v. McKinney, in which a Nevada state prisoner sued prison officials for violating his Eighth Amendment rights by subjecting him to unhealthy levels of second-hand smoke. The case was argued less than a week after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its report on secondhand smoke, which was mentioned by Attorney General del Papa: "First let us say that we share concern that exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is a potential health hazard. We fully recognize and appreciate the EPA's recent report giving ETS class-A status as an environmental hazard. But we do not agree that exposure to it rises to the level of an Eighth Amendment violation." Roberts argued that "A smoke-free cell is not a basic human need," and "The Eighth Amendment does not require that prisons be in the vanguard of a movement toward a public health ideal." But it was certainly timed to take advantage of the hysterical mass media saturation-bombing about the phony dangers of secondhand smoke. (Official Transcript Proceedings Before the Supreme Court, Jan. 13, 1993. Donald L. Helling, et al. Petitioners, v. William McKinney. Case No. 91-1958.) The EPA report on ETS is corrupt. It wasn't even written by actual EPA scientists, who were against calling it a human carcinogen. It was written by handpicked anti-smoking activists, using illegal pass-through contracts; and on the board of directors of the crooked EPA contracting firm sat President Bush's very own campaign manager, Fred Malek. The Court held if McKinney could prove that the second-hand smoke posed a serious threat to his future health and that the prison officials had deliberately ignored that threat, McKinney would be entitled to relief.Official Transcript, Helling v. McKinney, 1993 / tobacco document
Bush nominated him to the Supreme Court in 1992, but it died without action, and in 1993, he returned to Hogan & Hartson. Bush's son, Pres. George W. Bush, nominated him for the D.C. Circuit Court in 2001, confirmed in 2003, then as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 2005.John G. Roberts Confirmed / George W. Bush Whitehouse Archives
>>>The same analysis here suggests that the shared responsibility payment may for constitutional purposes be considered a tax, not a penalty: First, for most Americans the amount due will be far less than the price of insurance, and, by statute, it can never be more. 8 It may often be a reasonable financial decision to make the payment rather than purchase insurance, unlike the “prohibitory” financial punishment in Drexel Furniture. 259 U. S., at 37. Second, the individual mandate contains no scienter requirement. Third, the payment is collected solely by the IRS through the normal means of taxation—except that the Service is not allowed to use those means most suggestive of a punitive sanction, such as criminal prosecution. See §5000A(g)(2). The reasons the Court in Drexel Furniture held that what was called a “tax” there was a penalty support the conclusion that what is called a “penalty” here may be viewed as a tax. 9
[It is only a half-truth to say that the penalty is "far less than the price of insurance," because people without health insurance are expected to pay the bill for their heath costs, on top of the penalty. And the providers could put liens on their property to do so. The penalty actually impairs their ability to do what is supposedly at issue, namely to pay for their health costs. -cast]
>>>None of this is to say that the payment is not intended to affect individual conduct. Although the payment will raise considerable revenue, it is plainly designed to expand health insurance coverage. But taxes that seek to influence conduct are nothing new. Some of our earliest federal taxes sought to deter the purchase of imported manufactured goods in order to foster the growth of domestic industry. See W. Brownlee, Federal Taxation in America 22 (2d ed. 2004); cf. 2 J. Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States §962, p. 434 (1833) (“the taxing power is often, very often, applied for other purposes, than revenue”). Today, federal and state taxes can compose more than half the retail price of cigarettes, not just to raise more money, but to encourage people to quit smoking. And we have upheld such obviously regulatory measures as taxes on selling marijuana and sawed-off shotguns. See United States v. Sanchez, 340 U. S. 42–45 (1950); Sonzinsky v. United States, 300 U. S. 506, 513 (1937) . Indeed, “[e]very tax is in some measure regulatory. To some extent it interposes an economic impediment to the activity taxed as compared with others not taxed.” Sonzinsky, supra, at 513. That §5000A seeks to shape decisions about whether to buy health insurance does not mean that it cannot be a valid exercise of the taxing power.
[Roberts uses the so-called "sin taxes" as a rationalization! These are examples religious interests trumping individual liberty, with no compelling interest to the public as a whole for doing so. Just like the individual mandate, the cigarette tax is rationalized with fraudulent claims of costs to society. We can always tell when the forces of 'morality' are on a rampage, because they lie through their teeth, commit fraud and engage in conspiracy and racketeering. -cast]
>>>There may, however, be a more fundamental objection to a tax on those who lack health insurance. Even if only a tax, the payment under §5000A(b) remains a burden that the Federal Government imposes for an omission, not an act. If it is troubling to interpret the Commerce Clause as authorizing Congress to regulate those who abstain from commerce, perhaps it should be similarly troubling to permit Congress to impose a tax for not doing something.
>>>Three considerations allay this concern. First, and most importantly, it is abundantly clear the Constitution does not guarantee that individuals may avoid taxation through inactivity. A capitation, after all, is a tax that everyone must pay simply for existing, and capitations are expressly contemplated by the Constitution. The Court today holds that our Constitution protects us from federal regulation under the Commerce Clause so long as we abstain from the regulated activity. But from its creation, the Constitution has made no such promise with respect to taxes. See Letter from Benjamin Franklin to M. Le Roy (Nov. 13, 1789) (“Our new Constitution is now established . . . but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”).
[But a capitation is unlike the penalty for not buying health insurance, because it has no intent to manipulate behavior and impose a particular lifestyle choice. Its purpose is simply to raise revenue. This explanation doesn't allay that concern. -cast]
>>>Whether the mandate can be upheld under the Commerce Clause is a question about the scope of federal authority. Its answer depends on whether Congress can exercise what all acknowledge to be the novel course of directing individuals to purchase insurance. Congress’s use of the Taxing Clause to encourage buying something is, by contrast, not new. Tax incentives already promote, for example, purchasing homes and professional educations. See 26 U. S. C. §§163(h), 25A. Sustaining the mandate as a tax depends only on whether Congress has properly exercised its taxing power to encourage purchasing health insurance, not whether it can. Upholding the individual mandate under the Taxing Clause thus does not recognize any new federal power. It determines that Congress has used an existing one.
[Here, the precise nature of this and related tax incentives are exactly what the Court should have examined closely. This mandate to buy health insurance does not just exclusively benefit the private financial interests of the insurance companies; it also substantially burdens the taxpayers as a whole to do so! They are forced to pay for subsidies averaging $6000, which are larger than the unpaid tab for health costs of the uninsured! Where is the justification for this? And where is this supposed existing justification? The examples cited compel nobody to purchase a home or a professional education. This amounts to the complete eclipse of the interests of the American people to the corporate interests of the insurance companies. And exclusion of the cost of employer-paid health insurance from the income tax, at a cost to the government of $246 billion in lost revenue in 2007, which primarily benefits the wealthy, cried out to be addressed as well. The average subsidy for the wealthy amounts to $1576, while the unpaid health care tab for people without insurance amounts to around $1100! Why do those who are predominantly rich merit such generous treatment, while those who are predominantly poor rate a kick in the teeth? Why the indulgence for some, versus punitive treatment for others? Carrots for the rich and sticks for the poor - that's how our vaunted "equal protection of the laws" works! The Court's failure to speak proves that its decision is a cowardly and corrupt evasion, designed to foster the already well-served interests of the overprivileged! To the barricades! Revolution now! -cast]
>>>Second, Congress’s ability to use its taxing power to influence conduct is not without limits. A few of our cases policed these limits aggressively, invalidating punitive exactions obviously designed to regulate behavior otherwise regarded at the time as beyond federal authority. See, e.g., United States v. Butler, 297 U. S. 1 (1936) ; Drexel Furniture, 259 U. S. 20. More often and more recently we have declined to closely examine the regulatory motive or effect of revenue-raising measures. See Kahriger, 345 U. S., at 27–31 (collecting cases). We have nonetheless maintained that “ ‘there comes a time in the extension of the penalizing features of the so-called tax when it loses its character as such and becomes a mere penalty with the characteristics of regulation and punishment.’ ” Kurth Ranch, 511 U. S., at 779 (quoting Drexel Furniture, supra, at 38).
[These exactions ARE punitive for the vast majority of people to whom they are intended to apply. "Compared to people with full-year private insurance coverage, the full-year uninsured receive less than half as much care ($1,686 compared to $3,915), but pay for a larger share of their care out-of-pocket ($583, or 35%, compared to $681, or 17% for the privately insured)." (Covering the Uninsured in 2008: A Detailed Examination of Current Costs and Sources of Payment, and Incremental Costs of Expanding Coverage. Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Aug. 2008.) And they're expected to pay for these health costs on top of the penalty. In addition, because the vast majority of the uninsured will require subsidies to buy health insurance, and these subsidies cost the taxpaying public more than simply paying the unpaid tab, this penalty is contrary both to the public's interest in saving money, and in preserving liberty. -cast]
>>>We have already explained that the shared responsibility payment’s practical characteristics pass muster as a tax under our narrowest interpretations of the taxing power. Supra, at 35–36. Because the tax at hand is within even those strict limits, we need not here decide the precise point at which an exaction becomes so punitive that the taxing power does not authorize it. It remains true, however, that the “ ‘power to tax is not the power to destroy while this Court sits.’ ” Oklahoma Tax Comm’n v. Texas Co., 336 U. S. 342, 364 (1949) (quoting Panhandle Oil Co. v. Mississippi ex rel. Knox, 277 U. S. 218, 223 (1928) (Holmes, J., dissenting)).
["Shared responsibility" with an unwanted partner under threat of punishment is no different from a Mafia shakedown racket. The government is supposed to be protecting the people against these things, not aiding and abetting the racketeers by closing its eyes to their depredations and promoting their interests over those of the people. -cast]
>>>Third, although the breadth of Congress’s power to tax is greater than its power to regulate commerce, the taxing power does not give Congress the same degree of control over individual behavior. Once we recognize that Congress may regulate a particular decision under the Commerce Clause, the Federal Government can bring its full weight to bear. Congress may simply command individuals to do as it directs. An individual who disobeys may be subjected to criminal sanctions. Those sanctions can include not only fines and imprisonment, but all the attendant consequences of being branded a criminal: deprivation of otherwise protected civil rights, such as the right to bear arms or vote in elections; loss of employment opportunities; social stigma; and severe disabilities in other controversies, such as custody or immigration disputes.
>>>By contrast, Congress’s authority under the taxing power is limited to requiring an individual to pay money into the Federal Treasury, no more. If a tax is properly paid, the Government has no power to compel or punish individuals subject to it. We do not make light of the severe burden that taxation—especially taxation motivated by a regulatory purpose—can impose. But imposition of a tax nonetheless leaves an individual with a lawful choice to do or not do a certain act, so long as he is willing to pay a tax levied on that choice. 11
[But the Court did make light of the burden by refusing to acknowledge its effect on its intended targets, so this is like saying that the rich and the poor are equally free (or in today's America, unfree) to sleep under bridges. -cast]
>>>The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.
[The penalty could only be construed as a tax by someone who is deliberately being obtuse. And, since when is it "not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness?" The Supreme Court has examined arguments in other cases, and rejected them as mere subterfuges by the government to get away with doing something improper. But this Court deliberately closed its eyes to improprieties! -cast]NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS et al. v. SEBELIUS / Cornell U Law School
And the American Civil Liberties Union is nowhere to be found. Guess why: One of the principal lobbyists for the ACA is on its President's Committee (i.e., he gave them a lot of money). Phillippe Villers is founder and president of Families USA. Families USA made the fraudulent claim that people with health insurance are subjected to a so-called "Hidden Health Tax" of $1000 per family to pay for the health costs of uninsured people. The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured examined that claim, and found that Families USA had ignored major sources of government funding. Nevertheless, the Obama administration cited that fraudulent claim its brief to the Supreme Court - and the fact that people with private health insurance are subsidized even more by the exclusion of its cost from the federal income tax was never mentioned. This is a flagrant example of conspiracy to get away with violating our Constitutional rights by taking over the would-be opposition!Philippe Villers - President, Board of Directors / Families USA
Families USA was also "the de facto public relations manager of the Clinton Administration's campaign for comprehensive health care legislation." Families USA supplied reporters with the tales of woe they used for propaganda. (The Health Care Debate: Behind the Scenes. By Tamar Lewin. New York Times, Jul. 28, 1994.)The Health Care Debate: Behind the Scenes / New York Times
Villers was also a co-founder of Automatix, an early robotics company, which helped to put people out of work. And he is a graduate of Harvard.Phillippe Villers / Wikipedia