Last week’s SCOTUS/Obamacare ruling affects and contracts our freedoms, …ALL of them. If anything can be punished, so long as it is termed a “tax”, what’s safe? Is anything exempt? So far, I don’t have a comforting answer to that question.
Legions of articles & interviews were produced following the brouhaha last week, from almost every angle imaginable.
Of course, we’ve already weighed in, as well.
And now, after over a week of viewing/reading every article I could find, included below are a few of the better ones.
First is Florida Governor Rick Scott, writing in Friday’s Washington Times:
History repeatedly has shown that the costs of many government health care programs far exceed early projections. This daunting reality is not unique to Florida. Washington acts as if it’s doing states a favor by covering the first few years of expanded Medicaid payments, but where does it think those tax dollars are coming from? Floridians, as well as taxpayers from every other state, are the ones footing the bill. Furthermore, once the responsibility begins to shift away from the federal government, states will be left to start picking up the tab, putting too much pressure on state budgets.
Instead of forcing people into another big-government program that eliminates natural incentives to keep costs down, we should be focused on free-market reforms that make health care more affordable. With costs lowered, more people would have access to medical doctors and services, and we wouldn’t have to place another heavy burden on taxpayers to make it work.
There isn’t another person in politics who can discuss the effects of this, in as much depth, as Paul Ryan.
I’m still holding out hope that he is the VP candidate:
Next up is Mark Steyn, who appraised the ruling with his usual dry wit:
“There’s nothing constitutionally seemly about a court decision that says this law is only legal because the people’s representatives flat-out lied to the people when they passed it. Throughout the Obamacare debates, Democrats explicitly denied it was a massive tax hike: “You reject that it’s a tax increase?” George Stephanopoulos demanded to know on ABC. “I absolutely reject that notion,” replied the President. Yet “that notion” is the only one that would fly at the Supreme Court. The jurists found the individual mandate constitutional by declining to recognize it as a mandate at all. For Roberts’ defenders on the right, this is apparently a daring rout of Big Government: Like Nelson contemplating the Danish fleet at the Battle of Copenhagen, the Chief Justice held the telescope to his blind eye and declared, “I see no ships.”
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, but a handful of judges rule that it’s a rare breed of elk, then all’s well. The Chief Justice, on the other hand, looks, quacks and walks like the Queen in Alice In Wonderland: “Sentence first – verdict afterwards.” The Obama administration sentences you to a $695 fine, and a couple of years later the queens of the Supreme Court explain what it is you’re guilty of.”
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal echoed much of Rick Scott’s sentiment when he was being interviewed by Laura Ingraham:
I saved Mark Levin for last. One of the biggest and brightest thinkers where the court is concerned, Levin has been covering Obamacare well before it even became law. One of his most recent (and rather depressing) observations from his radio show was recently put into print, after he emailed a friend of his at National Review Online:
This may seem a little technical, but it is not a minor matter.
A number of politicians and commentators are claiming that the Supreme Court in the Obamacare case “limited” the reach of the commerce clause, i.e., five justices held that individuals cannot be mandated to buy insurance under the commerce clause. Actually, the five justices did not limit anything. They simply did not accept the Obama administration’s ridiculous argument that inactivity is commerce. The status quo stands because Obamacare was upheld under the tax provisions. However, the bigger point is this — when a court issues an opinion, it is said to be the “Opinion of the Court.” The Opinion of the Court is the controlling precedent. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the Opinion of the Court for Parts I (background on the Obamacare law), II (the Anti-Injunction Act is not a bar to the lawsuit proceeding and being decided) and III-C (Obamacare is valid under the tax power).
But respecting Part III- A, the commerce clause and necessary and proper section, the decision notes that Roberts is writing for himself, not for a majority. Furthermore, the Dissent is labeled as: “Justice Scalia, Justice Kennedy, Justice Thomas, and Justice Alito, dissenting.” It is not labeled as “dissenting in the judgment, concurring in part” or some permutation.
You cannot say it was the “opinion of the court” that the mandate violated the commerce clause. You have to cobble together sections where Roberts is writing for himself and the dissent (which did not formally join with Roberts), is writing for itself.
If five justices had intended for their view of the commerce clause to be controlling as the majority view of the court, they would have said so by joining or concurring in each others’ parts.
There is only one way to deal with this, and we all know it: Win In November. Then, and ONLY then, can we hope to cast this monstrosity back into the pit whence it came.