(NEWS BLOG) I’m surprised by today’s Supreme Court ruling. (Just see yesterdays blog to see how surprised.)
I think Chief Justice Roberts is out-of-bounds when he decides what is a ‘penalty’ in the law can be re-read as a ‘tax’. If Congress used the ‘T’ word in the bill, then it’s an open-and-shut case. The power to tax is absolute.
This is one of those words-mean-things cases. What absolutely, positively wasn’t a tax while the bill was being debated and voted on became a tax in today’s court ruling.
I see this is a clear-cut win for Barack Obama and the political left, not much different than howWisconsin’s Act 10 was a defeat for big labor. This will be difficult, maybe impossible, to undo. The GOP will campaign that the only way to get rid of Obamacare is to get rid of Obama. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Republicans may get the White House and majorities in the House and Senate, but without 60 votes in the Senate a repeal bill would go nowhere. No one will have that kind of super-majority next year. For better or worse, I believe health care reform is now entrenched.
There was one conservative nugget in Justice Roberts ruling. His message is this: don’t look to the courts when you get political results you don’t like. When health care was passed Democrats had control of all the levers of power. They managed to ram through a bill that was (and continues to be) unpopular with the American public. The taxes and mandates under the bill haven’t even started yet, and the law is still a political-loser. But elections do have consequences. When people don’t like those consequences, don’t expect the court to bail you out. Elect different people, get different results. That, actually, is a very conservative thought.