Taxes, penalties and God are three simple concepts which share a whole lot in common.
They are all consciously created manifestations of ultimate human Authority!
That’s the hard lesson we learned once again from our ultimate national legal Authority!
Yes, The Supreme Court of the United States.
Whether it is taxes, penalties or God, the justices teach us that the government, including the courts, can generally do whatever it wants to its subjects whenever it wants, and the original intent of Congress – even the literal meaning of the Constitution as written -- may often be damned in the process.
The Obama Care decision concerning the individual mandate provision is the most recent case in point.
Four of the Justices, Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan, hold the opinion that the individual mandate requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a fine for not doing so creates a financial penalty for those who won’t do it which is constitutional under the authority of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
In short, these four justices believe that the government authority can require by the force of law all persons to purchase a product, or do any other affirmative act which might have an effect upon interstate commerce, or pay a penalty for non-compliance.
Thus, they acknowledge that there are really no limits under the Commerce Clause, and therefore we are essentially all slaves of the government.
Five of the justices – thankfully a majority – disagree with that assessment. Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito, hold that the Obama Care individual mandate provision goes beyond the limits of constitutional authority under the Commerce Clause.
The Commerce Clause does not allow the government to force us all to eat broccoli, they say.
So the bugaboo that conservatives and freedom lovers feared the most did not materialize. Today at least, a majority of the court believes that the Commerce Clause has its limits.
But wait a minute!
Why then, was the Obama Care individual mandate ultimately held to be constitutional by a 5 to 4 majority of the nine justices?
Well … It’s because one rouge justice has it in his mind that the individual mandate is not really a penalty as the President, the Congress, and the Obama Care statue clearly provides.
It’s not a penalty – it’s a tax – says John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. It’s a tax because he says it is and the original intent of the Congress may be damned.
The Commerce Clause might be limited in its scope but there are no constitutional limits to the taxing powers of the Congress. If it wanted to do it, the sad fact of the matter is that Congress could impose a tax on you and me for not eating our broccoli and the Supreme Court would have to uphold the law as constitutional.
Early on during the legislative process, the lawmakers conceived the individual mandate provision as a tax. That’s because, as a tax, there is no question that it would be upheld as constitutional.
But they soon realized that, if they characterized it as a tax, it would never have been passed into law because a majority of the representatives and senators would not have voted for a new tax. That would have amounted to political suicide for them. So they specifically worded it as a penalty with the intent that it would ultimately be upheld by the courts under the Commerce Clause.
So the Obama Care individual mandate survived in the House and the Senate to become law by the skin of its teeth so to speak, only because it was construed as a penalty and not a tax.
Now we know for sure that, as a penalty, the Supreme Court would have declared it unconstitutional, but as a tax, it once again miraculously survived by the skin of its metaphorical teeth.
How can a justice decide that a provision in a law clearly and unambiguously intended by the lawmakers as a penalty is not really a penalty but a tax?
Because he is a justice of the United States Supreme Court, that’s why. There is just no other reason.
Which brings me to the concept of God and the fact that the same United States Supreme Court once miraculously declared that God is not religious.
Why did they do that?
Well … because if the concept of God in the context of the national motto: “In God We Trust” is a religious God, then the national motto is unconstitutional under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
If the concept of God in the Pledge of Allegiance is a religious God, then the government sponsored recitation of the pledge in public schools and at government functions is unconstitutional under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
If the concept of God referred to on U.S. coins and currency is a religious God, then such references are unconstitutional under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Now, is there anyone in existence on planet Earth who seriously doubts that the “God” in the national motto, the pledge, and on currency, is not the God of the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible? You know, the God of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions?
What other God could it possibly be?
But Chief Justice Rehnquist and a majority of the United States Supreme Court not that long ago actually declared in an official court decision that this God, which everyone knows is religious, is really not religious, in order to avoid the consequences of the First Amendment.
The bare-assed hypocrisy of the United States government, including the highest court of law in the land, is simply astounding.
Taxes, penalties & God: it’s all the same to me.