Saturday, July 17, 2010

To Obama, A Lie Is Now The "Linchpin"

During his single-minded drive last year to secure passage of his signature health insurance plan, President Obama repeatedly and intensely defended the costs as fees or premiums, anything but a tax. According to the administration, from top to bottom, and specifically including the president, there are no taxes contained in the thousands of pages of Obamacare.

Now, though nothing has changed except the bill has become law by the barest of majorities, the administration is forced to defend Obamacare against lawsuits by nearly half the states. In a court of law, fenced in by the rules of law, the administration terms the penalties mandating those payments that are paid to insurance companies and private insurance pools rather than to any government as federal taxes. It is the first time in history that federal rulers have ordered consumers to buy a specific product from specific companies.

According to President Obama, speaking to a national audience on ABC's This Week, Obamacare "is not a tax increase."

According to The New York Times' reporting, when George Stephanopolous said the penalty appeared to fit the dictionary definition of a tax, Mr. Obama replied, “I absolutely reject that notion.”

The power of the president to order consumers to purchase specific products or services is apparently unlimited.

When Solicitor General Kagan, the administration's top lawyer, was pressed during confirmation hearings into her nomination as a Justice to the Supreme Court to name any product that under Obama's theory of the law lies outside the power of the president to order consumers' purchases, she was unable to name even one.

Of course, any government that can tell Chrysler's creditors to take a hike, that can order a foreign oil company to cough up $20 billion of shareholders' funds without so much as a hearing, a trial, or a scrap of legal authority, will certainly feel free to tell it's citizens where to buy insurance.

Or their gasoline.

Or their pancakes.

UPDATE: Randy Barnett at The Volokh Conspiracy tears the administration a new linchpin hole, pointing out that this would be the first time in history for a tax on non-action or a non-event.
Do you suppose Rahm Emanuel spends a portion of his time manufacturing crises?

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