Have finally had some time to dig into the Supreme Court's Obamacare (NFIB v. Sebelius) decision. Robert's argues that the penalty for not signing up for health care is really a "tax." I've seem a lot of really weak and ridiculous things in Supreme Court opinions, but his is one of the recent worst. As this article notes: " Here the key statement that he makes is this: “it makes going without
insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline
or earning income.” With all respect, the point is little short of
absurd. The earlier portion of the Chief Justice’s opinion noted the
huge expansion in federal power that could arise if the government were
permitted to regulate various forms of inactivity. What possible
argument then could be put forward to say that the same risks do not
apply to the expansion of the taxing authority to those same forms of
inactivity, in ways that it has never been exercised before. The two
examples that the Chief Justice gives are the tax on buying gasoline or
earning income. Both of those are obvious activities that have long been
regarded as acceptable bases for taxation. But not buying health
insurance is not an activity. I am not aware of any tax imposed on
individuals for not buying gasoline and not earning income, or not
taking a bath or not working in a home office. To allow this to stand as
a tax is to accept the same kind of absurdity that was rejected in
connection with the commerce power. Intellectually shabby, to say the
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