If I buy stamps, and they are taxed, I thus will have to pay the tax. But if I
don't buy stamps, and am penalized, how is that a tax under the normal
notion of tax?
Mike Richards,In philosophy, you and I are much aligned. I also
agree with your sentiments about our need to be engaged and held responsible for
our choices. I feel that the point you are missing with the recent
Supreme Court action is that the framework by which we operate has been changed.
The constitution is a manifest of negative rights. That is to say a list of
that which our government can NOT do. The boundries for these limitations have
been tested and pushed over time. The problem is that once compromised, forever
compromised. Chief Justice Roberts just opened a can of worms by setting a
precedence of of a positive right. That is, social engineering and enforcement
via the tax code due to failure to act. See...The framework has
been altered. As a conservative, this is the worst of outcomes.This
may provide the short-term motivation for the conservative base to act this
November, but the long-term effects are chilling.This isn't
about the healthcare law, this is about the constitution.
I'm confused. Do conservatives want judges to make rulings based on law
and the constitution or don't they?The constitution of the
United States gives congress the right to tax to promote the general welfare. So
why would conservatives say the court errored?According to
conservatives, the courts duty wasn't to decide the wisdom of Obama care,
but merely to decide its constitutionality.Okay, so Obama said the
mandate wasn't a tax. Well the supreme court respectfully disagreed and
that is their right.
A Judge has to always balance interests. A conservative blogger can go Hannity
This article has completely convinced me that Deseret News has joined the ranks
of the liberal machine. Someone must have pressured him to pass this if he is
conservative. Sad day for all of us who believed the Supreme Court was Supreme.
"When in the course of human events . . . "What magnificent
words! What a glorious vision.King George told the colonists that
he could tax them as he wished and that they would pay his tax.How
similar those times were to our times. Obama has told us that he
will tax us as he pleases; that he will determine whether a tax is a tax; that
he will determine whether the Court can render a verdict and that he will
determine how Congress will legislate. Times have not changed much since a King
controlled the colonies.Noble men carefully evaluated what King
George told them to do and then they gave a reasonable and measured response.
They did not act from emotion. They did not act in haste. Instead, they
thought of the consequences to them, to their families, to their peers and then
decided that to live as pawns to someone who would dictate to them the
condictions of their lives was not acceptable.John Roberts has asked
us to reflect on how we voted and how we will vote in November.Let
us think carefully on the founders' vision of America and then vote
@ Red state pride,Obama was elected by a majority of the States.
That's a fact.John Roberts reminded us that elections have
consequences. That's fact.America is ruled by law.
That's a fact.Obama is telling us to abandon the law and to do
what he tells us to do. That's a fact.You are telling us that
because you don't agree with the Supreme Court, that we should listen to
Obama and abandon law. That may be a fact, depending on how well I understand
your point.Other posts have pointed out that the ACA walks like a
tax, talks like a tax and is a tax. That's according to law, not the
opinion of a President who wants to pull a fast one on us, or of his lawyers who
would have us believe that a tax is not a tax unless they say that it is a
tax.The Supreme Court told us that the ACA is a tax. You may choose
to not believe it. You may prefer to not believe it. That doesn't change
one thing.America is a nation of laws. You are an American.
Red state full of prideI Think you should sell all that you have,
give it too the poor, then come and follow me.
@Mike in Cedar City- what exactly is "critical about this time"? Do you
know anyone dying because they do not have health insurance? It's law that
a person cannot be denied treatment to medical care. So what's critical
other than State and Federal budgets? Is it not "critical" that we are
running trillion dollar federal budget deficits? Go ask the Governors of
Illinois and California what their budgets look like based on anticipated
outlays and income. Is that not critical? What happens when a State throws in
the towel and says "we can't go on- we're essentially
bankrupt"? What then? Print money in perpetuity? The jig is almost up and
finally I ask you- how much of your income are you willing to give up to
perpetuate the welfare state? Be a man and tell us - how much do you demand that
a fellow citizen give up to perpetuate the welfare state? How much income should
Doctors and Nurses give up to lead us to the "perfect state"?
One of the few times I have agreed with a DN political editorial. Legally and
constitutionally the majority of the court was correct. It is the duty of the
Supreme Court to try to find a constitutional way to honor the decisions of the
legislative branch. However, I continue to disagree with the DN news that the
ACA is bad policy. It's by no means perfect, but it is a step in the right
direction that had to be taken at this critical time.Justice Roberts has
upheld the integrity of the court by clearly taking a non politically based
position. And considering the Conservative uproar, he has been quite courageous
obviously the Court ruled the way it did because the solicitor for the
"National Government" made such a compelling argument before them e.g.
" can I get a drink of water". That smooth-talking devil. Like
Mark Steyn said in his column " The Supreme Court is a lot like
Britain's National Health Care Service- you wait two years to get in, they
tell you nothing's wrong, and you can't get a second opinion". Oh well- we had a decent run- 1776 to 2012 = onward to the abyss.
The government says you CANNOT drive under 40 miles per hour on the freeway;
or you will pay a fine. The government tells us all the time we need to do
this or do that. The insurance companies will make a lot of money by adding 40
million more people to their customer lists; economy improves dramatically when
people have health care: they can go to work. Both Messrs. Obama and Romney
would make great presidents. They both have similiar ideas on reforming
Too bad that the people can't un-elect Roberts. What a turn coat. How can
he sleep a night?
I assume that Roberts ruled based on Constitutional Law. The SC
does not exist to pick and choose which legislation is good or bad.I
applaud him.I do not think the Citizens United ruling was good for
our country, but I have to believe that the justices ruled based on
constitutional law.Just because you do not like a ruling,
doesn't mean it was not correct based on law.
Who wrote this editorial? This is, by far, the best editorial I have
ever read coming from a Deseret Media source. For years, I have hated, hated the
fact that DMC has ventured editorial opinions, which frankly have been less than
desirable in critical examination and insight. This editorial is worth cheering.
It's insightful and actually led me to realize something I had not before:
John Roberts is very, very smart. And not just as an arbiter of the law, but
also in understanding the political dynamics on the bench itself. He outfoxed
everyone else on the court on this suit and pretty much played them to make him
look spectacular. That's not to take anything away from his earnestness or
intellectual work in legal analysis and writing--it just shows his gifts in
addition to these merits.
Brilliantly handled by Roberts! Especially enjoyed his very insightful comments.
Now back to the ballot box!!!!
Mike Richards,Sometimes you and I disagree. Though I do not oppose
the ACA, I do agree 100% with your 7:51 post. If we want to change things, then
we need to stop carping, take some responsibility, get off the sidelines, and
vote. Better yet, run for office or help someone you know do so. It IS our
country and the apathy and lethargy of the voters is not to our benefit as a
nation.Mountanman,How this will play out in November is
yet to be seen. But one minor point of disagreement with your post. The SCOTUS
did not impose the tax. Rather, they correctly observed that what looked a lot
like a tax, was in fact a tax. I never understood the argument that it was not
(fee or tax seems about the same to me).
The Deseret News editorial staff has been overtaken by the liberal mindset? I am stunned. We should not be applauding but rather defending the
Constitution and individual liberty. You refer to disappointed
limited government conservatives. Conservative is by definition advocating for
limited government. Who are the others? Roberts is no conservative.
No jurist with a conservative judicial or political bone in his body would have
written this. Admit it. He joined the liberals. Why are you not
praising Kennedy, Alito, Thomas, and Scalia as great jurists for their stinging
dissent that is based clearly - contrary to the majority opinion - in the
constitutional protections against encroaching government? What
Roberts did here, on the flimsiest argument, is keep intact legislation that is
so far beyond the bounds of the constitutional powers of Congress that the
ordinary citizen can clearly see it. And he authored new legislation from the
bench. Congress can now force you to buy anything it pleases by
calling it a tax, and then send the IRS after you and throw you in jail if you
don’t buy it.Your editorial attempts to dilute the fight. We
will continue that fight, with or without the Deseret News.
My fear was that the Deseret News would lament the Supreme Court's ruling
in a clearly partisan way.Therefore, I very much appreciate this
thoughtful, nonpartisan editorial about John Roberts.
I read Chief Justice Roberts' opinion and was very impressed with some of
the concepts he put forth that did not get a lot of attention in the media. He
emphasized the idea that it isn't for the Court to override the judgement
of elected officials. He went on for some length saying that the Court should go
out of its way not to overturn the laws of Congress if at all possible. I
believe that it what this ruling was all about.He's really
telling Congress and the American People that its our job to reconcile our
political differences and not the Courts'. People all want strict
constructionists on the Bench until a ruling doesn't go their way. Not long
ago my liberal friends were upset and my conservative friends delighted when
this same Chief Justice joined in invalidating some gun control laws because
they violated the Second Amendment. You can't have it both ways, folks.It sounds like the Chief Umpire is telling us to work out our own
political differences, and in the end we'll be a stronger country with
better laws for doing it.
A tax on people who are unwilling to pay for health insurance for their kids
until those kids are in an ambulance on the way to the hospital is far more
sensible than many taxes I already pay. I will never pay this tax because I
actually care about the people in my family and want them to get regular,
routine, preventative, care.
KTC John said, "The SC is to determine the constitutionality of federal
legislation."And so, they did.
After suffering anger, disappointment and a lot of hostility I think the
intention was to put the responsibility back on the shoulders on the American
people to vote for good, honest and intelligent people. We are where we are
because of lies, deals under the table and the constant telling us that this was
not a tax. The Obama Administration was shown to be a 'liar' yesterday
by this ruling. Put unfortunately Roberts has put himself on the wrong
side of the line and likely not to be trusted or esteemed for this ruling.
The next election will rest on the number who now think that they will be
getting 'free medical care' and have no concept of the utter failure
of socialized medical care and those who understand the cost, lost of immediate
care and the 'health panels' who will be making the decisions for us.
In answer to AZFarmer, Roberts’ decision was all about deference to the
Legislative branch and should be applauded as in the best tradition of judicial
restraint… something we conservatives have been clamoring for decades. It
is not the Supreme Court’s job to act as legislatures or undo the actions
of legislatures (unless it clearly violates the Constitution, which the mandate
as tax does not).To all you who think it was a terrible decision,
ask yourself this question: would you rather live in a democracy that
doesn’t always govern the way you want, or a dictatorship that does?
So what if it's a tax? It only applies to someone who doesn't buy
health insurance, who makes more than 133% of the poverty level, doesn't
qualify for medicare or medicaid, and doesn't qualify for a few other
exceptions....and chooses not to use the subsidies avialable. You'll be
able to count on one hand those that are going to be "taxed..$95 (I know
this is hyperbole, but you get the point).
The expectation people had that the members of the court would vote this way or
that smacks of political hackery. It should be about law, not partisanship, and
Roberts may have been the only member to rule as such.
Xert, I agree with you. The question is where is he leading the nation and why
would any liberated citizen choose to follow and become a slave. Mr. Roberts
used great rhetoric to cover his progressive views. Not being real
conservative, he used conservative rhetoric to cover a decision to massive
expanded the power of the federal government through the general welfare clause.
He cemented himself in my mind as a brilliant jurist who is a coward and
Conservatives can have their rebell yell.Come November, faced with
voting to either keep Obamacare, or got back to the way it USED to -- i.e.,
Nothing at all for 12 Million Americans -- I predict Pres. Obama will be
re-elected by a huge margin.Mitt Romney should have embraced his
pivitol accomplishment as Gov. of Massachsetts, rather than shun and trash talk
it like he has for the last 6 years to appease the Tea-Party extremeists just to
win the GOP nomination.History will remember Mitt Romney as the
could've been President.He won the nomination battle, but lost the
General Election war.
Two points:1. The framers of the constitution envisioned taxes, what few
there were, as a means to raise money to pay for legitimate governmental
functions. It was not a means for controlling personal behaviour.2. Is
it not strange to rule that a tax is constitutional notwithstanding it is used
to implement an unconstitutional statutory scheme?
To everyone that cries out that ACA (Obamacare) is socialism, why is it wrong to
force individuals to have health insurance even if they don't need it but
it is okay to force people that don't have children to pay for schools and
schooling of other peoples' children?We are still a capitalist
country. The penalty for not having insurance is to pay a yearly fine of 1% of
your income or $95 which ever is higher. There are also waivers for this based
on income. The penalty for not paying the fine is...Nothing...The language in the bill states that no liens or garnishments or other
forced recovery options are allowed. This means that if you don't pay the
fine, you don't pay the fine. But there are enough people that will pick
up the insurance that private enterprise will benefit, hospitals will be paid
for their services now, private insurance companies will be able to offer lower
rates because medical costs will go down and this means more income for the
average consumer.ACA is not moving the country to Socialism, it is
adding a social program to our other social programs.
The good news is it is a "tax" that only those who decide to not take
responsibility for their own insurance and instead want to make their health
care cost everyone else's problem will have to pay. If you are a
responsible person and take care of your family. No Tax. Not enough money to
provide that insurance, there is a plan for that where you will get help. But
if you decide you want a new 4x4, or hunting rifle, or bass boat - and shift the
load of paying for your medical risk to everyone else.... you get to pay the
tax.Just like other "sin" taxes.... you put a burden on
everyone else, you get to pay.There is much to left to be desired
over the Obamacare bill that needs to be fixed. But I have no problem making
people pay for their own healthcare and not rely on citizens and hospitals to
suck up your expense because your feeling lucky today.
The SC is not supposed to be a "neutral arbiter." That is a dangerous
concept. The author has not properly defined the role of the court. The SC is
to determine the constitutionality of federal legislation.
Obama: "its not a tax, its not a tax". Justice Roberts: "its a
tax"! For the first time in the history of the US. the SCOTUS imposed a tax
upon the American people! American taxpayers will get to have their say in
November and John Roberts may have sealed Obama's fate!
To write his opinion, Roberts:1) twisted language that says citizens
“shall” buy insurance and if they don’t they will pay a
“penalty,” to conclude that the “penalty” is not a
penalty, but a tax (even though the government repeatedly denied it was a
tax);2. held that even though the mandate is unconstitutional, it is OK to
penalize those who don’t comply with it, because the “penalty”
is not a penalty, but is a tax;3) concluded that his newly-minted tax was
not a tax under the antiinjunction act (which otherwise would have prevented
judicial review now). 4) held that Congress’s penalty on states for
not expanding Medicare was unconstitional, but then, instead of invalidating it,
rewrote the statute to impose a lesser penalty selected by the court. What he did is legislation, not adjudication.
In your caption you said: "a stunning victory for constitutionally limited
government."I am stunned indeed, but stunned because I see this
as a death blow to a constitutionally limited federal government. While giving
lip service to the idea that the Commerce Clause does not encompass the entire
universe, Roberts created an end run that allows Congress to do whatever it
wants, wherever it wants. Unless this opinion is reigned in in the future,
federalism is dead. By unbridled use of its spending power, Congress can do
To AZfarmer, and others " What stops the government from telling people to
do other things that are supposedly good for society and taxing them if they
don't. " In essence the government all ready uses it's taxing
power to encourage certain activities. If you buy a home you are forgiven some
of your tax obligations. If you have children, you are forgiven some of you tax
obligations. Even the President has played this role by forgiving entrepreneurs
some of their tax obligations for starting businesses. I clearly
remember the ahha moment for me when in graduate school an economics professor
detailed our tax system and explained it was a distinct purpose of taxes to
encourage or discourage certain activities. We've always done
this so Roberts got it right.
To mohokat 8:50 p.m. June 28, 2012Mike Richards well said: It is
time to gut it up and rid the Country of these Snake Oil Salesman. How foolish
the Obama Drones.-------------------------Unfortunately,
Romney would be much MUCH worse. He wants to go back to Bush's filaed
policies and programs -- the policies and programs that got us in the mess
we're in now. NO THANKS, Mitt -- don't want you, don't need you.
Let's be real here. What Roberts did was open the flood gates to socialism
and HE alone will be tagged with that dreadful collar throughout the ages. His
clever tax ruling manipulation doesn't hold water and all 4 of the
dissenting judges agreed. What Roberts did was to 'change' the intent
of the law and make it something else - a tax. The reason?? So he could find a
way to pass the bill. Pure and simple. If you try hard enough you will find a
way and Roberts found a way. Roberts disgraced himself as a reasonable and
intelligent justice and crossed the line into liberal - land where ideology and
emotion out weigh common sense but more importantly the common good of the
people of the United States. Justices aren't computer programs that lose
track of who they are and what they are supposed to be representing ... but
Roberts did just that. It seems to me this man showed his true colors and made a
long held political leap into social - justice... as he saw it. You have to
blame - at least in part - George W Bush for appointing this imposter to the
The GOP was calling this a "TAX" early on. Looks like that strategy,
while ultimately correct, had some unintended consequences.What I
find absurd is that many people like pieces of the bill.Kids on
parents insurance till 26.Cant be dumped for getting sick.No
restrictions on pre-existing conditions.But, you cant pick and
choose as the viability of the program depends on all parts.Without
a forced insurance, the pre-existing conditions piece cannot survive, as people
wont buy insurance until they get sick.I am not in love with this
healthcare bill, but history has shown that the GOP wont touch healthcare. They
have had years and did NOTHING. This is a major problem. Why is
the GOP content to leave it alone? They had an opportunity with complete
control of congress. NOTHING.
A great day to be an American--and to be on the right side of history. Chief
Justice Roberts told the nation today, that politics is not as important as what
is right and what is lawful and I thank him for it. President Obama? What can I
say? This is a leader. You may not agree with him, but I'm sure you will
respect the fact that in the face of the biggest Congressional stonewalling of
our lifetimes, he has succeeded time and time again. Heads up Utah--the guy who
stood on a carrier in a Top Gun costume under the banner of Mission Accomplished
was not a leader. The man who took a little stroll down "I got bin Laden
blvd" and stood up to the microphone tonight? That, my misguided
I have listened to Justice Roberts in the past and thought he was very
intelligent and articulate, but I think he greatly erred in his decision today.
I think he opened a whole can of worms with this precedent to tax people for not
doing something the government wants. It seems very different to me to tax
people on a product they buy and taxing them for not doing anything. This
limits people freedom to make decisions. What stops the government from telling
people to do other things that are supposedly good for society and taxing them
if they don't. What if they say that you must eat a balanced meal everyday
and go to the gym 3 times a week or you get a 10% tax? What if they say you must
vote or you get taxed? or you must take parenting classes or you get taxed?
Some of these types of things might seem good but why does congress have the
power to essentially force us to do things. It seems to be a dangerous precedent
While I am disappointed over the ruling, I believe that Chief Justice Roberts is
on solid legal footing. The two questions I have are 1) had the Soliciter
General not stated during oral arguements that the penalty was a tax, would CJ
Roberts have decided the way he did? 2) in deciding the way he did, was he
hopeful that he could get a stronger majority of justices to agree with his line
Mike Richards: Look for an article on "the Daily Beast", on David
I appreciate the DN trying to stay above the fray, and in concept I like the
idea of partisan free nuanced decision, but the Supreme Court is there to
prevent an overreach by Congress. I guess the message is that
Congress can do just about anything it wants with its power to tax. Sorry DN
that's not what the Founders had in mind.
Roland, You must have information that the news media doesn't
have . Care to share your sources?
Many court watchers have speculated that Chief Justice Roberts was initially
going to vote to strike down the mandate. But the other four conservatives on
the court went far beyond that and wanted to overturn the entire law, including
parts that are clearly covered by the Commerce Clause. Due to this, Chief
Justice Roberts changed his vote to the liberal side so he could write the
opinion in a limiting fashion.
Christoph, I agree with the ruling but insurance hasn't gone
down. Every member of my extended family is paying more than we were before for
health insurance. Our family's rates have been raised by 25% in the last
year and we are all healthy. You, sir are wrong and that is not just
anecdotal--research shows the same.'
Excellent editorial Deseret News! Justice Roberts is an outstanding judge and
crafted an excellent opinion. He struck the right balance for the court in this
instance and has gone along ways towards establishing his legacy as one of the
great Chief Justices of the Supreme Court. This issue needs to be decided in the
legislative branch of government.
I completely disagree with the premise of this article. If Roberts had ruled
solely on constitutionality, then I would concede the point. He replaced the
word "penalty" with "tax"! Since when can the Supreme Court
change legislation written by Congress so that it becomes constitutional??The original draft of Obamacare had tax as its operative word, but given
the political consequences, Congress replaced the word "tax" with
"penalty" with its eyes wide open. Roberts truly "legislated"
by altering the legislation! I understand that his intention was to
portray the court as impartial, however, in his effort to be impartial he became
Mike Richards well said: It is time to gut it up and rid the Country of these
Snake Oil Salesman. How foolish the Obama Drones.
Mr. Obama campaigned for 18 months on many issues, beginning in April of 2007;
health care reform was one of them. It is a conservative idea that all people
pay for their own health care. Since it's passing in 2010, prices are
falling due to wise people in the industry brainstorming over bringing costs
We were reminded today that as citizens, we have a responsibility. Kennedy was
the first President that I remember who reminded us that citizenship equals duty
when he said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can
do for your country." Today, John Roberts told us that nine judges cannot
decide the fate of 300,000,000 Americans when a majority of those who voted,
voted for a man like Obama.He told us to take responsibility for our
actions and to use more wisdom in November if we disagreed with today's
court ruling.Our fathers gave their all on the battle field against
the mightiest army that the world had known to date. They suffered hunger and
fatigue and deprivation. We sit on the sidelines and criticize the 535 members
of Congress, the President and the 9 judges. Judge Roberts told us to stop
being spectators and to get involved.It's OUR COUNTRY. What WE
do will decide what kind of country we will have.IT'S OUR
A very well written and thought out article. Thank you for a better
understanding of what the ruling means for the future.
The encroachment of government into the freedoms of American citizens
established by the Constitution was what our Founders tried to prevent, a point
John Roberts and others have foolishy mishandled in allowing this bill to take
affect. This battle between tyranny and choice rages on and will for eternity.
Roberts said, "It is not our role to forbid it, or pass upon its wisdom or
fairness." It is your role to determine a law's constitutionality, to
protect the citizens from the oppression of government, something you have
failed miserably in doing.