Comments about ‘Letter: Obamacare tax illegal, null and void’

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Published: Saturday, July 7 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS

Does this letter writer really think he understands the Constitution better than the Chief Justice?

A direct tax is a tax per head. It's defining characteristic is that it can't be avoided. The Patient Affordable Care Act "tax" isn't a head tax because it can easily be avoided by either: 1- purchasing health insurance or 2-, qualifying for Medicaid.

What a dumb letter.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

Not dumb, just ill informed and a little desperate.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

Tomato, toemawtoe. @Henry Todd of Provo isn't this just a complaint from someone that is gambling with his good health and when he does need healthcare he will let society cover for him? I call that a version of welfare. You complain about taxes, fees or whatever you want to call it but by profitizing the health you pay taxes 10 fold, not to the IRS but to United Healthcare or whatever. I suggest you spend a few minutes reading about it on Healthcare.gov you will be enlightened. I can't pretend this is the last of it. It must change. It must evolve to a single payer system that truly provides universal coverage and takes the vulture out of healthcare.

Neanderthal
Salt Lake City, UT

"But our Constitution clearly makes direct taxes imposed by the federal government illegal, therefore null and void."

Please help us understand where, in the US Constitution, a direct tax is illegal, or even mentioned.

A direct tax is one imposed upon an individual person or on property, as distinct from a tax imposed upon a transaction (indirect tax). A direct tax is one that cannot be shifted by the taxpayer to someone else, whereas an indirect tax can be.

Article 1.8: 'The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises...'

Says nothing about direct or indirect.

If the Supreme Court were to interpret literally and correctly what the Constitution provides it should have dismissed the Obamacare law out-of-hand. There is no provision in the Constitution to assess and collect a penalty. The court erred in redefining the penalty as a tax. The correct action of the Court would have been to find for the plaintiffs, suggesting that Congress may wish to amend. What Roberts did was illegally rewrite a law.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

The constitution gives congress the power to tax in order to promote the general welfare. No where in the constitution is there an exception (to this power) saying that congress can't tax a person for refusal to buy insurance or anything else for that matter.

Utah courts will fine any driver who doesn't have auto insurance and rightfully so.

Why shouldn't the national government insist that people who are able to, carry their own weight and have medical insurance for themselves and their families? Otherwise the rest of us has to carry that burden for them.

wrz
Salt Lake City, UT

@ugottabkidn:

"It must evolve to a single payer system that truly provides universal coverage and takes the vulture out of healthcare."

That could be the unavoidable eventuality.

And it's puzzling why the Congress took the long way around. It could have easily extended Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP to all citizens with just a few strokes of the proverbial pen, instead of the 2,700 page OBamacare... which no one read and Pelosi tells us 'had to be passed to know what's in it.'

Oh, and 'taking the vulture out of healthcare' could simply mean that all doctors and other healthcare workers will become gumment employees. For sure, their fees and wages will become subject to the whims of the US Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington, DC

This will be a tax paid to the insurance companies.

Romney is not going to make the insurance companies poorer because he believes they are people. Romney will not repal Obamacare mark my words. It will flourish under his presidency or he will make a few meaningless tweeks to it but other than that, it will stay the same.

cjb

"Why shouldn't the national government insist that people who are able to, carry their own weight and have medical insurance for themselves and their families?"

Because people won't be able to afford it. due to all of the uninsurable people getting free coverage. They should all quit working and then the entire system will be screwed and won't be able to collect taxes from anybody. This is a good idea on how to kill this bill since romney won't do it.

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington, DC

Lets quit working so we can starve this taxation beast so the bill will die.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Health care is a good idea.

Hellooo
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Neanderthal You may want to refer to The US Constitution Article One Section 2 and 9 and amendment 17.

wrz
Salt Lake City, UT

@cjb:

"The constitution gives congress the power to tax in order to promote the general welfare."

Yes, but nowhere in the Constitution does it give the Congress the right to assess a 'penalty.' But, Amendment 8 addresses 'fines.'

"No where in the constitution is there an exception (to this power) saying that congress can't tax a person for refusal to buy insurance or anything else for that matter."

Nowhere in the Constitutions does it authorize the Supreme Court to change a law passed by Congress, as Roberts did.

"Utah courts will fine any driver who doesn't have auto insurance and rightfully so."

That's a state issue. Federal power is limited (Tenth Amendment). States' power and authority is not. The Court struck down parts of a state law (Arizona's immigration law), but I think it acted unconstitutionally.

"Why shouldn't the national government insist that people who are able to, carry their own weight and have medical insurance for themselves and their families?"

Then why shouldn't the government tell you what you can eat and drink?

"Otherwise the rest of us has to carry that burden for them."

People should carry their own burden.

wrz
Salt Lake City, UT

@cjb:

"The constitution gives congress the power to tax in order to promote the general welfare."

General welfare refers to general things such as streets, roads, issuing patents, etc.... things that the general public needs for commerce but no specific private individual can or will do. Healthcare is not general... it's specific... something people can easily do for themselves.

@Hellooo:

"Re: Neanderthal You may want to refer to The US Constitution Article One Section 2 and 9 and amendment 17."

What??

Article 1.2: 'The House shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors... etc.'

Article 1.9: 'The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on each importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.'

A 'duty' is not a 'penalty.'

Amendment 17: Deals with the election of Senators.

None of your references deal with the subject of my post, above.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Gosh, what an interesting letter. Obamacare is unconstitutional? What a shame that we don't have someone, like, maybe 9 experienced judges, constitutional scholars all, who could look at bills passed by and decide whether something's constitutional or not. That would be great, wouldn't it? If we had something like that. . . some Supreme arbiter of constitutionality. . .

Bubble
SLC, UT

Dear People: How can you be claiming to understand the Constitution when you do not even know what it says? You are on computers - take the 2 seconds necessary to look it up and the 20 minutes necessary to read it!

Article I deals with the Legislative Branch. Section 8, clause 1 gives Congress the "power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises,...." Section 9 places limits on the powers in Section 8. Clause 4 of Section 9 states, "No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken."

Amendment 16 changed part of clause 4 by allowing an income tax.

Chief Justice Roberts and 4 other Supreme Court Justices have interpreted the Constitution to allow the ACA mandate to stand.

You may disagree with them and may want to argue it, but at least choose not to be willfully ignorant and actually read the Constitution and the decision. Arguing the points of two documents you have so very obviously never read automatically invalidates any point you may be trying to make.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Bubble is correct.

Article 1, Section 2 says: "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers . . . ".

Article 1, Section 8 only allows Congress to levy taxes to fulfill the enumerated duties found in Section 8. Read the last clause carefully - until you understand that nowhere has Congress been given unlimited authority to tax us for the "general Welfare", but that the "general Welfare" of all the States will be enhanced by allowing Congress to perform the duties authorized in Section 8 - just as all States will be protected by the military duties authorized in Section 8.

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 4 says: "No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken."

The Court ruled that Obamacare is a Tax. It also ruled that Congress is authorized to levy taxes.

Did the Court give Congress the right to levy a tax for something neither authorized nor enumerated in the Constitution in violation of Article 1, Section 8, " . . . carrying into Execution the FOREGOING POWERS . . ." listed in Section 8?

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The writer made a valid point but it's not worth arguing because we're not dealing with people in our Country anymore who respect individual rights. They are only interested in taking your property (income) to give to their "preferred classes of people". They are only interested in using the force of government to control your life from cradle to grave- all in the name of benevolence.
If this was truly about healthcare we could scratch a check to truly needy individuals for their healthcare and the cost would be a fraction of what it is going to be. But it's never been about that- it's always been about forcing people into dependency so that they will live the way their masters want, think the way they want and vote the way they want. It's not complicated. The Constitution (to them) is a meaningless piece of paper
@ Eric - interesting that all the democrat appointed "constitutional scholars" on the Supreme Court toed the Obama- Pelosi line... no dissent there of course

Furry1993
Clearfield, UT

To Mike Richards 3:35 p.m. July 7, 2012

. . . Did the Court give Congress the right to levy a tax for something neither authorized nor enumerated in the Constitution in violation of Article 1, Section 8, " . . . carrying into Execution the FOREGOING POWERS . . ." listed in Section 8?

-------------------------

That's easy. The "foregoing power" which authorizes the health care act can be found in the first enumerated power in Article 1 Section 8 (see the capitalied portion): The Congress shall have Power To . . . PROVIDE FOR THE . . . GENERAL WELFARE OF THE UNITED STATES; . . .

Therefore, accepting the Court's reasoning that this is a tax Cngress levied it for something that is both authorized and enumerated.

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Furry1993 ...mmmmmm... if the statement "provide for the general welfare" gives Congress carte blanche to do anything that it deems necessary for the "general welfare" then what exactly was the point of even bothering to write the rest of the Constitution? They could have saved themselves a lot of time and trouble by just writing that one sentence right? But for some reason they wrote more including the bill of rights so ponder that and get back to us

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

"Federal power is limited (Tenth Amendment). States' power and authority is not."

States' power is not limited, wrz? You really don't know what you are talking about, do you?

"They are only interested in taking your property (income) to give to their "preferred classes of people". They are only interested in using the force of government to control your life from cradle to grave- all in the name of benevolence."

Red state pride, you are kidding, right? You really think that the government is controlling your life? Switch to decaf, buddy.

Richards, wrong as usual.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

re WRZ

You said .. ""The constitution gives congress the power to tax in order to promote the general welfare."

General welfare refers to general things such as streets, roads, issuing patents, etc.... things that the general public needs for commerce but no specific private individual can or will do. Healthcare is not general... it's specific... something people can easily do for themselves"

---

Where in the constitution does it define or restrict general welfare? I don't think it does, what general welfare means is left to the congress. Also if all people could get decent health insurance, Obamacare wouldn't be necessary. My cousin is a plumber who can't get insurance because of a pre-existing condition.

Even if you have insurance now, the time may come when you get laid off or fired and you lose your employer health coverage. If that happens you will be grateful for Obamacare. Especially if you have a health incident during your time of non coverage that would otherwise bankrupt you.

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