Comments about ‘Howard Stephenson: After Court's ruling, is Congress' taxing power now unlimited?’

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Published: Sunday, July 8 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

Wrong Howard, not every other court watcher was flabbergasted. An exaggeration to make your "point?"

EJM
Herriman, UT

One solution to Senator Stephenson's fears of a Congress with unlimited taxing authority would be the implementation of term limits for our national and state legislators. As it stands now incumbents traditionally win reelection at both the state and national level. With term limits my question is "would legislators work more for the common good knowing they would be out in 6-12 years?"

In reading the opinion I think the CJ is, in his own way, calling out the American voting public and saying to them "If you want this tax imposed then you will keep the status quo. If you don't then you will vote for change". I would think that Republicans such as Senator Stephenson would be thrilled at this decision because it is activism at it's finest. It also represents an act of judicial restraint at the same time,the same type of restraint that conservative Republicans have called for from the SCOTUS for years. CJ Roberts has now shown himself to be his own man as a CJ. I love it!

Mr. Bean
Salt Lake City, UT

"Obamacare began its legislative journey in the Senate, which means its passage may have violated the Constitution."

Slick politicians have their methods. The House originated a bill which the Senate totally gutted except for the bill number then inserted Obamacare. So, essentially the 'bill' originated in the House but the Senate supplied all the words. The proviso in the Constitution that all tax bills originate in the House has been totally nullified.

And, with the recent Court ruling on Obamacare, there is no power or authority that the federal government cannot exercise despite the limitations of federal power perceived by the Founding Fathers as spelled out in the Tenth Amendment.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Howard Stephenson is Grover Norquist's representative in Utah.

Esquire
Springville, UT

Stephenson would be flabbergasted at any decision that is not far right extreme. Hardly a voice of reason. Get over it, folks, and move on.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

We need to keep things in perspective. First we needed to move forward on health care. Kicking and screaming it is, but we needed to move forward. Second, we need to stop expecting the supreme court to be a political lap dog. It can vote on LAW, not political affiliation.

wrz
Salt Lake City, UT

@Hutterite:

"It can vote on LAW, not political affiliation."

The problem is, the court didn't vote on the law... The court rewrote the law, then voted. It changed the word 'penalty' to 'tax.'

Yeah, I know. Roberts merely stated that the individual mandate 'penalty' could be collected under Congress's authority to 'tax.' Dah! It's fairly obvious that Congress can tax almost any activity and that Roberts didn't have to address Congressional taxing authority. What was expected is for the court to tell us whether or not the government penalize (or tax) inactivity... i.e., can the government force citizens to buy something such as a GM (Government Motors) car, broccoli, or health insurance? Apparently it can. By the Roberts decision America has entered into a new realm of creeping socialism and total government control of our lives.

JohnH
Cedar City, UT

Time for all Americans to re-read the Declaration of Independence. As for this government it's long since time for the people to "alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its Foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such forms, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

JohnH,

So we should abolish the constitution and institute a new government?

Would that not be treason?

Fitz
Murray, UT

The headline asks the question ‘After Court's ruling, is Congress' taxing power now unlimited?’ The answer only takes one word. The answer is simply, Yes.

And just to point out that this answer is shared by others, there was a WSJ op-ed piece last week that agrees with this answer.

Alfred
Salt Lake City, UT

@Twin Lights:

"So we should abolish the constitution and institute a new government? Would that not be treason?"

Much of the Constitution has already been abolished.

Firstly, all tax bills are supposed to originate in the House. Obamacare originated in the Senate. The reason Senators elected to start it in the Senate is because they labeled the government revenue collection as a 'penalty' and not a 'tax.' The Supreme Court called it a tax. Realistically the whole thing should have been summarily tossed by the on this point and remanded back to the Congress to correct the action. But it wasn't.

Secondly, the Tenth Amendment limits the powers of the federal government to those listed. This provision is basically irrelevant because, as we see with the Obamacare decision the powers of Congress are boundless.

And thirdly, the tax anti-injunction law has been violated. This law prohibits a court from hearing and judging a case involving taxes until the tax in question has been paid. The 'tax' in the Obamacare case will not start being paid (collected) until 2014.

These are significantly large chunks out of our Constitution. Surely the thing is hanging by the tiniest of threads.

wrz
Salt Lake City, UT

@Fitz:

"The headline asks the question ‘After Court's ruling, is Congress' taxing power now unlimited?’ The answer only takes one word. The answer is simply, Yes."

So, the next question has to be... what about the Tenth Amendment... has it been totally invalidated?

Winglish
Lehi, UT

I currently have much more confidence in the broken system in Washington than I have in the corrupt actions coming from our own state legislative offices. There is no balance in Utah politics, absolutely no checks in place to prevent corruption...closed caucuses, shutting down access to public records, vote-with-me-or-face-trouble politics...

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Alfred,

Much of the constitution has been abolished? Really? Like the bicameral legislature, the executive, the supreme court, the bill of rights, etc.? None of these are All of these are gone? Hardly.

In the legislative process, bills originate in both houses and go back and forth. The rest is nomenclature. If the origination of the ACA were so problematic, then that would have been the basis for rejection by the court. It was not. The same applies to the 10th Amendment and the tax anti-injunction act.

Roberts was right (as were the founders). The real ability to limit the scope of govt. is with the people via the ballot box.

THAT is the constitutional solution. Any other solution is outside of the constitution.

We cannot save the constitution by going outside of it. That would destroy it. If we are intent on saving the constitution, then we must always keep our actions within the constitutional framework.

Anything else is a betrayal of the constitution and its framers.

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