Monday, July 2, 2012

Why Chief Justice Roberts Made the Right Decision 

Bane or Boon? You be the Judge
Before you condemn or childishly wish harm to Chief Justice Roberts it’s important to think carefully about the meaning –– the true nature –– of his ruling on Obamacare. The Left is already ululating exuberant cries of victory, of course, and making frenzied gestures of joy that their pet imposition was upheld and all the rest. 
Relax. Let them have their fun.Their victory celebration is almost certain to be short-lived.
Here’s what really occurred — payback. Yes, payback for Obama’s numerous, ill-advised and childish insults directed toward the high court. 
The Chief Justice rendered the mandate’s justification under the commerce clause unconstitutional. A twisted interpretation of the commerce clause is how the Democrats got the abomination  they call The Affordable Healthcare Act going in the first place. This is critical. 
His ruling means Congress can’t compel American citizens to purchase anything –– ever. The notion has now officially and forever been declared  unconstitutional. 
Next, he stated that, because Congress doesn’t have the ability to mandate, it must rely on its power to tax in order to fund the program. This means, of course, that the mechanism funding Obamacare is a tax. 
This is also critical. Remember please that during the initial battles to establish the program, the Democrats called it a penalty, while Republicans insisted it was a tax. 
Democrats consistently sold it as a penalty. It went to vote as a penalty. Obama declared endlessly that it was not a tax. He billed it as a penalty. 
However, when attorneys for the Democrats argued in front of the Supreme Court, they said in effect, “Hey, a penalty or a tax? Who cares? Either way is fine with us,” so the Chief Justice gav them a tax. It is now the official law of the land — beyond obfuscatory rhetoric and other semantical shenanigans. The Affordable Healthcare Act must be funded officially by tax dollars. 
Democrats now must defend a tax increase to justify the healthcare law. 
Finally, Chief Justice Roberts declared unconstitutional the Affordable Care Act’s assertion that the federal government has the power to bully states into submission by withdrawing their existing medicaid funding. 
Liberals had effectively said through the healthcare act as originally drafted that the states must comply or we will stop existing funding. John Roberts has made that impossible. As things stand now, because of his decision, If a state takes federal money, the central government can tell the state how to run a program, but if the state refuses money, the federal government can’t penalize the state by withdrawing other, unrelated funding.

That should mean a state can decline to participate in Obamacare without penalty. 
Obviously, this creates a serious problem for the healthcare act. Are we going to have 10, 12, 25 states not participating in a national healthcare program? 
Suddenly, it’s no longer “national,” is it?
Ultimately, Roberts supported states rights by limiting the federal government’s coercive capacities. 
He ruled that the government can not force the people to purchase products or services under the commerce clause and he forced liberals to have to come clean and admit that Obama-care is funded by tax increases.
Although he didn’t guarantee a victory for Romney, he certainly did more than his part to help the Republican candidate, and should be applauded for his it.
A good case has just be made for considering John Roberts a brilliant de facto –– though probably inadvertent –– political strategist.
It has, hasn’t it?
~ FreeThinke


  1. FT,
    So far, I'm thinking that John Roberts issued a brilliant ruling.

    In fact, likely the best ruling as far as the side of freedom goes.

    Obama declared endlessly that it was not a tax. He billed it as a penalty.


    In CPA terminology, there is a world of difference between tax and penalty. Typically, penalty is negotiable, but tax owed is not. IRS sometimes waives the penalty, but rarely waives the tax owed.

    Of course, Roberts knows that fact about the legal difference between tax and penalty.

    In my view, conservatives should have calmed down before condemning Roberts so severely.

    BTW, I love that you used the word "ululating." I used to teach that word to my 6th graders, and they made good use of the word in various contexts. Freaked their parents out a bit as the parents had to go to the dictionary to find out what the word meant.

  2. While Obama has gotten things "done".... except for killing Osama Bin Laden, (and that was GREAT). NONE of the things he has gotten "done" have been particularly progressive. I, support him, but I find it increasingly difficult to give him $$$ because in the end I don't feel that progressive points in matters are taken seriously.

    I'm perfectly happy with President Obama. I don't have a laundry list of progressive must-dos for the guy. I'm thrilled with what he's accomplished considering the non-stop interference, attacks, and dirty tricks, by the republicans.. Not to mention the childish attitudes by the fickle progressives.

    I loathe the republican party and what it stands for BUT I have often wished that I could become a republican, because at least THEY support their candidates, are not so self centered and "me me me" when it comes to elections. they KNOW that they want to win. They don't wring their hands and post shit like this...

    I'm baffled by all the new posters that come here complaining that they can't support Obama because he's not progressive enough. So Romney is progressive enough for you??? What is that song by the Rolling Stones? "you can't always get what you want..." I would never watch our Country go down the drain out of my own special interests.

  3. Would those last remarks qualify as "ululation," do you suppose, AOW?

    There's nothing like a reckless display of pseudo-erudite eruptions of purely partisan pap to tickle the funny bone of rational beings.

    Peetah, you're welcome to rave on about Paul all you like. It only helps to reveal the grievous flaws in your perception of reality -- and your character.

    Please visit us often. We're always in need of comic relief.

    ~ FreeThinke

  4. You accurately capture the ramifications of the decision, but it still may or may not explain why Roberts did it. It will be one for the historians and possibly only explained long after we are all gone.

  5. Well, SilverFiddle, since we prefer the simple, direct, clean cut solution to problems –– especially when they are menacing –– I would, personally, have much preferred the Justice to KILL the goddam thing outright, when he had the chance, rather than PUNT the problem back into the highly dubious political arena.

    However, "duty" compels me at the very least to explore other possibilities, even though I have no faith that the political process will satisfactorily resolve the matter, –– do you?


    ~ FT

  6. Let's review while we keep in mind that the mandate originated in THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION (noted Marxist institution.

    Let's start from the premise that the health insurance system in America needs reform.

    1. The bill tries to keep for profit health insurance in place. Big win for you if you enjoy pissing away your health care dollar.

    2. The bill continues to prohibit negotiation by the Federal government on drug costs. Big win for you. Oh you'll continue to pay through the nose but since monopoly profits are ordained it doesn't harm your orthodoxy.

    3. The Federal government CANNOT impose new Medicaid funding rules on the states. Big win for the 10th amendment crowd.

    4. The left is not too thrilled since they want single payer.

  7. Well, Ducky, I appreciate your stating your views in such an orderly fashion. I admit I do not understand the Heritage Foundation's association with this bad idea, but since I do not blindly follow anyone's dictates it doesn't destroy any cherished illusions. Bad ideas flow freely from all directions, as surely any sensible person knows –– and would admit, if he is honest.

    The left dislikes and distrusts large corporations, and attributes poor motives to the business community in general, because –– apparently –– the left views making profits as undesirable at best and evil at worst –– or so it appears.

    The left abhors monopoly, and with some justification I might add.

    What I do not and cannot comprehend about the left is their eagerness to turn control of medical care –– and just about every other aspect of our lives –– to the biggest monopoly of imaginable –– the Federal Government AKA Central Command and Control AKA "Big Brother," "Nurse Ratched," "Monster Mommy," or perhaps best described as "The Nanny from Hell."

    What we on the right hate most about that is the elimination of CHOICE. Once "Single Payer" is achieved every bit of control will be taken out of the hands of patients, doctors, hospitals, laboratories and nursing facilities and subject to Dictates from On High –– a chilling proposition.

    Once Central Command takes over the medical industry doctors and patients alike will be helpless victims of the whims, caprices –– and whatever heartless, merciless limitations –– Central Command and Control decides are in the best interests of "The Greater Good."

    All systems are imperfect, since they are devised by human beings, but very frankly I would rather suffer with a structured approach that makes it possible for a very large percentage of the population to receive excellent medical care on demand, than a government run system that guarantees mediocre treatment (at best!) for everyone regardless of his or her socio-economic status.

    As someone who has been fated to endure decades of intense personal experience tending invalids, I can say with perfect confidence that what we have had in the past has worked beautifully and compassionately for the most part.

    My position stated in the vernacular is simply this:


    I hasten to add that I was not born to great wealth or elite social status or anything of the kind. My life has been a virtual "soap opera" –– just like everyone else's –– but I have always considered it a high privilege to have been so fortunate as to have been born in these United States.

    ~ FreeThinke

  8. As most know, I have some major gripes with the present health-insurance system. Note that I said "health-insurance system" and not HEALTH CARE.

    As for the single-payer system, well, isn't Medicare just that? And what did happen to the funds that were paid in there? See THIS, for example.

    Also see THIS. Excerpt:

    ...Federal trust funds are totally different from the private trust funds that most of us are unfamiliar with. In contrast to private funds, the federal trust funds are owned by the federal government. Therefore, the feds can do whatever they want with any money deposited into them.

    For example, the feds routinely “borrow” billions of dollars from the social security and Medicare trust funds....

    Before the Boomers started retiring, they were funding Medicare and Social Security trust funds via tax dollars on their earned income. Well, Boomers have only BEGUN retiring. What will happen when the tsunami of retiring and aging Boomers really strikes? The supposedly all-wise central government didn't prepare well. I fail to understand why ANYONE believes that government-managed health insurance will be any different!

  9. I speak for myself, but I expect some large fraction of the left would agree with me. (Of course I resent the compression of politics down to one single dimension: left vs right ignores almost everything of importance.)

    "the left views making profits as undesirable at best and evil at worst"

    No, making money is fine. However, we recognise that perverse incentives can frequently arise from an unguided profit motive.

    "The left abhors monopoly"

    A common example of such perverse incentive is the establishment and protection of a monopoly. There are others.

    "the biggest monopoly of imaginable –– the Federal Government"

    Assuming no corruption (ha!), the government doesn't operate on a profit motive, it operates on a vote motive. A different set of perverse incentives are at play, occasionally those flaws are preferable to the flaws of the profit motive.

    "What we on the right hate most about that is the elimination of CHOICE."

    Right! And this is an ideological position. I doubt you are capable of soberly contemplating that choice is maybe not the supreme ideal in health care. As I observed in another thread, Michael Jackson had plenty of choice, but he misused it to over-medicate himself. His own choice? Perhaps. (the question is complicated by mental health and addiction issues.)
    In general, what good is choice in a domain in which most people lack the skills & knowledge to make sensible judgments?

    "doctors and patients alike will be helpless victims of the whims, caprices [of the Fed. government]"

    Those whims are tempered, remember, by the vote motive. Which is not perfect, but neither is the profit motive. Choose your poison -- as you do in your bolded paragraph near the end. However, I believe that your perception of each choice is skewed.

    "a structured approach that makes it possible for a very large percentage of the population to receive excellent medical care on demand"

    About 16% of Americans are uninsured, and more than that have insurance that would fail to cover the cost of a catastrophic illness.

    "a government run system that guarantees mediocre treatment (at best!) for everyone regardless of his or her socio-economic status"

    I don't know the details of Obamacare, but I'm sure you'll still be able to exchange money for treatment, in the same way that we in the UK can buy private treatment despite the existence of our NHS.
    Public health care providers often provide good care, so "mediocre ... at best" is not correct.

    "As someone who has been fated to endure decades of intense personal experience tending invalids, I can say with perfect confidence..."

    The plural of anecdote is not data!

  10. Jez,

    I welcome your thoughts and observations. I only wish I had time to give them all the attention they deserve.

    Believe it or not, I do have another life outside of posting commentary in the blogosphere.

    Right now, "Duty calls," so I have to leave his for now.

    Points you've raised need to be addressed but not in a perfunctory, half-hearted fashion.

    I hope we may continue this conversation soon.

    Good day to you,

    ~ FreeThinke

  11. The new "constitutionalism" - The Supreme Court can levy a tax.

  12. Not only has SCOTUS assumed the power to levy new taxes, they now take it upon themselves to REWRITE the law.

    We are ruled by Judicial Oligarchy.

    The other two branches of government might just as well pack their things and go back to their places of origin. They have been rendered as useless as the proverbial teats on a boar.

    But this is nothing new. As far as I can remember it started with a vengeance in 1954.

    ~ FT



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