The Joys of Obamacare

Funds run low for health insurance in state ‘high-risk pools’

 

Tens of thousands of Americans who cannot get health insurance because of preexisting medical problems will be blocked from a program designed to help them because funding is running low.

Obama administration officials said Friday that the state-based “high-risk pools” set up under the 2010 health-care law will be closed to new applicants as soon as Saturday and no later than March 2, depending on the state.

But they stressed that coverage for about 100,000 people who are now enrolled in the high-risk pools will not be affected.

“We’re being very careful stewards of the money that has been appropriated to us and we wanted to balance our desire to maximize the number of people who can gain from this program while making sure people who are in the program have coverage,” said Gary Cohen, director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. “This was the most prudent step for us to take at this point in time.”

The program, which was launched in summer 2010, was always intended as a temporary bridge for the uninsured. But it was supposed to last until 2014. At that point,  the health-care law will bar insurers from rejecting or otherwise discriminating against people who are already sick, enabling such people to buy plans through the private market.

From the start, analysts questioned whether the $5 billion that Congress appropriated for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan — as the program is called — was sufficient. Please Continue Reading

Shoot the Nullifier!

FL Senate President Laughs At Constitutionalist

by:  and the Common Constitutionalist

Republican Florida State Senate President Don Gaetz showed the true face of tyrannical RINOs in the Republican Party when he openly laughed and mocked the Constitutional principles espoused by KrisAnne Hall, an attorney and former prosecutor, who supports the Tenth Amendment and the right of the States to nullify unconstitutional laws implemented by the federal government. However, it appears that Mr. Gaetz also indicated his support of the tactic of the seventh President of the United States Andrew Jackson inNullifyObamacare how he would deal with “nullifiers.” He would have them shot and hanged.

According to Mrs. Hall, she not only spoke to Gaetz, but even wrote him and explained the positions of men like James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton on State sovereignty. She then received what can only be explained as a violence threatening email from Gaetz to anyone that would support nullification. Here’s what Sen. Gaetz wrote:

Thank you for your email and for your passionate views.

Like you, I believe Obamacare is unconstitutional and wrong-headed policy. I have consistently voted in the Florida Legislature for legislation that affirms our state’s options, obligations and sovereignty under the United States Constitution. I am working every day to ensure the election of national candidates who will repeal and replace this extraordinarily bad policy.

10th-amendmentAs to nullification, I tend to favor the approach used by Florida’s first Governor, Andrew Jackson:

It is said that one evening, while he was president, General Jackson was interrupted in his reading in his bedroom by an alarmed military aide who breathlessly reported, “Mr. President, the “nullifiers” are in front of the Executive Mansion with torches and guns. They are screaming that each state has the right to decide for itself which federal laws to follow. They threaten to burn us down if you will not agree with them.”

Without lifting his head from his reading, Andrew Jackson said, “Shoot the first nullifier who touches the Flag. And hang the rest.

Chaplain, I have sworn an oath on my father’s Bible before Almighty God to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and government of the United States. And that’s exactly what I intend to do. Count me with Andrew Jackson.

Senator Don Gaetz

From the Common Constitutionalist: Well, at least progressives are consistent. Whether they be democrat or republican matters not. A progressive is always in favor of siding with big government; the bigger the better. It’s also nice to hear Senator Gaetz is a big fan of that swine, Andrew Jackson. Lest you have forgotten or are a new reader, the following is an excerpt pulled from an article I wrote a while back regarding another progressive, Newt Gingrich. In it, I extolled the virtues of President Jackson:

Many believe the Father of Progressivism was Theodore Roosevelt. In fact it was Andrew Jackson. Andrew Jackson came to prominence as the Founding Fathers died out and I believe the republic that they envisioned also died with Jackson. He could not have done what he did if they had been around.

Jackson believed in Manifest Destiny, which is kind of the perversion of Divine Providence. Divine Providence occurs when you live your life in a good and moral way, try your best and pull yourself up by the bootstraps, God will open doors for you. You know, “Good things happen to good people”.

Manifest Destiny is more of the, “Get out of my way. I’m on a mission from God”. It’s my way or the highway. Like all progressives, he knew better than the people.

Founding Fathers = Divine Providence, Progressives = Manifest Destiny. It’s no surprise Jackson was also the father of the democrat party.

He declared war on the Bank of the United States (B.U.S.). I’m no fan of any national bank but unlike the Federal Reserve of today, the B.U.S. did not wield nearly the power of today’s central bank.

Although he declared it, he was not championing the working class or Ron Paul supporters. He claimed to be fighting for the “little man”. Sound familiar? In fact he just wanted to shut the bank down because he couldn’t control it. Jackson simply wanted to replace it with another bank completely controlled by him and his party. Progressives must control all things for the betterment of society. They arrest control by pretending to be the champions of the “Little Guy”.

Most Americans think the Civil War was fought solely about slavery. In fact AndrewTariff of 1832 Jackson started the ball rolling when he signed the Tariff of 1832 that taxed imported and exported goods. The North grew successfully under this tariff. The tax was rough on the southerners. As Andrew Jackson continued to tax goods, southerners found it hard to sell their products to the English and suffered badly.. South Carolina firmly refused to pay the taxes and threatened to withdraw from the Union if the tariff was enforced. It was eventually rewritten, but the damage between the North & South had been done.

Like the progressives that would follow, he was also a flaming racist. He believed neither Indians nor blacks should own any property in the U.S. He particularly hated Indians.

We have all heard of the “Trail of Tears”. That was Andrew Jackson’s doing. He declared war on the Eastern Indian Tribes, signing the Indian Removal Act. There would be no tribes east of the Mississippi. Many Indians were massacred. Those he didn’t have killed, were driven west along; you guessed it,  “The Trail of Tears”. Many of the Indians died on the trail (roughly 25%), freezing to death.

His excuse for the atrocity was, “Well, we needed the land, so we took it”. Manifest Destiny.

More Light on Obamacare Ruling

More Scorn for Chief Justice Roberts as Details of Switch Leak

As Breitbart News suggested last week, it appears Chief Justice John Roberts did, in fact, switch his vote on the Obamacare decision under pressure from President Barack Obama, the Democrats, and the mainstream media. John Fund at National Review has more details today–including evidence about a bizarre address by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Judiciary Committee, that singled out Roberts himself:

Indeed, Senator Patrick Leahy (Vt., D.) , the chair of the Judiciary Committee, suddenly took to the floor on May 14 and directly addressed Roberts, urging him in harshly partisan tones to uphold Obamacare and maintain “the proper role of the judicial branch.”

Stewart Baker, a partner at the Washington law firm Steptoe & Johnson, writes at the Volokh Conspiracy that he found the whole campaign against Roberts weird and unusual, given that the justices’ conference vote on Obamacare had been held six weeks earlier. Why “would the chair of the Judiciary Committee risk the appearance of trying to harshly strong-arm the Court when his remarks wouldn’t make the slightest difference?” he asks. “The Leahy speech reads like it was written for an audience of one. It offers flattery and it offers threats, all of them personalized to appeal to Chief Justice Roberts alone.”

Fund adds that the White House likely benefited from leaks at the Court, and almost certainly knew of Roberts’s switch–just as it almost certainly knew of the initial vote to throw out the individual mandate in March:

The week before the Supreme Court announced its decision, the White House was clearly hinting to many in the media and on Capitol Hill that they expected a 5–4 opinion that would hinge on the taxing-power issue. Did someone leak? Sunday on Face the Nation, Jan Crawford of CBS News said that two reliable

Gimme Five Up Top!

sources told her that Roberts originally voted, in late March, with the four conservative justices to invalidate the individual mandate. According to Crawford, Roberts suddenly changed sides some six weeks later and then resisted “a month-long desperate campaign by the conservative justices to bring him back to the fold.”

I’ve learned from my own sources that after voting to invalidate the mandate, the chief did express some skepticism about joining the four conservatives in throwing out the whole law. At the justices’ conference, there was discussion about accepting the Obama administration’s argument, which was that, if the individual mandate was removed, the provisions governing community rating and guaranteed issue of insurance would have to go too but that the rest of the law might stand. The chief justice was equivocal, though, in his views on that point.

The more the public learns about Roberts’s decision, the more people are likely to hate it. Fund notes that even David Brooks of the New York Times agrees that Roberts “had to get to a certain result, and he was going to find a way by hook or by crook.” It’s a conclusion that aptly expresses how Obamacare was conceived, how it was passed, and now how it has been upheld by one of the worst decisions in recent years.

Common Constitutionalist note: I contend that Justice Sonia Sotomayor was placed on the court expressly for the Obamacare vote and that Justice Elaina Kagan is the leak. In my opinion, it’s common knowledge regarding the wise Latina. I have no proof regarding Kagan, but she is a Obama sycophant, and ran in the same academic circles from her time in Chicago, even hiring the radical friend of Obama, Cass Sunstein.

The Affordable Act that Doesn’t Care

Dana considering layoffs as Obamacare costs mount

by:

Dana Holding Corp., recently announced their third quarter results, reporting a 12% decrease in sales and net income of $56 million, compared to with $110 million for the same period in 2011.

The global auto parts manufacturer properly characterized their earnings as solid, and several media outlets covered the details.

Most of the news reports also mentioned the letter President and CEO Roger Wood sent to employees that called for continued vigilance in light of falling commercial vehicle demand in North America and continued economic uncertainty:

The uncertain global economic environment continues to put pressure on production in Europe, China, and Brazil. In North America, as evidenced not only by our earnings release, but by many other companies as well, there is a looming concern in the economy. The threats of a fiscal cliff, along with increasing taxes on small businesses, are holding down job creation and optimism for growth in the United States. These economic factors affect Dana in that we must always be sure that we are keeping our costs in line with our revenue changes.

But that’s where most media coverage stopped. The next paragraph in the letter told the real story:

We must also offset increased costs that are placed on us through new laws and regulations. For example, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” is expected to cost Dana approximately $24 million over the next six years in additional U.S. health care expenses. This is a cost that our customers are not willing to cover, mandating that we reduce our overhead expenses to cover them.

Yes, you read that correctly: $24 million over the next six years. And they can’t pass that along to their customers, so they have to reduce their overhead.
That means layoffs, because there’s really no other way for a company to cover that much expense, especially in a recession.

In June, Dana employed 25,500 in 47 countries. By September, they’d shed 1,000 jobs, some of them from planned actions like their divestiture of their Fredericktown, Ohio, facility; the planned closures of their Longview, Texas, and Toledo, Ohio, facilities; and the consolidation of their Rochester Hills, Mich., and Milwaukee, Wisc., plants into other facilities.

But last Friday they laid off seven white collar staff at corporate offices here in the Toledo area. I’ve been told by company insiders that more are being considered.
So while President Barack Obama is campaigning on his auto bailout and the jobs it supposedly saved, his Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – is going to cost jobs … in that same automotive industry.

Dana may be able to survive the increased costs of “affordable” care, but not without consequences for some of their employees.

Other small businesses and their workers won’t be so lucky.

Scarlett’s Lady Parts

Hollywood’s Hysterical “Cancer Screening” Lie for Obama

by: Michelle Malkin

The Hollywood Women for Obama Club wants you to vote with your “lady parts.” I want the women of America to vote with their lady smarts. The latest ad from a trio of Tinsel Town actresses spreads one of the stupidest lies about Mitt Romney this election cycle. Fantasyland needs a fact check.

According to starlets Scarlett Johansson, Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington, the GOP presidential ticket wants to “end” funding for “cancer screenings.” If you and your reproductive organs don’t vote for Obama, the doe-eyed celebrities ominously imply, people will DIE, DIE, DIE!

Obimbos

This scare-mongering falsehood has been repeated endlessly by Planned Parenthood and the Obama campaign itself. An official Obama for America ad released in August accuses Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, of backing measures to “allow employers to deny women access to cancer screenings.” It also is being used by demagogic Democrats in key Senate races (in Montana, for example).

This much is true: Romney and Ryan do indeed support ending all federal taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood’s billion-dollar empire. One-third of the budget of the nation’s largest abortion provider, which masquerades as a comprehensive health care provider, comes from government.

But here’s what the famous femmes don’t tell you: Planned Parenthood does not provide women with mammograms. PP’s “women’s health” mantle is a sham. An undercover investigation of 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 different states, conducted by pro-life group Live Action, confirmed that the abortion provider does not perform breast cancer screenings. “We don’t provide those services whatsoever,” a staffer at Planned Parenthood of Arizona admitted. Planned Parenthood’s Comprehensive Health Center clinic in Overland Park, Kan., acknowledged: “We actually don’t have a, um, mammogram machine, at our clinics.”

But don’t just take Live Action’s word for it. In June 2012, the Obama Health and Human Services Department responded to a request for information about how many Planned Parenthood clinics were certified to operate mammogram facilities. “Our search did not find any documents pertinent to your request,” HHS told the Alliance Defense Fund.

Got that? Fraudulent Hollywood harridans and their hero in the White House have been deliberately deceiving women into thinking that eliminating Planned Parenthood subsidies would mean a catastrophic end to affordable cancer screening services. But the abortion provider’s purported “referral services” to outside mammogram facilities are negligible — especially given the widespread availability of free and low-cost breast and cervical cancer screening services across the country supported by both private and public grants.

Wait, that’s not all. In the real world, it’s the Obama administration, not Republicans, who have actively presided over and promoted a drop in cancer screenings for both men and women over the past four years. You can thank Democratic crusaders for health care rationing in the White House. They want all the glory of championing socialized medicine, but cut and run from the consequences at election time.

Under Obamacare, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) will be empowered to determine which health care services are “medically appropriate.” For nearly three decades, the federal panel of primary care physicians and epidemiologists has issued nonbinding guidelines and A-F ratings of recommended medical procedures. But as Forbes columnist Dr. Paul Hsieh explains:

“ObamaCare links insurance coverage of preventive medical services to their USPSTF rating. … (U)nder ObamaCare, Medicare payment decisions will become increasingly controlled by the new Independent Payment Advisory Board, explicitly created to reduce Medicare spending. … To reduce costs, many private insurers will likely drop coverage for “C” and “D” rated services. Hence under ObamaCare, the USPSTF guidelines will likely become the de facto standards for both government and private health insurance coverage.”

And that means dropping coverage for the very services Scar-Jo and her femme friends are accusing the GOP of threatening.

Note: The USPSTF is the same review panel that advised cutting back on routine ovarian cancer screenings last month, recommended fewer prostate cancer screening tests in May 2012, and proposed mammogram restrictions for women over age 50 in 2009.

In fact, the Mayo Clinic reported this summer that mammogram screenings for women in their 40s have declined nearly 6 percent since the Obama panel announced its decision in 2009. “Comparing mammography rates before and after publication of the new guidelines,” the Mayo Clinic wrote, “researchers found that the recommendations were associated with a 5.72 percent decrease in the mammography rate for women ages 40-49. Over a year, nearly 54,000 fewer mammograms were performed in this age group.”

It’s no surprise the Hollywood “cancer screening” horror ad script was written by left-wing actor/director Rob Reiner of “All in the Family” and Archie Bunker fame. These Obama-promoting meatheads and their hysterical handmaidens inhabit a manufactured world impervious to facts and fiscal realities.

Obamacare is Coming! Hide Your Wallets!

These are the Top 5 Worst Taxes ‘Obamacare’ Will Impose in 2013

from:  at The Blaze

The Grover Norquist-founded Americans for Tax Reform, a 501(c)(4) lobbying group that opposes “all tax increases as a matter of principle,” on Friday released a list of what, they say, are the top five worst taxes The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e. “Obamacare”) will impose on Americans in 2013.

Here they are [all block quotes via the report]:

The ‘Obamacare’ Medical Device Tax

Americans For Tax Reform Releases a List of the Top 5 Worst Taxes Obamacare Will Impose in 2013Tax Increase: $20 Billion

Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales — even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year. In addition to killing small business jobs and impacting research and development budgets, this will increase the cost of your health care — making everything from pacemakers to prosthetics more expensive.

The ‘Obamacare’ ‘Special Needs Kids Tax’

Americans For Tax Reform Releases a List of the Top 5 Worst Taxes Obamacare Will Impose in 2013Tax Increase: $13 Billion

The 30-35 million American who use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs will face a new government cap of $2,500 (currently the accounts are unlimited under federal law, though employers are allowed to set a cap).

There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are several million families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families.

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The ‘Obamacare’ Surtax on Investment Income

Americans For Tax Reform Releases a List of the Top 5 Worst Taxes Obamacare Will Impose in 2013Tax Increase: $123 Billion

This is a new, 3.8 percentage point surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).  This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income:

The table above also incorporates the scheduled hike in the capital gains rate from 15 to 20 percent, and the scheduled hike in dividends rate from 15 to 39.6 percent.

The ‘Obamacare’ ‘Haircut’ for Medical Itemized Deductions

Americans For Tax Reform Releases a List of the Top 5 Worst Taxes Obamacare Will Impose in 2013Tax Increase: $15.2 Billion

Currently, those Americans facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  This tax increase imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. By limiting this deduction, Obamacare widens the net of taxable income for the sickest Americans.  This tax provision will most harm near retirees and those with modest incomes but high medical bills.

The ‘Obamacare’ Medicare Payroll Tax Hike

Americans For Tax Reform Releases a List of the Top 5 Worst Taxes Obamacare Will Impose in 2013Tax Increase: $86.8 Billion

The Medicare payroll tax is currently 2.9 percent on all wages and self-employment profits.  Under this tax hike, wages and profits exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 in the case of married couples) will face a 3.8 percent rate instead. This is a direct marginal income tax hike on small business owners, who are liable for self-employment tax in most cases. The table below compares current law vs. the Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike:

Gestapo Marches into Maine

by: Steve Mistler, Portland Press Herald

Gov. Paul LePage used his weekly radio address to blast President Obama’s health care law and described the Internal Revenue Service as the “new Gestapo.”

The IRS description was a reference to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires Americans not insured by their employers or Medicaid to buy health insurance or pay an annual penalty when filing their tax returns.

The provision, known more broadly as the individual mandate, was the subject of a multi-state lawsuit, but was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. LePage said the court decision has “made America less free.” “We the people have been told there is no choice,” he said. “You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo — the IRS.”

Maine Democratic Party Chairman Ben Grant, responding to LePage’s remarks, said, “We’ve come to expect a bunch of nonsense from Gov. LePage, but this is a step too far. There appears now to be no limit to the extreme language he will use to misinform, degrade and insult people. Somebody needs to explain to him that he’s the governor of a state, and not a talk radio host. I demand a full apology on behalf of all those who suffered at the hands of the real Gestapo.”

“There is nothing that degrades politics more than purported leaders who so cavalierly invoke the worst in human history when they can’t get their way in legitimate, modern policy disagreements,” Grant said. The Gestapo were Nazi Germany’s official secret police under Adolf Hitler, who imprisoned and murdered thousands of people without cause.

The debate over the mandate has become a political flash point since the health law was enacted. Republicans maintain that the requirement is an unfair tax. Democrats say the mandate was originally a Republican idea born from the conservative Heritage Foundation, which introduced the measure in 1989 as a counterpoint to calls for a single-payer health care system.

LePage also addressed another element of the health-care law that was immediately thrust into the public debate: Medicaid expansion. Originally, Obamacare required states to increase eligibility for low-income residents or pay a penalty. The court decision struck down the penalty; however, the federal government is still offering to pay for the expansion. The federal government will fund 100 percent of the expansion from 2014 to 2016, gradually declining to 90 percent after that.

LePage says he needs more answers before making a decision about the Medicaid expansion, which has been assailed by fellow Republican governors. At least 15 have said they’ll forgo the federal funding. LePage said the state doesn’t know how the federal matches will be paid for and how the newly eligible recipients would be defined. “However, Maine is already a welfare expansion state because of the generous benefits offered,” he said, adding that Maine’s welfare costs are among the highest in the nation because the state had expanded Medicaid prior to the Republican electoral sweep of 2010.

The governor also appeared to preempt potential pressure from hospitals to support Medicaid expansion. Hospitals may end up supporting the expansion because increased Medicaid offerings lower uncompensated, or charity, care levels. Uncompensated care is health-care costs that hospitals absorb because people can’t or won’t pay.

A recent report in the Portland Press Herald showed that uncompensated care by Maine hospitals has doubled over the last five years, from $94 million to $194 million. LePage said that increasing Medicaid may make it more difficult to pay hospitals the $500 million the state already owes in reimbursement.

The governor added that Maine will not move forward the ACA’s insurance exchanges — the marketplaces where individuals can shop for health plans from private companies — until the proposed $800 million tab to pay for them passes Congress. “With these looming uncertainties circling around this issue, Maine cannot move forward right now with Obamacare,” LePage said.

The governor finished his radio address by outlining his ideological opposition to the health-care law, which he said “raises taxes, cuts Medicare for the elderly, gets between patients and their doctors, costs trillions of taxpayer dollars, and kills jobs.” “Even more disheartening is that reviving the American dream just became nearly impossible to do,” he said. “We are now a nation which supports dependency rather than independence. Instead of encouraging self-reliance, we are encouraging people to rely on the government.”

Unlimited Power to Tax

A Short History of Congress’s Power to Tax

The Supreme Court has long distinguished the regulatory from the taxing power.

By PAUL MORENO

In 1935, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins was fretting about finding a constitutional basis for the Social Security Act. Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone advised her, “The taxing power, my dear, the taxing power. You can do anything under the taxing power.”

In his ObamaCare opinion, NFIB v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts gave Congress the same advice—just enact regulatory legislation and tack on a financial penalty, as in failure to comply with the individual insurance mandate. So how did the power to tax under the Constitution become unbounded?

The first enumerated power that the Constitution grants to Congress is the “power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” The text indicates that the taxing power is not plenary (full & complete in every respect), but can be used only for defined ends and objects—since a comma, not a semicolon, separated the clauses on means (taxes) and ends (debts, defense, welfare)

Editorial board member Joe Rago on how Chief Justice John Roberts’s rewrite of ObamaCare weakens the Constitution’s federalist structure.

This punctuation was no small matter. In 1798, Pennsylvania Rep. Albert Gallatin said that fellow Pennsylvania Rep. Gouverneur Morris, chairman of the Committee on Style at the Constitutional Convention, had smuggled in the semicolon in order to make Congress’s taxing power limitless, but that the alert Roger Sherman had the comma restored. The altered punctuation, Gallatin said, would have turned “words [that] had originally been inserted in the Constitution as a limitation to the power of levying taxes” into “a distinct power.” Thirty years later, Virginia Rep. Mark Alexander accused Secretary of State John Quincy Adams of doing the same thing after Congress instructed the administration to print copies of the Constitution.

The punctuation debate simply reinforced James Madison’s point in Federalist No. 41 that Congress could tax and spend only for those objects enumerated, primarily in Article I, Section 8.

Congress enacted very few taxes up to the end of the Civil War, and none that was a pretext for regulating things that the Constitution gave it no power to regulate. True, the purpose of tariffs was to protect domestic industry from foreign competition, not raise revenue. But the Constitution grants Congress a plenary power to regulate commerce with other nations.

Congress also enacted a tax to destroy state bank notes in 1866, but this could be seen as a “necessary and proper” means to stop the states from usurping Congress’s monetary or currency power. It was upheld in Veazie Bank v. Fenno (1869).

The first unabashed use of the taxing power for regulatory purposes came when Congress enacted a tax on “oleomargarine” in 1886. Dairy farmers tried to drive this cheaper butter substitute from the market but could only get Congress to adopt a mild tax, based on the claim that margarine was often artificially colored and fraudulently sold as butter. President Grover Cleveland reluctantly signed the bill, saying that if he were convinced the revenue aspect was simply a pretext “to destroy . . . one industry of our people for the protection and benefit of another,” he would have vetoed it.

Congress imposed another tax on margarine in 1902, which the Supreme Court upheld (U.S. v. McCray, 1904). Three justices dissented, but without writing an opinion.

Then, in 1914, Congress imposed taxes on druggists’ sales of opiates as a way to regulate their use. Five years later, in U.S. v. Doremus , the Supreme Court upheld the levy under Congress’s express power to impose excise taxes.

Then, in 1922, the court rejected Congress’s attempt to prohibit child labor by imposing a tax on companies that employed children. An earlier attempt to accomplish this, by prohibiting the interstate shipment of goods made by child labor, was struck down as unconstitutional—since it was understood since the earliest days of the republic that Congress had the power to regulate commerce but not manufacturing. “A Court must be blind not to see that the so-called tax is imposed to stop the employment of children within the age limits prescribed,” Chief Justice William Howard Taft wrote in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. “Its prohibitory and regulatory effect and purpose are palpable.” Even liberal justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis D. Brandeis concurred in Taft’s opinion.

Things came to a head in the New Deal, when Congress imposed a tax on food and fiber processors and used those tax dollars to provide benefits to farmers. Though in U.S. v. Butler (1936) the court adopted a more expansive view of the taxing power—allowing Congress to tax and spend for the “general welfare” beyond the powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution—it still held the ends had to be “general” and not transfer payments from one group to another. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt threatened to “pack” the Supreme Court in 1937, it accepted such transfer payments in Mulford v. Smith (1939), so long as the taxes were paid into the general treasury and not earmarked for farmers.

And now, in 2012, Justice Roberts has confirmed that there are no limits to regulatory taxation as long as the revenue is deposited in the U.S. Treasury.

Are there any other limits? Article I, Section 2 says that “direct taxes shall be apportioned among the states” according to population. This is repeated in Article I, Section 9, which says that “no capitation, or other direct tax, shall be laid,” unless apportioned.

The Supreme Court struck down income taxes in 1895 (Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.), on the ground that they were “direct” taxes but not apportioned by population. Apportioning an income tax would defeat the purpose of the relatively poorer Southern and Western states, who wanted the relatively richer states of the Northeast to pay the bulk of the tax. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the power to tax incomes without apportionment.

Other direct taxes should presumably have to be apportioned according to the Constitution. Justice Roberts quickly dismissed the notion that the individual mandate penalty-tax is not a direct tax “under this Court’s precedents.” To any sentient adult, it looks like a “capitation” or head tax, imposed upon individuals directly. Unfortunately, having plenty of other reasons to object to ObamaCare, the four dissenting justices in NFIB v. Sebelius did not explore this point.

Some conservatives have cheered that part of Justice Roberts’s decision that limits Congress’s Commerce Clause power. But an unlimited taxing power is equally dangerous to constitutional government.

Mr. Moreno is a professor of history at Hillsdale College and the author of “The American State from the Civil War to the New Deal,” forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

I Should’ve taken the Blue Pill

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Remember this? (video below) I do. I also recall how Sarah Palin was savaged by the lefties for daring to speak the truth regarding the implmentation of “Death Panels” with the inactment of Obamacare.

Well folks, welcome to real life. Those of you non-believers will just have to wait for the truth of this monstrosity to be fully revealed. At this minute new regulations are being crafted by unelected beaurocrats. You read that correctly. The law is in place but the rules & regulations are still being written. In other words, no one, including those who originated the law, have any idea what it will morph into. That’s what Bella (I want to suck your wallet) Pelosi meant by, ” You have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it”.

That regulatory burden will fall on people like Czar Cass (Philip Dru, Administrator) Sunstein. Beck doesn’t call him the “Most dangerous man in America” for nothing. If he could, he would mandate how many beats your heart can make per day.

Now that the Supremes have brushed aside the pesky, majority of the American population, things will begin to implement more rapidly, although, will not be evident until after the election.

If you are over 50 with a medical condition beyond that of a common cold, be prepared to have your medical care limited. If your north of seventy, and not independently wealthy, good luck.

If you are a travel agent, I would suggest you consider getting in on the ground floor of a burdgeoning new industry, medical tourism.

Hurricane season will be arriving a bit late this year. It will begin on November 7th.