Copyright 2011 by John T. Reed
There is currently much ado about the constitutionality of Obamacare, namely, what right does the federal government have to order everyone to buy health insurance?
We have already been through this once.
in the 1930s, critics said Social Security was just a tax, not a pension plan. FDR swore that was a lie.
Then, after it became law, it was challenged as unconstitutional because it forced people to buy an annuity from the federal government for which there is no authority in the Constitution.
FDR’s Justice Department said, shamelessly, in court, that it was just a tax that put money into the general revenues and that could be paid out as pensions or not at the will of the Congress.
You can look it up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helvering_v._Davis Read the paragraph under the word “Holding” in the box on the right of the Wikipedia writeup.
I have not yet heard that Obama’s Justice Department is arguing Obamacare is just a tax. Obama himself, like FDR, angrily denounced that accusation during the 2008 campaign and debate over Obamacare.
If, however, they were somehow to lose the current cases on the constitutionality of Obamacare, it seems like they could just recharacterize it as a tax and win.
We probably cannot count on the Court to stop it, especially if Obama get to make another appointment to the Court. It has to be stopped in Congress.
John T. Reed