Obamacare: Turns a Penalty on Behavior into a "Tax"


I think I'll regard a speeding ticket as a "speeding tax." Oh, and, when a mugger holds a gun to my head and posits this question, "Your money or your life," I'll regard that as a "life tax."

The Cato Institute, one of America's great voices of reason, recently posted a wonderful argument eviscerating Chief Justice Roberts' logic --- well, his tortured logic, really --- in turning a penalty for one's action into a tax. In his article, We Won Everything but the Case, Ilya Shapiro writes that the SCOTUS mostly upheld legal theories that libertarians had been arguing, and yet somehow managed to NOT gut (the Orwellian named) Affordable Care Act. (For the monetary effects upon your clients, please read Staff Writer Diane Britton's article, No Need to Panic Over Healthcare Ruling Tax Hike.)

Shapiro writes:

" . . . That is, the Chief Justice recharacterized a provision explicitly stating that people 'shall' obtain health insurance or pay a 'penalty' into a 'choice,' a 'tax citizens may lawfully choose to pay in lieu of buying health insurance.'

"I wonder whether this means that the next time I'm driving I should consider whether to obey the speed limit or simply pay the 'speeding tax.' Surely I'll spend less time pondering that 'choice' than the one a mugger would give me regarding my money or my life."

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