Andrew Packer wrote “Obamacare Decision Says: ‘We Can Tax You on Anything – Whether You Buy It or Not‘” Well, yes, true. Yet his post, like all the others’ I’ve read, doesn’t capture the ugly symmetry in this Supreme Court decision.
In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the constitution pretty much completed the Federal government’s power to tax everything we earn and do what they want with it. In other words, everything we do is taxable.
Now, with the new Obama court ruling, the Supreme Court says the government can arbitrarily tax me for things of it’s choosing that I DON’T do. The other half is now complete! The government can now tax me on everything I DO do, and everything I DON’T do.
With regard to taxing things I DO do, the 2006 Murphy case surprised me in as much as it expands Congress’ ability to define things. The Court stated that “[a]lthough the ‘Congress cannot make a thing income which is not so in fact,’ [ . . . ] it can label a thing income and tax it, so long as it acts within its constitutional authority, which includes not only the Sixteenth Amendment but also Article I, Sections 8 and 9.”
With the Obama expansion to include taxing what I DON’T do, Congress’ power seems complete and absolute. Is there any constitutional, or statutory, or case law precedence against taxing what I don’t do?