Friday, June 29, 2012

Quick Hits - June 28, 2012 - Obamacare Edition

Patrick Gaspard, the Executive Director of the Democrat National Committee sent this tweet out to spike the football over the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare.

Here is President Obama's spiking of the football - and true to form, it's not about the health care reform bill, or the millions of uninsured who are now going to be insured at a cost of $1.75 trillion to $2.5 trillion to the U.S. taxpayer between 2014 and 2024, but all about the 'Narcissist in Chief'....

This is, as many pundits are noting, a historical decision by the Supreme Court of the United States.  But then, Plessy and Dred Scott were also historical decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States.  Being historical does not make the decision a good one.  Many of the pundits on the progressive left are celebrating the decision, specifically the majority decision - but they are focusing on the simple aspect that the Individual Mandate was not found unconstitutional and that the Obamacare legislation remains the law of the land.

For those of us in punditry on the right, well, we are taking a different point of view towards the decision.  But before I go to far, let's review the decision and try to summarize both the majority opinion and dissent.

First, the 4 liberal jurists of the Court, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, all supported the constitutionality of the Individual Mandate under the Commerce Clause.  Chief Justice Roberts, along with Associate Justices Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito found that the Individual Mandate was unconstitutional under both the Commerce clause and the 'Necessary and Proper' clause in the US Constitution.

The surprise came from Chief Justice Roberts, who, along with the conscent of the liberal jurists, defined the Individual Mandate a 'tax' and therefore, under the powers given to Congress under the XVIth Amendment, a constitutional use of Congressional power to establish a tax.  This, therefore, provided the means for the Individual mandate to stand, and therefore the entire law to stand.

What will be examined for a long time is going to be the decision by the Chief Justice.  No where in the 2500+ pages of the legislation is the term 'tax' used.  The Individual Mandate, which requires all persons to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty - what could be a substantial penalty - to the IRS which is charged with collecting the penalty / enforcing the mandate.  Even when asked about the penalty being a 'tax' - President Obama strongly denied that the intent and purpose is a 'tax' -

But, now according to the Chief Justice, this is no longer a penalty - but a tax.

So, where does this leave us now?

I've noticed a number of the pundits talking about how Obamacare surviving, essentially untouched, as being the end point for a bad series of events for President Obama - and his struggling reelection campaign. The left has finally found a 5-4 SCOTUS decision that isn't partisan, political, embattled, or essentially invalid because it was decided by only 1 vote. There is talk of a real enthusiasm boost coming to the President - perhaps even with new enthusiasm towards fundraising.

But as excited as the left is over this ruling - this is going to be a case for the progressives of being careful about what you wish for.

Despite numerous promises throughout his campaign and his first several years in office, President Obama, with this legislation remaining in force, has delivered not only the largest tax increase on the American taxpayer in U.S. history, but these massive tax increases hammer the middle class American's - the specific class that President Obama promised to not increase taxes on. These taxes are above and beyond the nearly $500 billion tax increases that are coming on 'Taxmaggeddon' - January 1, 2013. Obamacare is going to represent between $1.75 trillion in new taxes over the decade of 2014-2024 (per the CBO's estimate) and $2.49 trillion (Heritage).

The Tea Party of 2009 and 2010 formed and coalesced over concerns of the expansion of the federal government powers, the increases in taxes and fees being instilled, and around the excessive reach of the Obamacare legislation - which puts 1/6th of the national economy in the direct control of the federal government. They've been fairly quiet this election season - but with this ruling, they will no longer be as quiet. They are now more energized than they were in 2010 because the only way Obamacare is going to be eliminated is to be repealed by a Republican majority controlled Congress and a Republican in the White House - like Mitt Romney who said 'Day One, Job One - End Obamacare' is his goal....

This is as the Chief Justice said - that elections have consequences and the role of the SCOTUS is not to determine if a law is good, bad, or fair - but if it is permissible under the Constitution.

Since the announcement, the Romney campaign and the RNC have raised nearly $3 million - and donations continue to flood in. The GOP and Tea Party are now mobilized for the November election. Rush Limbaugh, in his radio broadcast captured this....

RUSH: Hey, folks, have you seen the economic news today? Have you heard about the unemployment numbers today? (laughing) Gross domestic product, have you heard about any of that? Because I have it here, and it sucks. It’s a disaster. The economy of this country remains a disaster. And we, the American people, have just been deceived in ways that nobody contemplated. And what we now have is the biggest tax increase in the history of the world. What we have been told by the chief justice of the Supreme Court and four liberals on the court: Obamacare is just a massive tax increase. That’s all it is. Obama lied to us about that. The Democrats lied. “It wasn’t a tax. There was no way it was a tax.”

The chief justice was hell-bent to find a way to make this law applicable, so he just decided, you know what, as a tax increase, it works, because there’s no limit on the federal government’s ability to tax. And it’s right there in the preamble of the Constitution, right there, Article 1, Section 8, the general welfare clause, it’s been established Congress can tax whatever, whoever, whenever, how much they want. Even when they don’t ask for it, the Supreme Court is gonna find a way to make what they want to do legal because John Roberts said it’s not our job here to forbid this. It’s not our job to protect people from outcomes. It’s not our job to determine whether it is right or wrong or any of that. We just get to look at it. We can’t forbid this. This is what the elected representatives of the people want.

No, the elected representatives of the people were deceived. Remember yesterday I asked you, if this decision went this way, what was your initial reaction going to be. And how many of you were deflated as you can be because of the way this was reported? The first thing that came down, the mandate, unconstitutional, that was the first thing everybody reported. Mandate unconstitutional, big sigh of relief. And then within moments, wait a minute, wait a minute, we’re reading further. Hold it just a second. The mandate’s unconstitutional, but the court has decided it’s a tax, and therefore it’s okay.

So Obamacare is nothing more than the largest tax increase in the history of the world. And the people who were characterizing it as such were right and were telling the truth. We have the biggest tax increase in the history of the world right in the middle of one of this country’s worst recessions. In fact, as the vice president said yesterday, a depression for millions of Americans. The chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, John Roberts, said, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” Not our job.

Well, what about when we are deceived? The court upheld a law that was not what we were told it would be. What has been upheld here is fraud, and the Internal Revenue Service has just become Barack Obama’s domestic army. That is what we face now. We were deceived. Obamacare was a lie. It was a stealth tax on all Americans, and nobody knew it until today.

While President Obama did not lie when he said he intended to 'fundamentally change the country' - the President and his progressive minions in the 2009-10 Democrat Congress did look the US citizenry in the eye and lie. We were told we had to pass the bill to see what's in it - and it's the largest tax hike on the middle class in U.S. history. It is an unprecedented seizure of power by the federal government- and it's now time for the US people to take the country back.

However, here's the rub and challenge that we face. Unless a majority of Americans see this as a overreach, as a reason for backlash to the progressives for another massive tax increase, and a reason to stop our slide to become a Euro-socialist entitlement state - we will become that Euro-socialist entitlement state and be looking within a decade of today being in the same boat as Greece or Spain is today.

As Rush Limbaugh noted in his commentary on the ruling, the US economic condition is, simply grim. The 1st Quarter 2012 GDP has been revised downwards to show only 1.9% of GDP growth - far below the 3% GDP growth experienced in the 4th quarter 2011. Estimates for the current quarter are also being downgraded - with expectations in the 1.5% GDP growth range. Consumer confidence has hit a 6 month low level and is trending down even further. New jobless claims are being touted as 'falling' by the Obama media sycophants - with the current week's report by the Department of Labor being 386,000 - just 1K below last week's 387,000....WAIT!!....for the 70th time in the last 71 weeks, the Department of Labor has revised the previous week's number upwards, so now we're looking at a decrease from 392,000 (the new number from last week) to 386,000 - a whopping 6K drop.

In another historical step, the House of Representatives today voted, for the first time in U.S. History, to hold the Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress - both on a civil contempt and on criminal contempt for his failure to respond to Congressional subpoena's seeking information regarding Fast and Furious. 17 Democrats crossed party lines to vote on the criminal contempt resolution, and 21 Democrats voted to hold the Attorney General in civil contempt. But even this was lost as about 65 House Democrats, including the leadership and much of the Congressional Black Caucus, walked out of the House chambers in protest for the vote to hold the AG in contempt.

Hot Air had an interesting editorial over the DC Circuit Court's rulings to uphold the authority of the EPA to classify CO2 as a greenhouse gas and having the authority to gut US industry and the US economy in the name of 'global warming'...
We in the US appear to be very close to becoming a theocracy. The religion in question is not Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, nor is it even environmentalism. It’s “government infallibilism,” or, as I like to call it, Govfall. The central tenet of this religion is that government is competent to decide or rule on anything – anything at all, regardless of evidence or lack of it, knowledge or paucity of it, or understanding or dearth of it.

The branch of the US government that represents the proper use of Govfall’s main religious tenet isn’t always the same one (which, frankly, ought to be a clue for believers). The judicial branch has been, as it were, on the throne of judgment for a number of decades, but Americans have also suffered a few presidents to seat themselves on it, like FDR and Obama…

…The matter at hand is the D.C. court of appeals ruling on the EPA’s authority to kill economic activity in the name of global warmism. The ruling describes the EPA’s opinion on global warming and greenhouse gases as “unambiguously correct” – which is a deeply silly formulation for characterizing any scientific theory, but would also have been considered, by our Founders and virtually all federal jurists up until the last 20-30 years, as comprehensively invalid language for any kind of judicial ruling. Judges aren’t competent to make decisions for the public on this matter. Their competence is in interpreting the law, not certifying scientific conclusions.

To the progressives, their political ideology is their religion...

Wrapping up today's edition, we have yet another example of just how little integrity, ethics, and credibility that the Washington Post has...

The Romney campaign met with the Washington Post to request a formal retraction of the major attack piece that the paper ran accusing the Republican candidate of being a leader of 'outsourcing' jobs from the U.S. to foreign countries while the head of Bain Capital. The Washington Post refused to issue a retraction for the story - saying they stand behind the story...

...ignoring that their own 'fact checker', Glenn Kessler, examined the story and claims against Mitt Romney and pronounced them so fundamentally flawed and wrong that he gave the story a score of '4 pinochios' - representing a completely dishonest story without a basis in fact.

Today in History

1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, and his wife Sophie, are assassinated by a Bosnian Serb nationalist during an official visit to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. The murders spark a chain of events that lead to the outbreak of World War I in August.

1919 – The Treaty of Versailles is signed ending the state of war between Germany and the Allied powers. The harsh provisions on Germany set the stage for the Second World War.

1940 – Britain recognizes General Charles de Gaulle as the leader of the Free French forces

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