Everyone Loses in Supreme Court Obamacare Decision

Americans, rejoice! Your royal government has given you a choice!

You get to choose between buying a very specific, expensive product that you may not need or want, and paying a fine ... oops, I mean a tax, instead!

Oh, the blessings of freedom!

The Supreme Court today upheld the government’s ability to impose a fine on individuals who have the gall to refuse to participate in specific economic activity that the government decides is in everyone’s best interest.

The good news for those worried about runaway government power is that the Court did not expand the government’s power to regulate interstate commerce any further. The bad news is that calling the mandate a tax completely cancels out the good news.

From now on, America is a place in which the government can require everyone to buy anything, as long as Congress is prepared to levy taxes on people who do not want to buy the product in question.

The obvious question is: What’s next? What other choices will our royal government bless us by providing? Perhaps a choice between buying a Brita water filter and paying a tax? Or a choice between joining a gym and paying a tax? If my health is so very important to the government, and I am so incapable of making my own decisions about it, why should the government’s control over my health stop at insurance?

And what about behavior? I’m sure the government would think it best for me to stop writing this article. Perhaps I should have the choice to either stop writing this, or pay a tax! Since the Supreme Court decided today that the government’s taxing power trumps any reasonable reading of the Tenth Amendment and the Commerce Clause, the government’s taxing power may just trump my First Amendment rights as well.  

With this principle in hand, there is no clear, obvious limit to the government’s power to regulate individual behavior.

What can’t they do now? What other choices do we have to look forward to?

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Christopher P. Ryan

Christopher P. Ryan is a freelance writer based in the mid-Atlantic, and Senior News Editor of 20 Something Magazine. (www.20somethingmagazine.com) He holds an M.A. in History and Public Policy from The George Washington University. He previously ran his own business and did volunteer work in his community. Chris has worked in the Maryland State Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and Citizens Against Government Waste.

MORE FROM

These secret wartime tunnels were hidden beneath London for 100 years. Here’s what’s inside.

The passages were once used to shuffle 4 million letters a day.

London police identify Makram Ali, 51, as the man killed in the Finsbury Park mosque attack

Makram Ali, a father of six, died after a van attack on worshippers at a London mosque.

Cladding Similar to Grenfell Tower Could Be on 600 U.K. Buildings, PM's Office Says

Local authorities estimate about 600 buildings across Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been fitted with the same type of flammable cladding used on Grenfell Tower.

Archbishop apologizes for Church of England's role in hiding years of "systemic" sexual abuse

Ex-bishop Peter Ball admitted in 2015 to abusing 18 young men over two decades.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Tropical Storm Cindy, Housing for Grenfell fire survivors, Uber CEO steps down

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

EPA committee told that "climate change will be de-emphasized" by Trump administration

A key advisory committee has been "totally decimated" ex-members say.

These secret wartime tunnels were hidden beneath London for 100 years. Here’s what’s inside.

The passages were once used to shuffle 4 million letters a day.

London police identify Makram Ali, 51, as the man killed in the Finsbury Park mosque attack

Makram Ali, a father of six, died after a van attack on worshippers at a London mosque.

Cladding Similar to Grenfell Tower Could Be on 600 U.K. Buildings, PM's Office Says

Local authorities estimate about 600 buildings across Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been fitted with the same type of flammable cladding used on Grenfell Tower.

Archbishop apologizes for Church of England's role in hiding years of "systemic" sexual abuse

Ex-bishop Peter Ball admitted in 2015 to abusing 18 young men over two decades.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Tropical Storm Cindy, Housing for Grenfell fire survivors, Uber CEO steps down

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

EPA committee told that "climate change will be de-emphasized" by Trump administration

A key advisory committee has been "totally decimated" ex-members say.