And I’m wrong again.
It is a tax, and it is a penalty.
It’s only a tax if you choose to engage in the arguably irresponsible behavior of not purchasing health insurance for yourself and your family. (assuming the policy isn’t as destructive of such a possibility as the overblown rhetoric claims). That is a penalty is just an optional tax. Or a tax that vests in the absence of a condition precedent.
Also I don’t see much reason why Roberts opinion which is fairly well written has to be so poorly received. Roberts pieced it together in a smart way to make the legalese work.
But for a sort of back of the envelope tea party policy reason, ObamaCare is bad because these optional taxes are really just “nudges” and “distortions” of the free market. A real flat tax, obliterates the IRC, that is drowns it in a bathtub, get rid of the capital gains tax… that is make everything real income, and just be done with it…so says the Free Market? (not necessarily what Romney, Forbes and Co, mean when they say they want to get rid of capital gains).
As it is you have a tax code that encourages the existance of tax lawyers, and all sorts of games to shrink income, and to find “penalties”, or optional taxes (and then to avoid the penalties, by accepting the prefered policy nudge).
In any case the tea party might be more about taxes than they are about the commerce clause.
In any case Mitt Romney’s tax return, show that he knows how to find taxes and turn them into penalties. (buy stock, and hold it until the penalty for selling it quickly no longer vests, then it is long term capital gains, better yet, buy and hold it until you die, heirs get the step up in basis, and you can fight over the estate tax.)
The penalty in this case if that you forgo the autonomy or freedom of selling the asset if you wish to avoid the penalty, you also still pay long term capital gains on dividends…unless you offset this penalty by selling off positions that are in the red.
In any case the Idiots/populist guide to taxes could explain a lot about the IRC by using penalty as a form of tax, that more or less functionally describes the mechanical operation of ObamaCare, quite clearly.
Even take tax credits and bellow the line deductions. If you think of everything as Income as you are more or less supposed to do, then you think of of tax credits and deductions that you don’t qualify for as penalties (for not qualifying for them), you can avoid the penalties, that is you can avoid the full percentage tax burden by complying with the antecedent conditions that give rise to the credits and deductions.
It is not exactly sophistry when the IRC itself is sophistry, which isn’t far from being a mainline teaparty position.
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