Obama On The Topic Of Mandates

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier, we presented a slightly more idealistic, slightly less gray, slightly less mathematically challenged version of the president talking to ABC's George Stephanopolous on the topic of whether or not the Affordable Care Act should be treated as tax. Obama said "I absolutely reject that notion". The Supreme Court, however, whether with a last minute change of heart by Chief Justice Roberts for whatever reasons, or not, disagreed in what ended up being a shocking hail mary effort, and essentially said that Obama's entire spin campaign of Obamacare as 'not a tax' is wrong, in the process making Obamacare constitutional but also making it the largest tax increase in the history of the US. We are eagerly looking for the CBO's scoring of how the ACA will impact the parabolic charts of projected future US deficit and debt. In the meantime, once again looking back in time, we present an even younger version of the president, all the way back in 2008, sharing his thoughts on the now so very crucial topic of mandates. To wit: "If a mandate was the solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody buy a house. The reason they don't have a house is they don't have the money." He is right. Hopefully, this rather insightful allegory into cause and effect from 4 years ago is not a preamble into what the SCOTUS may have just unleashed with the imminent arrival of the Affordable Housing Act.

Tangentially, for the best unbiased, and politics-free read of today's Supreme Court decision, we recommend the following piece by Reuters' Allison Frankel, titled "SCOTUS: What Congress can't regulate, it can tax." An excerpt:

"It is estimated that four million people each year will choose to pay the IRS rather than buy insurance," the court wrote. "We would expect Congress to be troubled by that prospect if such conduct were unlawful. That Congress apparently regards such extensive failure to comply with the mandate as tolerable suggests that Congress did not think it was creating four million outlaws. It suggests instead that the shared responsibility payment merely imposes a tax citizens may lawfully choose to pay in lieu of buying health insurance."


In the majority opinion, Roberts raised the question of the propriety of such a tax. "If it is troubling to interpret the Commerce Clause as authorizing Congress to regulate those who abstain from commerce," he wrote, "perhaps it should be similarly troubling to permit Congress to impose a tax for not doing something." But he concluded that's not the right analysis. "The court today holds that our constitution protects us from federal regulation under the Commerce Clause so long as we abstain from the regulated activity. But from its creation, the Constitution has made no such promise with respect to taxes." The penalty is not a constitutionally barred "direct tax" (an ill-defined term that the Supreme Court has interpreted extremely narrowly), so, according to Roberts and the majority, it passes constitutional muster.


In her dissent, Ginsburg asked why the court needed to decide the Commerce Clause issue, since the majority's tax holding meant the law would be upheld regardless of its constitutionality under the Commerce Clause. Putting aside whatever intracourt politics underlie the splintered ruling, Roberts said the more natural reading of the individual mandate provisions of the ACA is that it's a "command to buy insurance," not that it's a tax. For that reason, he said, the Commerce Clause had to be considered first. "It is only because the Commerce Clause does not authorize such a command that it is necessary to reach the taxing power question," Roberts wrote.

Read the full analysis here.

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Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

How do I put this....

Obama is an idiot.

goldfish1's picture

In other news regarding Obama and mandates:

US clears China, Singapore from Iran oil sanctions


"The Obama administration on Thursday cleared China and Singapore from possible U.S. economic penalties, citing their sharp cuts in imports of Iranian oil, as an American deadline arrived for banks to stop processing petroleum transactions with Tehran........



"A total of 20 world economies have now qualified for such an exception," Clinton said in a statement......Thursday's action now makes all of Iran's biggest oil purchasers free from the threat of seeing their banks cut off from the American financial system."

Can someone elaborate?

goldfish1's picture

In more Supreme Court action:


On Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law making it a crime to lie about having received the Medal of Honor and other prized military awards. The court voted 6-3 Thursday in favor of Xavier Alvarez, a former local elected official in California who falsely claimed he was a decorated war veteran.

....with justices branding the false claim "contemptible" but nonetheless protected by the First Amendment.

Lying is now free speech.

Citxmech's picture

Lying always has been protected speech.  If lying were sanctionable - the advertising/marketing/lobbying industry would be at risk - and we know the corporatocracy wouldn't allow that, right?

francis_sawyer's picture

& your husband wants to be a girl...





DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I promised as HIT PIECE on Obamacare at my blog.

Here you go world, "Obamacare: Bad Medicine for America"


DaveyJones's picture

unfortunately, Obama is not the only fool on the hill   

A Nanny Moose's picture

Those leeching of taxpayer largess have exactly ZERO rights. Rather, they should be subject to 24x7 video, and audio surveillance, body cavity searches, and lie detector, drug testing.

Actually, we know they are lying so replace lying with occular penetration.

Everybodys All American's picture

Think of O as the Manchurian candidate and then alot of things begin to make sense.

Alpha Monkey's picture

It means america has lost the power it used to throw around so arrogantly.  Everything changes.

vast-dom's picture

The justices, well most of them, aren't idiots and yet....the distinction they make between the commerce clause is how it differs from a tax, and yet the net result, semantics and sophistry aside, is that it extracts more monies from American's in a MANDATORY FORCED MANNER, be it through binary forced options. So you may call it Obamacare, you may call it chicken or anything else, but the bottom line is that we have passed YET ANOTHER TAX, though a most unusual one, once again. All the goverment knows is taxing power and the spending power of it's enslaved citizenry. The founding father's would have been aghast by all of this. I'm not sure how these justices can, in good conscience, interpret yet another command to the citizenry to yield to more "laws" well above and beyond.

DaveyJones's picture

well said. when I applied to law school my favorite english professor said it is nothing more than glorified literary criticism. But this latest twist of verse is indeed just another curse the next generation. Our children are getting crushed under our ignorance, our arrogance, and our lies and will soon rise against us

machineh's picture

From the post: 'The penalty is not a constitutionally-barred "direct tax" ...'

What a joke. In 1789, this meant that the federal goverment was never to directly tax citizens.

The Supreme Court has not only raped the constitution, it has degraded the language with its foul excretions.

vast-dom's picture

what founding fathers unfortunately omitted was constitutionally-barred loophole amendment...because the supreme court has found more loopholes on the loopholes gilded in bullshit legalize.

Michael's picture

Fuck You Obama and socialists, I'm voting for Obama 100% cause you need more cow bell.

blue oyster cult/chris walken original more cowbell


Conrad Murray's picture

Barack O'Romney 2012!!!

Barry Soetoro, first partially black president causes a partial cut to the credit rating of the USA.

Barry Soetoro, white babies minority for the first time in the USA's history under his leadership.

Magical Underpants Mitt, Massachusetts ranked 47th in job creation among the (56?) states under his leadership.

Magical Underpants Mitt, instituted the Commie Healthcare System in Massachusetts that Barry Soetoro yearns to implement for the entire country.

Both supported by banksters and MIC.

Barack O'Romney 2012, FTW!!!

Freewheelin Franklin's picture

FWIW, here's a real Socialist's (Mutualist) view on Obamacare.




Not that I agree with everything Carson says, but he seems to have nailed this.

Newsboy's picture

Obama is the red flag.

The sword you don't see is what threatens your life.

No sense getting mad at the red flag.

It is controlled by the same hand that controls the sword, and which taunts you unseen.

Later, it will dine on you, unless you turn and escape.

economics9698's picture

The fascist mother fuckers on Wall Street, the Fed, and Washington.

taniquetil's picture

"I am confident that if people have the chance to buy high quality health care that is affordable, they will do so...


If they don't, we will make them do so"

max2205's picture

Not according to gAyBC. FUCK YOU Diane

Taterboy's picture

Never let a welfare baby grow up to be President. They just don't know where money comes from.

machineh's picture

Or a CIA test-tube baby, either. 

They DO know where the money comes from: grabbed at gunpoint from rubes and suckers.

Or else PRINTED to 'overturn the existing basis of society by debauching the currency,' as Lenin prescribed.

Freddie's picture

There are quite a few idiots who post on ZH who voted for this shit.  Nice job idiots.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 1

Yes, Freddie, they got their Hope & Change.

I promised as HIT PIECE on Obamacare at my blog.

Here you go world, "Obamacare: Bad Medicine for America"


bob_dabolina's picture

I don't even care anymore.

Ineverslice's picture

You will, when you're livin' in a van down by the river.

Everybodys All American's picture

that's exactly the reaction they expect and want I'd say. Me. I'm thinking of some sort of protest but I'm not sure what form will work best. Not paying the taxes is kind of obvious but as an individual it just lands you in jail. This is the day individual liberty died.

Freddie's picture

If people cancelled TV service, or at least those fed up with being serfs, you might see some "change" real quick.  Americans traded liberty for a TV clicker and serfdom. Meanwhile on ZH we are getting Obama banner ads all over.   

_SILENCER's picture

Obama is a smug, gloating asshole.

salvadordaly's picture



CaptainObvious's picture

It's times like this when I wish there was a third voting button, so I could pick

<<<<<<<<<<<PUNCH HIM IN BOTH

RacerX's picture

I sure hope we get some CHANGE this November.

Conrad Murray's picture

Real hope and change comes at 3100 fps.

johnQpublic's picture

that kind of narrows you down to a .308(or equivalent) with a 168 to 180 grain bullet and not much else

i tender that you could achieve some hope and change over a wider range of velocities, allowing greater 'class participation' 

i'm a player at 2900 fps or less(already over the local ranges max velocity allowed)

Citxmech's picture

Is it that much better getting reamed by the red-head of the two-headed monster rather than the blue head?

A Nanny Moose's picture

Depends. Is the red head Lauren Lyster?

Quantitative_Appeasing's picture

From now on I will support any outrageous mandate and/or spending proposals, the more inane the better.

The system will not be fixed until it breaks. Lets start the FSA organization with the sole purpose of supporting idiots

in power to speed that up.


Conrad Murray's picture

Need to start drafting an Amendment to the Constitution that states every citizen is entitled to $100,000/month from the government. I'll gather signatures once drafted.

you enjoy myself's picture

yeah, i was thinking the Repubs can have an awful lot of fun with this if they get mischievous.  why not mandate that everyone has to own a gun?  why not mandate that everyone has to join a gym?  what about a forced purchase of a tim tebow jersey.  you can apply the exact same reasonings to those mandates, both legally and legislatively, as you can to health insurance.

the proper antidote to power grabs is ridicule.

Stimulati's picture

The mandate that every able white man own a gun has been done.  The founders had no problem with it.


you enjoy myself's picture

true, but it wasn't done under the power of taxation or the commerce clause - it was done under the militia clause.  so i guess i technically picked a bad hypothetical.