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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Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:14 | 2571494 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

How do I put this....

Obama is an idiot.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:17 | 2571498 economics9698
economics9698's picture

NWA.  I hate the pos. HNIC.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:26 | 2571523 goldfish1
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?

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:28 | 2571534 goldfish1
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.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:35 | 2571556 Citxmech
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?

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:44 | 2571580 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

& your husband wants to be a girl...





Thu, 06/28/2012 - 22:20 | 2572034 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I promised as HIT PIECE on Obamacare at my blog.

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


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 00:29 | 2572310 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

unfortunately, Obama is not the only fool on the hill   

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 21:42 | 2571932 A Nanny Moose
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.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 20:55 | 2571782 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

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

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 23:19 | 2572184 economics9698
economics9698's picture


Thu, 06/28/2012 - 21:11 | 2571833 Alpha Monkey
Alpha Monkey's picture

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

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 21:16 | 2571855 vast-dom
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.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 00:44 | 2572319 DaveyJones
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

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 08:19 | 2572710 machineh
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.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 10:55 | 2573249 vast-dom
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.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:18 | 2571505 Michael
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


Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:52 | 2571529 Conrad Murray
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!!!

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 09:57 | 2573065 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture


Thu, 06/28/2012 - 21:02 | 2571809 Freewheelin Franklin
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.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:20 | 2571508 Newsboy
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.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:24 | 2571528 economics9698
economics9698's picture

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

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:29 | 2571539 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

RIP Joseph Stack.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:31 | 2571544 taniquetil
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"

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:48 | 2571603 max2205
max2205's picture

Not according to gAyBC. FUCK YOU Diane

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 20:00 | 2571638 Taterboy
Taterboy's picture

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

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 08:25 | 2572725 machineh
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.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 21:47 | 2571946 Freddie
Freddie's picture

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

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 22:22 | 2572043 DoChenRollingBearing
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"


Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:15 | 2571501 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

I don't even care anymore.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:18 | 2571511 Intelligence_In...
Intelligence_Insulter's picture

That's the spirit. 

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:27 | 2571533 Ineverslice
Ineverslice's picture

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

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 21:00 | 2571802 Everybodys All ...
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.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 21:50 | 2571954 Freddie
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.   

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:18 | 2571510 _SILENCER
_SILENCER's picture

Obama is a smug, gloating asshole.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:42 | 2571577 salvadordaly
salvadordaly's picture



Thu, 06/28/2012 - 21:24 | 2571880 CaptainObvious
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

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:19 | 2571513 RacerX
RacerX's picture

I sure hope we get some CHANGE this November.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:27 | 2571532 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Gary Johnson.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 20:01 | 2571643 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture


Thu, 06/28/2012 - 23:39 | 2572235 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

Real hope and change comes at 3100 fps.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 08:35 | 2572746 johnQpublic
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)

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:48 | 2571600 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

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

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 21:52 | 2571963 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Depends. Is the red head Lauren Lyster?

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:19 | 2571517 Quantitative_Ap...
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.


Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:32 | 2571545 Conrad Murray
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.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 19:40 | 2571573 you enjoy myself
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.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 20:01 | 2571641 Stimulati
Stimulati's picture

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


Thu, 06/28/2012 - 20:17 | 2571679 you enjoy myself
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. 

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