True, the Affordable Care Act is chock full of taxes. Give Chief Justice John Roberts bonus points for noticing - even though he failed the test. How do you allow the government to tax someone for simply existing? How do you tax someone for their choice to not enter into a contract to participate in an activity? It's as if a painter shows up at your house and you say, "I don't want my house painted." And the painter says, "okay, we don't have to paint your house, but you'll have to pay the tax for us not painting your house."
Did America just adopt the Mafia's model of doing business?! It certainly appears that way.
This is more than a slippery slope towards state-controlled behavior; it's a steep cliff to tyranny. The fundamental balance between the government and the people just shifted dramatically - and its not in the favor of freedom.
A few ways progressive liberals may choose to apply the "non-compliance tax" in the future:
HOME SCHOOLING: If you choose to educate your child at home, the government could impose a tax for not participating in public education (on top of the taxes you already pay that end up in public schools). After all, they are writing these global warming curriculums and building new God-free schools to indoctrinate good little citizens. Who are you to think you know better?
PRE-K EDUCATION: Don't want to send your three or four year old to a government accredited pre-school? Fine, that's your choice as long as you don't mind paying the tax. But it's worth it, because you could never properly teach your child the values and skills they need at home - just ask Time Magazine.
NOT PARTICIPATING IN GREEN ENERGY: Don't have energy efficient appliances? Have yet to install new weatherstripping? Should they choose, the government can tax you now for not complying. Have you bought carbon offsets to make up for the amount of energy you use/waste? If you haven't and you aren't investing in solar panels (already subsidized by tax dollars), the government might impose a tax on you there, too. Do you have a thermostat that can be controlled by Al Gore's busybody bureaucrats from outside your home? Well then, I'm afraid we're going to have to tax you for non-compliance.
DRIVING A HYBRID: You don't have to buy a Chevy Volt or other money-sucking lemon called an electric car, but if you don't there could be a tax for that. Then when charging it in your garage starts to overload the electric grid, which will certainly be a taxable offense, the government can turn your "smart-energy" thermostat up to 84 degrees. Enjoy the summer because it's never been more enjoyable now that the government is looking out for you!
EXERCISE/DIET: Pandora's box is wide open. Every behavior you partake in is now being measured and controlled by the government to see how it affects health care costs, because let's face it, the government hates wasting money (sarcasm). They can tax literally everything they deem "unhealthy" - whether its activity or inactivity. So, for example, greasy foods and cheeseburgers get taxed. So does tobacco and alcohol - yes, even more than the current taxes. Don't exercise once a week or have a gym membership? The government can tax you for being a couch potato. And they can tax your TV, because TV leads to inactivity. Everything you do is now taxable under the guise of "protecting the common welfare."
Are these examples extreme or far fetched? Not at all. None of them will happen this year, but with tax-and-spend Democrats in control, it doesn't take a wild imagination to envision these type of taxes being implemented in the next decade. They reflect real policies that are the goals of lefty statists, which is pretty much ALL Democrats these days, and the Supreme Court did just allow health care tyranny to stand. The "Tax Door" to compel behavior favored by nanny-state do-gooders has just been flung wide open. There is no escape.
To quote C.S. Lewis, "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
The Supreme Court had a chance to stop this oppression on Thursday, to draw a clear line in the sand protecting individual sovereignty from a government that has grown far beyond its use or purpose. Justice Roberts blinked (or acquiesced to the Chicago Way) and they blew it. Soon, we will far outpace Europe in government expansion. Liberals are thrilled, since they wanted to be Europe all along. And it will bring with it European-style taxes, regulations, and crushing debt.
This week Americans learned, sadly, that there is no judicial branch willing to hold overreaching government in check, and as such there is no U.S. Constitution serving as a firewall to protect the people from lying, deceitful, power hungry tyrants. Of course we should defeat these statists at the ballot box. But sometimes we don't, sometimes foolish electorates fall for hopey-dopey sleight of hand and elect lawless politicians. In response, the Supreme Court has said,"Go pound sand."
History will not write favorably of this day when economic liberty was crushed and the Pursuit of Happiness expressed in the Declaration of Independence was determined to only be a non-taxable, worthwhile pursuit if it was government-approved. Carry on then. Nothing to see here except a dying Republic.