Bad Wolf, on Mar 22 2010, 02:59 PM, said:
Nick, on Mar 22 2010, 09:36 AM, said:
Strictly speaking, it isn't actually a "mandate" per se. You don't go to jail by not getting health insurance, it's just a tax penalty. So I don't think the Supes can really strike it down.
What? So, only if it's a criminal penalty can it be challenged?
I think not.
Suppose that instead of creating this tax penalty, the bill had instituted an across-the-board income tax increase combined with a tax credit equal to the increase for those who have health insurance. That would be legal, right? The government offers all sorts of tax credits to encourage people to buy homes, create jobs, etc., etc. Functionally, how is this "mandate" any different?
In any event, the Supreme Court has long interpreted Congress's ability to regulate interstate commerce very
broadly. Even a citizen who is not involved in commerce himself can have his activity regulated, provided that the ultimate goal of said regulation is to affect interstate commerce. See Wickard v. Filburn (1942)
, in which a farmer who was growing wheat solely for personal use was found to be subject to the Agricultural Adjustment Act, even though his only contribution to interstate commerce was that he was not buying wheat
in the marketplace.
The same precedent was used in 2005 to uphold the federal ban on marijuana use, even when it is used solely within a single state for medicinal purposes. Said the court: "Wickard
thus establishes that Congress can regulate purely intrastate activity that is not itself 'commercial,' in that it is not produced for sale, if it concludes that failure to regulate that class of activity would undercut the regulation of the interstate market in that commodity."
Lord of the Sword, on Mar 22 2010, 03:53 PM, said:
JadziaDax, on Mar 22 2010, 04:27 PM, said:
Isn't it the responsible thing to do to help people who can't help themselves?
Why is it right to blame people who did nothing wrong in their life except 1) be born with a handicap or 2) not be born into a family of privilege. The only way to be sucessful, is to have someone take a chance on you (or be born into a family of privilege who can throw money at you), and if someone isn't willing to give you that chance in the first place, it's quite a mean thing to say they never even tried.
This may sound harsh, and if so I apologize in advance. But nobody promised anyone a rose garden. Nobody promised that life is fair. Nobody promised these things.
But couldn't someone use the exact same reasoning to argue exactly the opposite? Nobody said that life was fair, and if you happen to make more money and the government needs some of it to help the less fortunate, those are the breaks.
Yes, life is always going to be unfair. But I'd rather it be unfair in the "rich businessman pays two thousand dollars more in taxes" sense than the "poor mother lacks health insurance, so she dies of breast cancer, leaving her child an orphan and her family bankrupt" sense.
Palisade, on Mar 22 2010, 04:02 PM, said:
Dev F, on Mar 22 2010, 02:50 PM, said:
What facts could possibly justify a comment as thoroughly asinine and irresponsible as "If we still have elections in this country"?
A lot of people think our elections are basically bought. Although not quite as blatantly as the last votes for the health bill.
Throw in gerrymandering and pandering to the special interests, and our elections are not nearly so democratic as you seem to think they are.
I didn't say one word about how democratic I thought our elections were. I said that we still have them. And so we do.
I assume your point is that Rush didn't really mean the words that he said (no matter that he came right out and said "I'm not kidding, folks"), but was instead just trying to convey how unfair our electoral system can be. But that's exactly what makes him and the other right-wing media starts so irresponsible: because they frame every comment in the most hysterical, inflammatory terms -- even though they know that a substantial number of their listeners are amped up and terrified and quite willing to believe that such comments are literally
Edited by Dev F, 22 March 2010 - 07:00 PM.