Taxing You For Not Doing Something – Is That Right?

Posted by on July 7, 2012 3:04 pm
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Categories: The Nation

Picture of the Roberts courtLEE’S SUMMIT, JULY 7, 2012 – The effect of Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion will go much further than simply changing the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Obamacare) penalty to a tax: Yes, it is a tax.

From the Roberts Opinion

[A]ccording to the Government…the mandate can be regarded as establishing a condition—not owning health insurance—that triggers a tax—the required payment to the IRS. Under that theory, the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance. Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income. And if the mandate is in effect just a tax hike on certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance, it may be within Congress’s constitutional power to tax.

Notice the example that Roberts gives.  He says that taxing NOT buying health insurance is akin to taxing the use of gasoline, or the earning of income.  Think of this for a moment.  He’s comparing INACTIVITY to ACTIVITY and says it is the same.

However, he used the inactivity in commerce the reason it was unconstitutional under the commerce clause.

My concern about the new power granted congress is that now they can tax inactivity.  While you may think my examples are extreme, there may come a time when they are not considered to be so.  If I chose not to buy the Chevy Volt – in essence accepting a higher cost for gasoline and its taxes – I could be taxed for NOT buying the Volt.  If I chose to home school my children, I may be taxed so that I can support the public school that is cheated of my child’s attendance and thus losing funding.

The taxing power of congress used to be controlled specifically to tax the ACTION taken by the individual.  Now congress has the power to tax the lack of action by the individual.  How far can that be taken?  Could it possibly be taken to extreme of, if I chose to live in Missouri I could be taxed for not living in California – a state in great fiscal distress?

If the Federal government can tax the lack of activity, then it will tax the lack of activity in any way it can conceive of to fund the growth of government.

If you think I’m way off and it could never happen, think of the City of Mission Kansas that in 2010 decided to tax the use of your own driveway; whether or not you actually park on it.  A home owner in Mission Kansas has to pay $72 per year simply because they have a driveway.  But wait, is the home owner not taxed on the property he owns – the home?

Taxing authority is something that has to be controlled, and Chief Justice Roberts just expanded the use of the taxing power to taxing the lack of action.

If you disagree, please leave me a comment a list a tax currently on the books that taxes inactivity.  I look forward to seeing what you have to say.

Respectfully Submitted

The Lee’s Summit Conservative

One response to Taxing You For Not Doing Something – Is That Right?

  1. Sharon Kelley July 7th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Okay, you can call it a “tax” if you want. I will call it a “penalty.” Already if you put too much in your IRA, there is a penalty “if you don’t take the excess out before the filing deadline.” I think of this as inactivity. Leave it there – do nothing – and get a penalty. Not having insurance will cause a penalty to be assessed on your tax return, because you didn’t act before the filing deadline.