When the Supreme Court ruled that the Obamacare mandate to force purchase of health insurance by individuals was in fact legal under the taxing power of Congress, it revealed an unknown or at the least a little recognized method by which Congress could impose taxes. As most of us know by now, any individual refusing to purchase health insurance for himself can be penalized by the feds by their imposition of an annual “tax” against him or her. Therefore, we have Obamacare whether we like it or not. And, with that in mind we might ask what it heralds for the future now that the precedent has been set.
The future, one can bet, will bring more of the same sooner or later. Another way to manipulate the freedom of choice of individuals has been brought front and center for review. It will not go unrecognized. It is not out of the realm of possibility that sooner or later the government will recognize other goods or services that are “for the public good” that should be required of individuals. Making further use of this taxing authority is about as likely as a liberal crying foul when his political candidate loses an election. The government gets to define “for the public good” and it has limitless possibilities to choose from.
As an example let’s say a case could be made for requiring individuals to buy a new car every three or four years for the “public good.” A late model car would be less likely to pollute the air as much as an older one. In addition it would improve the overall physical health of Americans. Less air pollution equals better health. All that aside, requiring purchase of a new car every few years would be a boon to the economy. Let’s add all that up and see what we get for the money. The environment would benefit, citizens would be healthier, and the economy would grow manufacturing jobs without end. And all it costs is the right to choose when one buys a new car for himself.
The new car purchase example cited may be an extreme one, at least for now. There are probably much more likely possibilities for government mandated purchases in the short term. Sooner or later our political representatives are sure to come up with something that we need to make our lives better. What do you think? Have we seen the last of this unique taxing method provided to congress or is there more to come?