We were sitting at our favorite table there in The Holy Land Quickee's.
DinkyDau Billy was scrolling through his iPad, reading news accounts of the recent Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare.
"They says it's really a tax," he informed us, "Them Soopreems is sayin' that the mandate is really a tax. How 'bout that?"
Tookie gave him a blank look. "Huh?"
"Congress has the authority to tax. Or not to tax. I wonder what Boehner is going to do? He was rattlin' sabers about a repeal of ObamaCare. I can't think of a better way to kill it, than not to fund it. But it also means that if you don't toe the line, the IRS will rake you over the coals."
"Yeah ..." Tookie muttered, thoughtfully, "you know, looking at the figures, I'm seeing that ObamaCare has now become the largest tax hike in history. If Congress goes for the tax end of it, the IRS will be after millions of us to prove we have insurance. And how much authority will the IRS have to stick its nose even further into our business? Well done, Mr. President!"
"And 'they' can't punish states for non-compliance, by barring the funding," Billy went on, "that part went down 7-2. And the Soopreems even referred to that as a 'threat' by the Federal gummint. The states are supposed to expand Medicaid, which'll cover about half the 'new people', but the Feds is s'posed to take up the funding slack. For the first five years. Then the states have to pick up the funding. But the Soopreems say the Feds can't withhold funding if the states refuse to do that."
"So it's not nearly as clean a win as the Obamanians would have us think," Leece added, "the opinion by Roberts is brilliant; striking the mandate down under Commerce Clause, but upholding it as a tax, so constitutional, even though under the terms of the Anti-Injunction Act it isn't a tax. It really lays a terrific groundwork for repealing Obamacare. It's a TAX!!!"
Leece had the wind up over that part of it.
"And," she went on, "I love listening to all the shocked Dems act as if the Court got it right and did what Congress intended, rather than a found a technical way to uphold it but shut down the Commerce Clause and essentially say Congress and the President can call something one thing one day, and another the next, and get away with it. They get away with it only if we let them. Do the Dems really have the guts to stand there and tell us they are going to execute the biggest tax hike in the history of the nation?"
"Stripping away the various sanctions against the states as well as individuals guts the law. If there are no sanctions, there is no law, not effectively, though that has nothing to do with the IRS being able to crucify people," Tookie ruminated, still thoughtfully, "I'm thinking this decision might be called 'the Economic Recovery Act for Lawyers of 2012'; they're going to be litigating all this for years to come."
"I agree. In fack, I think it's going to open entirely new cans a worms. We'll have to let it all shake out. We should wait till the talking heads exhaust themselves and shut up," Billy said.
"They also kept the part about 'children' under 26 riding on their parents' insurance," Tookie observed.
"Yep. And we wonder why so many young people seem to be so helpless," Billy agreed, "when you treat mid-twenny-somethings as entitled 'children' what else can you expect?"
We all sat there, contemplating the Whichness of What and the Thisness of That.
Meanwhile, how's that economy doin' fer ya?