In the End, It’s a Tax

Now that the president’s health care plan has been exposed by the Supreme Court, America must act

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 health care decision makes one thing clear: President Obama sold the massive health care law to the public and Congress on a campaign of deception.

Mr. Obama’s argument for the wholesale takeover of health care two years ago was based on his public claims that the legislation was “definitely not a tax” and was lawful under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, asserting the federal government could compel all citizens to purchase private health insurance. He sold it that way, and the public will remember it so, but the Supreme Court effectively invalidated those arguments when it found the Commerce Clause justification unconstitutional. Government lawyers argued to the court that the law’s mandate was a “penalty,” not a tax, but hinted that it could be a tax, proof that the president’s prior no-tax assurances were fraudulent.

But even today, with the election in sight, the Obama administration perpetuates the deceit, claiming the “penalty” is not a tax, despite the court’s finding to the contrary. Of course, the problem with any 2,000-page law is that its true meaning is often conveniently hidden.

Furthermore, does anyone doubt that Mr. Obama would have labeled the Supreme Court “political” had the health care decision gone against him by one vote? It would be equally inappropriate for opponents of the court’s decision to now dismiss it as partisan, even as four liberal justices made up the majority.

The president should be careful in celebrating the decision. The health care ruling has energized his opponents when many Americans still despise Obamacare two years after its enactment. Doubts now linger whether patients can still see their own doctor for medical needs. The law’s practical implementation is legally uncertain, its sweeping mandate is in jeopardy, but costs heretofore unmentioned will soon hit taxpayers. On January 1, 2013, safely after November’s elections, a new 3.8 percent health care surtax will attach to investment income, unwelcome news for most investors. Americans don’t like being lied to or fooled by politicians.

Mr. Obama’s healthcare deception has now joined other deceptions he’s foisted on the public since 2009:

Mr. Obama said he would unite our nation, but the United States is more deeply divided now than when he first took office.

Mr. Obama’s order directing federal government actions designed to intimidate Arizona and Texas on immigration recently is hardly unifying.

The Obama promise of unemployment below 8 percent if his policies were followed has failed; it’s now 22 percent in some parts of America.

The Obama promise of openness and transparency in government has failed. He deceived the public into believing lobbyists had no place in his administration. Yet, after three years, his administration is secretive and regularly collaborates with Washington’s lobbying community.

Mr. Obama’s promise to the left that he would close Guantanamo Bay detention facilities remains unfulfilled.

These failures are products of Mr. Obama’s deceptive actions while president. His additional deceit on profligate government spending, use of executive orders, federal hiring, unilateral social policy changes and expanding government regulations have made many Americans seriously fear for the free nation they’ve always known and loved. Their faith in President Obama’s competence in office is shaken.

The world needs American leadership and international wisdom in hot spots such as Syria, where violence against innocents continues. Mr. Obama even deceived the world when his administration said the United States was “leading from behind” when Gaddafi was driven from power in Libya last year. He holds little sway with foreign leaders who question whether the United States is a strong and reliable ally. Mr. Obama’s silence when dissidents sought liberation in Iran and Egypt was deceptive; it showed his reluctance to stand up for those risking life for freedom. As in health care, what we’ve seen (and heard) is not what we’ve gotten.

The Supreme Court didn’t decide the wisdom of the health care law, only its constitutionality. Deciding whether the law should stand is up to the voters. They will soon choose who leads our country to implement the law — or repeal it.

Recent Gallup polls show that a large majority of Americans consider themselves patriotic. As such, Americans must accept the Supreme Court’s decision on health care, in spite of its questionable implications, and join the many committed to changing leaders this November to assure that the laws passed at the behest of the president are not enacted under false pretenses.

If voters stand up for truth in government in November’s elections, deceptive federal leaders will be properly replaced.

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About The Author

George Nethercutt

From 1995-2005, George Nethercutt was the Republican Congressman from Spokane. He contributes to the commentary section of the Inlander.