The Billings Outpost

Obamacare unconstitutional

When the U.S. Constitution was written, the U.S. Government was given the power to lay taxes. Having just finished a war with Great Britain due largely to unfair taxes, the writers knew the inherent danger in giving government the power to tax the people, so it was restricted to taxes that were necessary and proper.

Over the last 225 or so years, the U.S. Government has laid more and more taxes on the people, and understandably, more and more of us are feeling the burden of unfair taxes. If I or any citizen is taxed for something we don’t give the government permission to tax us for, we have a gripe, but is it a legitimate gripe?

The Constitution writers probably knew that different people would have different ideas about what taxes are necessary and proper, so they gave us freedom of speech, and the right to petition for redress of grievances. They also provided a provision for amending the Constitution, and the 10th Amendment plainly says that any power not given to the United States by the U.S. Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, is reserved to the States or to the people. In regards to how far the U.S. Government may go in laying taxes, the following from Wikipedia applies:

United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (1936), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the processing taxes instituted under the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act were unconstitutional. Justice Owen Roberts argued that the tax was “but a means to an unconstitutional end” that violated the 10th Amendment.

This means that a tax used for an unconstitutional end is an unconstitutional tax. Exercising my freedom of speech and right to petition for redress, I can Constitutionally argue that a tax laid on me for an unconstitutional purpose is unconstitutional. We all can.

Nowhere does the U.S. Constitution give the U.S. government the authority to legislate health care, so therefore the taxes laid to fund the Affordable Care Act are unconstitutional. It’s reserved to the states. Massachusetts recognizes this, and not only that, so did a handful of U.S. Congressmen, all Democrats and headed by Jesse Jackson Jr. Jackson introduced a Bill in 2005, the now defunct HJ Res 30, to amend the U.S. Constitution regarding quality health care. One doesn’t amend the Constitution for something that’s constitutional.

Neither U.S. v Butler nor HJ Res 30 were ever mentioned by any of the opponents of the ACA, which makes me wonder just how opposed they really were. The ACA, aka Obamacare, needs to go. Replace it with MontanaCare if you like, or amend the U.S. Constitution, but the ACA is unconstitutional. Since we the people are the government, we need to tell all three of our U.S. legislators to repeal it.

If you don’t like the ACA, and don’t speak up, it won’t go away. We may need to elect Republicans to get this done, or at least to see how serious they really are about repealing it, but there’s no question, the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

Eric Knutson


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