A Quibble with Professor Barnett

In a recent op-ed in the Washington Examiner Professor Randy Barnett posits that the Obamacare decision does not in fact give Congress “a green light to impose economic mandates under its taxing power.”  Well all righty then.  I guess as long as we define “mandate” as something you absolutely have to do to avoid a “high fine or jail time,” and the penalty / tax / penalty-tax is not so onerous “to coerce compliance,” then I am on board.  But I assume Professor Barnett would concede that the decision does allow Congress to strongly encourage otherwise inactive individuals to do things they would rather not, or simply write a check to the Treasury.  To the extent the Obamacare decision provides a green light to Congress to impose economic encouragements under its taxing power, it is a disaster for conservatives and libertarians.

About Conrad

Conrad O'Connor is the nom de web of a tax lawyer working in Atlanta, Georgia.
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