Tag Archives: tax

IRS Care


The Supreme Court ruled that the individual mandate is a tax and therefore Obamacare is constitutional under Congress’s power to tax. That means lots more work for the IRS. They’re building the largest government data base ever to combine personal information from agencies around the country.


funny political cartoon by Chip Bok depicts the Barack Obama and Chief Justice Roberts tax shakedown

In the Obamacare ruling shakeout over the Obama Healthcare Mandate, it appears that Roberts changed his mind after writing the, then, majority opinion overturning the individual mandate based on the commerce clause. He later wrote the new majority opinion upholding the mandate under Congress’ taxing power.

The chief justice isn’t the only one having it both ways. Obama has loudly insisted an estimated one zillion times on national TV that the mandate is not a tax (and he still does, now that he’s won).

After Justice Kennedy’s famous question, “can we create commerce in order to regulate it?”, it looked like the court wasn’t going to uphold the mandate as regulated commerce. So, the administration lawyers argued, hell yes, it’s a tax!

Healthcare Ruling

Obama political cartoon by Chip Bok features Chief Justice Roberts giving congratulations to President Barack Obama

Chief Justice Roberts bestowed the burden of victory on the president by calling the individual mandate a tax.

The dissenting minority accuse Roberts of rewriting the legislation. Well, can’t say we weren’t warned of conservative judicial activism.

The Hammer thinks Roberts heroically twisted and turned through narrow legal fissures to restore the integrity of the court, in the eyes of his enemies on left. Those enemies think the court soiled itself by putting George W. Bush in office in 2001 and that it has been illigit ever since.

But even as he saved Obamacare, Roberts found the use of the commerce clause to justify the mandate to be unconstitutional. So he rewrote the bill to save the bill, calling the mandate a tax. I guess we can all agree that anyone can be bludgeoned to do anything with a tax. Mission accomplished:

“Law upheld, Supreme Court’s reputation for neutrality maintained. Commerce Clause contained, constitutional principle of enumerated powers re-affirmed.”

The Wall Street Journal is not so easily impressed. Its editorial today notes references to Justice Ginsberg’s “dissent”. Why would she dissent if she was in the majority, unless she wasn’t until Roberts switched sides?

“..If it is true, this is far more damaging to the Court’s institutional integrity that the Chief Justice is known to revere than any ruling against ObamaCare. The political class and legal left conducted an extraorinary campaign to define such a decision as partisan and illegitimate. If the Chief Justice capitulated to this pressure, it shows the Court can be intimidated and swayed from its constitutional duties.”

Study Guide for Teachers – Obamacare Ruling

The education division of Bokbluster upper management is introducing a new study guide feature. I’ve always thought of cartoons as windows on the news and history. With that in mind I’ll offer study guides from time to time to draw students into the news.

Bokbluster Study Guide 06/28/12

The Supreme Court is issuing a rasher of rulings this week. The most prominent decision upheld the individual mandate to purchase health care.

The government argued its healthcare mandate was justified under the constitution’s commerce clause. When Justice Kennedy asked if government “can create commerce in order to regulate it” it looked as if things would go badly for Obamacare.

The court determined the mandate is a tax and as such it is constitutional under congress’ taxing authority, not the commerce clause.

Now that the individual mandate has been upheld, what are the limits to government power? Should it be limited?

What is the commerce clause anyway?

What does this cartoon mean to you? (Click the cartoon to find links to stories I read that inspired me to draw it, several months before this ruling.)


In the disputed 2001 presidential election, the Supreme Court ruled George Bush the winner over Al Gore. Needless to say, this got Bush off to a bad start with a lot of people.

Later that same year the court ruled in favor of a professional golfer named Casey Martin. He was disabled and sued the PGA for permission to play on the tour while riding in a cart.

What does this cartoon mean to you? (I drew it in primitive times, so no links, sorry.)

How do you see the Supreme Court’s role in relation to the other two branches of government, the states, and you as an individual?

Express your thoughts and feelings in a cartoon. Have fun!




Health Care Tax

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-up (1936)

Here’s Justice Alito, quoted in the NYT:

“Today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax,” he told Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., the administration’s lead advocate. “Tomorrow you are going to be back and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax. Has the court ever held that something that is a tax for purposes of the taxing power under the Constitution is not a tax under the Anti-Injunction Act?”

Here’s President Obama answering Alito’s question.