"It IS a Tax!"

So I go to Panera Bread (a great example of how a well-designed national chain can serve localist ends) yesterday and was confronted by several Floyd County members or fellow travelers of the Tea Party.


"What do you think of Roberts' opinion?" they ask me.  I begin by commenting that it is intellectually dishonest.  "Wrong!" they respond almost in unison. (Wrong again, I think.)  "He called a spade a spade.  It IS a tax!"

The spirit of the original Tea Party is emerging.  It's not quite no taxation without representation.  It's no hidden taxing by lying scum liberal representatives.  Let's continue Roberts' good work by outing ALL the hidden taxes for what they are!

So could "It IS a tax!" really become an energizing campaign slogan?

Consider that the huge Medicaid expansion is, in effect, a huge tax on the states. The fiscally sinking states would have to, of course, pass that tax on to individuals.

The Tea Party could add to its campaign the effort to get all fifty states to opt out of the expansion—a right Roberts and the Court granted to the states.  A lot of success along those lines would probably wreck ObamaCare.

A problem, though:  Romney's argument (the argument of the Court's dissenters) is that the Commerce Clause's limitation on the power of Congress makes the national mandate unconstitutional, but state mandates are constitutional. He appeals to federalism to justify his RomneyCare but not ObamaCare.

RomneyCare's mandate, however, is just as much a tax as ObamaCare.  Federalism recedes, to say the least, as an issue. So the "It IS a tax (stupid)!" slogan is not so good as Romney's battle cry.

That's why Romney is knocking himself out to make it clear that it's not a tax.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less