I completely disagree with those who are trying to spin the Court's decision as a "win" for the American people, for the Constitution, for limited government or for democracy.
The bottom line is that government's power to coerce each of us has not been curbed at all. The proof: the individual mandate still stands. Robert's opinion imposes no outward limit on Congress' power of coercion or compulsion through taxation (even though the 16th Amendment contains such limits). Congress doesn't even have to call future taxes, "taxes" when compelling action - the Court will uphold them anyway.
Congress can now tax us if we don't do what they say.
Chief Justice Roberts actually admits this in his opinion. He goes so far as to tell the liberals in Congress the next mandate/tax they might impost to compel behavior (he said if we did not have energy efficient windows Congress could tax us). What is the logical end to this power? None as far as I can tell. Where might Congress use this power in the future?
Energy Efficiency: No need to subsidize the (farcical) "green economy" anymore. Roberts said Congress could mandate it instead. Congress can do away with subsidies to reward certain behavior. Instead of the carrot, Congress can use the stick. You buy an SUV or a truck instead of a hybrid? You need the truck to haul things for work or the SUV to take your 5 kids to school? Congress doesn't care, pay the behavior tax for making that choice.
Union Goods: Congress decides to do more to benefit their cronies in the unions because Davis Bacon (which gives government contract preferences to unions) is not enough? Tell each American they can only use union tradesman to build their house or can only buy union made goods. Using union electricians and carpenters makes building your new house 30% more expensive (which is what Davis Bacon does to government construction contracts) and you can't afford that? Congress doesn't care, pay the behavior tax for making that choice.
Housing: Congress sees the need to stabilize the housing market. Too many foreclosed homes on the market? Let's tell everyone they need to buy a second home. Can't afford your current home much less a second home? Congress doesn't care, pay the behavior tax for making that choice.
Lack of Economic Participation: Congress has a deficit. How do we close the deficit? Let's tell everyone they have to generate more capital gains by selling their stocks and mutual funds annually to generate more tax revenue for the government. After all, that only affects "the rich" and they shouldn't be "hoarding" capital anyway. That would unnecessarily deplete your retirement account? Congress doesn't care, pay the behavior tax for making that choice.
The bottom line is that the federal government could already tax each of us as we make money (income taxes), tax what we consume in order to make money (such as gas taxes to get to work, airline fees to get to meetings, etc) and tax each of as we spend money (excise taxes). Now, Roberts has given Congress carte blanche to tax us if we don't spend our after-tax money as Congress dictates - regardless of the economics of our personal situation. We long ago have lost about 50% of our income to taxes, and now government can control how we spend or save the other 50%. There is no limiting principle with what Roberts decided - and there is no freedom as long as Congress possesses the means to punish, through taxes, the behavior and decisions of free people.
The sum of Roberts' decision is this, "People are free to do what they want but Congress is free to tax the exercise of that free will." In effect, Roberts has used the Constitution to create a "Freedom Tax". That is not something to celebrate - it is a blow to the liberty of every American.
*This article also published by the American Healthcare Education Coalition.