The progressive movement rails against the evils of corporatism, the notion that corporations run our government for their benefit. Through that lens, today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the individual mandate, as a tax, has the potential to lead us down a terrifying road. If the government can tax us for not buying a certain private product, where does it end? What economic decision to not purchase something cannot now be taxed?
Will Wal-Mart, through its lobbyists be able to put a provision in the tax code that says if you cannot prove that you’ve spent $100/yr at Wal-Mart you will be taxed $200? Can the cable television lobby, put a tax in that requires you to pay $75 a month in taxes if you buy satellite television instead of their service.
This ruling is an affront to personal liberty, and has the potential to be the tipping point that drives us deeper down the road of crony-capitalism. The progressive movement should be very careful what it wishes for.