RUSH: The left knows that this decision by Judge Vinson is serious. Last night on television, Jonathan Turley, George Washington University professor of law, was asked the following question: ‘Democrats made a mistake not writing that the bill is severable. Meaning if courts find bits of it unconstitutional, they can sever the bits from the law. Democrats insist it is implicit in this kind of law. Who is right?’
TURLEY: It was a colossal mistake not to have a severability clause. It’s a standard clause. It is not clear why it was kept out. It opened the door to allow a judge like Judge Vinson to strike the entire act. The Democrats really laid themselves open in how they drafted this act. Judge Vinson is not totally out of line in saying that severability was put at issue when they did not include the clause.
RUSH: Actually I think it’s kind of moot because the whole law was unworkable anyway without the mandate. You take the mandate away, the rest of the law falls by the wayside anyway in virtually every which way that they promised it and promoted it, but still they know it’s serious. Last night also on TV Representative Jim Moran from Virginia, discussion about the health care reform, got a question: ‘What’s your argument for why it is constitutional?’ So the judge has ruled the bill unconstitutional. That’s it. So at MSNBC they go find a guy, ‘Tell us why you think it’s not. What’s your argument for why it is constitutional?’ His argument doesn’t matter. Jim Moran has nothing to say. He is in the legislative branch. It doesn’t matter what his opinion is. Here it is anyway.
MORAN: Clearly we have determined that we are going to provide health care when needed, even to people who don’t have insurance coverage. That means that all of us have to pay it, those of us who have insurance coverage. Proponents of repeal knew once they got Judge Vinson what the outcome of their ruling was going to be. The problem, though, is the Supreme Court because that’s where it will be decided, and we’ve known since they appointed George Bush over Al Gore, despite the trend of the Florida vote counting, that at least four members of this Supreme Court are activist, conservative, even partisan.
RUSH: Yeah. That’s irrelevant. It’s all irrelevant. Whatever he thinks doesn’t matter. He didn’t even explain why it’s constitutional. He just said we determined people need it. Federal government can do whatever it wants. Now this next series of sound bites is kind of funny. This is Austan Goolsbee, and it is last Wednesday in Washington, Capitol Hill, House Ways and Means committee hearing on the economic and regulatory implications of the health care reform law. Now, Goolsbee is the White House committee of economic advisors chairman, and he was testifying. And during the Q&A Representative Patrick Tiberi, Republican from Ohio, said, ‘I’d like you to tell me whether each of the following that were included in the health care law constitutes an increase in taxes for individuals or families making less than 200 or $250,000 a year. A new tax on individuals who do not purchase government approved health insurance.’
GOOLSBEE: I don’t think that’s an accurate way to describe it, no.
TIBERI: Not a new tax?
GOOLSBEE: I don’t think that’s an accurate way.
TIBERI: A new ban on the use of flexible savings accounts, HSAs, HRAs on using pretax income to purchase over-the-counter drugs?
GOOLSBEE: I don’t — that — that’s not a tax increase of — of a normal form, and that’s part of a broader reform effort, obviously.
RUSH: Okay, now this keeps on. See, the regime is out there saying that nobody making less than 250 grand is gonna face a tax increase; and Tiberi is saying, ‘Oh, yeah? Well, you tell me what these are. All these new expenses everybody has to incur, what are these?’ So he said, ‘Is an increase from seven and a half percent to 10% of income the threshold after which individuals can deduct out of pocket medical expenses not a tax increase?’
GOOLSBEE: As I was saying, if you — I do not consider the Affordable Care Act as a whole to be a tax increase on people less than $200,000.
TIBERI: Impose a new $2,500 cap on family’s ability to use pre-tax dollars to fund an FSA?
GOOLSBEE: I don’t consider that a tax.
TIBERI: A new 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services? Not a tax increase?
GOOLSBEE: (laughing) Well, that seems like a strictly voluntary thing that one could choose.
RUSH: So Tiberi is just asking him, ‘Are all these taxes increases?’ and Goolsbee is dancing around, ‘Well, the whole thing, you look at the whole thing, not a tax increase.’ So Tiberi, at this stage comes up with this.
TIBERI: I know you chuckle about this, but the president was very, very firm in that nobody making less than $200,000 or families less than $200,000 would see income taxes go up, any taxes go up. And now we see a Department of Justice defense that this bill is constitutional because it’s a tax, the individual mandate is a tax. So on one side we say it’s not a tax, or you say it’s not a tax, the administration, on the other side you say it is a tax. So which is it?
RUSH: So Goolsbee answers this way.
GOOLSBEE: Well, Congressman, first let me apologize. I was only chuckling about the tanning salons. I wasn’t meaning to — to make light of it.
TIBERI: Here’s my point. You repeatedly say it’s not a tax increase and Mrs. Smith who sees her FSA go from $5,000 to $2,500 and now she can’t buy baby aspirin at the store and deduct it from her FSA, she looks at that as a tax increase. So, there’s a credibility issue and again, we can chuckle about it, but this is a tax —
GOOLSBEE: I didn’t chuckle about it. My only brief response is, if it changes the FSA rule but simultaneously gives her a significant reduction in the cost of her health care that should not be viewed as a tax increase on her. It’s not a tax increase.
RUSH: And so he is avoiding the entire point because all of these things are increased costs. Anybody with any experience dealing with the government has to know that costs of anything administered by them or through them is gonna go up, including this. Now, Republicans are doing their best, gotta put these guys on the spot.