The initial reactions to Trump’s threat to levy a 35% punishment tax on companies who choose to close up shop in America have been echoing something like, “He can’t do that. It’s unconstitutional.”
If this was 2009, I would agree. I wish I could say that it is unconstitutional, but the Obamacare individual mandate blurred the lines and established the precedent for what the government can and can’t do.
When Obamacare was being debated, many of us who looked at their justification for allowing such a penalty were screaming that it was unconstitutional too. If you don’t recall, the Obama administration argued that the commerce clause provided the justification that it was constitutional. We argued that if someone is choosing NOT to buy health insurance, they aren’t involved in interstate commerce, so… how can you regulate someone who isn’t involved in interstate commerce in the first place!
They said, “Well, it’s not a penalty, it’s a tax, and of course the government has the power to tax!” To which we said, “If the commerce clause can be read in THAT way, then the power of the federal government is literally unlimited.”
What? You don’t want to participate in our crappy health insurance exchange? Well, sorry, you can’t choose to do nothing, or you will pay a penalty tax.
What? You don’t want to participate in our high corporate tax rate and suffocating regulations? Well, sorry you can’t leave or you will pay a penalty tax.
Remember in East Germany, the guards were there along the Berlin Wall to keep people from LEAVING, not the other way around. So I guess Trump wasn’t kidding about the wall, was he? Oh, you thought he was building a wall to keep people out? Ha ha ha! Hey everybody, look who was born yesterday!