The Nacilbupera Guzzle

Whoever examines with attention the history of the dearths and famines … will find, I believe, that a dearth never has arisen from any combination among the inland dealers in corn, nor from any other cause but a real scarcity, occasioned sometimes perhaps, and in some particular places, by the waste of war, but in by far the greatest number of cases by the fault of the seasons; and that a famine has never arisen from any other cause but the violence of government attempting, by improper means, to remedy the inconveniences of a dearth. (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations IV.5.44)

Monday, March 22, 2010

HR3590 Unconstitutional as a Poll Tax

It came to our mind this evening yet another way HR3590 is unconstitutional through the individual mandate: it creates a poll tax.

Poll taxes were used to keep southern blacks from their right to vote and were banned by the 24th Amendment:

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

If one does not have insurance and does not pay the 2.5% tax mandated by HR3590, they would be guilty of a felony and go to jail, thus losing their voting privileges. Thus the effect of the 2.5% penalty tax is indeed a poll tax. Add this to our list of ways the bill is unconstitutional.