Megan McArdle wants to know:
An interesting question emerges from one of my comment threads on whether or not congress should be able to use the taxing power to get over limits on its enumerated powers.
1) Can Congress enact a $50,000 tax on second term abortions?
2) Can Congress enact a $50,000 tax increase, which is then rebated to anyone who does not have an abortion?…
Like McArdle I don’t want to hear in this thread any arguments on the morality of abortion or the merits of “choice”: I only want to hear someone argue for or against the power of the government to tax such things as abortions under the inter-state commerce clause…especially since, as McArdle also points out, people do cross State lines to obtain abortions while you can’t even buy health insurance across State lines.
If the government’s power to tax is unlimited, then we can tax out of existence anything we like and, of course, tax subsidize in to existence anything we prefer. As a conservative, I hold that there are strict limitations on the government’s power to tax – but what of you liberals? You seem to have no limit to what cannot be taxed and what cannot be subsidized in the tax code. And if we were to follow your apparent lead in this matter, then a GOP Congress allied with a GOP President could impose a $50,000 tax on abortions and, poof, only the very rich would be able to afford them…whammo!, abortion is illegal without any of that tedious bit about the Constitution.
What say you, liberals? Will you, even now, retreat from your position? Remember, if you don’t we can tax you out of existence…on the other hand, if you retreat, then things like ObamaCare will become impossible. So, think carefully – and let us know what you believe.