A vigorous Congress stymied by calling it a tax?

“So the effect may be to make it impossible for Congress to act vigorously in many areas going forward, because one power source has been cut off and the one that has been allowed is not practically useful.”

Howard Wasserman considers the implications of the SCOTUS only being able to find a Constitutional rationale in social reform is as a tax.

“We are in a period in which no one in Congress wants to enact anything called a tax. First, it makes it impossible to get any Republicans on board, given the influence of the Tea Party and/or Grover Norquist and the generalopposition to all taxes. Second, it is political death because a tax always can and will be demogogued into a “tax increase” and used to bludgeon any official to death in the next election.”

From reading the Federalist Papers, it appears that this was an intended check on the powers of the Government. A Congress acting “vigorously” was seen as a threat and the reactions of the people to taxes was considered a limitation on Congressional over-reach.

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