Allen West Video: Maybe We Ought To Require Everybody To Buy A Gun

Specifically a Glock 9 millimeter.

Since the federal government has an unlimited power to tax you and thus influence your behavior, that is…

West isn’t really sponsoring a bill requiring gun purchases; he’s being facetious. The point he’s making, though, is a good one. John Roberts’ Obamacare opinion sets a precedent that almost any form of regulation or social engineering the government wants to do is fair game if it’s done via taxes.

There are two ways to look at this. One is the way West and lots of other conservatives are looking at it; namely, that it’s unacceptable to permit the federal government to intrude on individual decision-making through the power of the tax code. And that’s absolutely correct. That perspective has a legal basis to it as well; namely, that Congress’ power to tax is limited to the pursuance of Congress’ authority under the Constitution. Meaning that if Congress doesn’t have the power under the Commerce Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause to force you to buy health insurance – which Roberts’ majority opinion says Congress doesn’t – then Congress doesn’t have the power of taxation to accomplish that goal, either.

That’s a persuasive argument and a solid indictment of the Chief Justice’s opinion.

But it’s also correct to say that Congress has very broad taxing powers. And since social engineering in the tax code is rampant, with virtually no constitutional checks ever made to it, what Roberts did wasn’t all that much of a leap. Furthermore, as he said, the Supreme Court can’t be the place we go to fix all the stupid things the politicians we elect do; it ought to be, and had Roberts actually acted like a judge instead of a politician and done his job it would be, but the fact of the matter is that politicians who pass taxes without admitting they’re doing so can be figuratively strung up on lightpoles on the Washington Mall. And we as voters have the power to do that to them.

And the more people like Allen West we have in the House and Senate, and perhaps the White House, the less likely it will be that anybody ever abuses the taxing power Roberts established again.

Which means no mandate to buy a Glock 9, even though everybody probably ought to have one anyway.

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