While I was neglecting my blogging duties last month, the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare. Since then the debate reignited on several points: Did the Supreme Court get it right or wrong by ruling the individual mandate constitutional because it was really a tax? Did Chief Justice John Roberts bravely rule on the constitutional merits of the law or did he hide behind the fig leaf of congressional taxing power? Did he show judicial activism or judicial restraint? Is ObamaCare the biggest tax increase of all time or is it not? Will ObamaCare reduce the deficit or take the deficit to new heights?
Some of these questions answer themselves. If ObamaCare costs $1 trillion dollars to provide new benefits (and it does), and it does not really control costs (it doesn't), and it really is deficit neutral (as the CBO asserts), then simple arithmetic tells us it must also raise $1 trillion dollars of new revenue (which SCOTUS identifies as a tax to be constitutional). And that pretty much makes it the biggest nominal tax increase in our history.