Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts may have just handed fiscal conservatives the tool they need to accomplish something that up to this point has seemed impossible: a method to cut back the terms of public union contracts. Until now it was argued by labor unions that cutting government employee benefits and wages was a violation of the sanctity of contracts. Now, since Robert's has declared that a mandate is not a mandate, but a tax, we can assume that a tax on public employee wages and benefits is not a violation of a contract, but simply a tax, which government has absolute authority to impose for any reason.

 

The Robert’s decision in effect states that the government has the right to mandate that users of medical services can be required to buy health insurance as a tax. It broadens the definition of taxation to be used for whatever purpose government deems necessary, regardless of whether it is good or bad policy.

 

Liberals have constantly called for monetary claw backs on CEO’s, bankers, industrialist, businessmen, and anyone in the private sector that they felt did not deserve their money. Claw backs were argued for in the name of “fairness.” So I suggest that we call for a tax on all bureaucrats that make more than they would in the free market; and use a claw back tax to reduce benefits to bureaucrats that are in excess of those that would be provided for in the free market.

 

Why should some receive above market wages and benefits, paid for by taxpayers, many of whom make less? A tax to level the playing field would accomplish two things: it would reduce government spending and result in wages and benefits determined by market forces rather than political decree.

 

This cannot be struck down on the basis of discrimination by the Supreme Court since it is simply a tax. Just as the mandate that requires a small minority of the young and healthy to purchase insurance is not discrimination – then neither would be a claw back tax imposed on selective bureaucrats. I happen to disagree with the Robert’s decision and side with the minority on this question. But since Roberts has opened the door to selective taxation why not use the law to reduce the cost of government? If Romney wins the presidency and if the senate should be taken by Republicans let’s hope they consider this idea of a claw back tax within a larger tax reform package.

 

Balancing the budget is a priority we need to address immediately and this proposal, along with many other reforms, should help in that endeavor.

 

Paul Nathan
August 7, 2012