Huh? Orin Kerr at VC notes this about That Man in the Supreme Court’s thinking:
If I am reading the Chief Justice’s opinion correctly, the upshot is that real economic mandates are beyond the power of Congress. Congress can’t force action where there was none. The individual mandate is constitutional because despite the name, it’s not really a mandate. It’s called a mandate, but in practice it’s really just a small tax, and the enforcement mechanism is pretty light. So Congress lacks the power to say that you go to jail if you don’t buy health insurance. But Congress has the power to encourage you to get health insurance by imposing a tax if you don’t, as long as the tax isn’t so coercive that it’s really more than just a tax. (emphasis added)
What happens when you refuse to pay a tax? Can’t you ultimately be sent to jail? Is the IRS coming after you really not “so coercive”?
This ruling on the tax smells to high heaven.