Thursday, August 15, 2013
Mystica M. Alexander (Bentley University, Department of Law, Taxation & Financial Planning) & Timothy Gagnon (Northeastern University, School of Business), The Roberts Court: Using the Taxing Power to Shape Individual Behavior, 23 U. Fla. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 345 (2012):
Has the Roberts Court used the taxing power to expand the reach of the federal government beyond previously recognized limits? Recognizing the role that taxation has played as a revenue-raiser, a shaper of social policy, and a regulator of activities, Part I concludes that the Roberts decision, although in the realm of unchartered territory, is not an indefensible stretch. Rather, this is simply another use by Congress of the taxing power as a stick to regulate individual behavior. Part II explores the details of the tax imposed on a failure to comply with the mandate. Using the Massachusetts healthcare experience with an individual mandate as a reference point, the likelihood that this tax will bring about the desired goal of near universal healthcare coverage is then considered. Part III explores whether the current tax as codified in Section 5000A has the necessary teeth to significantly influence individual behavior given the lack of administrative remedies at the disposal of the IRS to enforce payment of the tax.