The Individual Mandate and Tax Incentives
Erik M. Jensen
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
May 25, 2012
135 Tax Notes 879 (2012)
Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-18
This article responds to an argument, made by economist Martin Sullivan, that, if the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate in the Obamacare legislation, all sorts of tax incentives — which, he argues, are economically equivalent to the mandate — would suddenly be at risk constitutionally. The article argues that (1) mandates and incentives are not necessarily legally equivalent; (2) more generally, economic equivalence does not mean legal equivalence; and (3) as has always been the case, the constitutional merits of tax incentives should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 4
Keywords: individual mandate, economic equivalence, tax incentives
JEL Classification: K34
Date posted: May 26, 2012
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