Because it’s NOT a tax…


Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom corrects me … and also the entire Republican Party. Oops.

… Of course as a technical matter, Fehrnstrom is right (and I was wrong). The individual mandate is a penalty assessed through the tax code against those who choose not to have health naurance despite massive government help in getting it through Obamacare. It is a “tax on free riders,” but not a tax on everyone. So, despite the subtleties of John Roberts’ argument, the ACA does NOT level a tax on the American people. It imposes a penalty, but it does through via Congrss’ taxing authority.

I stand corrected. Oh yeah, so does the entire Republican Party. Thanks, Mitt Romney! (Twitter folks may leave their #obamatax hashtags in the bin by the door for recycling. Thanks!)

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4 Responses to Because it’s NOT a tax…

  1. rupert says:

    It is what it is. It still is what it was. And it doesn’t matter what you call it.

    Oh, and it is not what most Republicans suggest it is.

  2. Pingback: The Romney ‘aborted fetal disposal’ story: bigger than ‘is ACA a tax?’ : The Reid Report

  3. mdblanche says:

    If the mandate is a tax, that would mean Romney raised taxes as governor of Massachusetts. Eric Fehrnstrom can’t very well have the the rest of the GOP implying that now, can he?

  4. Right-wing firebrand Cal Thomas portrays the sudden characterization of Obamacare as a tax as a “bait and switch,” alleging (with some reason) that Congress would never have passed the bill had its constitutionality been based primarily on the taxing power rather than the Commerce Clause.

    What he neglects to mention is that the Chief Justice, change of mind notwithstanding, followed the path of judicial restraint and deferred to the will of the democratically elected political branches. So-called conservatives have been lecturing us for years about the need to restrain judicial activism; when they finally get what they want they’re still not happy. Of course, we’ve all known for years that their call for restraint was “manufactured from whole cloth” (to borrow an expression from the previous Chief Justice), but we should never miss any opportunity to call them on their hypocrisy.

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