Pelosi: ObamaCare’s not a tax, it’s a ta-penalty

posted at 10:41 am on July 2, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Democrats had a little trouble with their messaging yesterday in the wake of what should have been a big victory for them last week at the Supreme Court.  Instead, the legal victory has given way to a huge political headache, and perhaps even a linguistic headache as well.  How can Democrats argue that ObamaCare isn’t a huge tax when the Supreme Court decision that upheld it clearly states that it’s only constitutional as a huge tax?  Nancy Pelosi tried arguing that it’s not a tax but a penalty when challenged by David Gregory on Meet the Press, but even she couldn’t spit that one out cleanly:

Politico’s Josh Gerstein noticed it, too:

“It’s a penalty that comes under the Tax Code,” Pelosi said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” as host David Gregory pressed her to say whether she agreed with the Supreme Court, which deemed the law constitutional because the fee used to enforce the individual mandate amounts to a tax, or with President Barack Obama, who has maintained the fee is not a tax.

“It’s a ta—; it’s a penalty for free riders,” Pelosi said, nearly uttering the dreaded T-word before cutting herself off.

Actually, Pelosi slips twice in this clip.  The first time comes when she asks Gregory, “Well, who is the ta — who is the penalty on?”  Obviously, Pelosi hasn’t grown comfortable with the official Democratic nomenclature as they try to unwind the political damage that comes from their legal victory.

Of course the mandate is a tax, and neither Gregory nor Chris Wallace with Jack Lew actually get to the heart of the problem.  Both of them limit the tax question to just the penalty, but the mandate requires taxpayers to spend a significant amount of money in a very narrow way.  They must buy health insurance from private providers — and not just any insurance or a plan that best meets their own specific needs, but a one-size-fits-all plan — or pay a penalty to the IRS.  That’s a tax either way; the only difference is who collects it.  It’s the first federal tax applied in general to the public (as opposed to an excise tax on certain sales transactions that could be avoided by not participating in that kind of trade, for instance) that has to be paid to a private entity rather than government.  Either way, though, the government forces taxpayers to spend that money just on the basis of their existence, and that’s clearly a tax even if you never have to pay the penalty to the IRS.


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Wasn’t the original claim that 48 million Americans were uninsured and were one medical emergency away from bankruptcy. I know math is hard for liberals but 48/310 is 15% (rounded). That is a far cry from 1% (1500% error). Even the global warming true believers aren’t that bad at math. So what she is saying is that they lied about the number of uninsured also to pass the 2700+ page ode to lunacy.

chemman on July 2, 2012 at 11:54 AM

The proggies have various sets of data that they can switch around to whatever they need to support the talking point of the day.

The 48 million includes 25 million illegal aliens. They will not pay the fine anyway, or get insurance, because they are illegal and nothing is as cheap as FREE.

On the other hand, employers will kick employees out of plans because they can’t afford the Cadillac plans that Obamacare mandates. Many of those millions will not get insurance because they don’t want it, or can’t afford it, so that blows the number back up. I’ve seen estimates of 80 million kicked off, and many of those will end up penalized.

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I hate these people. What disgusting liars.

RedNewEnglander on July 2, 2012 at 1:07 PM

For them to kill insurance companies would mean more unpopular votes and they’d need a supermajority again, as regulations are not budgetary. Not happening anytime soon

Chuck Schick on July 2, 2012 at 12:57 PM

With all the mandates in Obamacare, private insurance companies will become appendages of the Federal government, kind of like utility companies.

TarheelBen on July 2, 2012 at 1:07 PM

As you may recall, the destruction of the tea at the Boston Tea Party was an act of violent protest against both the British Crown as well as to the East India Company, which held the monopoly on all the tea that the colonists were forced to buy.

There was no ‘free market’ in tea. The colonists were compelled to buy only the tea supplied by the Crown and its aristo-owned subsidiary, the East India Company. Thus, both the Crown and the Company profited from the monopoly.

Additionally, due to the Currency Acts of 1751, 1764, and 1773, colonial scrip was no longer used as a mechanism of payment for the tax and the tea, thus squeezing the money supply of British Pounds, gold and silver, and Spanish Dollars.

To quote Ben Franklin:

All debts public and private could only be paid with “proper” English money, but the issuance of it into circulation in the colonies was stringently controlled by the Bank of England. Benjamin Franklin described the result:
“In one year, the conditions were so reversed that the era of prosperity ended, and a depression set in, to the extent that the streets of the Colonies were filled with unemployed.”
Source: The Silver Bomb, [McDonald & Whitestone]

The result of all this pre-Revolution taxation abuse was the inculcation into our Constitution the notion of limited taxation powers granted to Congress, in three forms only:

1. A direct tax, which must be apportioned,
2. An indirect tax [such as an excise or 'event-oriented' tax] which is voluntary, like a sales tax.
and
3. by the 16th Amendment, an Income Tax.

By judicial fiat, the Roberts Court has created and conferred an extra-Constitutional unlimited taxation power upon the Congress.

This new power is exactly like the taxing power of old; the power of applying a mandatory, non-apportioned direct tax upon all citizens, based upon an indirect-tax construct, that enriches a set of private, government-sanctioned monopolies as well as the government itself, and sets up a bureaucracy that can freely grant exceptions and immunities to politically connected favorites.

The lawless injustice of the Roberts decision and its future destructive consequences are immeasurable.

Beyond the scope of the Affordable Care Act [ACA], is now the standing taxing authority granted to Congress to duplicate this taxing methodology to any part of human behavior that can be imagined.

The ballot box is now considered the mechanism that can be best used to reverse an out-of-control and lawless government bent upon trashing the Constitution.

But even with Conservative and principled office holders, a stretch for all, the Roberts decision would still stand, and our Republic would remain damaged and altered.

A Constitutional Amendment to correct this offense would be inadequate, since the Roberts Court has thrown the Rule of Law into the gutter. There was no– and is no– authority for Roberts to do what he did, yet he did it; and it is now considered “law”.

Schadenfreude on July 2, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I should have stayed on vacation…

… Catching up with all of this has made me physically sick.

:(

Seven Percent Solution on July 2, 2012 at 1:11 PM

You’re such a moron, Nancy. It’s the BIGGEST TAX INCREASE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

Own it, you coward.

John the Libertarian on July 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Seven Percent Solution on July 2, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Yeah, but isn’t Justice Roberts dreamy?

Cindy Munford on July 2, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Tort reform.. bring down the cost of insurance, by stopping the frivolous lawsuits. Loser pays all costs.

Lawyers dont like this idea. must be a good one.

How much of the cost of health insurance is attributed to personal injury ambulance chasers?

MrMoe on July 2, 2012 at 1:17 PM

It’s a floor wax!
It’s a desert topping!
It’s both a floor wax AND a desert topping!
It’s Ta-Penalty!

jnelchef on July 2, 2012 at 12:53 PM

New Shimmer. Heh. I also like “Schrödinger’s tax.” Or ta-penalty. Or pe-tax. Bi-di-bi-bi, that’s all folks!

de rigueur on July 2, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Nancy Pelosi once again demonstrates that liberals lie to keep their day jobs. Free-Riders = Free-loaders = Government moochiers

jjnco73 on July 2, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Its hard to imagine the idiots who reelect this woman.

Speakup on July 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Go to http://www.zombietime.com/ you will see the actual idiots who continue to vote for Pelosi. Carefully open each one of Zombie’s photo essays. (Warning: many are not safe for work and most definitely not for children.)

catsandbooks on July 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM

And the really scary thing is that 89,446 San Franciscans voted for Nancy Pelosi in the June 5th Primary election which gave her a whopping 74.78% percent of the vote.

She was running against 3 other Democrats, a member of the Green Party and a Ron Paul “Liberty Republican” in this election, so they can’t blame their votes for Pelosi on not having other liberals to choose from.

http://www.sfelections.org/results/20120605/

Since it is extremely unlikely that San Francisco will ever vote Pelosi out of office, we have to fight hard to support candidates in every other Congressional District to make sure the Democrats never regain a majority in the House and make Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House again.

wren on July 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Some people get so hung up on the language of the decision, as though that matters to anyone.

No one in this congress or any future congress cares about the stated rationale for Roberts’ ruling, or whether these things are legally considered “taxes” or “penalties”. The only lesson congress learned here was “If you pass a law, we’ll find a way to make it legal”.

People like Krauthammer are being too clever by a half in looking for a silver lining in this. I keep hearing “Oh, now Obama has to admit it was a tax.” Really? I missed the part of Roberts’ decision that said, “the President and his campaign team shall refer to this as a tax in all campaign ads and public speeches.”

This is the kind of analysis you see from people who spend too much time having nuanced philosophical discussions – as though somehow, Roberts has provided us an opening to win the heart of the electorate in some rhetorical chess match.

I sympathize with this perspective, to an extent. In fact, I desperately want to believe it. But I just can’t. It doesn’t pass either of those two fundamental criteria: the Smell Test, and the Laugh Test.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 1:31 PM

So we had to create a total government take over for the 1% who want to be free-riders? Tyrant

dom89031 on July 2, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Okay. So, your saying that the first anti-American President should be re-eleted to the most powerful office in the Free World, because an side to Romney said that the state-run healthcare system, passed by the Massachesetts legislature, was a penalty?

kingsjester on July 2, 2012 at 12:41 PM

LOL. Yeah, I’m not sure how Romneycare was passed. Maybe his mandate squeezed through as a “penalty.” Unfortunately, Obama’s mandate only made it through as a “tax,” so the Democrats are stuck with that optic. Penalty? Tax? Who gives a damn really. As long as Romney follows through with the repeal of Obamacare, I could care less what he did in Massachusetts.

TarheelBen on July 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM

“For the 1% of the population” Those damn 1%ers again!

huggybear on July 2, 2012 at 1:36 PM

She’s not an evil genius … She’s a dingbat.

Jaibones on July 2, 2012 at 1:38 PM

No No No, Its a penalty again Mitt and Pelosi are on the same page on this just ask fehrnstrom, Its NOT a tax.

boogaleesnots on July 2, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Jeeze, could Ferhnstrom be any more of a liability? It’s a tax, with many more taxes contained within the body of the bill. The IRS differentiates between taxes owed and penalties assessed, but this isn’t a penalty for not paying taxes-something contained in the internal revenue code-it’s a flat out tax. It’s based on a percentage of income, and if that isn’t an income tax on top of an income tax, I don’t know what is. These people think they are Goebbels, but lack his finesse. It’s mind-numbingly stupid, to quote Rep. Gowdy.

totherightofthem on July 2, 2012 at 1:39 PM

If free riders can supposedly pay for their insurance but elect to not do so, then they apparently feel that they are able to self-insure.

Therefore, the penalty should be that they should be required to pay all expenses out of pocket.

Put a check box on the 1040 that allows the taxpayer to indicate that they do not have insurance because though they can afford it, they choose not to, and that by checking that box, they understand that they are completely responsible for their own medical costs.

Then, when someone checks into a hospital or emergency room, the admitting nurse/clerk can quickly check whether this person is insured, whether by via personal policy, employer’s policy, Medicare or Medicaid, or whether the person has told the IRS they are self-insuring.

No more free riders.

Reno_Dave on July 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM

If it’s not a tax, the whole law falls as unconstitutional because there is no other authority upon which to base it. So, which is it, democrats? A tax levied by the Feds under its taxing authority (wrongly held constitutional by John Roberts & Co) or a penalty written into law under the Commerce Clause? Careful, now. A wrong answer can get you thrown out of Con Law 1.

totherightofthem on July 2, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Nancy Taxlousy. I mean Palousy.

profitsbeard on July 2, 2012 at 1:50 PM

The proggies have various sets of data that they can switch around to whatever they need to support the talking point of the day.

The 48 million includes 25 million illegal aliens. They will not pay the fine anyway, or get insurance, because they are illegal and nothing is as cheap as FREE.

On the other hand, employers will kick employees out of plans because they can’t afford the Cadillac plans that Obamacare mandates. Many of those millions will not get insurance because they don’t want it, or can’t afford it, so that blows the number back up. I’ve seen estimates of 80 million kicked off, and many of those will end up penalized.

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM

We have a winner!
First, it’s not a tax as written. If they had written it as a tax it would be consitutional, but taxes go to the government, not private industry.

And yes, as now the only type of insurance that can be sold is a Cadillac plan, most individuals and employers won’t be able to afford it, so they get to be fined $750-and then they still have no insurance. It is likely that the number of uninsured will increase under Obamatax/care.

talkingpoints on July 2, 2012 at 1:51 PM

No more free riders.

Reno_Dave on July 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM

What about the 20 million illegal aliens who reply on emergency rooms for their medical care?

Will they be refused care by Obama and Pelosi?

Or are they a magically exempt class of nuevo-”free riders”?

As usual.

profitsbeard on July 2, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Also-

* HSAs are now capped at $2500, where they used to be unlimited. This will be a massive blow to families with special needs kids who depend on tax-free savings for $10k-$20k worth of therapy and medical equipment for their children

Chuck Schick on July 2, 2012 at 12:46 PM

$2500, are you sure? I thought I heard that HSAs will not be allowed at all under the new law tax.

UltimateBob on July 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

You’re such a moron, Nancy. It’s the BIGGEST TAX INCREASE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

Own it, you coward.

John the Libertarian on July 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I guess we should rename the Tea Party to PEA: Penalized Enough Already.

Its a Tax Trap.

ObamaCareTaxTrap.

SparkPlug on July 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

In addition to the “ta-penalty” that Nancy Pelosi describes, Obamacare will be financed by $569 billion in new taxes.

The book The Truth About Obamacare by Sally Pipes has a handy list of some of these new taxes on page 46-47:

- Individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000 will see their Medicare Part A tax rise from 1.45% to 2.35% of income

- A brand new 3.8% tax on “unearned income,” including investment proceeds from partnerships, royalties and rents

- Insurance companies will get hit with $47.5 billion in new taxes between now and 2018. After that, they can expect to pay at least $14.3 billion in taxes a year — costs that will surely make health insurance pricier.

- Pharmaceutical manufacturers will pay $16.7 billion in new taxes through 2019, and then another $2.8 billion a year afterward, in addition to their existing tax liabilities

- A brand new 2.3% federal tax will apply to the sales of medical devices, such as pacemakers, prosthetic limbs and insulin pumps

- A 10% federal excise tax on the use of tanning salons

- A brand new 40% tax on “Cadillac” health plans worth more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families

I highly recommend sharing the book “The Truth About Obamacare” with your liberal friends before the election.

The book is a clear and easy to read summary of the many, many reasons that we need to make sure Obamacare gets repealed!

It is the most efficient tool I know of to help us prep for all of the conversations about Obamacare that we all need to have with as many people as possible before the election.

wren on July 2, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Not for some…as long as certain pols call for raising taxes on the “rich” and follow through and ignore, lie or obfuscate on “penalties” that directly affect all, they can expect overwhelming support from their overwhelmingly stupid constituencies, which explain how several can continue to be in office for 20+ years.

hawkeye54 on July 2, 2012 at 11:45 AM

This ta-penalty doesn’t even impact the Occupy-definition of the 1%, that’s what is so mendacious about this line of garbage. The dems, Pelosi included, keep saying that “again, the Republicans want to benefit the 1%”, these 1%s are not alike. One is uber-wealthy, and thus can afford the best health insurance and treatment available (for cash, no less), while the so-called free-riders, are all middle class and the poor. Why doesn’t someone call these jackwagons on this? All the sheeple hear is “1%, 1%, 1%” and they don’t seem to be able to discern the bait and switch that’s going on here.

totherightofthem on July 2, 2012 at 2:01 PM

If she thinks it’s so good then why this?????

Pomai on July 2, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Correct.
If you have a plan that doesn’t meet the standard..your still taxed.

bazil9 on July 2, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Yeah, and if you have a plan that exceeds the Obamacare/tax standard, you get taxed. 40%, actually. Say goodbye to Cadillac/Gold plans, everyone.

totherightofthem on July 2, 2012 at 2:03 PM

“It’s also a mouthwash. It’s WHATEVER YOU WANT IT TO BE!! The ultimate pseudomorph!”

mojo on July 2, 2012 at 2:04 PM

The Whole Health Care system will fall within the guidance of the
Internal Revenue Cervix where you will have to get a Colonoscopy Audit every April 15th.

SparkPlug on July 2, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Some people get so hung up on the language of the decision, as though that matters to anyone.

No one in this congress or any future congress cares about the stated rationale for Roberts’ ruling, or whether these things are legally considered “taxes” or “penalties”. The only lesson congress learned here was “If you pass a law, we’ll find a way to make it legal”.

People like Krauthammer are being too clever by a half in looking for a silver lining in this. I keep hearing “Oh, now Obama has to admit it was a tax.” Really? I missed the part of Roberts’ decision that said, “the President and his campaign team shall refer to this as a tax in all campaign ads and public speeches.”

This is the kind of analysis you see from people who spend too much time having nuanced philosophical discussions – as though somehow, Roberts has provided us an opening to win the heart of the electorate in some rhetorical chess match.

I sympathize with this perspective, to an extent. In fact, I desperately want to believe it. But I just can’t. It doesn’t pass either of those two fundamental criteria: the Smell Test, and the Laugh Test.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 1:31 PM

You are missing the point – the Dems can’t deny that 0bamaCare is a tax where it most counts i.e. in law, which the GOP is now going to use against them in Congress, as the work to repeal starts with a July 11th vote…if the Dems don’t like it, they have no one left to appeal to about it, do they? Roberts isn’t on their side here…

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Nancy Pelosi almost accidentally told the truth. She had to cut herself off, because none of that nonsense now.

RebeccaH on July 2, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Okay Nancy, lets just say it is a penalty and not a tax, what do you call the increases in capital gains?

DDay on July 2, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Okay, we are using ‘Cadillac’ here for two things, and we have to find another way.

I labeled the Obamacare-mandated plans as ‘Cadillac’ (ie Post-Fluke) because in many cases they will cost more than existing employer plans, and thus be dumped by employers.

There is also a provision in Obamacare whereby if you have a plan that offers more than the full Obamacare-mandated plan offers, that can be called a Cadillac plan, and there’s a steep penalty on those plans, unless you are a member of a greedy union. (Why would that be, by the way? What’s wrong with too much insurance?)

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Yeah, and if you have a plan that exceeds the Obamacare/tax standard, you get taxed. 40%, actually. Say goodbye to Cadillac/Gold plans, everyone.

totherightofthem on July 2, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Unless you are a member of a greedy union, government or private. Obamacare hands them an exception to that penalty.

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2012 at 2:22 PM

“The governor has consistently described the mandate in Massachusetts as a penalty,” Eric Fehrnstrom, Mr. Romney’s strategist, said on MSNBC. “The governor disagreed with the ruling of the court; he agreed with the dissent that was written by Justice Scalia, which clearly states the mandate was not a tax.”

This is being used — predictably — by the Left to try to ruin Romney and justify Obama and Pelosi’s (etc.) statements.

I ALSO agree with the dissent by Kennedy, particularly, and Scalia, Thomas and Alito: “mandate was not a tax” BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THE LEGISLATION SAYS.

HOWEVER, it was decided by Roberts that it’s not Constitutional UNLESS “it’s a tax.”

Obama, Pelosi, etc., claimed victory at that — contrarily — while also insisting “it’s not a tax”.

THUS, the Left is both contradicting the ruling by Roberts AND affirming that what THEY “call the mandate”(” penalty, not a tax”) IS NOT CONSTITUTIONAL YET THEY PERSIST IN CLAIMING IT’S NOW LAW.

Lourdes on July 2, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Oops, link to White House website where they have the freaking gall to assert ObamaCare provides “relief for Americans and business“.

Buy Danish on July 2, 2012 at 12:37 PM

This is Obama’s Wife-Beater declaration: he’s beating the wife because “she deserves it” and “it’s for her own good.”

Lourdes on July 2, 2012 at 2:30 PM

How in the world does someone who treated her friends and family to parties, food and liquor aboard Air Force 2 for two years at OUR expense utter the term “free riders” with a straight face anyway?

Shay on July 2, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Unless you are a member of a greedy union, government or private. Obamacare hands them an exception to that penalty.

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2012 at 2:22 PM

True. I forgot about those union plans. . .. I hang around with the self-employed and small business owners, too much. Even though I live in Michigan, I keep trying to pretend unions don’t exist.

totherightofthem on July 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

How in the world does someone who treated her friends and family to parties, food and liquor aboard Air Force 2 for two years at OUR expense utter the term “free riders” with a straight face anyway?

Shay on July 2, 2012 at 2:33 PM

The botox has made it impossible for her to express any emotion other than the demented smile, deer caught in headlights look.

totherightofthem on July 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

How in the world does someone who treated her friends and family to parties, food and liquor aboard Air Force 2 for two years at OUR expense utter the term “free riders” with a straight face anyway?

Shay on July 2, 2012 at 2:33 PM

The botox has made it impossible for her to express any emotion other than the demented smile, deer caught in headlights look.

totherightofthem on July 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

I wonder if Princess Nana has run out of Grey Goose vodka yet? That was a permanent entry on her list of things for the Air Force to stock on Air Nan.

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Wow, y’all are being too harsh on Chemicalpeelosi. She was trying to explain that it’s a taxi. It’s a taxi, people, for those free riders who need to pay their [cab] fare share … or something.

texacalirose on July 2, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Some people get so hung up on the language of the decision, as though that matters to anyone.

No one in this congress or any future congress cares about the stated rationale for Roberts’ ruling, or whether these things are legally considered “taxes” or “penalties”. The only lesson congress learned here was “If you pass a law, we’ll find a way to make it legal”.

People like Krauthammer are being too clever by a half in looking for a silver lining in this. I keep hearing “Oh, now Obama has to admit it was a tax.” Really? I missed the part of Roberts’ decision that said, “the President and his campaign team shall refer to this as a tax in all campaign ads and public speeches.”

This is the kind of analysis you see from people who spend too much time having nuanced philosophical discussions – as though somehow, Roberts has provided us an opening to win the heart of the electorate in some rhetorical chess match.

I sympathize with this perspective, to an extent. In fact, I desperately want to believe it. But I just can’t. It doesn’t pass either of those two fundamental criteria: the Smell Test, and the Laugh Test.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Absolutely correct. Even if you accept that ObamaCare is acceptable because it’s really a tax, the proper course would have been to reject the entire law with the instruction that it needs to be redone AS A TAX with all that implies.

The only teeth in a SCOTUS decision is to declare a law unconstitutional. Since that didn’t happen, absolutely no one else is compelled to acknowledge the reasoning. They’ll just accept whatever decision by any reasoning that allows the law to stand, while insisting it’s not really a tax at all.

Roberts may have been trying to be clever and have it both ways, but he failed. Badly.

Clearly, he’s not as smart as everyone thought he was.

tom on July 2, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Of course it’s a tax, even Romney campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom knows this!
wait…what?
http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/07/02/Mandate-Not-Tax?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

can’t make this stuff up…

greataunty on July 2, 2012 at 3:09 PM

You are missing the point – the Dems can’t deny that 0bamaCare is a tax where it most counts i.e. in law, which the GOP is now going to use against them in Congress, as the work to repeal starts with a July 11th vote…if the Dems don’t like it, they have no one left to appeal to about it, do they? Roberts isn’t on their side here…

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Who says they can’t deny it’s a tax? How is the GOP going to “use” this against them?

The democrats don’t have to do anything about this. Harry Reid doesn’t need to even bring it to the Senate floor. He doesn’t need to “appeal” to anyone. All the Dems have to do is say “We view this as a settled matter, and we’re moving on to other things.”

I don’t think Roberts is “on their side”, but it doesn’t matter his intent.

The only way this could conceivably help us would be if it somehow strengthened the basis for using reconciliation to get it by with 50 votes in the Senate, which even then, will only help us if after the election, we hold the house, Senate, and White house. But even there, where exactly do we gain an advantage? In court? I doubt this is going back to court anytime soon either way.

I don’t agree with the gloom-and-doom “this is the end of freedom forever” crowd; I’m not going to give up hope that we can turn things around in this country, eventually. But when I say “hope”, I mean the real kind, not the false hope that comes from looking for silver linings that probably aren’t there. I’ve had enough false hope in the last three months. No more.

I will be delightfully surprised if it turns out I’m wrong. But I’m not going to pretend that’s very likely.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 3:14 PM

You are missing the point – the Dems can’t deny that 0bamaCare is a tax where it most counts i.e. in law, which the GOP is now going to use against them in Congress, as the work to repeal starts with a July 11th vote…if the Dems don’t like it, they have no one left to appeal to about it, do they? Roberts isn’t on their side here…

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 2:13 PM

How exactly is Congress required to recognize it as a tax? The House may well require it be treated as a tax, but I don’t see how it’s binding on the Senate in any way. If the Senate says, “It’s not a tax at all, and we won’t vote on it as if it’s a tax,” then how can you force them to do any different? Would there be any penalty attached to them refusing to allow reconciliation because it’s not a budget issue? If the Senate parliamentarian rules that reconciliation does not apply, and the repeal is filibustered, absolutely nothing will happen. The law will still be allowed to stand.

Roberts may well decide it’s a tax, but he has no authority to force that interpretation on anyone else.

tom on July 2, 2012 at 3:18 PM

How on earth can I be a free rider if I pay for all of my personal medical needs out of my own pocket? Heaven forbid I should save up my money where only I can access it for my medical needs.

sisterchristian on July 2, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Here, Ed, this explains Maerose Prizzi’s problem:

Pic of the Day: Blame It On Botox

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/07/pic-of-day-blame-it-on-botox.html

M2RB: KISS

Resist We Much on July 2, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Absolutely correct. Even if you accept that ObamaCare is acceptable because it’s really a tax, the proper course would have been to reject the entire law with the instruction that it needs to be redone AS A TAX with all that implies.

I agree with this.

The only teeth in a SCOTUS decision is to declare a law unconstitutional. Since that didn’t happen, absolutely no one else is compelled to acknowledge the reasoning. They’ll just accept whatever decision by any reasoning that allows the law to stand, while insisting it’s not really a tax at all.

I disagree with this – regarding 0bamessiahCare itself, the case Roberts ruled on: it now is a tax in law! The GOP is going ahead with a House vote on the 11th on this premise – let the Dems try top stop them!

Roberts may have been trying to be clever and have it both ways, but he failed. Badly.

Clearly, he’s not as smart as everyone thought he was.

tom on July 2, 2012 at 3:09 PM

I disagree with your assessment of his intelligence – I believe his problem was an issue with wisdom, instead…

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Who says they can’t deny it’s a tax? How is the GOP going to “use” this against them?

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 3:14 PM

How exactly is Congress required to recognize it as a tax? The House may well require it be treated as a tax, but I don’t see how it’s binding on the Senate in any way. If the Senate says, “It’s not a tax at all, and we won’t vote on it as if it’s a tax,” then how can you force them to do any different? Would there be any penalty attached to them refusing to allow reconciliation because it’s not a budget issue? If the Senate parliamentarian rules that reconciliation does not apply, and the repeal is filibustered, absolutely nothing will happen. The law will still be allowed to stand.

Roberts may well decide it’s a tax, but he has no authority to force that interpretation on anyone else.

tom on July 2, 2012 at 3:18 PM

They Left can’t legally deny that 0bamaCare now is a tax, with Roberts as The Decider – for example, what will happen next January if the GOP sweeps, and votes to repeal 0bamaCare? Who are the Dems going to appeal to say that the GOP can’t repeal? That’s right – Roberts, who’s said 0bamaCare is a tax!

Even before next January, the GOP can use Roberts’ ’0bamaCare is a tax!!!’ ruling as a billyclub against the Dems at will

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 3:42 PM

A tax called by any other name….well…you know what I mean.

timberline on July 2, 2012 at 3:56 PM

I disagree with this – regarding 0bamessiahCare itself, the case Roberts ruled on: it now is a tax in law! The GOP is going ahead with a House vote on the 11th on this premise – let the Dems try top stop them!

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 3:34 PM

The Dems don’t have to stop them. There’s nothing to stop. Who cares if the house makes another impotent vote to repeal? It won’t go anywhere unless, after the election, we control the Senate, as well as the White house. And in that case, we either can or cannot use Reconciliation to break the Filibuster, depending on decisions that are internal to the Senate – whichever way it goes, the Supreme court analysis does nothing for us.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 4:01 PM

They Left can’t legally deny that 0bamaCare now is a tax, with Roberts as The Decider – for example, what will happen next January if the GOP sweeps, and votes to repeal 0bamaCare? Who are the Dems going to appeal to say that the GOP can’t repeal? That’s right – Roberts, who’s said 0bamaCare is a tax!

Even before next January, the GOP can use Roberts’ ’0bamaCare is a tax!!!’ ruling as a billyclub against the Dems at will…

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Don’t make me quote Algore, but…..

What is the controlling legal authority that compels them to call it a tax?

The only way it becomes an issue is if it reaches the Supreme Court again.

tom on July 2, 2012 at 4:09 PM

$2500, are you sure? I thought I heard that HSAs will not be allowed at all under the new law tax.

UltimateBob on July 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

From Smart Money

$2,500 Cap on Health-Care FSA Contributions

Right now, there’s no tax-law limit on contributions to your employer’s healthcare flexible spending account (FSA) plan (although many plan impose their own limits). Amounts you contribute to the FSA plan are subtracted from your taxable salary. Then you can use the funds to reimburse yourself tax-free to cover qualified medical expenses. Good deal! Starting in 2013, however, the maximum annual FSA contribution for each employee will be capped at only $2,500.

That really, really blows for alot of middle class families.

Chuck Schick on July 2, 2012 at 4:13 PM

They Left can’t legally deny that 0bamaCare now is a tax, with Roberts as The Decider

They most certainly can. Roberts made no ruling as to what they can and cannot say in their commercials. They have the first ammendment right to spin this however they want.

– for example, what will happen next January if the GOP sweeps, and votes to repeal 0bamaCare? Who are the Dems going to appeal to say that the GOP can’t repeal? That’s right – Roberts, who’s said 0bamaCare is a tax!

Wrong. If they vote to repeal, then the repeal goes through if and only if the Senate presiding officer and/or Parliamentarian and/or Pro-tempore allow it – this is a political determination made by the Senate, not the courts.

Even before next January, the GOP can use Roberts’ ’0bamaCare is a tax!!!’ ruling as a billyclub against the Dems at will…

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 3:42 PM

No one in the public cares about the legal rationale for the decision. There are 3 groups of people – people who strongly want the law overturned, people who strongly want it kept, and people who think other things are more important and want to move on.

If this were overturned, we’d have the last group on our side. Now the Democrats do instead.

Like I said before, this isn’t the end of the world. But I’m sick and tired of wishful thinking.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Own it, you coward.

John the Libertarian on July 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

yep

Oops, link to White House website where they have the freaking gall to assert ObamaCare provides “relief for Americans and business“.

Buy Danish on July 2, 2012 at 12:37 PM

yep

Starting in 2013, however, the maximum annual FSA contribution for each employee will be capped at only $2,500.

That really, really blows for alot of middle class families.

Chuck Schick on July 2, 2012 at 4:13 PM

More yep

Defeat President Obama in Nov and repeal The National Health Care Act.

hawkdriver on July 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM

The Dems don’t have to stop them. There’s nothing to stop. Who cares if the house makes another impotent vote to repeal? It won’t go anywhere unless, after the election, we control the Senate, as well as the White house. And in that case, we either can or cannot use Reconciliation to break the Filibuster, depending on decisions that are internal to the Senate – whichever way it goes, the Supreme court analysis does nothing for us.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 4:01 PM

You are conflating different issues here: if/when the GOP is presented the chance to repeal 0bamaCare in the Senate, 51 votes, rather than 60, is now all that are needed, over any and all Dem protestations, because Robeerts has the GOP’s back on this.

Also, you and I have a different opinions about the political ramifications of the ruling e.g. I believe a House vote to repeal is a no-lose situation for the GOP, which you don’t seem to agree with. I don’t mind discussing such differences, but I’ll admit that I don’t see any point to debate them…

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Wrong. If they vote to repeal, then the repeal goes through if and only if the Senate presiding officer and/or Parliamentarian and/or Pro-tempore allow it – this is a political determination made by the Senate, not the courts.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Don’t make me quote Algore, but…..

What is the controlling legal authority that compels them to call it a tax?

The only way it becomes an issue is if it reaches the Supreme Court again.

tom on July 2, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Oh, quote Al if you want – it’s never not funny to! :)

I must say, there is no chance this will reach the SC again under Roberts’ court – the Dems realize & accept the force behind Roberts’ ruling.

If I am wrong, what do you believe the Dems would do after a hypothetical 51 votes are reached in the Senate to repeal 0bamessiahCare? Go through the effort/risk saying that the case needs to be relitigated in front of the SC again, because the ‘strange’ “4-1-4″ ruling did not actually resolve anything? Don’t take this personally, but that idea makes me say, “Oh, come on!”, and it makes me ROFL – it should provoke the same reaction with you, too!:)

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 4:38 PM

But Romney himself is saying its not a tax. lol. The confused GOP party

Uppereastside on July 2, 2012 at 5:05 PM

You are conflating different issues here: if/when the GOP is presented the chance to repeal 0bamaCare in the Senate, 51 votes, rather than 60, is now all that are needed, over any and all Dem protestations, because Robeerts has the GOP’s back on this.

No, this was always the case, or at least, it has nothing to do with the Supreme court. The Senate determines its own rules and procedures, and the president of the Senate decides whether Reconciliation may be used.

We do not gain anything from Roberts “having our back”.

Where did you ever get the idea that the Supreme court would rule on Reconciliation?

Even if the Supreme court’s opinion somehow did matter on this, there is nothing in the Reconciliation procedure that has anything to do with whether something is a tax or not. The only relevant issue is whether it effects the budget.

Also, you and I have a different opinions about the political ramifications of the ruling e.g. I believe a House vote to repeal is a no-lose situation for the GOP, which you don’t seem to agree with.

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Where did you get that idea? I never said anything of the sort. I have no problem with them voting to kill Obamacare, since as you said, it is a no-lose situation. Unfortunately, it is little more than a symbolic gesture without control of the Senate. More to the point, they were always able to vote on this, regardless of what the Supreme court said.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 5:22 PM

If I am wrong, what do you believe the Dems would do after a hypothetical 51 votes are reached in the Senate to repeal 0bamessiahCare? Go through the effort/risk saying that the case needs to be relitigated in front of the SC again, because the ‘strange’ “4-1-4″ ruling did not actually resolve anything? Don’t take this personally, but that idea makes me say, “Oh, come on!”, and it makes me ROFL – it should provoke the same reaction with you, too!:)

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 4:38 PM

That is the whole point. The fact that it won’t ever go to court means all of Roberts’ “nuance” is useless. Nothing he said has any weight anywhere, except in the courtroom, and in certain conservative pundits’ wishful fantasies.

Roberts has not helped anything. The democrats would never have been able to seriously challenge a Senate procedure in court anyway. And if they could, nothing about Obamacare being a tax makes it any easier to use the Budget Reconciliation process.

RINO in Name Only on July 2, 2012 at 5:31 PM

You’d think with all the practice she’s had over the last hundred or so years, that she was have become better at lying through her teeth.

TXMomof3 on July 2, 2012 at 5:35 PM

You’d think with all the practice she’s had over the last hundred or so years, that she was have become better at lying through her teeth.

TXMomof3 on July 2, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Maybe they’re not hers.

de rigueur on July 2, 2012 at 5:38 PM

de rigueur on July 2, 2012 at 5:38 PM

You know, that very thought crossed my mind!

TXMomof3 on July 2, 2012 at 5:42 PM

RINO in Name Only, please don’t take this as a personal attack, but I find our conversation too tedious to for me to bother with – to me, since I say it’s rationally indisputable that Roberts ruling did change the number of votes needed in the Senate to repeal, and you don’t, I see our debate to be as worthwhile as you arguing with me about whether the sky is blue or not.

I shrug! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Every time I read about one of them saying, “It’s not a tax!” I think of the Drudge headline over the weekend, “DC is in the dark!” Oh yeah, the power is out, too.

stukinIL4now on July 2, 2012 at 5:43 PM

If I am wrong, what do you believe the Dems would do after a hypothetical 51 votes are reached in the Senate to repeal 0bamessiahCare? Go through the effort/risk saying that the case needs to be relitigated in front of the SC again, because the ‘strange’ “4-1-4″ ruling did not actually resolve anything? Don’t take this personally, but that idea makes me say, “Oh, come on!”, and it makes me ROFL – it should provoke the same reaction with you, too!:)

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I imagine it would play out like this:

Senate Dems announce a filibuster.

Senate Repubs demand a straight up and down vote, because it’s a tax.

Senate parliamentarian sides with Dems.

Nothing ever happens.

Unless the Senate Republicans are able to build a vast amount of political pressure on the Dems to treat it as a tax, it will be filibustered and not voted on. There is no way to appeal to the Supreme Court to force the Senate Democrats to treat it as a tax.

tom on July 2, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Nan’s always good for a chuckle.

CW on July 2, 2012 at 6:02 PM

At least Mitt was HONEST about his tax increse:

In 2006, Romney explained in a Powerpoint presentation how the state would enforce his mandate. “We will withhold any of their tax refund” for people who don’t purchase insurance, he said. The former governor said the same thing in a 2009 interview with CNN: “There are a number of ways to encourage people to get insurance, and what we did, we said ‘you’re going to lose a tax exemption if you don’t have insurance.’”

Romney 2012: The Individual Mandate You WILL Believe In! /SARC

DannoJyd on July 2, 2012 at 6:25 PM

I imagine it would play out like this:

Senate Dems announce a filibuster.

Senate Repubs demand a straight up and down vote, because it’s a tax.

Senate parliamentarian sides with Dems.

Nothing ever happens.

Unless the Senate Republicans are able to build a vast amount of political pressure on the Dems to treat it as a tax, it will be filibustered and not voted on. There is no way to appeal to the Supreme Court to force the Senate Democrats to treat it as a tax.

tom on July 2, 2012 at 5:44 PM

I don’t see that as a realistic possibility – if the GOP controls the House, Senate, and Presidency, the Dems could not successfully pull off a filibuster – the GOP would simply replace any Parliamentarian, who serves at the pleasure of the Senate Majority Leader, who’d side against them w/o serious political fallout…

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Bizarro No. 1 on July 2, 2012 at 6:36 PM

You place a lot of trust in your GOP. Can you point to any historical instance of the Senate Republicans sticking to their guns in a pinch?

I recall dozens of instances where the GOP RINO’s fracked up our desires. Maybe you can find one where they came through when under pressure from the liberals?

DannoJyd on July 2, 2012 at 6:40 PM

I wonder if my writing yet another critical comment about this foul Pelosi will make any damn difference or change anything about this present sad state of affairs we Americans now find ourselves in….

Kind of a waste of time, isn’t it?

Sherman1864 on July 2, 2012 at 6:57 PM

$2500, are you sure? I thought I heard that HSAs will not be allowed at all under the new law tax.

UltimateBob on July 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I have an HSA and I heard that also. 2010 article

Unsurprisingly, there’s a price hike, too. It doubles—to a whopping 20 percent—the tax penalty for withdrawing HSA funds to cover non-medical expenses.

But the worst news for those using HSAs is the provision requiring all policies to cover at least 60 percent of the actuarial value of the benefits offered. What’s the actual value? No one really knows—not until the Health and Human Services Department issues regulations on how to calculate it.

Will contributions to HSAs be included in these actuarial-value calculations? HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will make that call.

Forbes 2012

“This will make it much more difficult for high deductible plans to meet the minimum actuarial value standard of 60 percent,” says Ramthun. “If they can’t, these plans will either not be available, or these plans will have to raise their values by covering additional berenefit expenses. This in turns means the premiums will have to be increased to cover the additional expenses, meaning HSA plans will not be as affordable as they are today.”

Complicated law but it looks like it was written to get folk out of HSAs. FSAs may have the same problem.

entagor on July 2, 2012 at 7:10 PM

SCOAMS

WhatNot on July 2, 2012 at 7:45 PM

SCOAMS

SCOMML

WhatNot on July 2, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Kind of a waste of time, isn’t it?

Sherman1864 on July 2, 2012 at 6:57 PM

If you don’t stand up for yourself, who will?

Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often.

Mark Twain

DannoJyd on July 2, 2012 at 7:47 PM

So Obamacare is either a “tax” or a “penalty.” I invite the DemoKKKrats to choose either term.

DrZin on July 2, 2012 at 8:54 PM

CJ John Roberts! You magnificent ba$tard!

southernms on July 3, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Lest we forget:

Romney advisor: You’re right, the ObamaCare mandate isn’t a tax

Liberals of a feather… /smug

DannoJyd on July 3, 2012 at 1:52 AM

Who let the “the moonbat” out of the closet again??

mmcnamer1 on July 3, 2012 at 8:17 AM

TAPELOSI!!

DrZin on July 3, 2012 at 10:15 AM

The mandate is still unconstitutional as Pelosi describes it because it’s a bill of attainder. She and the rest of the legislature can’t just declare millions of Americans guilty of beign free riders and then slap them with a penalty as a result. What happened to due process?

Kim Priestap on July 3, 2012 at 1:29 PM

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