Obama campaign spokesman: Hey, we never said the mandate was a tax

posted at 5:01 pm on July 5, 2012 by Allahpundit

Really? Last week, the day after the decision, NBC went through the oral-argument transcripts and pulled out all the colloquies where Verrilli had argued for upholding the statute on tax grounds. A taste:

JUSTICE KAGAN: I suppose, though, General, one question is whether the determined efforts of Congress not to refer to this as a tax make a difference. I mean, you’re suggesting we should just look to the practical operation. We shouldn’t look at labels. And that seems right, except that here we have a case in which Congress determinedly said, this is not a tax, and the question is why should that be irrelevant?

GENERAL VERRILLI: I don’t think that that’s a fair characterization of the actions of Congress here, Justice Kagan. On the — December 23rd, a point of constitutional order was called, too, in fact, with respect to this law. The floor sponsor, Senator Baucus, defended it as an exercise of the taxing power. In his response to the point of order, the Senate voted 60 to 39 on that proposition. The legislative history is replete with members of Congress explaining that this law is constitutional as an exercise of the taxing power. It was attacked as a tax by its opponents. So I don’t think this is a situation where you can say that Congress was avoiding any mention of the tax power.

It would be one thing if Congress explicitly disavowed an exercise of the tax power. But given that it hasn’t done so, it seems to me that it’s — not only is it fair to read this as an exercise of the tax power, but this Court has got an obligation to construe it as an exercise of the tax power, if it can be upheld on that basis.

He told Scalia flat out that the mandate “is justifiable under [Congress's] tax power,” leading Scalia to exclaim, with perfect brevity, “Okay. Extraordinary.” That argument turned up in the government’s brief too, on page 52. It would have been malpractice for them not to include it: Congress’s tax power is so broad and the politics of this case so hot that Team O had to put it on the menu as a special for one of the wavering swing justices. Who could have guessed that Roberts, not Kennedy, would be the one who ended up ordering it?

This is the only “tax” I can think of whose goal is to raise zero revenue for the government. Right? If the mandate works to absolute technocratic perfection, it won’t raise a dime because everyone who might otherwise be required to pay it will buy insurance instead and thereby exempt themselves. Sin taxes operate similarly by pairing revenue interests with a state interest in discouraging certain types of behavior, but I think sin taxes are levied in the hope that they will raise some revenue. That’s baked into the scheme of taxing especially tempting or addictive behaviors: Legislators know that not everyone will be able to quit their vice of choice even if it’s suddenly 10 percent more expensive than it used to be, and frankly they don’t care. After all, sin taxes aren’t a linchpin of some broader regulatory scheme whose efficacy depends on them. The mandate is; compliance is more important to the state than revenue raised due to noncompliance. That sounds a lot more like a fine to me than a tax. Although that gets us into the question then of why the mandate penalty isn’t much, much higher than $695 per year. If compliance is key, why make the cost of noncompliance less than the cost of insurance in certain cases? Over time, presumably, they won’t, but in the early stages, when they’re still trying to sell this clusterfark to the public, I guess they have no choice.

Update: Sean Trende counters by arguing that Roberts didn’t expand Congress’s tax power at all wondering how the mandate is any different, really, from subsidizing certain behaviors with tax credits.

(a) Two people make $100,000. There is a 25 percent flat tax imposed, with one exception: a $7,500 credit is allowed for buying a Chevy Volt. A buys a Volt, B does not. A therefore pays $17,500 in taxes, while B pays $25,000 in taxes.

(b) Two people make $100,000. There is a 17.5 percent flat tax imposed, with one exception: a $7,500 surtax is imposed for not buying a Chevy Volt. A buys a volt, B does not. A therefore pays $17,500 in taxes, while B pays $25,000 in taxes.

Don’t think of the mandate as a requirement that you pay the feds a certain sum if you refuse to buy health insurance. Think of it as creating a tax credit for people who already have.


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Although that gets us into the question then of why the mandate penalty isn’t much, much higher than $695 per year. If compliance is key, why make the cost of noncompliance less than the cost of insurance? Over time, presumably, they won’t, but in the early stages, when they’re still trying to sell this clusterfark to the public, I guess they have no choice.

Remember, in the version that passed the house the cost of non-compliance was jail time.

lorien1973 on July 5, 2012 at 5:03 PM

So the mandate is not a tax?
Therefore, per justicejohnroberts, it is unconstitutional.

the new aesthetic on July 5, 2012 at 5:03 PM

The Obama team is as consistent as the Romney team on whether or not it’s a tax, and both of them are as consistent as John Roberts, who thinks it’s a tax for whether or not it’s constitutional, but doesn’t think it’s a tax regarding whether or not the anti-injunction act applies.

Stoic Patriot on July 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

But, legally it is a tax. So, if you don’t want it to be a tax, why don’t you vow to repeal it and come up with a new plan?

besser tot als rot on July 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

God, this makes them look stupid.

libfreeordie on July 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Although that gets us into the question then of why the mandate penalty isn’t much, much higher than $695 per year. If compliance is key, why make the cost of noncompliance less than the cost of insurance? Over time, presumably, they won’t, but in the early stages, when they’re still trying to sell this clusterfark to the public, I guess they have no choice.

The penalty/tax/mandate will eventually become more expensive then the premiums. It was designed this way so Barrack Obamma would be out of office before the premiums overtook the tax.

the new aesthetic on July 5, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Breaking on Hot Air

John the Libertarian on July 5, 2012 at 5:05 PM

You know what’s a penalty?

Having to endure a continual stream of bull$h!t from this administration.

I want all these effing liars off my screens and out of my sight on November 7th.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on July 5, 2012 at 5:06 PM

if it were anywhere but CNN, Roberts might have been watching.

teejk on July 5, 2012 at 5:06 PM

God, this makes them look stupid.

libfreeordie on July 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Worse. Liars.

John the Libertarian on July 5, 2012 at 5:06 PM

So the mandate is not a tax?
Therefore, per justicejohnroberts, it is unconstitutional.

the new aesthetic on July 5, 2012 at 5:03 PM

That’s how I see it too.

GoodAg77 on July 5, 2012 at 5:06 PM

God, this makes them look stupid.

libfreeordie on July 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Just keep chanting that you love being a slave to the state and it’ll be okay.

lorien1973 on July 5, 2012 at 5:07 PM

God, this makes them look stupid.

libfreeordie on July 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Eureka, something we can agree on.

Actually it’s worse than that – it makes them look like the pathological liars they are, and their firm belief that WE are the ones that are stupid.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on July 5, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Hey American Electorate–can you believe what blatant liars team Obama are?!?

American electorate: Huh? What’s a liar? Is that the bad guy on Glee?

Kataklysmic on July 5, 2012 at 5:09 PM

In the meanwhile the governors are smart.

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Geez, I’m so sick of this tax/penalty argument. Let’s call it a duck and move on!!!

PaCadle on July 5, 2012 at 5:10 PM

This situation is the PERFECT example to sell to voters that you DO NOT want gov., especially federal govt., grabbing power over your life.

These dumb-asses can’t even agree on the definition of terms they use to legislate, for God’s sake! It’s a farce, a joke that long ago stopped being funny, because now people’s lives and health are on the line. And that’s only the beginning of the effect on the country.

So much for the “certainty” of the law. What a laugh.

Saltyron on July 5, 2012 at 5:10 PM

God, this makes them look stupid.

libfreeordie on July 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Welcome to the right side of the issue. I hope you’ll stay with us in the future.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 2:38 AM

Del Dolemonte on July 5, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Does Obama think he can sweep this ruling under the rug and everyone is going to go along? SCOTUS said it has to be redrafted as a tax if it is to be law. Where is the legislation amending the mandate as a tax? If they don’t do this isn’t ACA, via the ruling, unconstitutional therefore not law? Why are the Dems acting like this is Law? In it’s current form it is a mandate and unconstitutional. Congress has to turn that little mandate into a tax via reconciliation… which is where we get to kill it, cause the CBO has to re-score it… right? Am I not getting something? Or are the Dems really thinking they are going to get away with hiding their arguments of the mandate as a Tax to SCOTUS…

Where is the Legislation to turn the mandate into a tax Dems?

cajun carrot on July 5, 2012 at 5:13 PM

With a hat tip to SNL back when it used to be funny…

It’s a dessert toping and a floor wax.

Cecil on July 5, 2012 at 5:13 PM

God, this makes them look stupid.

libfreeordie on July 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

There are lots of stupid peopel on both sides of the isle.

This is a regressive tax and thus Obama, who claimed the contrary, hates the middle class and the poor. In the ObamaTax law there are 21 tax hikes for the middle class and the poor and 75% of all of it will be paid by those making 120,000/yr and less.

Plus, 13,000 pages of regulations of ObamaTax, so far

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:13 PM

The CAMPAIGN might not have, but the ADMINISTRATION did, starting in 2010:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/health/policy/18health.html?_r=1

crosspatch on July 5, 2012 at 5:14 PM

So the mandate is not a tax?
Therefore, per justicejohnroberts, it is unconstitutional.

the new aesthetic on July 5, 2012 at 5:03 PM

No, it’s a shapshifter Penalization for the country – It’s a Tax in order to be Constitutional and a Penalty when it’s being Rahmed down our throats.

It’s the penultimate of being nuanced.

Chip on July 5, 2012 at 5:14 PM

peopel = people, or gnats

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Another one of those “It all depends on what your definition of “is” is” moments.

kingsjester on July 5, 2012 at 5:15 PM

There are audios from Obama’s Solicitor General and Roberts going at each other over the SG calling it a “tax” or a “penalty” depending which day and issue he wanted to argue for.

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:16 PM

So the mandate is not a tax?
Therefore, per justicejohnroberts, it is unconstitutional.

the new aesthetic on July 5, 2012 at 5:03 PM

It’s an extra-Constitutional tax.

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Geez, I’m so sick of this tax/penalty argument. Let’s call it a duck and move on!!!

PaCadle on July 5, 2012 at 5:10 PM

The reason why it’s hard to move on is because it’s a decision point, one that colors your view of “fairness”, of the legal system, of your place in the dynamic of society and the govt.

If you saw a football player return a punt for a touchdown, with the returning team down 3 with 5 seconds to go, and just as the runner goes to cross the two yard line on his way to the TD and the win, the REF/LINESMAN jumps out and tackles him. And the clock runs out, and the returning team loses. And no one, and I mean no one, acts to do anything about it.

The kicking/winning team can’t celebrate, because they won nothing honestly, and the losing team (and the rest of the fans) start to wonder if playing the game or taking it seriously is even worth it anymore. We’re crestfallen, disillusioned.

That feeling spurs vigorous action, or utter collapse.

Saltyron on July 5, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Obama campaign spokesman: Hey, we never said the mandate was a tax

Yeah, yeah, yeah. And David Axelrod told ABC’s Ann Compton that Romney is the ‘Most Secretive Candidate’ Since Nixon.

Both of them are lying through their teeth.

Flora Duh on July 5, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Sean is wrong. From the comments on the RCP Trende article:


Should read:

This is odd, given that Congress already does provide a tax penalty for not buying electric cars. Consider the following hypothetical scenarios:

(a) Two people make $100,000. There is a 25 percent flat tax imposed, with one exception: a $7,500 credit is allowed for buying a Chevy Volt. A buys a Volt, B does not. A therefore pays $17,500 in taxes, while B pays $25,000 in taxes.

(b) Two people make $100,000. There is a 25 percent flat tax imposed, with one exception: a $7,500 surtax is imposed for not buying a Chevy Volt. A buys a volt, B does not. A therefore pays $25,000 in taxes, while B pays $32,500 in taxes.

Unless Sean actually believes that Congress would jointly pass a new tax on people who do not buy a Chevy Volt AND lower everyone’s taxes so that the new tax law would, in effect, only raise the taxes of non-Chevy Volt buyers

Ca97 on July 5, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Dear Mr. Labolt,

It really doesn’t matter what YOU call it.

It is axiomatic that a rose, by any other name, is still a rose. Likewise, a tax, by any other name, is still a tax. The Supreme Court has removed all the trappings you have attempted to hide under and declared it for what it really is.

Sincerely,
EB

PS: The Emperor STILL has no clothes.

EdmundBurke247 on July 5, 2012 at 5:19 PM

God, this makes them look stupid.

libfreeordie on July 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Just keep chanting that you love being a slave to the state and it’ll be okay.

lorien1973 on July 5, 2012 at 5:07 PM

I wonder if she/he realizes that a government that can force you to do this can pretty much force you to do anything it wants.

So much for Limited government and Liberty.

Chip on July 5, 2012 at 5:21 PM

God, this makes them look stupid.

libfreeordie on July 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

They just serve crap sandwiches. Don’t expect them to eat any.

Mr. D on July 5, 2012 at 5:21 PM

If compliance is key, why make the cost of noncompliance less than the cost of insurance in certain cases? Over time, presumably, they won’t, but in the early stages, when they’re still trying to sell this clusterfark to the public, I guess they have no choice.

No. These people are smarter than you are giving them credit for.

Read the decision. It’s all explained in there.

If you make the tax too high, it becomes more difficult to argue that it is a tax and not a penalty.

In prior SCOTUS cases, legislation has been struck down because the tax was so onerous as to become a penalty, and the law was not Constitutional under the Commerce Clause.

When Pelosi said they wrote the bill to pass Constitutional muster, she meant it.

They knew what they were doing when they wrote Obamacare.

Mr. Arkadin on July 5, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Again, focusing only on the penalty, not on the total economic cost to the individual of the mandate.

The tax/penalty/honorarium (call it what you will) debate is being applied solely to the “penalty” paid for not purchasing a policy.

For the person purchasing a policy due to the mandate, the cost is the cost of purchasing the policy. It is not the cost of the penalty because they never pay it. The term penalty would have to be twisted and turned on its head to cover that cost.

In the end, talk to the person purchasing the policy. They will most likely confirm that there is less money in their pocket.

IndieDogg on July 5, 2012 at 5:25 PM

It is not a tax. It is an “exercise of the taxing power”. Get it?

They really do think people are idiots. However, not surprising considering arrogance and contempt are two of the defining characteristics of socialists.

farsighted on July 5, 2012 at 5:27 PM

On the first day of oral arguments, Solicitor General Donald B Verrilli, Jr, argued on behalf of the Obama Administration that it fine imposed on an individual for failing to obtain health insurance was a PENALTY. The next day, he argued that it was a TAX.
“General Verrilli, today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax. Tomorrow you are going to be back, and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax. Has the court ever held that something that is a tax for the purposes of the taxing power under the Constitution is not a tax under the Anti-Injunction Act?”

- Justice Samuel Alito, 26 March 2012

“No.”

- Solicitor Donald B Verrilli, Jr, 26 March 2012

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Hello Mr Romney…HELLO…crickets…

winston on July 5, 2012 at 5:27 PM

“Who’s on first?”

davidk on July 5, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Hello Mr Romney…HELLO…crickets…

winston on July 5, 2012 at 5:27 PM

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/07/04/romney-if-the-supreme-court-says-the-mandates-a-tax-then-its-a-tax/

davidk on July 5, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Valerie Jarrett On ObamaCare Being A Tax: “We Will Take It Any Way We Can Get It

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Don’t think of the mandate as a requirement that you pay the feds a certain sum if you refuse to buy health insurance. Think of it as creating a tax credit for people who already have.

The big problem with this is that it’s dodging the real issue.

Giving a tax credit or deduction or whatever means that the government lets you keep more of YOUR wealth for engaging in federally desired behavior (it’s a carrot). You’re gaining a benefit for doing something. You’re gaining something for choosing to enter a market.

Mandating you do something and applying a tax/penalty for not doing it is forcing you to use your wealth in an approved way (like giving it to a private company and entering into a contract with them) OR give more of your wealth to the government (it’s a stick). You’re getting punished for doing nothing. You’re being forced to enter a market.

gwelf on July 5, 2012 at 5:31 PM

His nose is growing.

GarandFan on July 5, 2012 at 5:33 PM

That sounds a lot more like a fine to me than a tax. Although that gets us into the question then of why the mandate penalty isn’t much, much higher than $695 per year. If compliance is key, why make the cost of noncompliance less than the cost of insurance in certain cases? Over time, presumably, they won’t, but in the early stages, when they’re still trying to sell this clusterfark to the public, I guess they have no choice.

The young have no idea how Fluked they will be, paying for all others, at 30% more for insurance they don’t need.

The old have no clue about the looting of Medicare under the ObamaTax.

Plus, as you say, the ‘penalty/tax’ is only cheap the first year.

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:33 PM

(a) Two people make $100,000. There is a 25 percent flat tax imposed, with one exception: a $7,500 credit is allowed for buying a Chevy Volt. A buys a Volt, B does not. A therefore pays $17,500 in taxes, while B pays $25,000 in taxes.

(b) Two people make $100,000. There is a 17.5 percent flat tax imposed, with one exception: a $7,500 surtax is imposed for not buying a Chevy Volt. A buys a volt, B does not. A therefore pays $17,500 in taxes, while B pays $25,000 in taxes.

Okay, not sure who Sean Trend is, but that’s one stupid, meaningless and inaccurate comparison.

What is with the feeble strawmen from the left today?

Midas on July 5, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Don’t think of the mandate as a requirement that you pay the feds a certain sum if you refuse to buy health insurance. Think of it as creating a tax credit for people who already have.

One more point. A big distinction is that previously you had a government that enticed you into desired behavior. Now you can and will have one that will directly punish you if you don’t engage in the desired behavior.

The more apt example is that if you don’t buy a volt you pay a penalty/tax instead of the volt buyer getting a tax break. Trying to equate the two ignores the basic formula and fundamental nature of the relationship of the government and the taxed.

gwelf on July 5, 2012 at 5:34 PM

On the first day of oral arguments, Solicitor General Donald B Verrilli, Jr, argued on behalf of the Obama Administration that it fine imposed on an individual for failing to obtain health insurance was a PENALTY. The next day, he argued that it was a TAX.
“General Verrilli, today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax. Tomorrow you are going to be back, and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax. Has the court ever held that something that is a tax for the purposes of the taxing power under the Constitution is not a tax under the Anti-Injunction Act?”

- Justice Samuel Alito, 26 March 2012

“No.”

- Solicitor Donald B Verrilli, Jr, 26 March 2012

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:27 PM

To which I will only add…

“Hehe, whatever.”
- Chief Justice John Roberts, 28 June

Midas on July 5, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Well, at least it’s not rape-rape like Whoopi once said.

Liam on July 5, 2012 at 5:36 PM

At least this keeps the topic of Obowma’s amnesty to millions of illegal aliens that he is actively giving work permits, drivers license, and voter registration cards…

Seven Percent Solution on July 5, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Gov. Jindal and Gov. Pawlenty will be in Pittsburgh at Soldiers and Sailors Hall on Friday morning at 10 a.m. The rally is free and open to the public. Zero will be speaking at Carnegie Mellon at about the same time, so expect traffic.

Pass it on.

http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/2152890-74/obama-event-jindal-pawlenty-campaign-romney-bus-county-republican-republicans

Philly on July 5, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Okay, not sure who Sean Trend is, but that’s one stupid, meaningless and inaccurate comparison.

What is with the feeble strawmen from the left today?

Midas on July 5, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Exactly. He focuses on the formula that in two scenarios you might monetarily not see a difference. Completely ignores the fundamental change of relationship between citizen and state represented by the scenarios.

gwelf on July 5, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Sean Trende counters by arguing that Roberts didn’t expand Congress’s tax power at all wondering how the mandate is any different, really, from subsidizing certain behaviors with tax credits.

Sean Trende must not do his own taxes. Anyone who does and who understands the intricacies of filling out the forms understands immediately that the penalty is not a “tax credit”. Tax credits reduce a previously calculated tax based on the existing tax code. A tax credit is subtracted from the base tax owed before credits are applied.

The mandate penalty increases the amount owed from a previously calculated tax based on the existing tax code. It is added onto the base tax owed.

The only way the penalty could equivalent to a “tax credit” would be if everyone’s base tax was increased by $695.

farsighted on July 5, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Geez, I’m so sick of this tax/penalty argument. Let’s call it a duck and move on!!!

PaCadle on July 5, 2012 at 5:10 PM

This is exactly what the Democrats/Libs want us to do. The liberal/progressive agenda is evil as far as I am concerned, but I’ll say this for the Democrats, they are always much, much more hungry to satisfy their agenda than the Republicans. State controlled healthcare is a holy grail for the liberals. They know no matter how bad the legislation is, the only important thing is to get it enacted and that is the point of no return. The program as initially administered doesn’t work well? Then at the next election cycle simply campaign on changing it always with plans that are short on details but ultimate goals that should sound too good to be true. Most of the public will buy it and of course these insane people will continue to be elected.

DaveDief on July 5, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Sorry to be coarse, but have these scumbags NO SHAME??? I have to chalk this up to Alinsky’s “The end justifies ANY (and they do mean ANY) means”. They will say ANYTHING, and do ANYTHING to advance thier radical agenda. They have the advantage over most decent folks, because the average decent, honest (uninitiated) people work from the position that folks are basically honest. Obama and his administration (Hillary included) are ALL Alinskyites and justify every evil thing they do – always leveraging this “dishonest” advantage. Evil, really.

bob77 on July 5, 2012 at 5:39 PM

At least this keeps the topic of Obowma’s amnesty to millions of illegal aliens that he is actively giving work permits, drivers license, and voter registration cards…

Seven Percent Solution on July 5, 2012 at 5:37 PM

And illegal tax refunds, into the billions. Keep working, harder.

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Their ultimate goal is a NHS, like the one in England, with 130,000 euthanized old people/yr. Yes, there are death panels. Of course, the number of the euthanized in the US will be higher per year.

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Does Obama think he can sweep this ruling under the rug and everyone is going to go along?

cajun carrot on July 5, 2012 at 5:13 PM

No, but he knows that only a relatively small percentage of voters in battleground states need to go along with it to keep Obamacare safe and sound.

No matter how unfair, ill conceived, un-American, ect. this whole Obamacare mess is, I am not sure it is an issue that is going to resonate with those undecided battleground state voters. A large enough percentage of our fellow citizens are not going to get angry about Obamacare until it tangibly effects them. That is not going to happen until after 2014. It’s too late then should the Democrats win.

Sometimes inches make the difference in winning and losing, and I believe we face such a scenario this November.

Hopefully the Republicans can focus on what will matter to enough of the American electorate to win the election, and then govern according to their promises. I for one intend to do everything I can to hold them to their promise of Obamacare repeal should the Republicans prevail.

MessesWithTexas on July 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Your lawyers did, dirtbag, and the Supreme Court bought their argument. Regardless of your lying, it is in fact and by law a tax. Chronic liars simply can’t differentiate truth from fiction.

rplat on July 5, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Typical liberal meme: “Hey! The truth isn’t our fault! And, BTW–if you vote against Obama, you’re a racist!”

Liam on July 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Their ultimate goal is a NHS, like the one in England, with 130,000 euthanized old people/yr. Yes, there are death panels. Of course, the number of the euthanized in the US will be higher per year.

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Here’s what I’m looking forward to:

Well, let’s see here–it looks like we have a registered Democrat and registered Republican both of whom need kidneys but only one current viable donor. I wonder who should get it. Hmmm…

Kataklysmic on July 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Another thing. When the OMB scored the cost of Obamacare they did not treat the mandate penalty as a tax or a tax credit. If they had they would have come up with bigger numbers for the cost of Obamacare.

farsighted on July 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Lawlessness will lead to more lawlessness…

d1carter on July 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Lost liberties.

Coming soon: you peons will purchase energy efficient windows in your homes or you will pay the tax for failing to do so.

the new aesthetic on July 5, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Lawlessness will lead to more lawlessness…

d1carter on July 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

And, according to law.

Go figure.

Liam on July 5, 2012 at 5:52 PM

If you make approximately 90K per year, you pay approximately 14K in federal income tax per year. Now, after Obamatax, your tax liability increases to 17K per year. So, yes, Obama lied, your taxes will increase under his leadership. This doesn’t count state, local, SS, medicare, and INCREASED health care prem’s.

jjnco73 on July 5, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Don’t think of the mandate as a requirement that you pay the feds a certain sum if you refuse to buy health insurance. Think of it as creating a tax credit for people who already have.

That’s exactly right. Government encourages certain behaviors all the time using the taxing power. If you buy a house with a loan, you get to deduct the interest you pay on the loan. If you want to put solar panels on the roof, you get to take a credit for that amount. If you choose to have children, you get a $1500 credit on your taxes. Why? Because the government wants people to own property, to put solar panels on the property and to have children.

Next step: government wants people to have health insurance. So you get to take a a $650 credit for it if you do. Granted, the cost of the health insurance is far higher than the $650 credit, but the cost of paying back a real estate loan is far higher than the deduction on mortgage interest you can take.

Obviously, the scheme here is different because Congress imposed the $650 as a penalty for not buying insurance versus a benefit once you do, but that is a matter of form versus function. Had Obamacare imposed a $650 “tax” on everyone in the country and also said that they could take a $650 credit if they purchased health insurance, no one would have said it was unconstitutional.

JoeShmoe99 on July 5, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Obama campaign spokesman: Hey, we never said the mandate was a tax

…sure!…right!…and a penis is not a pecker!

KOOLAID2 on July 5, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Where is the Legislation to turn the mandate into a tax Dems?

cajun carrot on July 5, 2012 at 5:13 PM

It’s coming next week in the House.

The twists and turns and two-faced explicit nonsense from Obama on this point is going to make some great TV commercials. The Super PACs supporting Romney will carry most of the freight on Obamacare.

matthew8787 on July 5, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Their ultimate goal is a NHS, like the one in England, with 130,000 euthanized old people/yr. Yes, there are death panels. Of course, the number of the euthanized in the US will be higher per year.

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Especially considering England only has 62 million people.

Del Dolemonte on July 5, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Dang Allah, looks like you need some help on the thread count, Ericka is wearing your arse out.

Bmore on July 5, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Another thing. When the OMB scored the cost of Obamacare they did not treat the mandate penalty as a tax or a tax credit. If they had they would have come up with bigger numbers for the cost of Obamacare.

farsighted on July 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Which is what I thought was going to happen after the ruling. They have to make the mandate into a tax and re-score it. Instead, Congress goes get some vaycaycay…. cause this law doesn’t affect them one bit and they could care less.

In a just world, they’d be killing this bill in the House. When the Dems can’t reconcile the mandate into ObamaTax we would be going back to SCOTUS to kill it. Instead, I get #BettingOnAmerica with a bus made from Canada and the bureaucrat asshats are adding 13,000 more pages.

cajun carrot on July 5, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Here’s what I’m looking forward to:

Well, let’s see here–it looks like we have a registered Democrat and registered Republican both of whom need kidneys but only one current viable donor. I wonder who should get it. Hmmm…

Kataklysmic on July 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Yes, exactly why Health care should never be political. Can we say Wrongful Death Lawsuit naming Barack Obama and Katheline Sebelius.

jjnco73 on July 5, 2012 at 5:56 PM

This has been discussed before, but NOW it needs a more serious analysis.

Let me preface this by saying I am not a lawyer…

If people are being forced into buying insurance (if you’re being “penalized” or “taxed” into doing something, you ARE being coerced), how is it going to affect Contract Law? Contracts are void if one party is being coerced into the contract, right?

Snitchmo on July 5, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Here’s what I’m looking forward to:

Well, let’s see here–it looks like we have a registered Democrat and registered Republican both of whom need kidneys but only one current viable donor. I wonder who should get it. Hmmm…

Kataklysmic on July 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Yes, exactly why Health care should never be political. Can we say Wrongful Death Lawsuit naming Barack Obama and Katheline Sebelius.

jjnco73 on July 5, 2012 at 5:56 PM

And yes, I what to know every GD treated case in the USofA that ends this way.

jjnco73 on July 5, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Yes, exactly why Health care should never be political. Can we say Wrongful Death Lawsuit naming Barack Obama and Katheline Sebelius.

jjnco73 on July 5, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Sure, we can say that. We can also say IRS audits for you, you’re family, and everyone you’ve ever had a cup of coffee with. Big government Thugocracy is fun!

Kataklysmic on July 5, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Anyone else notice as Ben LaBolt spews Obowma’s propaganda that CNN conveniently has in the screen caption…

Obowma Camp Calls Out Romney - Says his new position contradicts previous statements”

Then…

Romney Contradicts Top Aide – Now says Health Care Mandate is now a Tax”

Seven Percent Solution on July 5, 2012 at 5:59 PM

you’reyour family :-(

Kataklysmic on July 5, 2012 at 6:00 PM

In the meanwhile the governors are smart.

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Good.

Governors in five states say they oppose expanding their Medicaid programs under President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul, and another 26 haven’t decided, an option created by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that may prevent millions of low-income Americans from obtaining insurance.

INC on July 5, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Jindal: Obamacare ruling paves way for Michelle Obama Tofu Tax mandate
http://washingtonexaminer.com/jindal-obamacare-ruling-paves-way-for-michelle-obama-tofu-tax-mandate/article/2501371

“Under this taxing authority now, you can tax inactivity to compel behavior, you can tax inactivity, what’s to stop this administration — we know the First Lady is very keen on us eating healthy — why not tax people for not eating tofu?”Gov. Bobby Jindal,, R-La., asked reporters on a conference call this morning. “This administration, they’ve put taxpayers as partial owners of GM, why not tax people for not going out and buying Chevy Volts? The reality is, this is a huge expansion of the federal government’s power.”

Chip on July 5, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Added to the #TaxorNoTax tracker

ChrisL on July 5, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I for one intend to do everything I can to hold them to their promise of Obamacare repeal should the Republicans prevail.

Of course. This monstrosity will be dismantled, step by step. Day 1: 50-state waiver. Day 2: bring all regulatory activity in HHS, DOJ to an immediate halt via Executive Order, including the Catholic contraceptive mandate. Day 3: specific bills to dismantle many other provisions. Day 4: begin the budget process leading to full repeal via reconciliation.

There will be many steps across many fronts.

Romney cannot survive politically if he does not dismantle this monstrosity and return these powers to the states, including the ability to purchase health insurance across State lines (like car insurance).

We need the Senate majority to get the repeal bill to the floor, but there will be several terrified Dems up for re-election in 2014 who will also support repeal (Landrieu, Pryor, perhaps Shaheen); and Manchin, if re-elected, will support repeal. Under reconciliation, we only need 50 votes plus the vp.

matthew8787 on July 5, 2012 at 6:04 PM

You’re getting punished for doing nothing. You’re being forced to enter a market.

gwelf on July 5, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Not if you’re an illegal alien. They’re specifically exempted from the mandate to purchase health insurance.

Nancy Pelosi told us a couple days ago that we needed ObamaTax to take care of the problem of all the health care “free riders” in the country, the people who are driving up the cost of everybody else’s care. But how is it that one of the biggest groups of health care “free riders” — millions of illegal aliens who impose billions of dollars’ worth of health care costs on American taxpayers every year — are exempt from ObamaTax?

AZCoyote on July 5, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Ben Labolt will head up Obama’s Death Panel…

d1carter on July 5, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Obama campaign spokesman: Hey, we never said the mandate was a tax

…and a turd is not pooh!

KOOLAID2 on July 5, 2012 at 6:06 PM

When do we quit turning out pretzel logic and get the clue that this thing has passed and discussing whether its a tax or a penalty doesn’t do any good?

Flip the senate, get rid of our socialists liar that is Obama and reduce his sycophantic followers to either producers or those willing to accept what we give them. Let’s never have to rely on the robed rubes again to maintain our way of life.

Campaign issue: Democrats lie. The economy can’t recover when controlled by liars because there can be no confidence. Focus people.

DanMan on July 5, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Obamacare imposed a $650 “tax” on everyone in the country and also said that they could take a $650 credit if they purchased health insurance, no one would have said it was unconstitutional.

JoeShmoe99 on July 5, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Except it never would have have passed Congress if sold as and implemented as a tax, which was the whole point of the exercise.

To start with, everyone would be told their base tax was going up $695, making it officially the largest tax increase in history.

There really is a difference between a penalty and a tax, in legal terms, in terms of accounting, and politically. Even Roberts had to say it was not a tax for the purpose of addressing the Anti-Injunction Act.

And actually making it a penalty instead of a tax is worse. Politically it is much easier to raise that $695 to a higher number. Much easier than it is to increase everyone’s base tax and then increase the credit.

farsighted on July 5, 2012 at 6:13 PM

With a hat tip to SNL back when it used to be funny…

It’s a dessert toping and a floor wax.

Cecil on July 5, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Heh

Don’t forget it works as a turd polisher too just ask Judge Dread Roberts.

Dr Evil on July 5, 2012 at 6:14 PM

When do we quit turning out pretzel logic and get the clue that this thing has passed and discussing whether its a tax or a penalty doesn’t do any good?

Flip the senate, get rid of our socialists liar that is Obama and reduce his sycophantic followers to either producers or those willing to accept what we give them. Let’s never have to rely on the robed rubes again to maintain our way of life.

Campaign issue: Democrats lie. The economy can’t recover when controlled by liars because there can be no confidence. Focus people.

DanMan on July 5, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Yeah, why don’t we just call it the Obamacare-Penalty-Tax and move-on (to coin a phrase) to getting rid of that liberty destroying Piece Of Sh… legislation..

Chip on July 5, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Don’t think of the mandate as a requirement that you pay the feds a certain sum if you refuse to buy health insurance. Think of it as creating a tax credit for people who already have.

I agree that it’s effectively the same, but the difference in this case is that they would have to raise taxes on everyone in order to give a credit to those who get insurance, and that would be much worse for them politically than whatever this is.

And wasn’t that the point about being able to hold our politicians accountable for their actions? By allowing them to call it something else, we are doing our best to make sure the uninformed never hold these people accountable.

Esthier on July 5, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Another way the Obamacare penalty is unlike the taxes the IRS collects. Obamacare explicitly limits the IRS’s power to collect the penalty. Unlike with actual taxes, the IRS cannot put you in jail for not paying the penalty, nor can they contact your employer to increase withholding or garnish your wages, nor can they confiscate your assets. About all the IRS can do is badger you and subtract what you owe from any refund you are due.

farsighted on July 5, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Right solidaddy
It is a TAX is a TAX is a TAX and that is what the Obama lawyer said.
Good idea to call it an Obamacare-Penalty-TAX
OR
Obamacare-TAX PENALTY!

Delsa on July 5, 2012 at 6:20 PM

If the mandate works…

If the mandate works without the tax/penalty, then it’s simply a suggestion made by the federal government that everybody voluntarily followed.

That isn’t going to happen, and as $700 is cheaper than most decent premiums, the government should pick up enough revenue from this tax (though they’ll easily spend it in providing equivalent services). According to the Federalists our understanding of Congress’ power to tax was nearly unlimited, whose main limit is what the people will suffer to pay. That power was ratified in the Cons., understandings of what would never be taxed or how all taxes would resemble each other were not. Even Hamilton’s defense of the indefinite power of taxation is not ratified in the Cons, but his clear statement that Congress would have a general power of taxation informs our understanding of Constitutional idea of taxes ratified by the states.

Axeman on July 5, 2012 at 6:21 PM

AP wrote:

Don’t think of the mandate as a requirement that you pay the feds a certain sum if you refuse to buy health insurance. Think of it as creating a tax credit for people who already have.

That point is also argued here….

ironman on July 5, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Memo to Pelosi: Maybe we need to pass another bill so that we can find out what’s in this one.

Erich66 on July 5, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Another way the Obamacare penalty is unlike the taxes the IRS collects. Obamacare explicitly limits the IRS’s power to collect the penalty. Unlike with actual taxes, the IRS cannot put you in jail for not paying the penalty, nor can they contact your employer to increase withholding or garnish your wages, nor can they confiscate your assets. About all the IRS can do is badger you and subtract what you owe from any refund you are due.

farsighted on July 5, 2012 at 6:20 PM

This is true, but as Congress regularly “amend” laws on the books for ~100 years, retro-writing that IRS actually does have this power for a less than 10-year-old law, should be peanuts to a Congress disposed to that.

Axeman on July 5, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Obama campaign spokesman: Hey, we never said the mandate was a tax

You also never admitted Obama is half-white, too.

If he wasn’t half white, the Dems would never have put him ahead of their precious Hillary.

Liam on July 5, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Outside of it being Unconstitutional, what difference does it make what the Obumbo’s call it? You will be forced to pay it and the IRS will collect it regardless of what it is called. FYI: regardless of what the SC ruled the ACA to be it is Unconstitutional either way; unless of course, current law no longer applies to anything Coingress mandates and the SC concures. Funny how Obumbo’s talking heads keep stressing that the bill only will effect less than one percent of the people… What happened to those 40 million without insurance when those same talking heads were supporting the Democrat Congress in cramming this monster down the peoples throats?

aposematic on July 5, 2012 at 6:28 PM

What happens if, for example, for one reason or another you fail to pay your insurance premium for a couple of months and so your policy gets cancelled, but then you succeed in restarting it. So let’s say for three months out of the year you didn’t have health insurance. In such a case, would you have to pay both the “tax” and the cost of 3/4 of your annual health insurance? Wouldn’t that then tip it into Commerce Clause-penalty-unconstitutional territory? Or would they prorate the tax/penalty down to the day? The whole thing seems unworkable on so many levels. How can they even keep track of all this? Are they going to have a central database of who has policies and alerting them the second policies get cancelled? The feds can’t even seem to manage very basic bureaucratic functions very effectively, much less something like this. What a clusterfark…

WhatSlushfund on July 5, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Bottom line — Roberts called it a tax for one purpose and one purpose only, so he could rule it Constitutional. He also said it was not a tax for the purposes of the Anti-Injuction Act.

When compared to all “other” taxes the IRS collects and enforces the penalty is very different. It is different in how it is implemented and how it will appear on forms, it is different in how the proceeds are accounted for, it is different in how the proceeds are expended, it is different in how it is enforced, and if it survives how it will be increased in the future will be different.

However, if Obama and the Dems can say it is not a tax for political purposes the GOP can call it a tax for political purposes and beat them up with it. Force them to keep saying it is not a tax while pointing out they argued to the Supreme Court that it was a tax and that the only reason Roberts ruled it Constitutional was as a tax.

farsighted on July 5, 2012 at 6:33 PM

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