Neal Boortz: ObamaCare is not a tax .. except that it is.
By Neal Boortz
We’ve had about a day to let it all sink in and the emerging narrative is maybe not what we expected. Many people expected that the individual mandate would be stuck down as being an unconstitutional violation of the Commerce Clause. If you read Justice Roberts’ opinion, that is in fact true. But then, the government also argued that the individual mandate could be considered a tax – or as they call it, a “shared responsibility payment.” It turns out that the tax argument IS constitutional according to a majority of the Justices, therefore the law is upheld.
This complicates things for Obama and the Democrats. Uh oh … the man who made a “firm pledge” that “no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase,” suddenly looks like a fool. I won’t go as far as to say he is a liar, because that would mean that Obama knew ObamaCare was a tax when he made that statement, but he made that statement in 2008 before ObamaCare even existed. But he also said something interesting on the campaign trail in 2008. At one point, Obama argued that “healthcare should never be purchased with tax increases on the middle class.” Oops.
Mitt Romney folks, I hope you read that last statement. I hope you had that soundbite ready to go. Whenever Obama or the Democrats come after you for supporting an individual mandate in Massachusetts, you can come back at them with saying that Obama once said that healthcare should never be purchased with a tax increase on the middle class. In fact, according to Congressional figures, 70% to 75% of the Obamatax falls on those who earn less than $200,000 per year. That’s 8 million middle class Americans.
Then there was the well-known back and forth with George Stephanopoulos in September 2009, where Obama fervently argued that ObamaCare “is absolutely not a tax increase.” By this point, here’s what was happening. Obama and his lawyers know that one way they may have to justify this bill is to deem the individual mandate as a tax penalty (which they eventually did in the Supreme Court). But Obama and his propaganda team know what the focus groups think of the word “tax.” Focus group participants break out in hives, they start to sweat, they begin to get irritated and irate when they hear the word “tax.” So whatever the Democrats and the administration do, they are to avoid the word “tax.” So they danced around it (go ahead, click on that link), until they found it absolutely necessary to use it as an excuse. Banking on the ignorance of the American people, they were hoping that they would be able to get away with this argument in the Supreme Court without many people realizing what was happening. But now … it has been displayed front-and-center for the world to see, thanks to Justice Roberts’ opinion: ObamaCare’s individual mandate is a tax.
If you ask Nancy Pelosi about this ObamaTax, she will tell you that “what you’re talking about here is Washington talk.” Oh, I see, because the people outside Washington are too ignorant to understand the concept of the Democrats implementing the biggest tax increase in US history.
Democrats will do everything in their power to shy away from this ObamaTax label, but it will be hard considering yesterday’s ruling. The fact is that ObamaCare is expected to cost this nation $1.76 billion over the next decade. According to the House Ways and Means Committee, “The high court’s ruling leaves in place 21 tax increases in the health-care law costing more than $675 billion over the next 10 years … Of those, 12 tax hikes would affect families earning less than $250,000 per year including a “Cadillac tax” on high-cost insurance plans, a tax on insurance providers, and an excise tax on medical device manufacturers.”
And while we are on the issue of taxes … imagine where we would be if we had a tax system in place that didn’t allow for this type of manipulation. The tax code is a politician’s best friend because it can buy votes by giving unearned tax credits to the moochers while threatening to take from those evil people who earned it.