Saving Obamacare by calling a penalty a tax has created all sorts of political contortions.
What if the Supreme Court had called a dog a cat, would we then be required to call a dog a cat, particularly if it were better for us?
That’s where we are right now. Properly characterizing the Obamacare mandate as a penalty used to enforce regulation of inactivity under the Commerce Clause was a proper description when the matter was pending before the Supreme Court. But the regulation exceeded the powers under Commerce Clause.
Now that the Court has ruled, it’s still a proper characterization, but the Court held otherwise under Congress’ power to tax. So now it’s a tax. But it’s not a tax, except that legally it is.
A spokesman for Mitt Romney said the former Massachusetts governor agrees with President Obama that the individual mandate upheld by the Supreme Court last week is a penalty or a fine, rather than a tax.
In a roundabout exchange on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown” on Monday, Eric Fehrnstrom was asked if he agrees with Obama that the individual mandate is not a tax.
“That’s correct,” Fehrnstrom said. “But the president also needs to be held accountable for his contradictory statements. He has described it variously as a penalty and as a tax. He needs to reconcile those two very different statements.”
The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Court because it’s right, it’s right because it’s the Supreme Court. Even when it’s wrong.
It’s a tax because the Supreme Court called it a tax. Obama raised “taxes” on people who make under $250,000 per year.
End of discussion. (For now)