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June 18, 2010

A Tax, By Any Other Name....

...is still a tax:

STEPHANOPOULOS: ...your critics say it is a tax increase.

OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I'm taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we're going to have an individual mandate or not, but...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it's a tax increase?

OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.

At the time Obama made that statement, the Senate Finance Committee had just released its own health care bill, which clearly referred to the mandate penalty as an "excise tax." But in later versions, the word "tax" was stripped, because it had become too much of a political liability for Democrats. The final version that Obama signed did not describe the mandate as a tax, and used the Commerce Clause -- not federal taxing power -- as the Constitutional justification for the mandate.

So, does this mean "those pesky critics" were right again? That's getting to be something of a recurring theme for this administration.

Posted by Cassandra at June 18, 2010 08:23 AM

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The final version that Obama signed did not describe the mandate as a tax, and used the Commerce Clause -- not federal taxing power -- as the Constitutional justification for the mandate.

And named the IRS as the agency responsible for enforcement.

OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I'm taking over every sector of the economy.

Res. Ipse. Loquitur.

Posted by: BillT at June 18, 2010 10:22 AM

Well, his lips were moving weren't they?

Posted by: bthun at June 18, 2010 11:00 AM

Got 'im, by the Internet Transitive Theory!

OK, maybe we didn't strictly prove that everything his critics say is automatically true. But we've certainly demonstrated that his critics might be the best ones to bet on in any future disputes.

Posted by: Texan99 at June 18, 2010 01:02 PM

The funny thing is, they try to have it both ways. When it's pointed out that the mandate to engage in an insurance transaction (and an intra-state one, at that) is a gross abuse of the Commerce Clause, suddenly it becomes a tax. When it's pointed out that Article I(?) prohibits the federal government from levying direct taxes, suddenly it's a Commerce Clause power.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at June 18, 2010 01:21 PM

My critics say it is not a tax increase.

Posted by: Texan99 at June 18, 2010 02:19 PM

My critics say everything is not a tax increase. And they're wrong about that, too!

Posted by: Texan99 at June 18, 2010 02:21 PM

And you can keep your doctor too...

Posted by: TOTUS at June 18, 2010 02:24 PM

Sarah Palin is dangerous and could be a heart beat away from the Presidency.

Given that the nation is suffering cardiac arrest under Obama, not sure what all the fear mongering on Sarah Palin was about. Guess they had to divert their real thoughts about Obama somewhere safe.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at June 18, 2010 11:46 PM

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