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The Individual Mandate—It’s a Tax

pinocchioMaybe it’s all water under the bridge. Once a law is passed, there’s not much you can do about it. But the Obama administration’s reversal on the legal status of the “individual mandate” to buy health insurance is profound.

As the New York Times reports in this story:

“For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,” the president said last September, in a spirited exchange with George Stephanopoulos on the ABC News program “This Week.”

But:

In a brief defending the law, the Justice Department says the requirement for people to carry insurance or pay the penalty is “a valid exercise” of Congress’s power to impose taxes.

Is there one reality for campaigning about a bill, and another one about the U.S. Constitution?

Its jaw-dropping to think that a politician can say one thing so emphatically and walk away from it just a few short months later.

So. What can you do about it? One thing is to join in the debate about spending to enforce the individual mandate. We wrote a few months ago about all the IRS agents that will be hired to enforce the individual mandate. In fairness, there aren’t as many as was being reported, they aren’t all “agents,” and they won’t all be at the IRS.

But between now and the fall, this new spending will be in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill and the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. These annual spending bills must be passed by October 1, 2010, the start of the new fiscal year.

Chances are good that there will be a debate about spending to enforce the individual mandate, and chances are good that you’ll be able to read about it here.

Visitor Comments for The Individual Mandate—It’s a Tax RSS 2.0

WashingtonWatch.com Digest – July 19, 2010 – The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] The Individual Mandate—It’s a Tax [...]

rannan3

Your cartoon of Pinnochio is funny, but there’s nothing funny about our President lying to us — again !
IF his nose grew with each lie, he wouldn’t fit in Air Force One anymore !!

donald cralton

the american people just needs to tell obama to shove his mandate up his communist ass.

rannan3

Repubs. should be out there, high-lighting each and every one of his lies too.
This has got to be the most dishonest president in my lifetime .

Jack E Lohman

It is not a tax. It is forced payola to the insurance industry that gave him $20 million in bribes. Only public funding of campaigns will stop this crap, but the D’s and R’s like the status quo.

Jim Harper

I appreciate the points, rannan3, but I don’t know if talk of “lying” and calling the President a communist are helpful. Politicians get in the habit of “fibbing” like Pinocchio to move policy the way they think it should go. I think it’s important to recognize that they mean well, then push back on their substantive policies rather than calling names or assuming bad faith.

skeptic 2630

aside from how unconstitutional this (tax) ‘Mandate’ is; this sort of discussion _should have_ replaced all of his >pushing>> into passage of such a deadly bill, just so he could rush to the front of the credit-taking spotlight. this entire issue adds the rustiest nail to his coffin

Obama Administration admits that Individual Mandate is a tax | Rise of the Center

[...] Read on at the Washington Watch blog… [...]

John P. Baker

Well, if it’s a tax, then the whole healthcare bill should go down in flames. The Constitution clearly provides that any legislation involving the raising of revenue must originate in the House of Representatives. The bill that Congress passed originated in the Senate. Of course, we know how much respect that this administration has for the Constitution.

John P. Baker

If we argue that it is not a tax, then we have have the government arguing that we must either purchase a product from a private company or pay a fine to the government for the “privilege of breathing”.

ED

He wanted a global tax like the British and now he’s taxing you for healthcare that he has entitled all over the world with PEPFAR. Now he offers domestic aids work, but it’s not treatment, but more infrastructure and government employees.

Health care is a rip off, hiring more government employees, building more infrastructure and not providing care and drugs we need.

Ishmael R Fails

MR.PRESADENT OBAMA WHAT IS THIS ABOUT A TRANSACTION TAX OF ONE PERCENT??? THAT IS PROPOSED BY YOUR FINANCE TEAM. WHEN PEOPLE LIVE ALL READY FROM CHECK TO CHECK.DO NOT BE ACLOSET PEPUBLICAN.

Peter J Gilberg

to Jim Harper:

I do not beleive obama “means well” and I also beleive that he is a communist.Assuming “bad faith” about Obama after the way he lies every time he speaks merely shows the person posting the message is informed.

PJG

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