When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Friday, June 29, 2012

Obamacare: when is "not a tax" a tax?

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So when is "not a tax" a tax?  Answer: when the Supreme Court says so!

Supreme Court Health Care Decision - Live Coverage - Election 2012 - NYTimes.com: "On Sept. 20, 2009, President Obama insisted that the insurance mandate in his health care bill was not a tax. Today, the Supreme Court said it was. In the middle of the health care fight, Mr. Obama was eager to avoid the characterization of the mandate — and its financial penalties — as a tax on people. He had promised no tax increase for middle-class families and Republicans were poised to pounce. “No. That’s not true, George,” Mr. Obama said to George Stephanopoulos during an interview on ABCs “This Week” program. “The — for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.” In a contentious interview, Mr. Obama added: “What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase.”But the court disagreed. They said the insurance mandate was, effectively, a tax on consumers of health care, and is therefore constitutional. “Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax,” the court wrote. “This is sufficient to sustain it.”"

It's a tax. End of story. Or is it? Some say it is the "largest tax increase in the history of the world."

CURL: Roberts to the rescue for Romney - Washington Times: "Obamacare is unconstitutional if it were to be enacted via the Commerce Clause, but not if it’s simply a tax, the justice (Roberts) wrote. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.” In so doing, Justice Roberts has just busted Campaign 2012 wide open. The high court’s ruling leaves in place 21 tax increases costing nearly $700 billion. Of those taxes, 12 would affect families earning less than $250,000 per year. Now that Obamacare’s penalty is a “tax,” not a “fee,” Mr. Obama is breaking a 2008 campaign pledge not to raise taxes on Americans earning less than $250,000. This new “tax” will hit across the economic spectrum, despite his campaign declaration that health care should “never be purchased with tax increase on middle-class families.” Now, Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats have enacted the largest tax increase in history."

Will the unintended consequences of the "largest tax increase in the history of the world" cause the United States to fall back into recession? Not if some have their way--


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