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If you pay attention to politics, you're gonna hear some really bizarre things come out of the mouthes of politicians. But even after all these years, they still surprise me sometimes.
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's creative 5-4 split decision upholding the ObamaCare mandate on the grounds it is a tax, Democrats are surprising me by refusing to take 'yes" for an answer. Top Democrats are still insisting the mandate is NOT a tax.
Let's start with Henry Waxman (D-CA), who helped write the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday, Waxman said it's "ridiculous" for Republicans to call the individual mandate a tax increase. He castigated Republicans for raising this alleged "phony issue":
The policy is not a tax increase because people have a way of avoiding it, Waxman said.
"It's a penalty, but through the tax code, because that's an efficient way of picking it up," he said. "So when Republicans say this is a tax — and I've seen charges this is the biggest tax increase in American history — that's ridiculous. This is not a real tax increase. It's a requirement that everybody get health insurance."
Excuse me, Rep. Waxman, but it wasn't "Republicans" who said the mandate was a tax increase, it was the Supreme Court, and if not for that questionable categorization of the mandate, the ObamaCare legislation you wrote would be mincemeat right now. Your admission that the mandate is "a requirement that everybody get health insurance" is an admission that your legislation is an unconstitutional violation of the Commerce Clause (which the Court agreed with).
Waxman is not the only Democrat who is still insisting the mandate is not a tax. So is…hold on to you hat…THE WHITE HOUSE. Here's Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney:
"It's a penalty, because you have a choice. You don't have a choice to pay your taxes, right?" Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One.
Here we have the White House contradicting the Supreme Court decision. I have to give the White House some credit, because it has always insisted the ObamaCare mandate was not a tax. There has been no flip-flopping from it on that point. And I agree with these Democrats. The mandate is NOT a tax, which means the Supreme Court decision to uphold ObamaCare was the WRONG decision. Yet, the White House LOVES this incorrect decision to uphold it's unconstitutional mandate. Go figure.
Politicians makes no sense. No sense whatsoever. They will take whatever position is convenient for them at the moment.
It's obvious why these Democrats are rejecting the idea that the mandate is a tax now, because if it is, it violates Obama's promise not to raise taxes on the middle class (which ObamaCare did regardless, but Democrats don't want you to know that either). The White House argues it is a tax in Court, and then it argues it isn't a tax out of Court. They want to have their cake and eat it too. What a farce. I'd laugh, but there's nothing funny about this.