Romney campaign bucks Republican line on 'Obamacare' as 'tax'

politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/02/fehrnstrom-bucks-republican-line-on-obamacare-as-tax/

Just because one advisor said something does not mean that is the message of the campaign. This is an argument over semantics. Chief Justice Roberts said it was a ‘tax.’ Scalia, Alito, Kennedy, and Thomas said it was not a tax, but a penalty and that it is unconstitutional. If the Romney campaign is going to call it a penalty not a tax then that is agreeing with the four dissenters. It does not matter whether you call it a penalty or a tax, ObamaCare raises premiums, punishes those who do not purchase insurance with a tax/penalty and has to be repealed

It does matter. If it is a new tax, then Congress only needs 51% to repeal the tax.

Supreme Court with the majority opinion declared it as tax, which means it can be repealed with 50. But four Supreme Court judges, which includes 3 conservatives did not agree

It needs a majority to repeal.

Romney vs ObamaTax

**Romney isn’t trying to let Obama “off the hook” by agreeing with his latest absurd rhetorical gymnastics. He’s saying the Supreme Court decision was reached incorrectly – the individual mandate should have been regarded as a penalty, and struck down as unconstitutional, as the dissenting justices insisted.

Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg reinforced this point to ABC News** after Fehrnstrom’s MSNBC appearance: “The Supreme Court left President Obama with two choices: the federal individual mandate in Obamacare is either a constitutional tax or an unconstitutional penalty. Governor Romney thinks it is an unconstitutional penalty. What is President Obama’s position: is his federal mandate unconstitutional, or is it a tax?”

Romney has also been consistent in arguing that states like Massachusetts can take actions which are constitutionally forbidden to the federal government. Some critics fear this will not be a winning argument with the American people, who have not generally been adamant about requiring the federal government to observe the finer points (or, lately, some of the more blunt points) of Constitutional law. But whatever its political deficiencies might be, Romney’s point is both intellectually valid and consistently made. He raised it every single time Romneycare was mentioned during the presidential debates.

It is not inconsistent to simultaneously believe that the Supreme Court should have ruled ObamaCare contained an unconstitutional penalty, and insist that ObamaCare apologists deal honestly with what the Court actually did say. The true, and mind-boggling, inconsistency lies in embracing and celebrating the marvelous Roberts decision because it upheld ObamaCare, while simultaneously claiming Roberts was wrong.

It’s not surprising that Team Obama would try to portray Romney’s position as a big wedge between the Republican nominee and much of the party, as in the case of Obama strategist David Axelrod, who portrayed Republican depiction of ObamaCare as a tax increase as “sliming their own nominee” because Romney says he does not believe it proper to classify the individual mandate as a tax. This will only become a “wedge” if Republican voters allow themselves to be played by the Obama campaign. ObamaCare, and the Roberts decision, are so awful that they can be criticized on numerous grounds, all of them quite firm. It would be absurd to insist upon absolutely uniform criticism of a wildly inconsistent law.

my emphases

humanevents.com/2012/07/02/romney-vs-obamatax

It no longer matters what Obama thinks. The SC has ruled it is a tax.

Actually, I think that Roberts dumped it back in Obama’s lap. He said “either this thing is unconstitutional or it is a tax” and now the President has to decide that if he wants to implement it as written, he has to admit that it is the largest tax hike on the middle class in American history…or…he can agree with the court and decide that “as it is written”, it is unconstitutional and scrap the whole thing.

I do not think there is a choice–the law has been approved by the court as a tax.

Exactly. So Obama has to defend it as such. There is no choice. So he faces the delicious problem (for me :smiley: ) of dumping his biggest “accomplishment” or defending a HUGE tax increase. I smell toast burning.:slight_smile:

He will not do either. He will just keep saying it is not a tax–and many people will believe he is correct.

Supreme Court majority opinion declared it as a tax. Most people know that, it was declared so across the screens of all cable and broadcast news stations. I think trying to wade around the fact that it was declared a tax is going to make ObamaTax even more unpopular, because Pelosi etc. are having to defend that is not a tax and more attention is brought to it

Obama tax was passed using the reconcilation process that is reserved for budgets, and the nuclear option which prevented Senate filibuster - why worry about about the “rules” in repealing it?

Do you think most people pay so much attention to the niceties of Roberts’ argument that it is a tax or the disagreement between the justices on the status of Obamacare? What’s the percentage of people in the country who don’t even vote? And among those who do vote, they’ll just hear Romney’s campaign say it is a tax, or penalty, or whatever, and Obama’s say something else. I would predict the whole SC decision will become boring to most of the electorate in a month or so and the state of the economy will resurface as the major issue in both campaigns.

Believing what Obama says is what got us in the mess in the first place.

I do not think people are going to ignore this issue, not when the outcome of the election and the implication of health care depending on who the next president is is going directly impact so many peoples wallets in an already near recession economy, and not when polls have shown the intensity against ObamaTax is stronger than intensity in support of ObamaTax

I think the people who know it is tax, always new it would be a tax–yet many millions will believe it is not a tax. It does not help that Romney is not actually calling it a tax.

Sadly, I think people will lose attention by the end of this month, maybe earlier.

If I heard the word penalty I would think a charge for not purchasing something. People are assuming Romney is not going to use the word tax because of what his campaign aide said, but Romney has said of the taxes, why would he change this wording when it is the truth

‘Americans “don’t want to see $500 billion in new taxes,” he said. “They don’t want to see a $500 billion cut to Medicare. They don’t want to see what the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] said.’

newsmax.com/Headline/romney-obamacare-oust-obama/2012/06/29/id/444017

If they ever paid attention at all.:frowning:

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