Obama’s Nontax Tax

On a Sunday show, the President offers a revealing definition

“Shame on the men who can court exemption from present trouble and expense at the price of their own posterity’s liberty!” –Samuel Adams

Obama and Stephanopoulos

“President Obama didn’t make much news on his round of five Sunday talk shows … with one notable exception. The President revealed a great deal about his philosophy of government and how he defines a tax increase. It turns out the President thinks a health-care tax is not a tax if he thinks the tax is for your own good. … Mr. Obama was asked by [ABC] host George Stephanopoulos about the ‘individual mandate.’ Under Max Baucus’s Senate bill that Mr. Obama supports, everyone would be required to buy health insurance or else pay a penalty as high as $3,800 a year. Mr. Stephanopoulos posed the obvious question about this kind of coercion when ‘the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t [buy insurance]. … How is that not a tax?’ ‘Well, hold on a second, George,’ Mr. Obama replied. ‘Here’s what’s happening. You and I are both paying $900, on average — our families — in higher premiums because of uncompensated care. Now what I’ve said is that if you can’t afford health insurance, you certainly shouldn’t be punished for that. That’s just piling on. If, on the other hand, we’re giving tax credits, we’ve set up an exchange, you are now part of a big pool, we’ve driven down the costs, we’ve done everything we can and you actually can afford health insurance, but you’ve just decided, you know what, I want to take my chances. And then you get hit by a bus and you and I have to pay for the emergency room care, that’s…’ ‘That may be,’ Mr. Stephanopoulos responded, ‘but it’s still a tax increase.’ (In fact, uncompensated care accounts for about only 2.2% of national health spending today, but that’s another subject.) Mr. Obama: ‘No. That’s not true, George. The — for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore…’ In other words, like parents talking to their children, this levy — don’t call it a tax — is for your own good. … Mr. Obama complains that ‘My critics say everything is a tax increase,’ as if that is his political problem. His real problem is that the individual mandate really is a tax, but the President doesn’t want voters to think of it that way, because taxes are unpopular.” —The Wall Street Journal

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2 Comments

Filed under Patriot Post

2 responses to “Obama’s Nontax Tax

  1. Jan Sen

    Huh? When you say “bring tax rates in line with our global competitors” to you mean you want higher tax rates?! Or have you given up competing with the developed world?

  2. mld

    We need a pro-growth agenda that urges congress and the Obama administration to enact policies that bring tax rates in line with our global competitors. We need to keep chipping away at the deficit by taking steps to control wasteful government spending. See http://www.friendsoftheuschamber.com/issues/index.cfm?ID=104

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