Justice Roberts argued that the healthcare bill is constitutional if it operates as a tax. President Obama assured us that it “absolutely not a tax increase.” As a Supreme Justice, with a research staff at his disposal, why didn’t Justice Roberts mention this in his decision? It seems to me that the ruling of the court is nullified because they ruled on a non-existent bill, one that was NOT to be a tax increase.
On September 20th, 2009, George Stephanopoulos interviewed President Obama about the Health Care Reform Bill. Here’s how the questioning began: “Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money and fining them if they don’t. How is that not a tax increase?”
OBAMA: No, tha-tha-that’s not true, George. Eh, for us to say that you’ve gotta take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it’s saying is that we’re not gonna have other people carrying your burdens for you, any more than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, “That is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I’m not covering all the costs.”
STEPHANOPOULOS: “Well, it may be fair, and it may be good public policy, but for you to say that this isn’t a tax. This just…”
OBAMA: No, no. B-b-but George y-y-y-you can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I don’t think I’m making it up. Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “Tax: A charge, usually of money, imposed by authority —
STEPHANOPOULOS: — on persons or property for public purposes.”
OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s dictionary [sic], the definition of tax increase indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition! I mean —
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, no.
OBAMA: If — if what you’re saying is —
STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to check for myself, but your critics say it is a tax increase.
OBAMA: My critics say everything’s a tax increase! My critics say that I’m taking over, uhh, every sector of the economy. You know that! Uh, eh, eh… Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re gonna have an individual mandate or not but —
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?
OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.