Paul L. Caron

Monday, September 21, 2009

WSJ: Obama's Nontax Tax

Wall Street Journal editorial, Obama's Nontax Tax: On a Sunday Show, the President Offers a Revealing Definition:

President Obama didn't make much news on his round of five Sunday talk shows yesterday, 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.

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Rivkin and Casey wrote a recent column in the Wall Street Journal claiming that this tax is really a penalty. Such a penalty, they say, is unconstitutional because the federal government has no authority under the constitution to order anyone to buy health insurance. Rivkin and Casey believe that dressing a penalty up to look like a tax does not change its nature. That mirrors the debate on the 95% AIG tax passed by the House.

Obama has just dealt his own side of this debate a serious blow by publicly agreeing that this penalty is not a tax. How in the world is his administration going to defend this provision against constitutional challenge now? By claiming that it really is a tax and that the President lied about that on national TV?

Obama’s health advisors have to be tearing their hair out. This gaffe could doom the entire health care plan. At its root is a complete obliviousness to constitutional limits on federal power, a lack that reaches its zenith among activists-turned-politicians.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Sep 22, 2009 10:25:05 AM