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So Romney’s in some kind of kerfluffle over whether or not Obamacare is a tax? Hell, so is everybody else.

July 5, 2012

On the one hand, of course it’s a tax. It’s money the government is forcing you to pay. You have no choice – you will pay the money. Oh, sure, you may pay it to an insurance company instead of to the government, but you’re still being forced. What else is that, if not a tax?

On the other hand: the government itself only levies the tax on you if you don’t do something. Looking at it that way, it’s really more of a fine. A fee. A penalty. Or maybe a stimulus. Attendance at major motion pictures is down, you say? Well, the Supreme Court says…

So, see, right there I’m completely on board with the Romney campaign. I can’t make up my mind.

Not to mention: do I even want it to be a tax?

If it’s a tax, see, then it’s constitutional. At least, according to SCOTUS it is, and, hell, I’ve wondered about that General Welfare Clause myself a couple of times. So if it’s a tax, it stays put. But if it’s a tax, then when Obama said:

Oops.

On the other hand, if it isn’t a tax, then the whole SCOTUS argument about General Welfare and such doesn’t apply, which means it’s not Constitutional, and thus should be gone.

Either way, it’s an albatross hanging around the president’s neck. So when the Wall Street Journal says:

If Mitt Romney loses his run for the White House, a turning point will have been his decision Monday to absolve President Obama of raising taxes on the middle class. He is managing to turn the only possible silver lining in Chief Justice John Roberts’s ObamaCare salvage operation—that the mandate to buy insurance or pay a penalty is really a tax—into a second political defeat.

See, I don’t quite agree. Maybe I’m not as smart as the WSJ, nor as experienced, but: isn’t “Obama’s going to raise your taxes!” a little on the standard-fare side, election-time-wise?

How about: “Obama’s going to fine you for not buying health insurance!” Or: “You can buy health insurance yourself, or deal with the IRS.”

No tax in sight, there, and yet I feel they’ll be effective. Maybe even more effective than the standard Republican “higher taxes!”

Memeorandum.

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