It’s a tax! No, it’s a mandate!

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Just a quick Obamacare update: apparently today the lawyer who is arguing for Obamacare is arguing that it is a tax; tomorrow he will be arguing that it ISN’T a tax:

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli used the phrase “tax penalty” multiple times to describe the individual mandate’s backstop. He portrayed the fee as a penalty by design, but one that functions as a tax because it’s collected through the tax code.

“General Verrilli, today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax. Tomorrow you are going to be back and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax,” said Justice Samuel Alito, in one of the few laugh lines throughout the 90 minutes of argument Monday.

The remark underscores the fine line the White House is walking in its argument. On one hand, it says the backstop is not a tax, because that could subject it to the Anti-Injunction Act — the focal point of Monday’s arguments — and delay a ruling to at least 2015. On the other, they claim that the power to impose a penalty derives from Congress’ broad taxing power. That’s in part because calling it a tax makes defending the mandate easier — Congress’ power to levy taxes is less in question than its power to require people to do things.

Justice Elena Kagan asked whether refusing to buy insurance would constitute breaking the law, to which Verrilli responded that if people “pay the tax, then they are in compliance with the law.” That caught the attention of Justice Stephen Breyer.

“Why do you keep saying tax?” Breyer interjected, to more laughs.

This reminds me of a classic Saturday Night Live commercial:
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Excuse me while I go outside and scream at the top of my lungs….
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[Cross-posted at RedState]

About Teresa in Fort Worth, TX

A short, fat, middle-aged, happily-married, mother of 4 daughters. A former high school valedictorian (way back in the Stone Age), a Civil Engineering major in college, a middle-of-the-road Conservative, and a moderate Methodist. I know just enough to get myself in trouble....
This entry was posted in Humor, Liberal Nonsense, Lying Lawyers, Things That Make Me Crazy, Think about it and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to It’s a tax! No, it’s a mandate!

  1. Ralph Jones says:

    It is indeed difficult to be nice when some ill-begotten portion of the Nobama administration is being discussed. I will say this; Verrilli is arguing in fine lieberal fashion. It’s Klintoesque; tell one group what they want to hear, the deny you said what you said in front of another special interest group and tell them what they want to hear. Nobama’s downfall in this case is the USSC Justices get to hear ALL of what’s said, and if the above captioned argument by Verrilli continues he’ll be laughed out of the court room and Nobama’s health care bill will be struck down as unconstitutional.

    • I’ve been following this case through the lower courts, and I never cease to be amazed at how utterly incompetent and out-of-their-league the Obama lawyers are.

      And then some fool Circuit Judge goes and rubberstamps their arguments…..

  2. Pingback: It’s a tax! No, it’s a mandate! | RedState

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