Thursday, July 05, 2012

Republican Illogic on Mandates vs. Taxes

Romney, as you would expect from his history, is a personification of the incoherent Republican attack on the ACA mandate and Justice Roberts.

1. It is beyond question that the health insurance mandate is not a tax.
"It’s not a tax hike," Romney responded. "It’s a fee. It’s an assessment." Businesses and workers who purchased health insurance already paid an assessment to help fund the "free care" pool, he noted, and "it makes sense to expand this assessment."
2. Justice Roberts was wrong, terribly wrong, by upholding the healthcare mandate by calling it a tax.
"Well, I certainly wouldn't nominate someone who I knew was gonna come out with a decision I violently disagreed with — or vehemently, rather, disagreed with," Romney said. "And he reached a conclusion I think that was not accurate and not an appropriate conclusion. But that being said, he's a very bright person and I'd look for individuals that have intelligence and believe in following the Constitution."
3. On the other hand, it is beyond question that the healthcare is a tax and how dare President Obama raise taxes?
Asked by CBS correspondent Jan Crawford why he thought the mandate was not a tax, Romney replied: "Well, the Supreme Court has the final word, and their final word is that Obamacare is a tax. So it's a tax."
If Romney (or his party) were worried about credibility, he would consider whether his attacks on Roberts and the Supreme Court were consistent with his simultaneous assertion that Roberts, and thus the majority that upheld the ACA, was correct in his decision - which would also mean that the dissenters got things terribly wrong. But when a candidate like Romney finds that demagoguery works better than logic, you get demagoguery.

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