New Taxes – Is Anyone Really Surprised?

If there was anyone who actually believed President Obama when he said he wouldn’t raise taxes on families making less than $250,000, the Supreme Court has set the record straight.

Whether you agree or not with the Supreme Court’s holding, failure to buy insurance under the Obamacare mandate will result in a tax, not a penalty.

But keep in mind that Obamacare would never have passed in Congress if the penalty had actually been called a tax and, more importantly, keep in mind what President Obama and others said at the time:

President Obama on ABC News in 2009:

George Stephanopoulos:  Your critics say [Obamacare] is a tax increase.

Obama:  My critics say everything is a tax increase.  My critics say I’m taking over every sector of the economy. You know that.  Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but —

Stephanopoulos:  But you reject that it’s a tax increase?

Obama:  I absolutely reject that notion.


From the White House website, December 2009, “The Truth on Health Care Reform and Taxes:”

“As we move into the final stage of the historic push for health reform, opponents of reform are testing the age old adage that if you only say something enough times you can somehow make it true.  Yesterday, we heard a new version of the old, tired refrain that the health reform bills in Congress would raise taxes on the middle class.  So let’s set the record straight:  First, the health insurance reform bill being considered int he Senate does not raise taxes on families making less than $250,000.


Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius appearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, February 2102:  “[The mandate] operates the same way a tax would operate, but it’s not per se a tax.”


Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients appearing before House Budget Committee, February 2012:

Rep. Scott Garrett (R., N.J.):  If I make under $250,000 and I do not buy health insurance as I’m required to under [Obamacare], is that a tax on me or is that not a tax on me?  A moment ago you said there are no tax increases.

Zients:  There aren’t.

Garrett:  So that’s not a tax?

Zients:  No.

We all remember what happened to President Bush the elder.  Let’s keep that in mind when we head to the voting booths in November.

Author Bio:

For over twenty years, Leona has tried to heed her husband’s advice, “you don’t have to say everything you think.” She’s failed miserably. Licensed to practice law in California and Washington, she works exclusively in the area of child abuse and neglect. She considers herself a news junkie and writes about people and events on her website, “I Don’t Get It,” which she describes as the “musings of an almost 60-year old conservative woman on political, social and cultural life in America.” It’s not her intention to offend anyone who “gets it.” She just doesn’t. Originally from Brooklyn, and later Los Angeles, she now lives with her husband, Michael, on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest, which she describes as a bastion of liberalism.
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  • Chief98110

    What is even more disturbing is the slick way in which the tax is
    structured to begin in the year 2013, after this election. I hope that
    America wakes up and realizes that they have been screwed. 

    • Ron F

      Chief, I agree with what you say about getting screwed but I do not think President Obama lied about the health care plan except in underestimating its cost.  We all knew what we were getting.  I still do not think the mandate is a tax.  I think it is a penalty.  I think there might be an unintended consequence.  Since the penalty is much less than the cost of an insurance policy and people can not be turned down for preexisting conditions, why not pay the penalty and only sign up for the insurance when it is really needed?  In addition, I thought that the only way they could argue that the health care plan was deficit neutral was by having most of the revenue from the start and having  most benefits delayed. 

  • DOOM

    What shocks me is that he signed this tax into law three years ago and people are still arguing that he isn’t raising taxes.

  • Ron F

    A Wall Street Journal editorial on Friday also concluded that Chief Justice Roberts revised the law to make it a tax.  “”The Pelosi Democrats explicity structured the mandate as a regulatory `penalty.’ . . .  Every lower court that heard the healthcare cases rejected the taxing argument.  Administration lawyers devoted only 21 lines of their reply brief to this argument and it barely came up at oral arguments.  The Chief Justice in effect revised the statute in order to find it constitutional.”  I am not sure President Obama lied when he said it was not a tax.  There are many reasons to dislike the act and to not vote for President Obama, I am not sure his saying that it was not a tax is one of them.  If I recall correctly, there were several Republicans who said that the act provided for death panels.  No one has been able to point out to me where the act provides for death panels.

  • Ron F

    I think it is a penalty and Chief Justice Roberts looked for a way to find it authorized under the taxing power.  The dissent, with which I agee, states that “there is simply no way, `without doing violnece to the fair meaning of the words used,’ . . . to escape what Congress enacted, a mandate that individuals maintain minimum essencial coverage, enforced by a penalty.”  The fact that the Chief Justice and the four liberal members of the Court call it a tax, when the President and supporters said that it wasn’t, would not change whether I would vote for President Obama but I was not going to vote for him anyway.

    • DOOM

       You mean the five liberal members of the court.

      • Ron F.

        No, I mean the four liberal members.  Prior to this decision, Chief Justice Roberts was considered a solid conservative with Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito.  Justice Kennedy has for the most part been considered a swing vote.  And if it is a tax, I am not sure why so many conservatives are upset with Chief Justice Robert’s opinion.  I agree with Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Kennedy that it was a penalty and that the whole law should have been overturned.

  • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

    Sheriff Joe Arpaio will be holding his SECOND Press Conference on July 17th, 2012, I hope Bernie and Bill O’Reilly will be in attendance.  There was two huge pieces of evidence presented at the FIRST Press Conference on March 1st, 2012 that made Watergate look like a walk in the park and Bernie and Bill missed the entire thing.  This SECOND Press Conference on July 17th, 2012 will be adding evidence to the stack that will cause Bernie and Bill’s jaws to drop, I hope they are there so we can watch them squirm for their lack of interest in the crime of the CENTURY.  Spread the work far and wide, July 17th, 2012 in Phoenix, AZ, SECOND Sheriff Joe Arpaio Press Conference. 

  • Roadmaster

    And now Obama is openly going after Tri-Care, which covers military, retired military and dependents, attempting to raise our rates by 385%.  So it’s okay for illegals to get something for nothing but those who have served and sacrificed for the country get hosed.  What’s wrong with this picture?

    For all the twits who willfully ignored The Won’s connection to Rev. Wright, this is what Black Liberation Theology looks like.  It’s called social justice, or in plain speak – Marxist socialism with a “get whitey” twist.

    What is so dangerous, Obama has created such a poor economy and bulged the rolls of those on the gubmint teat to the point they can out vote the rest of us.  And for insurance, he and his satanic minions have corrupted the process so that dead people and non-citizens alike can cast a ballot, multiple times.

    We have met the enemy, and it is our gubmint.

  • Brhurdle

    Regardless of your opinion on the SCOTUS ruling, we now have the precedent of a “punitive tax” being constitutional.  No doubt coverage of drug rehab will become mandaory and citizens will be forced to purchase this level of insurance or pay the fine/punitive tax. Thus the general population will be forced to pay for the habits of the few. Ditto for abortion. Ditto for cosmetic surgery. Ditto for every malady that the liberals find the masses suffer from due to opressionexploitation by the wealthy – I’m certain that counseling for esteem issues will be added. This will be a disaster!

  • Roger Ward

    But Obama has assured us that this is not a tax!  If the Supremes say it is a tax (and they do),  then Obama is (gulp) lying to us!

    I am on record here as saying that Obama will win in November …. but maybe, just maybe, that changed with the recent Supreme Court decision.  If conservatives are sufficiently energized by Obama’s lies and failures, this decision could be the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Now it’s up to Republicans everywhere to effectively communicate the truth to independents and other voters:  Obama is a lying Socialist who has single-handedly done more damage to the economy and to American freedoms than any of his predecessors (possibly excepting Roosevelt.) 

    Can conservatives take advantage of the opportunity afforded them …. or will they shoot themselves in the foot again?  I guess we’ll see.

  • Jenna

    People need to realize that the healthcare in MA is nothing like what Obamacare will bring us. I live in MA. I lost my job a few years back and am working as a temp/contractor with an individual insurance plan, so I’m very aware of it.  We don’t have death panels and we don’t have a one-payer system. Obamacare will bring this country to its knees. 
    Between 2010 and today, my premiums have gone up 100%. The reason we needed some type of change to the system in MA is because people come from far and wide to take our money and services. My sister’s neighbor’s (illegal) cousin walked from Guatemala to MA. We give everything away.  And everyone knows it. Free healthcare, the EBT card system is out of control, and, as our attorney general said “It’s not illegal to be illegal in MA.” Illegals receive $100s of millions in free healthcare each year.When Deval Patrick had the nerve to say that a majority of us in MA have healthcare, I could scream. Yeah, the ones who pay. The healthcare in MA is not the healthcare Romney rolled out 7-8 years ago. As soon as Deval Patrick became governor, he allowed illegal aliens to receive healthcare, for free. Please please. Vote Romney. Vote out Obama. If Obamacare isn’t scary enough, think of IPAB.

    • Jenna

      I flagged this comment by accident. My own!

    • Bruce A.

      The handouts  & complete lack of common sense is not limited to MA.
      This is a wide spread problem in the US.

  • itasara

    There is nothing wrong with people being responsible for their own health care up to a point… People do not have to run to the ER for sniffles, or mild flu symptoms or the myriad of other ailments people run to their doctors or the ER for.  If one only waits it out a few days the body usually heals. If not then seeking medical help is important. However, with some treatments and medications the cost is prohibitive. Without insurance people couldn’t get what they need and then have to rely on the government or just get/stay sick. However, that being said, the supreme court changed from the little I know, the intent of the question should all people pay for mandated insurance. It just changed the law without dealing with the real question. That bothers me. As it is, all of us who have insurance already pay for those who don’t.   I don’t think that changes much with this mandate, and trying to get people to pay who cannot puts us right back where we already are. I think we need to start again step by step to change health care as it is. I never felt that is was too socialistic to have a medicare type system set up so that everyone is covered for at least catastrophic illness and diseases that require expensive medication and treatments. You know my meds started out 6 years ago at about 1800 a month. Now they are almost $4000 a month. I know I or my insurance company is paying for those who cannot. Maybe some of it goes to research but it is pretty expensive.

  • FloridaJim

    The largest tax increase in history ought to bring Romney to power if he can articulate that well and precisely.

  • Sailboat25

    What is wrong with everyone being responsible for thier own health care as Mitt said when he was Governor

    • Rnelson856

      There is nothing wrong with that but, everyone will pay more to pay for the people who chose not to have it.