If the individual mandate is a tax doesn’t that mean Mitt Romney raised taxes as Governor of Massachusetts?
Some people have tried to put a positive spin on the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision by claiming that this ruling highlights the fact that Barack Obama lied to the American people when he promised not to raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000. Certainly the GOP hopes to make hay with this ruling by bringing up this tax increase every opportunity they get and this is something that Barack Obama tried hard to avoid for the longest time when he denied the individual mandate was a tax.
“You can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase” is what Barack Obama told George Stephanopoulos when he was denying the mandate was a tax increase, and yet that is precisely what Chief Justice John Roberts did. For all intents and purposes if the government issues a mandate it is a tax increase in the eyes of the Supreme Court so Barack Obama can no longer deny this truth; he raised taxes on many of the American people.
So while the GOP intends to make an issue out of this tax increase heading into the general election I have to wonder how successful this strategy will be when Mitt Romney as Governor of Massachusetts also implemented a tax increase on the residents of his state in the form of a mandate.
Throughout the primary season Mitt Romney made the claim that he balanced the Massachusetts budget without raising taxes. Of course, in order for him to make this claim he had to deny that raising fees on certain activities at a conservative estimate of $740 million a year equalled taxation. These activities included driving, some fishing, owning a firearm, and drinking milk so Mitt Romney’s claim of not raising taxes was dubious at best before we learned that implementing a mandate was also a form of taxation.
So while people may claim that–either intentionally or not–John Roberts provided the GOP with a rallying cry which just might bring down the Obama regime I question just how effective this strategy will be when the regime can simply point at Mitt Romney’s record as governor and his imposition of a tax on individuals who decide not to enter into commerce. He did nothing different than Barack Obama when it comes to the individual mandate and while conservatives may state that what Mitt Romney did as governor was constitutional because it was done at a state level–a position with which I agree–while Obamacare was unconstitutional because it was done at a federal level the Supreme Court has taken that argument away from the GOP as well by ruling a federal mandate is indeed constitutional because it is a tax; the Supreme Court makes no distinction between the two mandates.
And state power vs federal power was an argument that Mitt Romney was making before the Supreme Court handed down its decision, but we now know Mitt Romney cannot use that argument moving forward. This means there is virtually no difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama when it comes to the issue of healthcare reform in the eyes of many voters and it takes his two biggest arguments–taxation and constitutionality–in regards to Obamacare off the table.
I fail to see how this Supreme Court decision helps Mitt Romney and the GOP in the least now that Obamacare is going to be a major issue in the campaign, and I have to wonder if the GOP establishment is feeling a little buyer’s remorse at this point for pushing Mitt Romney on the American people as the only viable alternative to Barack Obama when he in fact gave Barack Obama the model which led to Obamacare.