Tuesday, July 03, 2012

what's in a name?

can there be any better example of how stupid this "SCOTUS sez the mandate is a tax!!!" attack is than this:
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus disagreed with his party’s presumptive presidential nominee during an appearance on CNN Tuesday morning and said that the individual mandate at the heart of President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s health care laws is, in fact, a tax. “The Supreme Court has stated that Obamacare is a tax and so since they have ruled that it’s a tax, it is a tax,” Priebus said, contradicting Romney’s top adviser, who on Monday insisted that the governor believes that the mandate is a penalty.
however it is characterized, the thing that people have to pay if they do not comply with the individual mandate is what it is. it wouldn't be any different if the supreme court had upheld the mandate as a valid exercise of the commerce power. the supreme court ruling doesn't change anything about it other than resolving the issue of whether congress had the power to pass the law.

you can still call the mandate whatever you want. whether you call it a "tax", "penalty","mandate", "stupid fucking idea", "greatest thing since sliced bread", or anything else, it still is going to work exactly the same. the only reason to bet your whole game on terminology is because you don't want to talk about actual policy.