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July 02, 2012


Mandate or a Tax?

First Read: "As for Thursday's Supreme Court decision, so far it appears to have created a political status quo. But the right has done their best to make lemonade out of the health-care lemons by taking advantage of the court's rationale that the mandate is a tax. Make no mistake: House and Senate Republicans want to run against something, and this gives them their opening. (Then again, don't forget that Republicans -- in 2010 -- ALREADY used this strategy, arguing that the health-care law raised taxes.)"

"But this strategy puts Romney in a box. After all, he signed into law legislation creating a mandate, too. So was that also a tax?"

Rick Klein: "For amazingly complicated reasons, President Obama needed a tax to be a mandate, and Chief Justice John Roberts needed a mandate to be a tax. Now it's back in the political realm, where Democrats need this mandate that the Supreme Court has labeled 'tax' to be a 'penalty,' or something else entirely. The argument may be academic, but if Democrats want a fresh start in selling the Obama health care law to the public, getting past the new tax question is an important start."

Wonk Wire: The U.S. suffers from a tax allergy.












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