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So just when Republicans had decided their new argument against Obamacare is that it's a tax ... the Mitt Romney campaign steps up to the plate and ... disagrees?

CHUCK TODD (MSNBC): What you just said is that Governor Romney agrees that it's not a tax. But you guys call it a penalty.

ERIC FEHRNSTROM (TOP ROMNEY AIDE): The governor disagreed with the court. He agreed with the dissent that was written by Justice Scalia which very clearly stated that the mandate was not a tax.

TODD: So ... I think we're talking around each other. The governor does not believe the mandate is a tax, that's what you're saying?

FEHRNSTROM: The governor believes that what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty and he disagrees with the court's ruling that the mandate was a tax.

TODD: But he agrees with the president that it is not, that you shouldn't call the tax penalty a tax, you should call it a penalty or a fee or a fine?

FEHRNSTROM: That's correct.

Oops. Thanks for the assist, Eric.

Really, this is a stupid debate, though. Using the government's taxing power to impose a tax penalty on a small number of people isn't the same thing as raising income taxes for everybody, and Republicans know it. Trying to claim otherwise is moronic. To be fair, however, it's not as moronic as nominating the father of Obamacare if your party's central message is that Obamacare must be repealed.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Funny this is that is doesn't really matter (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZedMont

      but they are twisting themselves into a pretzel because John Roberts used the word tax in his opinion.

      Am I paying a tax when if I get a speeding ticket?  How about if I pay my taxes after April 15?  Penalty or Tax?

      One could argue either, but there isn't much of a question about whether the government could do either of those?

      The real question was is a mandate constitutional.  The court said it was.  Full Stop.  All of the other stuff is noise.

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:55:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bwahahahahaha (20+ / 0-)

    Every Republican is running to the TV machine to scream Obama raised taxes!!!!!!!! And Fehrnstrom undercuts the message?

    What will Mittens say when he makes a speech? is it or isn't it -- or does it depend on which audience he is standing in front of.

    What an idiot!

    The search for truth and knowledge is one of the finest attributes of a man, though often it is most loudly voiced by those who strive for it the least -- Albert Einstein

    by theKgirls on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:32:52 AM PDT

  •  It's more like a reverse tax credit (4+ / 0-)

    Ow(e o)n a home and you get a mortgage interest tax credit.

    Have health insurance and you avoid the health insurance reverse-credit.

    Mathematically, this could have been structured as (a) decrease the standard income tax exemption, (b) offer a tax credit to those who meet the minimum income tax requirement.

    It works out to the same thing. And, it must be said over and over, the government's preference is that you avoid the tax altogether by getting insurance coverage. There are even mechanisms in the law to allow for more options and financial assistance in order to meet that goal.

    sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forget the words

    by harrije on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:35:27 AM PDT

  •  May God blesses Eric Ferhnstrom's heart (13+ / 0-)

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:36:34 AM PDT

    •  He didn't do that on his own...they clearly (0+ / 0-)

      made the decision they didn't want Democrats toe e about to call Romney one of the biggest tax raisers in Mass history, likely as high as Democratic governors.

      The issue isn't the spokesman.  He was just dealt a horrible hand (one that he created by the way as Romney's deputy  in Mass).

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:57:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I haven't seen contortions like this since... (9+ / 0-)

    ...I saw a Cirque du Soleil performance 9 years ago.

  •  Why Eric Still has his job is a mystery (15+ / 0-)

    But the longer RMoney keeps him on staff,  I'm all for it.  

    Keep sticking that foot in Mitt's mouth, Eric!  

    If you cannot be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

    by Zinger in VA on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:38:05 AM PDT

  •  Another Eric "Etch-A-Sketch" Fehrnstrom moment nt (7+ / 0-)

    *Austerity is the opposite of Prosperity*

    by josmndsn on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:38:51 AM PDT

  •  Tax, fruit salad, distributor cap ... a rose is... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, funluvn1, Red Bean, koosah, Terminus

    It is pathetic that America's political debate on the ACA ruling is over what word to call the tax/fee/penalty/tariff/fine/surcharge. All the words mean money collected by the government. Yet here we are.

  •  It's a SWLABR (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Protestant, Red Bean

    For those of you old enough to have bought Disraeli Gears (Cream) back in 1968 and wondered what the song title "SWLABR" meant, it stands for "She Walks Like A Bearded Rainbow," which clearly is something acid-tinged.

  •  Mole (4+ / 0-)

    Do you think he's a mole for the Obana campaign? If so, bravo Eric!

    "Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?"

    by buffie on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:40:40 AM PDT

  •  So, Santorum was right (15+ / 0-)

    "(Mitt's) the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama"
    So was Rupert:
    Met Romney last week.Tough O Chicago pros will be hard to beat unless he drops old friends from team and hires some real pros. Doubtful.

  •  If the mandate is a tax, then Romney likes taxes (5+ / 0-)

    and nothing keeps Teabaggers at home than tax lovers from Massachusetts.  He's not agreeing with the President but distancing himself from the idea that he increases taxes.  Apparently that is a great evil.

  •  The Obama campaign should give Fehrnstrom a raise. (10+ / 0-)
  •  Ya' Know, After the Etch - A - Sketch $hit, (7+ / 0-)

    it's a wonder this dude still has a job with the Mittens campaign.

    "HERPES was more popular than Dick Cheney when he left office!" Rachel Maddow 5/23/12

    by CityLightsLover on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:42:31 AM PDT

    •  Mitt is counting on the big money boyz (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      icebergslim, CityLightsLover

      to pay for the SuperPACs  to carpet-bomb the airwaves and the intertubes with lies with the hope that the gullible populace that still is able to vote after the GOPer guvs disenfranchise anybody likely to vote for Obama will tremble in fear and vote for the guy they don't really like but is not the other guy they really hate.

  •  Rupert Murdoch was right (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, Supavash, kitebro, wonderful world

    He just said this weekend that Romney should fire his old friends advising him on the campaign or else he'll get beaten by the tough Chicago pros.

    •  Wonder if Murdoch bugged Romney with wiretap (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wonderful world

      lol

      "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

      by LaurenMonica on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:05:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  While there is truth to that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phil S 33, wonderful world

      ...changing the advisors does not change the candidate. And Mitt Romney is a vapid, empty shell of a human.

      sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forget the words

      by harrije on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:14:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The trouble with Romney: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Terminus

        This man wants to be President of the United States, not because he has some good ideas on what he intends to do for the American people, but because his ego is gigantic and he wants to live in the White House.  I've never heard him say anything about his plans for the American people because with Romney, it's all about him, and there's not much there to begin with.  He's certainly not another John F. Kennedy, nor is he a good politician or historian.  A Romney presidency would probably be run by the GOP, and Romney would be another figurehead.  I can't imagine how he gets people to support him.

  •  I have a question... (0+ / 0-)

    Who will be taxed? If someone does not have insurance and does not use the medical system in any way, Are they taxed? Will it be for people that go to the emergency room and pass the costs off to those who have insurance?

    •  either way, you will be taxed (0+ / 0-)

      whether or not you pay the tax?

      ...that's a whole 'nother matter

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:48:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have a question too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Red Bean

      What are the demographics of the approx 4 million who would be subject to this tax penalty?  I mean, who are these people?  What are their reasons for not wanting health insurance?  They cant all be tea party idjits who wouldn't piss on their neighbor if they were on fire, can they?

      •  According to NPR (0+ / 0-)

        on Friday, the only people subject to the tax are the people who are making more than 133% over the poverty line who refuse to purchase healthcare.  But it sounded like the mandate wouldn't kick in for those people unless the insurance (which they refused to purchase) was considered "affordable".

        I know that sounds a little convoluted, maybe someone else can help.

        I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

        by Hey338Too on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:08:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think there's also the cost-sharing subsidy... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rennert

      to be considered. I'm also trying to understand everything about this, but it seems to me that, for individuals and families earning no more than 400% of the federal poverty line, the government provides credits/subsidies to offset the cost of the premium. This would incentivize getting coverage.

      So, for an individual earning a poverty level income, the government subsidizes 94% of the premium costs. For a family of four earning, say, $88,200 dollars a year, 70% of the premium would be paid by the government.

      http://www.acscan.org/...

      Maybe someone could elaborate on this for everyone's understanding? Thanks.

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

      by rovertheoctopus on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:09:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you are conflating terms a little. (0+ / 0-)

        I think that premium support tax credits and cost sharing subsidies are somewhat separate things.

        Premium support means that the household will not need to pay more than X percent of income in premiums regardless of how much the total cost is (for the second least expensive silver plan available.)

        Cost sharing subsidies raise the actuarial value of the plans in the exchange higher the lower the household income is so that the people not quite poor enough to qualify for Medicaid will not have deductibles and coinsurance as high as the bronze plans.

        Try punching some numbers into the KFF.org calculator. I don't think that the 88K family gets anywhere near that high a percentage of premiums covered by the subsidies.

    •  Let's tax billionaires. (0+ / 0-)

      Is there anyone on this planet who needs billions of dollars?  I remember some guy on C-Span whose income for one year was fifteen billion dollars, and he was complaining for having to pay for his travel expenses.

  •  Romneycare penalty is 2x ACA penalty... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, Dillonfence, Red Bean

    So if Romney says it's a tax than he raised taxes double the amount in Massachusetts.  

  •  it's like a Primary battle all over again! (9+ / 0-)

    This is what happens when you choose your candidate by attrition and the ability to spend money without limits.

    Michele Bachmann wouldn't have had this problem...of course, we'd only be talking about whether or not Obama was worshiping Satan and selling our secrets to the Communists.

    Rick Santorum wouldn't have had this problem...of course, then we'd only be talking about fetuses and frothy mixture.

    Even Rick Perry, though with him we'd only be talking about three things...immigration, national defense, and...oops.

    So it's Mitt Fucking Romney.  A more worthless piece of shit the Republicans couldn't have chosen for themselves even if we'd helped them.  And they hate him.  Especially because they have to defend him from his own base, which alienates the voters he needs...independents.

    So far, I'm liking what I'm seeing.  I want Romney's loss to be so painful and humiliating that his five sons officially change their surnames to Davies (Ann's maiden name).

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right. I'm riding in the Tour de Cure. You can donate here.

    by darthstar on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:48:03 AM PDT

    •  omg (0+ / 0-)

      You just uncovered the missing link.  Ronald Reagan was married to "Nancy Davis" and Mitt Romney is married to "Ann Davies."  Mitt Romney likes to "sing" Davie Crockett.   And the president of the confederacy was "Jefferson Davis."

      One thing you've proved is that Mitt is consistent; the Etch-A-Sketch accusation has just been disproved.  

  •  Two possibilities here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, wonderful world

    Either Fehrnstrom is having himself another "Etch-a-sketch" moment, or the Republicans have decided that "It's a tax, it's a tax, it's a tax tax tax" doesn't poll well.  Kudlow promises to push the tax argument on his show tonight, so I'm betting on the former.

    •  There is also the inconsistency (2+ / 0-)

      If they argue it's a tax, they are following the logic of the Chief Justice's opinion -- which says the ACA is constitutional.

      So if they want to keep suggesting the ACA is not constitutional, they can't rely on the opinion. They have to focus on the dissent (and the dissenters said it's not a tax).

      And as I hope Democrats keep pointing out, the administration would love nothing more than for people to stick it to the IRS by getting health coverage and becoming exempt with respect to the penalty.

      sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forget the words

      by harrije on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:20:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only in Massachusetts... (4+ / 0-)

    I suspect that the Romney campaign will come out and say that Fehrnstrom was only talking about Massachusetts. Not that that would make sense, but they have to say something.

  •  C'mon, people. (5+ / 0-)

    It's hard to keep "on message" when you really don't have one.  

    "When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." Dom Helder Camara

    by koosah on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:49:48 AM PDT

  •  Looking forward to the debates (4+ / 0-)

    Gwenn Ifill: Governor Romney, as governor you passed health care with an individual mandate.  It was used as the model for the Affordable Care Act signed by President Obama.  Yet you say you'd repeal the president's legislation.  Would you care to comment on that?

    Romney: Pass.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right. I'm riding in the Tour de Cure. You can donate here.

    by darthstar on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:52:28 AM PDT

    •  States rights! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Red Bean, wonderful world

      "Gwen, I believe we should leave these decisions up to the states and not a one-size-fits-all approach that Obama wants to take. Some aspects of the health care law make sense in Massachusetts, but not in other states. But Obama thinks we should tax the nation when this is clearly an issue that should be handled with the people closest to the issue...the people and state government."

      Hear me now and believe me later, this will be his spin out of this mess.

      •  The followup question should be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        harrije

        Yet you've stated that the ACA is bad policy. What aspect of the policy, which is essentially the same in Massachusetts as it is nationally, do you now object to? In the past you've said that you thought the approach would work in the states. Is that still your position?

        The people have spoken and they're both named Koch. - Andy Borowitz

        by Red Bean on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:14:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And, since you think this should be left up to the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FiredUpInCA

          states, do you also believe the states should be able to opt out of Medicare and Social Security for their citizens?

          If not, why not?  How does opting out of Medicare and Social Security differ from opting out of the ACA?  All have been held to be within the constitutional authority of the United States government.

          Well, I am not opposed to Medicare being...

          Why not?  Ronald Reagan was opposed to Medicare.  Are you saying Ronald Reagan* was wrong?

          etc. etc.

          *As far as the average wingnut is concerned you might as well attack Jesus as to attack Reagan.

          Because stupid people are so sure they're smart, they often act smart, and sometimes even smart people are too stupid to recognize that the stupid people acting smart really ARE stupid.

          by ZedMont on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:42:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  He's saying if it isn't tax it's unConstitutional (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah

    And that was for MA only so it's allowed plus it cannot be allowed to be said that Romney enacted a tax.

  •  Even more important is Romney's rationale (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, Hey338Too, smartdemmg

    for it not being a tax.

    From ThinkProgress:

    Romney — who instituted a similar requirement in Massachusetts — insisted as governor that the penalty is a way to discourage free-riders and is not a new tax on families.
    Discouraging "freeloaders"--now there's an idea that every right-winger should be leaping to get behind, right?
    •  I think President Romney would keep the mandate. (0+ / 0-)

      He's already said he wants to keep coverage of preexisting conditions.  Hard to see how that happens without a mandate to buy insurance, which Mitt knew way back when.

      SCANDAL: Bush Supreme Court nominee Roberts upholds Romney's individual mandate! Another politically motivated decision!

      by Inland on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:58:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's been a bit nuanced about... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inland, jaywillie
        he wants to keep coverage of preexisting conditions
        He says that he would prevent insurance companies from disallowing preexisting conditions as long as the person has stayed insured.  So if an insurance company drops you from the rolls because of a preexisting condition - you are probably SOL with his plan.

        See the Andrea Saul quote in the middle of this page

        I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

        by Hey338Too on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:22:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  go back and look at his interview w/ Halperin (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inland

        Mitt has a strange definition of what a pre-existing condition, defining it in that interview as someone who gets sick while they have insurance.

        The GOP is in a pickle though. After 2 1/2 years of saying the ACA was the end of America, they're now acknowledging that there are good provisions in the law. We're already seeing opinions shift following the SC's ruling. They're undercutting their own message now, and the issue is not the clear-cut political winner for them that it once was. This "We want to keep this, but get rid of this" isn't going to work for them, particularly because the GOP simply is not in agreement on "repeal and replace." I'm anticipating some infighting over this in the coming months that will delay their ability to put forward a politically viable response.

        •  Rs used to be concerned with parts people liked (0+ / 0-)

          but now, it seems that the marching orders are arriving: the good parts cost insurers money, so they've got to go.

          SCANDAL: Bush Supreme Court nominee Roberts upholds Romney's individual mandate! Another politically motivated decision!

          by Inland on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:40:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Obama ads just keep writing themselves! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, wonderful world

    If you never let the facts get in the way of what you believe, you just might be a Republican.

    by kitebro on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:56:06 AM PDT

    •  Another example of how Obama's failing to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kitebro, wonderful world

      create jobs...though his opponent's incompetence as an opponent is partly to blame.  

      Poor advertising execs...nothing to do.

      Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right. I'm riding in the Tour de Cure. You can donate here.

      by darthstar on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:59:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's next from Mitt (0+ / 0-)

    Global Warming is real, Big Government is okay with me, or Taxes aren't all that bad?

    Is it true he'll be named an Obama surrogate on health care?

  •  Honestly! (0+ / 0-)

    Fehrnstrom is just such a hack!

    It's hard to believe that this is what passes for a pro!

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:00:45 AM PDT

  •  Simply stated (0+ / 0-)

    The authority to impose a tax is not the same as a tax.  

    Every legislature has the theoretical authority to impose a tax on someone for certain types of earnings and so on.  However, we don't call it tax unless it's actually used.  

  •  I propose we give this thing a new name (0+ / 0-)

    It's not a Penalty.
    It's not a Tax.

    It's a Mandapenaltax.

    There, can we all STFU now?

  •  I'm wondering if Eric is one of the amateurs (4+ / 0-)

    Rupert speaks of

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/...

    Rupert Murdoch's advice to Romney: Get some pros on your team
    Posted by
    CNN's Kevin Liptak   

    (CNN) – Rupert Murdoch offered presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney some unsolicited advice on Twitter Sunday: Lose your friends and hire professionals.

    Met Romney last week. Tough O Chicago pros will be hard to beat unless he drops old friends from team and hires some real pros. Doubtful.

    Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

    by JML9999 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:01:23 AM PDT

  •  So the TPGOP is dropping their fake jobs schtick? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure it must be a kind of relief to them, since they never had anything substantive to say about jobs, but (and I say this with the utmost fake sincerity) I wonder if it's really wise for them to pursue anti-Obama on healthcare instead of anti-Obama on jobs?

  •  How many "taxes" (0+ / 0-)

    can you refuse to pay without any penalty?

    Oh!  ONE - the one in the ACA.

    Oh, and it relies 100% on self-reporting.  How in hell does the IRS find out you didn't buy insurance?

    All OFA has to do is create ads with videos of Romney explaining his own program, and/or others explaining/defending it.

    At the very least it muddies the choice  for one-issue voters.  It also paints Romney and the gop as total liars.

    Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

    by delphine on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:23:32 AM PDT

    •  Well (0+ / 0-)
      How in hell does the IRS find out you didn't buy insurance?
      IIRC the IRS is supposed to require you to you provide documentation that you carried qualifying coverage. Is that incorrect?
      •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

        so then you don't supply it.

        They can't do a damn thing about it.  The law specifically says they can't.

        Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

        by delphine on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:09:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's good campaign material (0+ / 0-)

    But, alas, the SCOTUS disagrees.

    That's what the impetus of the republican campaign will be on this issue.  We just GOTTA know that.

    Just listen to ANY conservative radio and/or TV show.  

    It's a conundrum, fer sher.

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:25:19 AM PDT

    •  we do know that (2+ / 0-)

      because that's where the GOP moved to immediately after the ruling.

      But their nominee's top spokesman just blew that up. Fehrnstrom just made a helluva mess for Mitt and the GOP, because now Mitt's gonna have to spend a good chunk of the summer further convincing an apprehensive party base that he's "one of them," who already distrust him because of his MA health care plan. He'll have to keep talking about the issue, something he does not want to talk about, especially since Dems are also turning his "freerider" line against him and the GOP in defense of the mandate.

      So, on one hand, the Romney camp is saying that the Supreme Court is wrong, it's not a tax, while the rest of his party is saying, "Yes, it is."

      It's a beautiful day!

      •  Hahaha...yep (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jaywillie

        That's pretty much the deal.  This one isn't a good one...and I'm thinkin' it's not really a "good one" for either side, to be honest.  Yeah, it's a "win" for Obama & Co., but that win comes with a huge amount of baggage, methinks.

        The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

        by commonsensically on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:41:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's tough to gauge right now (0+ / 0-)

          There's some polling evidence that opinions are shifting. But we do know that when individual provisions are mentioned, public support is huge. I think a lot of the anger towards ACA was simply because Republicans were very effective at hijacking the debate with outlandish lies about "death panels" and how Pres. Obama was destroying America with socialist legislation. Well, the Court just said it's constitutional, which undercuts the GOP's main argument.

          So, I don't disagree that there isn't some baggage--but I'd say the President still comes out on top simply because the GOP doesn't have a clear way forward politically. In other words, it's now a potential problem for them, too, and they are now forced to say things like, "Well, some of this is good and we'll keep it." Almost 180 degrees in the other direction from what they were saying before.

  •  About the Bain thingy (0+ / 0-)

    People that are loving the presentations by fellow democrats about Bain Capital and what happened there are all on board with it.  But, not sure if it's changing anyone's mind on the "independent" and "undecided" side, to be honest.

    It's good stuff here and we all love it and so does the party faithful.  It'll keep us "in the camp" without a doubt.  And, it's dead on, don't get me wrong.

    I don't see much movement politically, though, because of that particular issue.  Just me, of course.

    Thanks.

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:28:20 AM PDT

    •  Independents are workers too, so it resonates (0+ / 0-)
      The Purple pollsters say the Bain issue resonates powerfully with independents, who sided with "care only about profits" 48 percent to 38 percent. It also works with women, who chose "care only about profits" 47 percent to 33 percent.

      "Across the purple states, this argument has the hallmarks of a classic wedge issue for the president," writes the Purple team. "It consolidates Democrats and has a plurality of support among independents."

      http://washingtonexaminer.com/...
      The Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, meanwhile, found that by a 40 percent to 11 percent margin, independents say Romney’s Bain Capital background makes them less likely to vote for him. And ABC News reported last week that focus groups in Virginia found bubbling doubts about Bain Capital among voters there.
      http://patdollard.com/...

      The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

      by FiredUpInCA on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:27:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bain resonates in swing states too (0+ / 0-)
      Last week's Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found a third of those polled in battleground states said they think more negatively about Romney as a result of hearing about his business experience.

      Those saying the opposite were outnumbered nearly 2-1, despite the fact that his time at Bain is perhaps his most salient selling point to voters.
      The Romney campaign is waking up to that reality. The campaign has grown more aggressive in refuting Bain-related news stories and advertising.

      http://news.yahoo.com/...

      The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

      by FiredUpInCA on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:36:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm already sick of Eric F.'s pained expression (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    in every photo and there are still 4 more months of this wretched campaign to go.

    •  I was wondering about that (0+ / 0-)

      Does it physically hurt him to form sentences? Is this a pre-existing condition of anyone having to be a spokesperson for a pathological weasel like Mitt Romney?

      The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

      by FiredUpInCA on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:22:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our Etech-a-Sketch moment (0+ / 0-)

    This is it.  Deny it's a tax - as stated by the Supreme Court.  

    Pivot to it's a penalty for shirkers

    Because it's not a tax, and just a penalty... Now (or shortly into the future) Romney can grudgingly accept ACA, with minor modifications to make it better when he is elected, of course.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:47:17 AM PDT

  •  By the way (0+ / 0-)

    the AP runs yet another "we have to be 'balanced' so we're nitpicking" stories:

    http://enews.earthlink.net/...

    First, the President's assurance that you can keep your health care:  They say it's not 'really' true because your employer might change plans or drop coverage.

    He's said nothing in the law requires people to change their plans, true enough. But the law does not guarantee the status quo for anyone, either.
    My employer might change plans or drop coverage NOW.  They change what's available every year because we're a public agency and required to go low bid.  But without the ACA, my insurance company could drop me for getting sick.
    OBAMA: "And by this August, nearly 13 million of you will receive a rebate from your insurance company because it spent too much on things like administrative costs and CEO bonuses and not enough on your health care."

    AP:  Altogether, the rebates that go out will benefit nearly 13 million people. But most of the benefit will be indirect, going to employers because they cover most of the cost of insurance provided in the workplace.

    Okay, yeah, it's indirect.  If you have employer "pays most of the cost", why would the rebate come back to you directly? It's still a rebate affecting 13 million people.
    OBAMA: "Because of the Affordable Care Act, young adults under the age of 26 are able to stay on their parents' health care plans, a provision that's already helped 6 million young Americans."

    THE FACTS: The Department of Health and Human Services, in a June 19 news release, said 3.1 million young adults would be uninsured were it not for the new law. It said 6.6 million young adults joined or stayed on their parents' health plans who wouldn't have been able to absent the law. But that number includes some who switched to their parents' plans from other coverage, Commonwealth Fund officials told the Los Angeles Times.

    Sorry, but I don't see the lie here.

     Especially in comparison with Romney:

    "Obamacare is a job-killer."

    "Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion."

    After saying the new law cuts Medicare by $500 billion and raises taxes by a like amount, adds: "And even with those cuts and tax increases, Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt, and pushes those obligations onto coming generations."

    Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

    by delphine on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:47:43 AM PDT

  •  Right now a lot of the public hears, (0+ / 0-)

    "it's a tax," and they think, ergo, my taxes will go up.

    It's that simple, and the Republicans are exploiting it.

    I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation - the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence. --The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley

    by Wildthumb on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:48:13 AM PDT

  •  look the Romney campaign want this off (0+ / 0-)

    The table.  They gain nothing but could loose much more haggling over this.  Since they have no other recourse in offering their own healthcare plan.  You can scream repeal all day but the bottomline is replace it with what and this is where the Gop looses to the court of public opinion.

  •  Who needs 11th dimensional chess when it's (0+ / 0-)

    obvious a simple box is more than enough to outwit these guys?

    If we lose in November it definitely won't be due Romney having won.

    Remember, all they want to do is get Romney into office and put a pen in his hand.

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:58:29 AM PDT

  •  Well, there goes THAT news cycle! (0+ / 0-)

    Good start for July!

  •  walking it back in 3... 2... 1... (0+ / 0-)

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    DEMAND CREATES JOBS

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:42:15 AM PDT

  •  When is a tax NOT a tax?? When R-MONEY sez so! (0+ / 0-)

    Actually, even John Roberts did not say this WAS a tax.  He said it could be "interpreted as a tax."

    He wrote:

    Congress may also “lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” U. S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 1. Put simply, Congress may tax and spend. This grant gives the Federal Government considerable influence even in areas where it cannot directly regulate. The Federal Government may enact a tax on an activity that it cannot authorize, forbid,or otherwise control.

    Congress’s decision to label this exaction a “penalty” rather than a “tax” is significant because the Affordable Care Act describes many other exactions it creates as “taxes.” See Thomas More, 651 F. 3d, at 551. Where Congress uses certain language in one part of a statute and different language in another, it is generally presumed that Congress acts intentionally. See Russello v. United States, 464 U. S. 16, 23 (1983).

    It is of course true that the Act describes the payment as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” But while that label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act, supra, at 12–13, it does not determine whether the payment may be viewed as an exercise of Congress’s taxing power.

    We have similarly held that exactions not labeled taxes nonetheless were authorized by Congress’s power to tax. In the License Tax Cases, for example, we held that federal licenses to sell liquor and lottery tickets—for which the licensee had to pay a fee—could be sustained as exercises of the taxing power. 5 Wall., at 471. And in New York v. United States we upheld as a tax a “surcharge” on out-of state nuclear waste shipments, a portion of which was paid to the Federal Treasury. 505 U. S., at 171.

    The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax.

    And it is only because we have a duty to construe a statute to save it, if fairly possible, that §5000A can be interpreted as a tax.

    So that is when a "tax" is not a tax, but only "interpreted as a tax," because otherwise the act would be unconstitutional.  Go figure.

    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry

    by BornDuringWWII on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:57:47 AM PDT

  •  I am just WAITING for the debates ... THAT will be (0+ / 0-)

    a HOOT.

    R-MONEY will bump into himself walking on to or off of the stage, and it will get worse from there.

    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry

    by BornDuringWWII on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:00:34 AM PDT

  •  R-MONEY sez he didn't raise TAXES in Massachusetts (0+ / 0-)

    Right.  He didn't raise TAXES.  HE RAISED GOVERNMENT FEES.  (Like THAT is a whole different ball game.)

    Obama needs to tie him up in knots over what is a tax and what is a fee, and why raising one is ok but raising the other one "kills jobs."  

    R-MONEY will say fees (like auto license fees, and fees at universities other than tuition) apply to people, but job killing taxes affect CORPORATIONS.  But didn't he also say CORPORATIONS are people?

    I am just waiting to see him run into himself.

    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry

    by BornDuringWWII on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:10:04 AM PDT

  •  Is Fehrnstrom A Double Agent? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm beginning to wonder.  Which side is he actually batting for?  He appears conflicted.....he keeps selling Romney down the river.  

    •  not really...his is just trying to save the (0+ / 0-)

      GOP from themselves....remember, he knows where the bodies are hidden...

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:18:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  mitt gets one point for consistency (0+ / 0-)

    it is sensible to disagree with the court on this.

  •  Have we gone all day without a walk-back (0+ / 0-)

    take-back or further Etch-A-Sketch on this issue?  The Romney campaign has let this comment sit out there, so does that mean it wasn't a gaffe but the new official position?

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