Topic category: Elections - Politics, Polling, etc.
Mitt Romney's right: Individual mandate's a penalty under Romneycare and a tax under Obamacare
Romney did NOT perpetrate a bait and switch on the people of Massachusetts, but Team Obama perpetrated a bait and switch on the people of the United States.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is right: the amount due for failure to obtain insurance coverage under Romneycare is a penalty, not a tax, and the amount due for failure to obtain insurance coverage under Obamacare is a tax, not a penalty.
Both the liberal media establishment and Romney's conservative critics have ignored the law and treated the amounts due for failure to obtain inusrance coverage under Romneycare and Obamacare as the same.
They are both amounts due, of course, but they are caluclated differently, and, much more importantly, the bases on which they are due are different.
That's because the United States Constitution and the Massachusetts Constitution are different.
The Massachusetts Constitution gives the Massachusetts government power that the United States Constitution does not give the federal government.
Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney, said last Monday that he agrees with the Obama administration that the Obamacare individual mandate is a "penalty" and not a "tax."
Earlier an unnamed senior Romney adviser reportedly told the Huffington Post's Jon Ward that the Supreme Court's ruling would help them politically.
"Frankly, to be able to tell you your taxes have been raised by this bill and you didn't know that, as opposed to trying to explain Congress's powers under the commerce clause, it's easier," the Romney adviser said, referencing the issue of the law's constitutionality.
Romney needs better advisers!
Romney himself later got it right: the individual mandate contained in President Barack Obama's health care law is a tax and not a penalty against those who refuse to buy coverage.
They can't be penalized under the Commerce Clause for not buying insurance, but they can be taxed for it, so ruled a bare Supreme Court majority of four well known liberal judicial activists and a Chief Justice who had pledged not to be one.
"I said that I agree with the [Supreme Court']s dissent, and the dissent made it very clear that they felt [the individual mandate] was unconstitutional," Romney said in a released clip of a CBS News interview. "But the dissent lost. It's in the minority. And now the Supreme Court has spoken. And while I agree with the dissent, that's taken over by the fact that the majority of the court said it's a tax, and therefore, it is a tax."
The individual mandate in Romneycare is NOT a tax (and never was proposed as a tax) because Article 6 of the Massachusetts Constitution authorizes "all manner of wholesome and reasonable orders, laws, statutes, and ordinances, directions and instructions, either with penalties or without; so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this constitution, as...judge[d] to be for the good and welfare of this commonwealth, and for the government and ordering thereof, and of the subjects of the same...." (Emphasis added.)
Romney did NOT perpetrate a bait and switch on the people of Massachusetts, but Team Obama perpetrated a bait and switch on the people of the United States: first, the Obamacare individual mandate was justified as a penalty under the Commerce Clause and President Obama vehemently denied that it was as tax; then, rightly fearing that the Commerce Clause would not be held to authorize such a penalty for not obtaining insurance coverage (since it is limited to regulating commerce), the Obama Administration argued when the constitutionality of Obamacare was challenged in court that the Obamacare individual mandate really was a tax after all and five Justices of the United States Supreme Court agreed.
Like Romney, I agree with the dissent. But the majority opinion IS legally controlling and so the truth is that President Obama broke his campaign pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class by as much as a dime in order to enact Obamacare. Obamacare would not have been upheld unless the Obama Administration had not contradicted itself and claimed that the Obamacare individual mandate is a tax after all.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.