Several weeks ago, the New York Times reported on an uncomfortable inconsistency for President Obama and those members of Congress who voted for Obamacare. It seems that the individual mandate, which President Obama assured the American people was not a tax, is, in fact, exactly that – a brand new tax.
This revelation occurred in a June 16th court filing made by the Obama administration in response to the National Federation of Independent Business’s lawsuit challenging Obamacare’s validity. In its brief, the administration specifically defends the individual mandate as a tax, claiming that enforcing the mandate falls precisely within the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”
However, not even one year ago, President Obama peddled this bill, reiterating to George Stephanopoulos that the requirement to buy health insurance is “absolutely not a tax increase.” When pressed further about the notion that it could be perceived as a tax, the president even more emphatically stated, “I absolutely reject that notion.”
So, the same person who said it was “absolutely not a tax increase,” now says the mandate falls neatly within the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.” This remarkable rhetoric shifting might even be laughable, were our life and liberty not so directly threatened. Sadly, you can’t make this stuff up.
I will leave the legal and constitutional questions for the courts to settle, but this admission has dramatically changed the political dynamics of a fall election cycle that already appeared quite favorable for conservatives. By recognizing that the individual mandate is a tax on all Americans (incidentally, even those under the president’s infamous $250,000 threshold), the administration essentially undercut every Member of Congress who voted for Obamacare and claimed that it wasn’t a tax. This, of course, amounts to virtually every one of the bill’s supporters in the House and Senate.
This means that there are two options. Either Members of Congress voted for such sweeping legislation without recognizing, at the time, exactly how it would so deeply and intimately affect all Americans or they deliberately misled the American people about its terms.
I will give our Members of Congress the benefit of the doubt and assume that they did not understand the legislation for which they voted. Although, quite frankly, both options are equally bad.
Since such sweeping legislation was obviously passed under false pretenses, every Member of Congress who voted for the bill should now favor repeal as soon as possible. No one likes to be misled and I presume that these members of Congress feel as strongly about their reputations as do you and I.
This is a prime opportunity for every candidate challenging a pro-Obamacare member of Congress to hold their feet to the fire and challenge them to commit publicly, right now, to vote for repeal of Obamacare. Any incumbent who refuses to support repeal is supporting a lie that is backed up by the administration’s own evidence. Of course, if these members of Congress refuse to support repeal, all the while admitting that they were misled, then they themselves must support the deception.
The problem for these members of Congress is that Americans understand The Big Lie all too well. First, they were told that the bill wasn’t a tax; but now it is. The only answer is to repeal Obamacare immediately, a proposition which has the support of 60% of the American people.
With all of this talk about bipartisanship, an initiative with such a vast majority of the American people’s support should be an easy win for those who want to “reach across the aisle.” This, too, is a point that all challengers should consistently drive home on the campaign trail.
The message is simple, easy, and has the support of a majority of Americans. Repeal Obamacare now.
Sarah Field is the Director of Policy and General Counsel of Liberty Central (www.libertycentral.org), a non-profit organization whose primary objective is to harness the power of citizen voices, inform everyday Americans with knowledge, and activate them to preserve liberty.