Stephanopoulos: "You Reject That It’s A Tax Increase? " Obama: "I Absolutely Reject That Notion"

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From ABC

STEPHANOPOULOS:  You were against the individual mandate…

OBAMA:  Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS:  …during the campaign.  Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?

OBAMA:  Well, hold on a second, George. Here — here’s what’s happening.  You and I are both paying $900, on average — our families — in higher premiums because of uncompensated care.  Now what I’ve said is that if you can’t afford health insurance, you certainly shouldn’t be punished for that.  That’s just piling on. If, on the other hand, we’re giving tax credits, we’ve set up an exchange, you are now part of a big pool, we’ve driven down the costs, we’ve done everything we can and you actually can afford health insurance, but you’ve just decided, you know what, I want to take my chances.  And then you get hit by a bus and you and I have to pay for the emergency room care, that’s…

STEPHANOPOULOS:  That may be, but it’s still a tax increase.

OBAMA:  No.  That’s not true, George.  The — for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.  What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I’m not covering all the costs.

STEPHANOPOULOS:  But it may be fair, it may be good public policy…

OBAMA:  No, but — but, George, you — you can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase.  Any…


OBAMA:  What — what — if I — if I say that right now your premiums are going to be going up by 5 or 8 or 10 percent next year and you say well, that’s not a tax increase; but, on the other hand, if I say that I don’t want to have to pay for you not carrying coverage even after I give you tax credits that make it affordable, then…

STEPHANOPOULOS:  I — I don’t think I’m making it up. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary: Tax — “a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.”

OBAMA:  George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition.  I mean what…

STEPHANOPOULOS:  Well, no, but…

OBAMA:  …what you’re saying is…

STEPHANOPOULOS:  I wanted to check for myself.  But your critics say it is a tax increase.

OBAMA:  My critics say everything is a tax increase.  My critics say that I’m taking over every sector of the economy.  You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but…

STEPHANOPOULOS:  But you reject that it’s a tax increase?

OBAMA:  I absolutely reject that notion.


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DrDinkus's picture

cant take it anymore...just want to chill in the choomwagon

fourchan's picture

and his whores agree its a tax too.

Comay Mierda's picture

funny thing is this affordable care act is not affordable and blows the budget deficit even wider.

hyperinflation is fucking gauranteed now.

obummer fucker can tax 100% of all income and still wont have enough to balance his GAAP based budget deficit with obamacare.

Bernanke will have to put the printers in OVERDRIVE to pay for this piece of shit legislation and all the liberals still stupid enough to buy the "left/right" paradigm will blame the currency collapse on the "failure of capitalism" and the "tea party" meanwhile it was their own idiocy in voting for unaffordable handouts that brought it on

Sudden Debt's picture

THIS IS NOT A TAX!!!! (nixon immitation)
That 50% they'll subtrack from your wages to pay down the interest on the debt will be a tax...

AlaricBalth's picture

Maybe I am thinking a bit too far outside the box here and if I am, junk me at your pleasure. However, if Chief Justice Roberts is as far right as I think he is, voting with the majority was a brilliant political maneuver.

By sanctioning the individual mandate as it truly is, a tax, he is forcing Obama to campaign for reelection with an albatross around his neck. That albatross is the fact that through his healthcare plan he will be berated as the man who raised taxes on everyone; rich, middle and poor.

Personally, I don't buy into the left/right paradigm, but most others do and the vote by Roberts is a simply a political move. He is saying to Obama, "If you really want this, I am going make you own it. So here it is, shoved right up your arse."

mkhs's picture

Sacrifice the constitution for a veneal campaign ploy?  More likely he has dementia.

AlaricBalth's picture

The Constitution has been sacrificed for much less!

TrulyBelieving's picture

What Constitution? This law then subsequent ruling by the SCOTUS just about makes it irrelevent. This will constitutionally protect these statist to make the People submit to any tyranny they can concoct. Liberty and Freedom are defeated today, and tryanny rules supreme. God help us, and pass the ammo.

sadmamapatriot's picture

Even if Obamacare is repealed, the damage has been done, a mortal wound has been dealt to us all as the legal precedent has now been set. Any government mandate is now legal, period, end of story, as long as you add a tax to the mandate. What kind of mandates you think those self serving folks in DC can come up with? Plenty I tell you, and none of it good.

I am thinking it will be a mandate to buy solar panels from the next Solyndra or cars from GM next time they are failing. Do it for the good of the country, the environment, and the economy, or you will be taxed. I don’t buy any kind of Strategy behind this although it will be the catalyst to get Romney elected. This was just pure dumbfuckery.

pods's picture

I can think of an even more self serving one:

Gov. decrees that x% of your paycheck must buy T-bills.

If not, x% is taken as a tax to make up for the money you did not spend buying T-bills.

Hey why the hell not?  It is LaLa land now.  


pods's picture

Or, to keep with the mandate to purchase from a private entity:

The Federal Reserve wants to divest itself of the MBS garbage rotting within its hallowed halls.

The US Federal Government is now going to require every citizen to use x% of their income to purchase MBSs from the FED.

If not, said citizen will be required to pay a penalty (tax) equal to the difference between what they should have bought and did.

Then the US will use the proceeds to purchase the rest of the stink because the FED will not loan the Feds any more FRNs without compliance.

I can dream up some great things when ideas when rules no longer apply.


Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Scary (but brilliant) thought! I'm sure it is being considered since now the sky is the limit with this precedent. However with only 50% of people paying income tax the revenue stream seems to be shrinking. Why not go all the way? Mandate all employers to directly submit paychecks to the federal government and they would reimburse the employee what they deem fit. That'll get the pitchforks going... I'm sick of all this incrementalism!


Small Business Guy's picture

IF they do try to mandate such purchases, Congress/POTUS will have to do it specifically as a "Tax".  No more trying to hide behind the Commerce clause of the US Constitution.

There goes an enormous hole for judicial activism that just got slammed shut.  Big, big win there.

HungrySeagull's picture

Sure, slap 30 solar panels on the house and I will recieve a check for exporting power each month.

PartysOver's picture

Roberts miscalculated.  I will be voting for the first time ALL DEMOCRATS.  Crash this country sooner.  More opportunity for those smart enough to rebuild and make gadzillions.

Totentänzerlied's picture

"he is forcing Obama to campaign for reelection with an albatross around his neck."

It would, except the ****ing rubes comprising his voter base (to be fair, Mittens' are equally scummy and idiotic) are far too busy being high on hopium to possibly care about such things.

They will happily and enthusiastically tell you "(the messiah comrade Obama) has fixed healthcare" and if you don't like it YOU HATE POOR PEOPLE AND ARE OBVIOUSLY AN INS CO. SHILL WHO PERSONALLY KILLS CANCER-STRICKEN INFANTS!!!1!1!!

ZackLo's picture

Sub-Prime sick care.....and you guys thought they ran out of ideas to blow one last bubble and get that last 5 percent in PPP adjusted buying power before we weimar it.

Mark my words when that money starts flooding at gunpoint the bubble will come and fall just like real estate.

Aziz's picture

Prostitutional expert is not the same as constitutional expert.

Michael's picture

I am now most definitely going to vote for Obama in November.

This will help make the impotent USA crash and burn much faster.

The people of the USA needs to be so fucked up the ass there is no more ass skin left on their bottom.

I just thank God so much every day on my knees for the complete and total economic collapse of the USA and the world.

It's the only thing that will solve most of our problems, when everybody gets nothing, NOTHING!

Hopefully under obama care, black abortions go up from 51% to about 100% and the incidence of Autism goes from 1 in 50 to 100% as well.

People deserve what they get for being so stupid.

Spirit Of Truth's picture

Little O/T, but not seeing anyything on this @ ZH today.

FYI - Credible sources reporting Turkish military buildup on Syrian border & alerts in Israel and Saudi Arabia

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

<-- Too stupid to get their stories straight

<-- Too arrogant to get their stories straight


Michael's picture

And fat people should be taxed more then fit people too, since they cost more to treat.

icanhasbailout's picture

And the impact of homosexuality on health care costs will be kept like a top priority national security secret.

Bastiat's picture

How about promiscuous fudge-packers?

MsCreant's picture

You mean fat people that eat too many different kinds of fudge, thus packing it on?

Almost Solvent's picture

What about those fudge factory workers who have to package the fudge for shipping? 


Fudge Packers local 69

prodigious_idea's picture

+1 for brief levity in a decidedly tense conversation

Bastiat's picture

Uh  . . . yeah, that's it!

Ookspay's picture

In the new america, you are forced to hire gay people and then pay for their "spouses" health care and the millions it will cost to keep them alive after they acquire HIV. Any questions?

Jake88's picture

That's right.  We need a flat tax. Everybody pays the same rate by the pound..

MsCreant's picture

Fat tax Jake, Fat tax.

Clinteastwood's picture

I'm not flying the American flag this July 4th or ever again 'til this totalitarianism is on the ash heap of history.

LowProfile's picture

I'm flying the UN flag.  To make a point.

NotApplicable's picture

I want to fly a Gadsen for "Overthrow the Government Day." But that would be deemed terroristic by the Sheeple. So, I'll just practice my artillery skills (well, if it ever rains again first).

Max Fischer's picture



You hillbillies should fly the confederate flag.  Isn't that more accurate?

If you've glued it to the hood of your camaro, just fly your wife's nightgown at the top of a pole.

"We ain't need no healthcare in these backwaters of Amuuurica!"


pods's picture

Max, you are just so civilized.

I am so glad that you ivory tower types help out us untermensch with our daily toils.

And jackass, it isn't the hood of your camaro, it is the ROOF of your CHARGER.



mrdenis's picture

I fly mine upside down ...this country is most definilty in distress

salvadordaly's picture

Feel proud to display your flags, wave them high and proud, just upside down that all I'm saying!

Stoploss's picture


Now it's on, the fucker will go down with the ship.

Time to put a fork in this fucker anyway, im in.

MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

Calm down.

This is nothing.

A tiny bit of legislation.

prodigious_idea's picture

It is, and it's flawed like most legislation.  Congress would be wise to make the necessary amendments and pass additional legislation to fix our fucked up employer-based insurance system - like tort reform, inter-state insurability, increasing FSA limits, increasing the premium deduction for self-employed and, and, and

macholatte's picture



People deserve what they get for being so stupid.


My annual health insurance review came in at what the insurance company calls an 87% increase. How they came up with that is unknown. Just the new premium for the same coverage was in reality closer to 138% increase. It gets worse after I factor in the the increase in co-pay and decuctable and increase in out-of-pocket. The cost for this would require 2 full time workers at minimum wage to donate 100% of their earnings just to cover the premium. How people are going to be able to afford Obamacare will be interesting to see. Yet, I'm surprised there hasn't been an enormous out cry already.

PartysOver's picture

What is surprising to me is the stupidity of the general public.

That here hasn't been an enormous out cry already is harding surprising.

Jason Bourne's picture

Brilliant fucking brilliant!  Of course I completely agree.  There really is no fix until people actually see how fucking stupid they actually are and that Bush and Obama and Romney are fucking liars, who do what they are told to do.  What a disgusting insane super disturbing world we live in.


I will vote for Obama too and also sit and do nothing while every stupid fucking law and rule passes.  Gay marriage, presidential authority to assasinate (even citizens) without judicial oversite.


The sooner our country goes where it needs to go the sooner it might have a chance of ressurecting.

Dixie Rect's picture

Gee officer, I wasn't speeding, I was just exceeding the speed limit.

Temporis's picture

Isn't the only reason this shit passed was because Judge Roberts constitutionally said it was a tax?!!?

El Viejo's picture

Roberts 'voted' the way he did because he knows this will give the republicans the election. Then it will be short circuited.