Patterico's Pontifications


Obama: It’s not a Tax

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 3:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Following up on Karl’s post, are you sure it’s not a tax, Mr. President? It is:

“President Obama gave ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos a stern talking-to Sunday for suggesting that a mandate to buy health insurance would amount to a tax. But the language of the health care reform plan proposed by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., explicitly labels the penalty attached to the mandate as an “excise tax.”

Stephanapoulos looked up the word “tax” in the dictionary, undoubtedly because he was sure Obama would quibble. He did:

“[Obama] even taunted the host for citing the dictionary definition of “tax” to make his point.

“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,” Obama said.”

This is just lame.


18 Responses to “Obama: It’s not a Tax”

  1. And the fact that the bill itself says that the penalty is an excise TAX indicates to me that Obama is very confused about what is meant by the word “tax.”

    LASue (2e186f)

  2. well, at least no one is arguing any more that he’s a “good man”….. he’s a lying, utterly amoral scumbag, no matter what angle you look at it from.

    i told you so.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  3. I am feeling so much less animosity toward our dear President since he came forth a week or so ago to admonish those who use use lies, distortions, scare tactics, etc. and to set us straight about the real “facts” about health care legislation. Why I can actually feel all my latent racism just draining away!

    in_awe (a55176)

  4. It’s more than lame. These people are giving crooked politicians a bad name. They are clowns. calls the decision on missiles in Poland an astounding example of incompetence. They go even further.

    In foreign policy, it is always important to be prepared to pretend that the elephant is not in the room. But there has to be a touch of plausibility to the pretense. In this case, the problem is that the administration’s description of how it made this decision indicates breathtaking incompetence. In saying they took the decision without considering diplomatic consequences, U.S. officials are claiming the administration doesn’t know how to play major league ball — and seem proud of that.

    I don’t think it is limited to foreign policy. Look at that chart! Nobody watches his appearances on You-Tube anymore.

    These were the internet experts in politics. I guess if anybody needs to know how to solicit fraudulent money on the internet, they’re the go-to guys but, other than that, they don’t do much right.

    Mike K (addb13)

  5. Obama has a Clinton like brazenness about his lies but lacks the charm to make the person being lied to like it.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. this was interesting what Mr. sdferr said. I will use my cut and paste powers to replicate it here.


    Comment by sdferr on 9/20 @ 4:06 pm #

    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.


    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…

    Hilarious man that comic fellow, President Barack Obama. He ought to go on the road with this act.

    Oh, wait..

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  7. How many racist codewords can you squeeze into one post? Though Snuffalupagus can be praise for momentarily committing an act of JournoListism, he quickly retreated to sycophant and cheerleader. Georgie is the one that wept the night Barcky won.

    JD (9019c8)

  8. This is becoming a ridiculous, cuckoo moment in the history of America.

    I knew Obama was a joke and had no business occupying the White House, but quite sincerely if someone back in November 2008 had predicted what the guy, in fact, has been doing for these past several months — from Honduras to Iran, from ACORN to now this — I’d have thought they were putting too much of a rightwing spin on things.

    As for another indication of the guy in the Oval Office being a two-bit, thin-skinned politician (perhaps in a Nixonian fashion?): He purposefully avoided taking any of his song-and-dance routine to the Fox News channel. I guess he suspected that bald-faced lies would look a bit more laughable and deranged there.

    Mark (411533)

  9. “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, Obama said.”

    Someone please tell me exactly what he means by this statement. Did this man actually attend school. Obviously it didn’t stick with him if he did. I’m sure I learned more in 9th grade civics class than teh *** learned in all the fancy schools he supposedly attended.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  10. Smartest president evah? Not so much. Yea, it’s not a tax but you are going to have to pay it to the gub’mint or we’ll take it from you by force. Sounds a lot like the IRS and they deal in…..wait for it……..TAXES!!! What a marooon!

    PatriotRider (37b91c)

  11. Using reference material to disambiguate language and make one’s point with erudition is clearly “stretching”. Words mean what Obama says they mean. No more and no less.

    bonhomme (a733fe)

  12. ‘But the language of the health care reform plan proposed by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., explicitly labels the penalty attached to the mandate as an “excise tax.”’

    That’s a bunch of baloney. The only reason they’re saying that, is because the feds call any tax that isn’t a property tax or a capitation tax, an excise.

    But, this isn’t a tax (excise or otherwise), it’s a punishment (namely a fine). They just don’t want people calling it what it is because that will make them look like what they are…tyrants.

    They’re proposing to punish people for the high crime of refusing to buy something. They’re tyrants.

    Dave Surls (c13af3)

  13. What we have here is the new Obama standard for being informed.

    If you check your facts against any kind of reference material in order to make sure you know what you’re talking about, you don’t know what you’re talking about and your arguments can be disregarded.

    Obama and his allies, on the other hand, never need to check their facts because they feel right.

    Karl Lembke (5b01dd)

  14. “Well, that depends on what your definition of the word ‘is’, is.”

    Clintonesque in arrogance illogic…but the funny part is, wasn’t Georgie S one of Clinton’s big mouthpieces in his time? Funny to see him of all people finally getting a bit tough (and that’s only a tiny bit, frankly) in an interview with the chosen one.

    rtrski (37bc26)

  15. “and” illogic….sigh

    rtrski (37bc26)

  16. […] ABC) via Patterico The fact you looked up the definition of “tax” means you’re […]

    Obama’s Great Intellect « Truth Before Dishonor (fb05f5)

  17. This topic has to do with a health care insurance mandate, and whether or not the premiums constitute a “tax”.

    If you wish to expand the definition of “tax” to fit this case, for ideological purposes, you then wish to cloud the issue.

    Why not call the premiums we pay to private insurers a “tax” then?

    The point obscured in this discussion is that health care is not a commodity, it is a right, as is a value accepted by every other developed nation but our own. Shame on us!

    Thus, it is about time we take the middlemen out of the health care business, in which they make more profit by denying health care to those with whom they have a contract.

    We move in the right direction by incorporating a public option, which now two thirds of the population now favors. Eventually, we must move to single payer like the French, or controlled cost private insurance like the Swiss.

    Only then can we finally feel proud of our once dysfunctional health care system.

    Perry (aacf19)

  18. Perry – Health care is not a right. It consists of the property and the labor of others. You are not entitled to the property and lobor of others as a “right”. Philosophically those things are called ‘theft’ and ‘slavery’.

    Now some may believe that they have the right to anothers property to be traded for health care.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

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