Thursday, July 05, 2012

Penalty or Tax

Ben LaBolt, President Obama’s 2012 campaign Press Secretary, says that Obama disagrees with the Supreme Court on the issue of the payment for failure to comply with the individual insurance mandate, and that it is a “penalty” and not a “tax.” He goes on to insist that the entire Obama administration has never considered or referred to it as a tax, and has always called it a penalty.

When asked by the interviewer whether or not the administration argued before the Supreme Court that the mandate could be upheld as a tax, LaBolt claimed that they did not, but transcripts clearly show that “U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli very clearly indicated the individual mandate could be viewed as constitutional under Congress' powers of taxation.”

It’s called “having your cake and eating it too,” and Obama does it quite frequently. Here he argues in court that it is a tax because the argument is legally convenient, but speaks of it publicly as a “penalty” because the tax argument is politically toxic.

In court he claims that the drone program is so secret that not only can court proceedings regarding it not be considered, but the government cannot even admit (or deny) that the program even exists. The same week, he issues a press release that a “top Al Queda leader” has been killed by a drone, which is part of a program that is apparently no secret at all.

There are lots of other examples. Arresting and imprisoning Bradley Manning, for instance, while not pursuing whoever released details of the presidential “Tuesday kill meetings” which reveal what masterful control he maintains over the assassination program.

It doesn’t surprise me, I guess, that he does this. Politicians always want to make themselves look good and Obama is nothing more or less than our usual politician. What astounds me is the horde of Obama supporters who are decrying the degree to which Romney “lies and distorts truth” and who utterly ignore the doublespeak that Obama regularly employs. Sure, Romney may be worse, but that does not make it okay to absolutely ignore the “lesser evil” of your own. A lesser evil is still evil.

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