By Ben Sparks
In its legal brief to the United States Supreme Court—under a subsection entitled “The Minimum Coverage Provision Operates As A Tax Law”— the Obama administration argued:
“The practical operation of the minimum coverage provision is as a tax law. It is fully integrated into the tax system, will raise substantial revenue, and triggers only tax consequences for non-compliance.”
And yet, more than a week after the Supreme Court agreed with President Obama that the federal individual mandate was a tax, the president is now disavowing his own position. Watch Ben Labolt not only contend that the federal mandate is not a tax, but also claim that the Obama administration never argued to the Court that it was.
We’re entering the territory of the surreal at this point, but given President Obama’s track record, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. Before Obamacare was passed, he also promised the American people that the federal mandate was “absolutely not a tax increase.”
In court he argued the opposite. Should we be surprised that he’s returned to his original course?
But while playing hide-the-ball with the American people is bad enough, with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling the stakes have become even higher.
The president has a duty to defend the Constitution and to refuse to enforce those laws that violate it. Under the Court’s decision, the individual mandate is only constitutional if it is indeed a tax. If the President is being honest with us that his bill is not a tax, then Obamacare is unconstitutional.
That makes this debate far more than academic, and every American should demand that the president take a position on this issue. Unconstitutional or tax increase. Those are the only options.
Ben Sparks is the Wisconsin communications director for the Romney for President campaign. Any opinions expressed belong to the author and not to Wisconsin Reporter or Watchdog.org.