Barack Obama told us he would not raise taxes on the middle class (which I believe he defined as anyone making less than $200K).
Many people consider an insurance mandate to be a TAX . A tax on people making under $200K--in many cases, substantially less than $200K.
George Stephanopolous called the President on this during an interview in September 2009, and the President got all fussy with him, maintaining stridently that it wasn't a "tax".
So--now that several state attorneys general seek to overturn the individual mandate portion of the healthcare bill---Obama Administration Spokesman EJ Dionne (aw, just kidding) informs us that the mandate is--here it comes---legal--because it is---A TAX--and not an overreach of the Congress in regulating commerce. Here's the key part: "It would take a rashly activist court to find the individual mandate unconstitutional because it is structured as a tax. No one will go to jail for not buying insurance. Starting in 2014, people who refuse will have to pay a penalty to the federal government, administered by the IRS. There are subsidies for those who cannot afford coverage on their own, as well as hardship exemptions."
Putting aside for a moment the obvious tip of the hand of the left with respect to their talking points on how this case may play out (judicial activism and such--which is only bad when protecting rights guaranteed by the Constitution), there's the fact that it reveals THE BIG FAT LIE that the Obama Administration has obviously made. The mandate IS a TAX. It will be an increase on MANY PEOPLE MAKING LESS THAN $200K.
There is a delicious quandary coming for the Obama Administration--should these cases get to the Supreme Court, the Administration's legal defense is GOING TO HAVE TO BE that the mandate is simply a TAX, a power the Constitution does in fact grant the Congress. Republicans should do all they can to get this one before the Supremes.