Democrats in denial that Obamacare is a tax

<p>Activists affiliated with liberal non-profit Protect Your Care "celebrate" outside the Supreme Court on the first day of the hearing on the Constitutionality of Obamacare.</p>

The Supreme Court, including two justices appointed by President Obama, may have found that the individual mandate imposes a tax on those who fail to buy health insurance, but Democrats were in full denial mode on the Sunday talk shows.

Every Democrat from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew spun vigorously in their effort to keep from using the politically toxic T-word.

Lew struggled to explain why the individual mandate doesn’t violate the president’s 2008 campaign promise not to raise taxes on those earning less than $200,000, trying to dismiss the Supreme Court ruling as semantics.

“Well what they said is that the Congress has many powers – the Commerce Clause, taxing powers and that it was constitutional,” Lew said. “That’s what they said. They said it doesn’t matter what you call it.”

The White House chief of staff suggested that 99 percent of Americans will be unaffected by the penalty.

“For the very few people who decide to be free riders and not have insurance, but still have their costs go into the system so the rest of us pay it, there’s a penalty. It is not a burden on the middle class,” Lew said.

Pelosi, appearing over on NBC’s Meet the Press, nearly stumbled into calling the mandate a tax.

“It’s a penalty that comes under the tax code,” Pelosi said

“It’s a ta—it’s a penalty for free riders,” Pelosi said, nearly uttering the dreaded T-word before cutting herself off.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, similarly sought to deny that the individual mandate amounts to a tax increase during an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation with Norah O’Donnell.

O’Malley dismissed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s point that it is a “massive tax increase.”

“That’s the biggest falsehood being perpetuated by these unflinching ideologues, that this is a massive tax increase,” O’Malley said. “The massive so-called tax increase they are talking about is the freeloader penalty that would affect at most the 1 or 2 percent of people who could afford health care and instead want to be freeloaders on the rest of us with uncompensated care.”

And ousted Current TV and MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann sought to deflect the impact calling the mandate a tax in the upcoming election during an appearance on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

“Again, I think it’s got to be a concern for the president that wasn’t there before this terminology was used,” Olbermann said. “But this was already such a huge issue in terms of this divide between people who are opposed to the Obamacare concept yet support each aspect of it. it was already a hot-button issue.”

Comments

Polititainment

Colbert's embargo on the Vatican

Colbert had to chide his audience Wednesday night for getting excited about making “Cuba more libre.”

Megyn Kelly on 'The Interview'

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly told Jimmy Kimmel she found Sony’s decision to pull “The Interview” after threats of a terrorist attack "deeply troubling.”

Romney's suggestion for 'The Interview'

Mitt Romney has an idea to turn "The Interview" movie fiasco into a win for everybody.

Sony cancels 'The Interview'

NEW YORK (AP) — Under the threat of terrorist attacks from hackers and with the nation's largest multiplex chains pulling the film from their screens, Sony Pictures Entertainment took the unprecedented step of canceling the Dec. 25 release of the Seth Rogen comedy "The Interview."

'The Interview' to drop in North Korea

Human rights groups are set to drop DVDs of "The Interview" into North Korea via hydrogen balloons, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

White House

District court declares Obama’s executive action on immigration unconstitutional
A federal court in Pennsylvania declared parts of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration unconstitutional Tuesday. Judge Arthur J. Schwab, sitting in the western district of Pennsylvania, said presidents do have the power to use discretion in deciding how to enforce laws, but found that Obama’s recent executive action went much further than that.  He said Obama was writing […]
Obama administration extends Pell grants to juvenile offenders
The Obama administration has set out new guidelines that allow for students sentenced to juvenile correctional facilities to be eligible for federal Pell grants. The U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice sent out a joint release Monday that clarified an earlier law. Congress in 1994 prohibited inmates at federal and state prisons from receiving Pell Grants […]
White House denies report that it wants to delay release of CIA torture report

The White House is insisting it wants the Senate Intelligence Committee to release its report on CIA torture practices, despite a report that Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to scuttle it.

Kate visits NYC kids; Prince William joins Obama

NEW YORK (AP) — Prince William's wife, Kate, wrapped Christmas gifts, helped preschoolers decorate picture frames and left an impression of a down-to-earth royal as she toured a child development center Monday with New York City's first lady.

The surprising opponents and backers of Obama’s net neutrality plan

Ted Cruz vs. Justice Scalia, and Obama vs. Jesse Jackson and the NAACP: The fight in Washington over "net neutrality” and has drawn up some strange battle lines.

Congress

Rand Paul: 'Opening up Cuba is a good idea'

Sen. Rand Paul broke with the Republican Party's prevailing argument against President Obama's Cuba policy Thursday, saying the move toward opening trade with the long-embargoed nation "probably" is a good idea.

Retiring DemHenry Waxman's farewell ode to govt

You'd think that, 40 years in, a congressman might grow cynical about the prospects of government meddling. Not retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)!

Senate Confirms Pro-Gun Control Surgeon General
NATIONAL JOURNAL — The Senate narrowly confirmed a new surgeon general whose nomination was delayed for months in a fight over his comments alleging that guns are a public health issue. The confirmation represents a victory for gun-control advocates, even as recent polling has shown Americans moving in the other direction toward gun-rights protections. The […]
Congress gave DOD $3 billion in extra funds

Christmas came early for the Pentagon (and Lockheed Martin.)

Rand Paul's bill to repeal Obama's exec order

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has filed a bill to overturn President Obama’s executive action on immigration.