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

Billy Joel: Obama smoking story 'untrue'

After a report emerged from a source for The Hill newspaper that Joel on a trip to Washington, D.C., claimed that he recently smoked a cigarette with President Obama, the musician is now denying the story.

Pharrell: Brown's actions 'bully-ish'

Musician Pharrell Williams said in a recent Ebony magazine interview that President Obama "should have gone down" to Ferguson to address the situation.

Billy Joel smoked with Obama

According to one of The Hill's sources, Obama invited Billy Joel to have a cigarette with him when the musician made a recent trip to the White House.

Beckham's catch = Obama's executive act

You know it is.

'SNL' remakes Schoolhouse Rock
“Saturday Night Live” hit today’s political process right on the nose during the show’s cold open. Spoofing Schoolhouse Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill,” Kenan Thompson as the bill tried to explain how he becomes a law. But before he can make his way  to President Obama’s desk to be officially signed into law, Obama beats him […]

White House

White House claims Obama is ‘not a media critic’

The White House doesn’t really seem to have a problem contradicting itself, so maybe this latest whopper shouldn’t surprise us.

Obama uses turkey pardoning to joke about his executive action on immigration
This is one executive action President Obama is sure won’t ruffle Republicans’ feathers. In fact, he’s so sure of that fact that he decided to make a joke during the annual turkey pardoning referencing his unprecedented use of executive action to grant amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants. “I’m here to announce what I’m sure will […]
Poll: Americans split on Obama’s immigration order
Americans are sharply split on their reaction to President Barack Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration that will essentially give amnesty to about five million undocumented immigrants,according to a new poll. The latest Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday found that 45 percent of voters support the president’s move, while 48 percent opposes it. Support for […]
Eric Holder stresses that federal investigations in Ferguson are not over

Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement Monday night assuring rioters that the Justice Department still has two investigations to complete in Ferguson.

Obama appeals for calm after Ferguson decision

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama appealed for calm and understanding in Ferguson on Monday after a grand jury decided not to indict in the death of Michael Brown, pleading with both residents and police officers to show restraint.

Congress

Pelosi and Obama versus Schumer and America

This is like one of those times a member of a professional wrestling posse turns heel on national television and sets off the drama.

Rand blames 'politicians,' drug war in Ferguson

Sen. Rand Paul’s Time op-ed on Ferguson Tuesday blamed politicians for creating “a culture of violence” through the War on Drugs, and urged Ferguson protesters to “channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change.”

Why are House Members exempt from ethics training?
Two U.S. representatives are questioning a curious practice on the Hill that exempts House Members from ethics training. But it doesn’t look like they are getting much support from their colleagues that enjoy this perk. Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), and Scott Rigell (R-Va.), are urging congressional leaders to end the House exemption on the annual ethics […]
Paul calls for formal declaration of war on ISIS

Sen. Rand Paul wants Congress to formally declare war against ISIS.

The fallout from Boehner not owning a dog

President Obama's offer to smooth over an immigration reform compromise with Speaker John Boehner has turned out to be a case of barking up the nonexistent tree.