by Jeffrey A. Miron
President Obama argued on TV talk shows this weekend that his proposed mandate for everyone to buy health insurance – or face a large financial penalty – is not a tax increase:
In a testy exchange on ABC’s “This Week,” broadcast Sunday, Obama rejected the assertion that forcing people to obtain coverage would violate his campaign pledge against raising taxes on middle-class Americans.
“For us to say you have to take responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,” Obama said in response to persistent questioning, later adding: “Nobody considers that a tax increase.”
Well, I consider it a tax increase, so I guess that makes me nobody.
The real question is whether this tax increase is a good idea. My answer is no. If others disagree, then fine, let’s have that debate. But denying plain truths suggests that advocates of Obamacare are trying to pass something that Americans would not endorse if it were structured and explained clearly.