In this interview with CBS News, Mitt Romney describes the ObamaCare individual mandate as a tax.
Romney: Well, the Supreme Court has the final word. And their final word is that Obamacare is a tax. So it’s a tax. They decided it was constitutional. So it is a tax and it’s constitutional. That’s the final word. That’s what it is.
Crawford: Have you changed your views on this? Do you now believe that it is a tax at the federal level, that the Supreme Court has said it’s a tax? So it is a tax?
Romney: Well, I said that I agreed with the dissent, and the dissent made it very clear that they felt it was unconstitutional. But the dissent lost. It’s in the minority. And so now the Supreme Court has spoken.
What’s so disheartening about this is that it’s so obvious and easy. The mandate itself is an unconstitutional command to buy a private product. The enforcement mechanism that the Democrats built into their law to enforce the command is a tax. Roberts should have stuck to his original vote that the mandate is unconstitutional, a vote that would have protected the American people from ObamaTax.
Why is this so hard for the Romney team to figure out?
Romney should also not have said that the Supreme Court gets the “final say.” Saying that dents a major argument he has been making for his own candidacy. A better way to frame it would be to say that the Supreme Court has now had its say, but that the American people get the final say on November 6.
But again, why is this so hard?