As part of his weekend press junket around the dial, President Obama stopped by This Week with George Stephanopoulos. George has, in the past, been somewhat shy at times about questioning Democrats too harshly. (To put it kindly.) But today, he did himself proud when he tried to pin down the President on the effect of taxing millions of middle class Americans by imposing a government mandate on them to purchase health insurance or else sticking them with a penalty.
STEPHANOPOULOS: …during the campaign. Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?
OBAMA: No. That’s not true, George. The — for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I’m not covering all the costs.
Emphasized above, we find the first major fault in what passes for logic here. (There’s a better one coming up in a minute.) Just about everyone in America has to get LIABILITY insurance for their auto policy. That’s insurance in case you smash up somebody else’s vehicle or injure them. Whether or not you have insurance to cover your own car and whether you have to pay for your own repairs or not is pretty much up to you.
But let’s move on to the real stunner in this interview.
OBAMA: What — what — if I — if I say that right now your premiums are going to be going up by 5 or 8 or 10 percent next year and you say well, that’s not a tax increase; but, on the other hand, if I say that I don’t want to have to pay for you not carrying coverage even after I give you tax credits that make it affordable, then…
That’s right, Mr. President. If my health insurance premiums are going up by 5 or 8 or 10 percent next year, that’s not a tax. Because my insurance company does not have the legal authority to take more money from me without my consent. I have the option of paying the increase, shopping around for a new provider, or switching to a plan with less benefits and lower premiums.
I find this simply amazing, particularly given how he says it with a straight face. This is akin to, if not even worse, than when Obama tried to explain how health insurance is the same as the college education system. Does he really not understand how taxes work and what they are? That would be particularly stunning since he spent a brief time in the nation’s legislative branch, which is the one responsible for taxes.
This is similar, in a way, to his attempts to explain why the cap and trade system isn’t a tax on American citizens. Now, at least in that case, a technical though duplicitous case can be made to say that the tax is being imposed on the energy companies, not directly on the citizens. Of course, I hope there is nobody reading this who honestly thinks that the energy companies will turn around and say, “Oh well, I guess we just won’t make a profit this year.” But I digress.
I prefer not to think of the President as intentionally lying. But it’s disheartening to say the least that he doesn’t seem to understand exactly how the system of the government taxing the voters works.
You can watch the interview segment at the link provided above.