WH Chief of Staff: It Doesn’t Matter That We Argued Health Care Reform Is a Tax in Court — It’s Not a Tax

Erica Ritz
White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew Argues Obamacare Is Not a Tax With Fox News Sundays Chris Wallace
White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew Argues Obamacare Is Not a Tax With Fox News Sundays Chris Wallace

(Photo: Screen Shot/Fox)

The White House has found itself in quite a bind following the Supreme Court‘s ruling last Thursday that the president’s health care bill is, in reality, an enormous tax.

The president has not only spent close to four years arguing that it is not a tax– even slamming reporters who suggested otherwise– but more generally promised not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 per year.

(Related: WSJ Economist: Brunt of ‘Obamacare’ Costs Will Be Shouldered By Those Making Under $120K)

Now, example after example indicates that the administration is still trying to convince the American public that “Obamacare” is not a tax, despite the court’s unambiguous ruling that it is only constitutional as one.

On “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace, White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew tried to argue the case in such defiance of previous administration statements that Wallace was forced to say: “If it walks, looks, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”

Hot Air describes the clip:

“Wallace strings Lew along beautifully for almost three minutes, allowing Lew to argue multiple times that ObamaCare isn’t a tax, wasn’t passed as a tax, and was never intended to be a tax, before playing a recording of the Obama administration’s Solicitor General arguing to the Supreme Court that, by golly, ObamaCare can and should be considered a tax.”

So how does Lew respond when forced to argue the exact opposite of what his party has been saying for years?

“One of the things about our judicial system is that you can make arguments to the court on multiple grounds,” he began.  “That’s what [Solicitor General Don Verilli] was doing.  It was set up, and it was not called a tax…”

In other words, Hot Air summarizes: “Lew basically tells Wallace that, hey, lawyers make lots of arguments in court, but that doesn’t make them true!”

Watch the whole clip, via Hot Air, below (skip to 2:45 if you only want to watch the relevant statements, without the set-up):

The clip opens with an RNC ad of President Obama reiterating in multiple speeches that taxes will not be raised on the middle class during his administration, before Wallace asks: “Didn’t the president break that promise?”

Lew responds that the Court didn’t technically call the bill a tax, but that Congress has many powers, one of which is taxation.  “There’s a Commerce Clause, there’s taxing powers, and that [health care reform was] constitutional,” Lew said of the decision.

“I can’t let you go there” Wallace interrupts.  “[The Supreme Court] specifically said that it is not constitutional under the Commerce Clause; they said that it is constitutional under the tax.”

The pair then discusses the figures of how the middle class will be forced to bear billions of dollars in tax increases in the coming years, before Lew repeats the often-heard line that if you like your doctor or your insurance, you can keep them, as though the enormous overhaul will not affect business for insurance companies or doctors whatsoever.

“Obamacare not a tax even though our own lawyers said it was, or something,” Hot Air said of the clip, mocking the fact that each answer from the administration seems contradictory.

But more than that– the administration is seemingly admitting that it will sell the American people falsehoods if they believe the ends justify the means.  Lew does not appear to have any problems with the admission that they passed an enormous bill, from his perspective, on a false premise — and that’s not exactly comforting.

(H/T: Gateway Pundit)

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