POLITICS

John Roberts’s bracing dose of clarity

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins

Investor’s Business Daily’s David Hogberg notes that while conservative critics of Obamacare may be upset over the Supreme Court’s ruling they should at least appreciate that Chief Justice John Roberts brought some much needed clarity to the debate:

Roberts has now taken away the ability of proponents to obfuscate on the individual mandate. During the ObamaCare debate in Congress, many supporters insisted that the mandate wasn’t a tax knowing that its passage would be much harder if it was, indeed, called a tax. During legal arguments, supporters started referring to it as a tax as a sort of “legal insurance policy” against the Supreme Court throwing it out.

The Roberts ruling in effect says, “Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways. And since you let me decide this, I’m calling it a tax.”

He argues that the advantage of this is that even Obamacare supporters will have to call it a tax now and defend it as one. He also argues that this will make congressional efforts to repeal it easier, citing the same reasons that my colleague Tim Carney describes here.

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