Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is constitutional because the individual mandate is a tax, the Republican party has jumped at the opportunity to slam President Obama as a massive tax raiser. This week though, Romney’s senior adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, came out saying that Romney agrees with the dissent and that the individual mandate is a penalty, not a tax. Now Romney has spoken on the issue to ‘clarify‘ his position and has said that the individual mandate is a tax for Obamacare, but not Romneycare.
Clear as mud right? Let me explain. Romney has said that the Supreme Court stated that in order for the individual mandate to be constitutional for the federal government to implement, it must be considered a tax and not a penalty. Romney then reasons that since states do not carry that constitutional burden, the individual mandate in Massachusetts can still be considered a penalty and not a tax. Makes sense right?
Here’s the thing. That strategy will not carry water. If Romney tries to run with that and God forbid uses that answer in a presidential debate that millions of people watch, Romney will crash and burn. You cannot have it both ways! You cannot say it's a tax for Obama, but a penalty for me and that Obama raised taxes but I didn’t. No matter what kind of jedi word voodoo you use, the majority of Americans will see right through that logic and Romney will not be better for it.
This is extremely disappointing as a Romney supporter. Romney has had TWO years to prepare for this ruling. He has had TWO years to come up with a plan for the second part of the slogan on his podium above (REPLACE). What has Romney done? Has he revealed a plan to replace Obamacare? No. Even worse, the major argument and silver lining that the Supreme Court’s ruling gave Republicans by calling the individual mandate a tax is now unusable and unworkable as an argument because Romney has flip flopped on what to call it and now wants to call it both a tax and a penalty depending on who implemented it.
It’s no wonder that people like Rupert Murdoch and Jack Welch are calling for a campaign shake up within Romney’s campaign. Romney’s campaign has completely failed to take advantage of the two largest rulings on the Supreme Court docket this year (Arizona immigration and Obamacare). It makes me really start to wonder if Romney has the skills and leadership ability to win in November. What do you think?