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View Full Version : Sr.Mitsey Advisor Admits: It's A Penalty Not A Tax



Gayle in MD
07-02-2012, 11:08 AM
Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney, admitted Monday that he actually agrees with the Obama administration on something: the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act is a "penalty" and not a "tax."

Since the Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's health care law but ruled that its mandate is a tax, Republicans have criticized him for imposing a massive tax on the American public.

The Romney campaign joined in this line of attack, with an adviser telling The Huffington Post's Jon Ward that the Supreme Court's ruling would help them politically.

"Frankly, to be able to tell you your taxes have been raised by this bill and you didn't know that, as opposed to trying to explain Congress's powers under the commerce clause, it's easier," the Romney adviser said, referencing the issue of the law's constitutionality.

But in a Monday interview on MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown," Fehrnstrom contradicted this statement, agreeing with the Obama administration that the mandate is a "penalty" on individuals who do not purchase insurance -- not a tax.

"[T]he governor has consistently described the mandate as a penalty," said Fehrnstrom. "Let's take a step back and look at what the president has said about Obamacare. In order to get it past the Congress, he insisted publicly and to the members of Congress that the mandate was not a tax. After it passed the Congress, he sent his solicitor general up to court to argue that it was a tax. Now he is back to arguing that it's not a tax. So heís all over the map."

The tax line is uncomfortable for Romney, whose signature health care reform legislation in Massachusetts also had an individual mandate and could therefore be construed as a tax -- a definition the presumptive GOP presidential nominee wants to avoid.

Fehrnstrom, in his MSNBC interview, tried to focus on accusing the Obama administration of flip-flopping on whether the mandate is a tax or a penalty. But host Chuck Todd continued to press Fehrnstrom, finally getting him to admit that he agrees with the Obama administration:

TODD: It sounds like Governor Romney though agrees that itís not a tax. So what you just said is that Governor Romney agrees that itís not a tax. You guys called it a tax?
FEHRNSTROM: The governor disagreed with the ruling of the court. He agreed with the dissent written by Justice Scalia which very clearly stated that the mandate was not a tax.

TODD: Okay. Which -- so I guess -- we're -- I think we're talking around each other. The governor does not believe the mandate is a tax? That is what you're saying?

FEHRNSTROM: The governor believes that what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty and he disagrees with the court's ruling that the mandate was a tax.

TODD: But he agrees with the president that it is not -- and he believes that you should not call the tax penalty a tax, you should call it a penalty or a fee or a fine?

FEHRNSTROM: That's correct.


Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter quickly tweeted after the interview, "Well, that clears it up.@EricFehrn says on @dailyrundown that Mitt agrees with the Pres. on mandate as a penalty, not a tax, for freeriders."

"The Supreme Court left President Obama with two choices: the federal individual mandate in Obamacare is either a constitutional tax or an unconstitutional penalty," said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg in a follow-up email. "Governor Romney thinks it is an unconstitutional penalty. What is President Obama's position: is his federal mandate unconstitutional or is it a tax?"


Loading Slideshow
With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/28/mitt-romney-will-not-repu_n_1551540.html" target="_hplink">(May 28, 2012) --</a></strong> Despite a resurgence of <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/25/mitt-romney-s-new-bff-donald-trump.html" target="_hplink">Donald Trump's birther claims</a>, Romney refused to repudiate the billionaire, who has been helping with his 2012 campaign efforts. "You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me ... I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people," Romney said. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Who Let The Dogs Out (Baha Men)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/16/mitt-romney-seamus_n_1429925.html" target="_hplink">(April 16, 2012) -- </a></strong> In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, Romney discussed the political fallout over strapping his dog Seamus to a car roof. He admits that he probably would not do it again. (Handout)

It's The End Of The World As We Know It (R.E.M.)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/04/mitt-romney-medicare-president-obama_n_1403267.html" target="_hplink">WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 4, 2012) --</a></strong> Speaking before the Newspaper Association of America, Romney attacked Barack Obama on his health record, claiming the president "has taken a series of steps that end Medicare as we know it." (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

For The Love Of Money (The O'Jays)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/mitt-romney-i-made-a-lot-of-money_n_1345516.html" target="_hplink"><strong>NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 14, 2012) -- </strong></a> Romney became testy on Fox News while discussing his appeal to lower-income voters. On the same day, Occupy Wall Street protesters staged a demonstration outside Mitt's Waldorf Astoria hotel fundraiser. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

People Are Strange (The Doors)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/mitt-romney-south_n_1334478.html" target="_hplink">PASCAGOULA, Miss. (March 9, 2012) --</a></strong> While on the trail in Alabama and Mississippi, Romney got in touch with his Southern side, learning how to say "y'all" and liking his grits. With those new experiences in hand, he admitted that "strange things are happening to me." (Photo: AP/Evan Vucci)

Pink Cadillac (Bruce Springsteen)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/mitt-romney-cadillac_n_1299740.html" target="_hplink"><strong>DETROIT, Mich. (Feb. 24, 2012) -- </strong></a> While speaking before the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field, Romney listed not two, not three, but four American-made cars that he and his wife, Ann, owned. Among the vehicles: "a couple of Cadillacs." (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

It's The Hard-Knock Life (Annie & The Orphans)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/mitt-romney-very-poor_n_1246557.html" target="_hplink">TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 1, 2012) --</a></strong> In an interview with CNN, Romney noted that he is "not concerned about the very poor," citing the social safety net for that segment of the populace. (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

America The Beautiful
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/31/mitt-romney-america-the-beautiful-_n_1243908.html" target="_hplink"><strong>THE VILLAGES, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2012) --</strong></a> On the eve of Florida's primary, Romney led his supporters in a singing of the patriotic song. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Successful (Drake, Lil Wayne)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/mitt-romney-tax-returns_n_1217708.html" target="_hplink"> <strong>CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jan. 19, 2012) -- </strong></a> During CNN's GOP debate, Romney refused to commit to disclosing his tax returns, offering no apologies for his success. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Bye Bye Bye ('N Sync)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/mitt-romney-i-like-being-able-to-fire-people_n_1194115.html" target="_hplink"><strong>NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 9, 2012) -- </strong></a> In a speech about insurance options, Romney tells audience members, "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me." (Photo:AP/Charles Dharapak)

Don't Know Why (Norah Jones)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/28/mitt-romney-embraces-climate-change-denial_n_1063905.html" target="_hplink">PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Oct. 27, 2011) --</a></strong> Back in June 2011, Romney said humans are somewhat tied to climate change. By October, he had reversed course, saying "We don't know what causes climate change." (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney's Greatest Hits
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/02..._n_1642951.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/02/eric-fehrnstrom-mitt-romney-individual-mandate-tax_n_1642951.html)

Gayle in MD
07-02-2012, 04:46 PM
OMG if you missed the "Three strikes you're out" clip that Martin
Bashire's program ran today, of all of the idiotic statements made by Republican leaders, on sunday talk shows, it is a riot!

McConnell on Fux, Romney, Boehner, and others...they have really out done themselves when it comes to looking like spoiled fools, refusing to accept their disastrous week last week!

Given what we're learning about Barkleys, their Repeal Dodd Frank, and Repeal health Care, statements are truly absurd.

When you think that a guy like Mitsey, is right in the middle of thses same sort of financial job killers, and crooked dynamics of the so called, "Free Market" of crooks, nothing could be more
absurd than all of them out there making fools of themselves.

Their entire obstructionist policies, are looking more ridiculous by the day.

The Party of No, the party of no way, the party of no other realistic options, either!

Talk about a "Duh day" for Republicans, sunday was it!

The Repub governors, were even more absurd.

There is no state money in the game at all for three years, anyway, and very little after that!

What a binch of jerks!

On Fux: As usual, Mcconnell has no answers, like Mitsey, like Boehner, like Cantor!

"So I just want to ask you once again, what specifically are you going to do to provide universal coverage to the thirty million people who are uninsured?"

McConnell: That is not the issue....DUH!

"Then you have determined that Thirty Million Americans without coverage is not the issue?!!!" Double DUH!




<span style='font-size: 17pt'>OMG! </span>
G.