GOP’s Weirdly Misguided Obamacare Tax Frenzy Maybe Not So Weirdly Misguided After All

On Tuesday I questioned the Republican strategy of celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision that the individual mandate is a tax. It seemed kind of pointless, since people hate the mandate no matter what it is. Basically, GOP leaders were putting their own presidential candidate in a tight position for no real reason.

But the past couple of days have produced a glimmer of an explanation. Take a look at the tea party email bomb on the right. Ignore the fact that your retirement account can’t, in fact be seized and liquidated by the IRS for failing to pay the mandate penalty/tax. That’s just the usual puffery. Mostly this is a signpost, suggesting that the emerging conservative strategy is to convince Americans that everyone now has to pay a new Obamacare tax. Democrats can fight back, but only by explaining that the mandate tax will only be paid by about 4 million people, not everyone, and then explaining that the other taxes in Obamacare mostly fall on high earners and corporations. This is, needless to say, a losing strategy. If you’re explaining, you’re losing; and if you’re explaining about taxes, you’re digging yourself a big fat grave.

In other words, maybe the tax angle makes more sense than I thought.

Fact:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn’t fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation so we can keep on doing the type of journalism that 2018 demands.

Donate Now