The DC Circuit Court ruling on Obamacare amounts to a tax hike – and Republicans love it

Just look at them all . . . well, you know, the snipping tool can’t capture all, but there are a bunch of “R’s” next to those names, aren’t there?   Tax pledge   Before the 2012 presidential election, 95% of all Republicans signed on to Grover Norquists’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” “a pledge signed by lawmakers who agree to oppose increases in marginal income tax rates for individuals and businesses, as well as net reductions or eliminations of deductions and credits without a matching reduced tax rate.”  As time went on, the pledge became a little lame, but Republicans still say they won’t raise taxes one little bit unless there’s a set-off.  Then along comes Obamacare, and all bets – on everything Republicans supposedly stand for – are off.  As Republicans gloat about this DC Circuit Court ruling, the Halbig case, which stated that if you bought your health insurance through a federal, rather than state, exchange, you lose your tax subsidies, they seem to forget one pesky little detail, noted by Charles Gaba’s Blog:   If the ruling is upheld in the higher courts, it would amount to a tax increase.  As Kevin Drum of Mother Jones wrote, “Everyone who buys insurance through a federal exchange would lose the tax credits they’re currently entitled to, and losing tax credits is the same as a tax increase.”   A tax increase.  With no offsets.  Grover Norquist is not thinking this is sweet, right? But there’s worse news for Republicans, and it’s kind of about that whole “giveth and taketh away” thing.  As Gaba wrote,

“First, when those states denied Medicaid expansion, they were denying those 5 million people something which didn’t exist yet. With the tax subsidies, you’re yanking away cold hard cash from millions of people who already are receiving it. That’s a huge difference. It’s one thing to be promised something and then have that promise recalled; it’s something else to actually have something in hand and then be told that you have to give it back. Ask people how they’d feel about expanding Medicare vs. having their existing Medicare taken away and you’ll see my point.”

We see his point. This is gonna take years.  The ruling in Halbig will grind its way through the higher courts.  Republicans will no doubt leap at the chance to campaign on the “failed Obamacare” platform in the mid-terms and make up gleeful little jingles about the millions of people who will lose coverage due to this ruling – but, because they’re thick-headed with rabid right-wing ideologies, they won’t even notice when their own voters are frowning. With Republicans claiming to hate every tax increase that comes along, with the tax-free pledge, with their mantra of President Obama as the big-taxing President and themselves as the keeper of the tax-free grail, on this day Republicans have embraced a tax hike, have forsaken the tax free zone for a tax on the poor. If Democrats are smart, “tax-happy Republicans” will be rolling off every candidate’s tongue in every campaign speech from now until the mid-terms in November.