Obamacare’s individual mandate is not a tax, “it’s a penalty,” White House chief of staff Jack Lew told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”
“What the Supreme Court said was, this was constitutional. They said it didn’t matter what Congress called it. It was a penalty for 1 percent,” Lew said.
“Wait a minute, sir,” Wallace replied. “Mr. Lew, they called it a tax.”
“No, actually, technically what they said is, the Congress has many powers. There is the Commerce Clause, there’s taxing powers, and it was constitutional. That’s what they said. It doesn’t matter what they call it.”
Wallace noted that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that in 2016, 4 million Americans will pay the tax under Obamacare’s individual mandate, and 75 percent of those people will earn less than $120,000 a year. And those same people will pay $27 billion in additional taxes between 2012 and 2021.