Sunday, September 20, 2009

When is a Tax not a Tax?

Today on ABC News Obama finally got pushed a little by George Stephanopoulos on a question of Taxes. Like many politicians the word "tax" is to be avoided at all cost and they often try to disguise "taxes" anyway they can. Today, Obama got caught when George Stephanopoulos pulled out a Webster's Dictionary and read the defination. Obama quickly recovered from the unexpected attack by the ABC anchorman and came back with a somewhat pitiful response. On a personal note I met George Stephanopoulos many years ago at the home of his aunt in North Little Rock, Arkansas. His aunt had been a close friend of my mother in Hattiesburg, MS some years before. George was a young boy at the time about 13 years old. I only recall the meeting because of the name---difficult to pronounce. I have to give the youngest some credit for today's interview, although I'm not a fan.

Obama, Stephanopoulos Spar Over Definition of 'Tax'
In an interview airing Sunday, ABC News' George Stephanopoulos pressed the president on his plan to require people to purchase health insurance.

President Obama and ABC News' George Stephanopoulos got in a testy sparring match Sunday over whether the president's health care plan includes a tax increase, leading the host to look up the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of taxes.

In the interview airing Sunday, Stephanopoulos pressed the president on his plan to require people to purchase health insurance.

"Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don't. How is that not a tax?" the host asked.

Obama responded: " No, but -- but, George, you -- you can't just make up that language and decide that that's called a tax increase."

Stephanopoulos then offered the dictionary definition.

"I don't think I'm making it up. Merriam-Webster's dictionary: 'Tax, a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes,'" he said.

Visibly taken aback, Obama rejected the notion it was a tax increase and said pulling the dictionary out was a sign the host was "stretching" a little.

"No. That -- that's not true, George. The -- for us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase," Obama said.
read full story from FOX News
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