Here is an interesting situation- where both cults chosen champions agree that the mandate constitutes a penalty- and not a tax...
Romney breaks with GOP, says mandate is a penalty, not a tax
By Jonathan Easley - 07/02/12 02:47 PM ET
Mitt Romney's presidential campaign broke with congressional Republicans on Monday by arguing that the individual mandate upheld by the Supreme Court last week is a penalty, not a tax.
The majority in the court's decision ruled it constitutional because it was a tax, and Republicans in Congress since that decision have hit the White House hard for raising taxes through the new law.
But a spokesman for Romney on Monday said the former Massachusetts governor agrees with Obama that the individual mandate is a penalty or a fine, rather than a tax.
Both the healthcare ruling and the conflicting statements highlight the trouble Romney has in going after the president on healthcare. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney instituted a healthcare law that includes an individual mandate, and at the time, he too portrayed it as a penalty or a fine, rather than a tax.
In fact, Fehrnstrom pointed out in his interview that Romney "has consistently described the mandate in Massachusetts as a penalty.”