It will cost the IRS $5 billion to $10 billion over 10 years to handle the new workload, according to a March 11 estimate by the Congressional Budget Office. But the Senate bill doesn’t provide any funding for the expansion of the IRS, and it virtually ties the hands of the IRS to collect fees on individuals and businesses who don’t buy health insurance.
“The use of liens and seizures otherwise authorized for collection of taxes does not apply to the collection of this penalty,” according to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation. “Non-compliance with the personal responsibility requirement to have health coverage is not subject to criminal or civil penalties under the code and interest does not accrue for failure to pay such assessments in a timely manner.”
That means there’s virtually nothing the IRS can do to enforce the fines in the legislation, forcing the tax man to rely on the consciences of taxpayers or to skim off any federal benefits, tax credits or refunds they have coming to them.
Charles Krauthammer prognosticates, “The VAT Cometh”:
American liberals have long complained that ours is the only advanced industrial country without universal health care. Well, now we shall have it. And as we approach European levels of entitlements, we will need European levels of taxation.
Obamacare was sold on the premise that, as Nancy Pelosi put it, “health care reform is entitlement reform. Our budget cannot take this upward spiral of cost.” But the bill enacted on Tuesday accelerates the spiral: It radically expands Medicaid (adding 15 million new recipients/dependents) and shamelessly raids Medicare by spending on a new entitlement the $500 billion in cuts and the yield from the Medicare tax hikes.
With the VAT, Obama’s triumph will be complete. He will have succeeded in reversing Reaganism. Liberals have long complained that Reagan’s strategy was to starve the (governmental) beast in order to shrink it: First, cut taxes — then ultimately you have to reduce government spending.Obama’s strategy is exactly the opposite: Expand the beast, and then feed it. Spend first — which then forces taxation. Now that, with the institution of universal health care, we are becoming the full entitlement state, the beast will have to be fed.
And the VAT is the only trough in creation large enough.
Michelle Malkin leads with the facts as always, and an invitation to tea party activists, “Here’s your opportunity to reach across the aisle.” Seems Henry Waxman shortcircuited debate to “ram eco-taxes through Congress.” The NRCC sent out a fact sheet pointing out the woes of the radical tax plan. Dems in energy states fear the down-down-down side of this plan.
Michelle’s summary of the facts (H/T):
After stalling actions in Congress in the face of political pressure on the national energy tax, tempers boiled over among party leaders:
“Tensions over the direction of a sweeping climate change bill boiled over in a House Democratic leadership meeting Thursday, as Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (Calif.) lashed out at Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) for appearing to publicly downgrade the measure’s chances this year. ‘This is not helpful,’ Waxman told Van Hollen, citing reports that presented the party’s campaign chief as opposing aggressive action on the bill, sources familiar with the meeting said.” (Dennis and Newmyer, “Democrats Clash on Climate Change,” Roll Call, May 4, 2009)
Seeing one of his key campaign proposals on life-support in Congress, Obama drags Energy Committee members to the White House to resuscitate this job-killing proposal:
“Waxman declined to comment when asked if the markup would start this week, saying only that he remains committed to moving the bill by Memorial Day…. But with the climate bill in dire straits at the subcommittee level, Obama decided it was time to weigh in.” (Darren Samuelsohn, ‘We’re working out the issues,’ House Dems say after Obama climate meeting, New York Times, 5/5/09)
“President Barack Obama summoned 36 House Democrats to the White House on Tuesday to urge them to agree on climate and energy legislation that is under increasing criticism from Republicans and members of his own party.” (Dina Cappiello, “White House, House GOP Convene Meetings on Climate,” The Associated Press, 5/5/09)
Still Democrats Aren’t Willing to Support a National Energy Tax:
“But House Democrats have yet to reach a deal on key aspects of the far-reaching package, including credits to affected industries, a timetable for reaching reductions in carbon emissions and the specifics of a new mandate for renewable electricity.” (Dennis and Newmyer, “Energy Reform Limps Ahead,” Roll Call, 5/6/09)
THE POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF BAD POLICY:
Facing tough re-elections next year, Dems in manufacturing and energy-producing districts desperately distance themselves from the National Energy Tax:
Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT): “Matheson has already been taking political shots from both sides on the bill. For example, the National Wildlife Federation ran full-page ads in the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune on Tuesday urging voters to call Matheson and ‘tell him it’s time to target climate change.’ The National Republican Congressional Committee on Monday issued a news release attacking him and questioning whether he will “support a national energy tax that could burden thousands and kill jobs.” (Davidson, “Matheson says Democrats moving too fast on climate-change bill,” Deseret News, 5/5/09)
Rep. Charles Melancon (D-LA): “At this point Melancon said he can’t support the draft because it would shut down the state’s energy coast. Melancon’s vote could have a detrimental effect on getting the measure out of committee. ‘I believe this bill would create an undue burden on families who are already paying too much in energy bills and on an industry that provides thousands of Louisianians with good jobs,’ Melancon said.” (Gerard Shields, “La. Democrats Key Figures In Federal Emissions Debate,” Baton Rouge Advocate, 5/2/09)
Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA): “‘What I’ve seen so far is nowhere near where it needs to be for me to support it,’ Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) told POLITICO. ‘Any way you do it, it hurts Pennsylvania, especially western Pennsylvania.’ ‘I think cap and trade is bad policy,’ said Altmire.” (Alex Isenstadt, “Cap And Trade Hits Speed Bumps,” Politico, 4/27/09)
Rep. John Boccieri (D-OH): “‘My understanding from what I’ve heard is it’s going to cause a big increase in our utility bills.’ Boccieri said the White House has been lobbying him heavily, but, ‘in its present form, cap and trade would be devastating to Ohio.’” (Robert Wang, “Boccieri Holds Telephone Town Hall Meeting,” Canton Repository, 3/25/09)
Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN): “Among coal-district Democrats like Hill, whose southeastern Indiana seat tilts conservative, reservations about a climate change bill are equally apparent. ‘I just can’t support it with the way it’s being proposed,’ said Hill, noting that 96 percent of Indiana is dependent on coal. ‘The bill in its current form is going to increase the rates for the people I represent.’” (Alex Isenstadt, “Cap And Trade Hits Speed Bumps,” Politico, 4/27/09)
Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR): “Rep. Mike Ross, Arkansas Democrat and one of the moderate members whom party leaders will have to persuade in order to secure passage, said he was concerned about the price consumers would have to pay if utilities passed along the cost of buying carbon permits to customers. ‘If you don’t like $4-a-gallon gasoline, you’re really not going to like your electric bill sometime between now and 2030,’ he said.” (Tom LoBianco, “House Lawmakers Take Stands In Hearings On Climate Change,” The Washington Times, 4/22/09)
Charles Krauthammer can’t write fast enough to keep up with all the crap he can’t believe is happening. “We are now so deep into government intervention that constitutional objections are summarily swept aside.” Seizing every opportunity to seize, seize, seize power for the government from the people, Geithner “seeks yet broader powers.”
Obama’s goal, writes Krauthammer,
“is to rewrite the American social compact, to recast the relationship between government and citizen. He wants government to narrow the nation’s income and anxiety gaps. Soak the rich for reasons of revenue and justice. Nationalize health care and federalize education to grant all citizens of all classes the freedom from anxiety about health care and college that the rich enjoy. And fund this vast new social safety net through the cash cow of a disguised carbon tax.
Our President seems naive about the goodness and fairness of Big Government. Our founders were not so naive about the weakness of men and statesmen, hence checks and balances. The present disproportionate numbers in the Congress of Republicans to Democrats cripples that system. We are off kilter and in trouble.
While Capitalism needs corrective checks and balances, with a heavy dose of scrutiny, to cure it’s ills, Big Government isn’t the one to take over for the patient. Share holders are more invested and intuitive than this generation of gobbling government bureaucrats. We can’t trust our lawmakers to steer clear of side line profit-making or taking as the scandalous last years have shown. (You know the names.)
President Obama’s medicine is to level field by cutting the growth producers in this nation off at the knees. Good luck Mr. President a crippled America will not fill your coffers for the Big Dole.