Taxes? We Don’t Need No New Stinkin’ Healthcare Taxes

David Williams

July 2, 2012

Last week (June 28) the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is constitutional under Congress’ power of taxation.  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance’s reaction was swift (read here).  Very few could imagine a day when our President and some in Congress would actually embrace (and exuberantly at that) a law that will create the biggest tax increase in our nation’s history.  Rather than running from the fact that they are responsible for imposing such a hefty tax increase, the Obama administration and others have prized this as a victory.  If the likes of Obama and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are the “winners” of Thursday’s decision, then the losers are the American people, who will soon see tax bills rise as a result of this detrimental policy.

Setting aside for a moment the grave financial implications this disastrous law causes, let’s look at one disturbing fact that deserves closer examination.   The most troublesome aspect of the initial passage of the bill is that roughly half of the elected officials in Washington and others around the country willingly and eagerly opened their arms to a tax increase.  And while for a second a few may contend this action warrants at least some positive recognition because of its honestly, we should quickly remember and subsequently be appalled by the fact that the policy proposal of Obamacare and its individual mandate was marketed throughout its debate and eventual passage as a fine.  But you don’t have to take my word for it, take President Obama’s. From a 2009 interview on ABC, interviewer George Stephanopoulos asks, “But you reject that it’s a tax increase?” President Obama responds, “I absolutely reject that notion.”

This revelation is not just disconcerting because of the fact that the American people were lied to, but because after the lie was revealed, instead of showing remorse or regret for their untruthfulness, these same politicians not only ignored their own dishonesty, but jubilantly embraced what came with it, an onerous tax on Americans.  At the very least, supporters of Obamacare could have shown a little respect for Americans by giving the component of the bill the appropriate name.  In the name of honesty and transparency, a tax should be called a tax, and then allow it to stand on its own merits for what it is and what it will do to harm or help citizens.  Of course being some of the savviest players this town has ever seen, the administration knew how polarizing and politically unpopular it was to call its policy proposal a tax.  If they had, we would still likely be enjoying a life free from the damning ramifications and limitations of Obamacare.    

And while we may be able to take Rep. Pelosi at her word that she did not know what was in the bill until Congress passed it, she certainly knew it contained a whopping tax increase.  Also, it seems reasonable to taxpayers that a Speaker of the House would know what is in a bill before she asks for support for the bill.

We’d be wise to also wonder what other misrepresentations are lurking in the dark corners of the halls of Congress that are currently concealed and whose effect Congress has surely distorted in order to ensure its passage. 

If some politicians thought the American public had wool over their eyes, this trickery has without question removed it.  There are great reasons to be hopeful that we the people and our democracy have the opportunity to capitalize on this occasion and turn lemons into lemonade.  We can join together send a loud message to Washington, D.C. and tell them this behavior is flat-out abhorrent and will not be tolerated by casting our votes in November. 

The Court has spoken, the Congress has spoken, the President has spoken and now it’s the American peoples turn to speak.  And there’s a good chance Washington won’t like what it’ll hear.   

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