A tax by any other name

Kent Kingsley's picture

The ruling the Supreme Court handed down on ObamaCare is disappointing to the majority of Americans. The unprecedented ruling limits congressional authority by limiting the commerce clause, but on the flip side expands congressional ability to tax anything they want. As you know Congress rarely misses an opportunity to raise taxes, despite what they might say. In effect anything that they cannot enforce constitutionally can now be enforced with a tax. It seems like the Constitution is becoming less relevant every day. This is not a good outcome.

If I were to sell you a boat but instead deliver a car, that would be fraud. That is what has happened because of the Supreme Court ruling. When ObamaCare was being debated and argued across the country its congressional proponents swore up and down that the mandate was not a tax. When it came time to argue the point before the courts though, the administration’s lawyers claimed that it was indeed a tax. As we have seen, that is how the Supreme Court allowed the Affordable Care Act to stand.

It seems to me that the President said explicitly that the mandate was not a tax. Now that the Supreme Court says it is a tax, does he still support his own massive tax increase? I thought he said no new taxes on the middle class. It seems he is taking that promise as seriously as his promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first (and only) term. A politician not taking his promises seriously is nothing new, but this is beyond the pale. ObamaCare represents the single largest tax increase in American history. He broke his promise with the help of our Congress so spectacularly that I am at a loss for words.

It was a rational political decision to not call the mandate a tax. It will also be a rational decision on the part of the voters to kick the President and Congress out as well. Our “leaders” haven’t lead in a long time. It is time to elect real leaders; leaders who have lead men into battle and know what it takes when lives are on the line. We need leaders with backbone willing to stand up for what they know to be right; leaders who will bring about wholesale change to Washington, to fix the corruption and cronyism that is so prevalent inside the beltway.

The Supreme Court ruling stands as a black mark in America’s history. The 906 pages of the bill and the thousands of pages of regulations stand as a monument to the failure of government. Congress and government can be fixed, but it takes average citizens to stand up and say, like the protagonist in the classic film “Network”:I’m mad as hell and I won’t take it anymore! Words alone are not enough though, change requires action. We must vote out career politicians, but hold their replacements feet to the fire too. It’s time to return responsibility and accountability to the nation’s capital. I hope you will join with me and sweep out the old, and bring in the new.

[Kent Kingsley is a Republican candidate for Congress in the Third Congressional District which includes Fayette and Coweta counties. He is a retired U.S. Army Infantry lieutenant colonel, owns a small real estate company in Lamar County and lives in Milner, between Griffin and Barnesville. He is an advocate for the Fair Tax, balanced budgets and federal term limits. His website is kingsleyforcongress.com.]

albion
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Admit it

You're just PO'd about having to pay tanning bed taxes. ;-)

albion
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Irony abounds

It's fascinating how Mr. Kingsley can assert that The President somehow deceived the public with regard to the mandate, and then go on to make his point with a deception of his own, by calling the AACA "...the single largest tax increase in American history.".

The best methods of measuring actual cost when comparing with taxes raised in other periods in history are either to adjust for inflation, or express the amount as a total of GDP at the time. This provides a way to measure the relative impact of a tax provision at the time it was enacted.

As a percentage of GDP the taxes associated with AACA (which are rolled out over nearly a decade) amount to approximately 0.49% of GDP.

Depending on rounding, that would mean the tax increases resulting from the health care law would be about the size of tax increases proposed and passed in 1980 by President Carter, in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush and in 1993 by President Clinton.

The health care-related tax increases are smaller than the tax increase signed into law by President Reagan in 1982 and a temporary tax signed into law in 1968 by LBJ. And they are significantly smaller than two tax increases passed during World War II and a tax increase passed in 1961.

Making an honest case would be a good and decent place for you to start Mr. Kingsley. It's obvious that the outcome was not to your liking, but I don't think that defaming the legitimacy of the constitutional process followed by the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive offers anything constructive.

S. Lindsey
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Oh you are so correct....

It is some real comedic irony that Obamacare was sold as not being a tax then when the Government's attorney argued in front of the Supreme Court well yes it is a Tax.

To compare individual tax rates to GDP is ludicrous at best dishonest and misleading at worst.

Here is a pretty good list of the new taxes...

http://www.atr.org/comprehensive-list-tax-hikes-obamacare-a5758

The following is just some of the high or I should say Lowlites..

Employer Mandate Tax(Jan 2014): If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees. This provision applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000.

Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013): This increase involves the creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).

Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans($32 bil/Jan 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). For early retirees and high-risk professions exists a higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family). CPI +1 percentage point indexed.

Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax($86.8 bil/Jan 2013)

Medicine Cabinet Tax($5 bil/Jan 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin)

Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka“Special Needs Kids Tax”($13 bil/Jan 2013)

Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers($20 bil/Jan 2013)

.....and a lot more.

So tell us why is this NOT the largest tax hike on Americans ever?

albion
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I already answered that with some facts

But nevermind those troublesome facts.

FWIW I didn't compare GDP to individual tax rates. I offered a comparison of taxes to other taxes as a % of GDP.

There are some taxes and fees associated with the ACA...OH MY! We can either pay for it in the form of higher premiums paid to for-profit insurance companies or we can pay it in taxes and fees. Either way we're paying.

We have the highest per capita costs in the developed world and do not have the best outcomes. Profits and shareholder dividends create perverse incentives for the insurer to deny claims, and to insure only the healthiest segment of the population, leaving the sick, elderly and children to fend for themselves. As one of the richest countries in the world we can should do better on behalf of ALL citizens.

S. Lindsey
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OK tell me this...

If Person A owes person B what is the origin of debt and what is person B contributing to person A?

albion wrote:

As a percentage of GDP the taxes associated with AACA (which are rolled out over nearly a decade) amount to approximately 0.49% of GDP.

Well here you sort of did try to compare Income tax to the GDP you expressed it as a percentage.

albion wrote:

Depending on rounding, that would mean the tax increases resulting from the health care law would be about the size of tax increases proposed and passed in 1980 by President Carter, in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush and in 1993 by President Clinton.

Yes depending on "rounding" also known as massaging the numbers and this would have to be one great massage to get to the comparisons you attempt to draw.

albion wrote:

The health care-related tax increases are smaller than the tax increase signed into law by President Reagan in 1982 and a temporary tax signed into law in 1968 by LBJ. And they are significantly smaller than two tax increases passed during World War II and a tax increase passed in 1961.

Again only if you COMPLETELY ignore all of the other associated taxes that are being levied. Granted the income part only if considered as a stand alone tax would equal those rates BUT just about everything is going to be taxed and those count too.

No matter how you parse this collectively this is going to be the largest tax on Americans ever.

albion
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Alright then... I will

Your first question is too abstract to answer. I thought we were discussing the real world.

Expressing the tax rate as a % of GDP - not really a comparison of GDP as much as a way of comparing one instance to another. I'll not split hairs and allow your parsing as it takes nothing away from the larger point. It's not the largest tax increase in history. That's what reality-based humans would call a lie.

Rounding is a real thing. Conspiratorial thinking aside... people use numerical rounding as a way of simplifying. I can draw this out to the umpteenth decimal place if you like, but it's not necessary and once again serves only to distract from the larger point.

It is a complicated piece of legislation. If you choose to view it malevolently you will certainly "find" things to be fearful of. I invite you to consider the possibility that there may be some costs associated with providing healthcare coverage for >30 million who wouldn't otherwise have it.