The Taxman Cometh

One of the promises given by then-candidate Barack Obama was that households making less than $250,000 dollars a year would not see any tax increase. So when he first promoted TARP, passed the biggest budget in history, and begged for more stimulus spending, he claimed that all of these new spending adventures would not be saddled on the backs of the average American. Of course the impossibility of this is obvious. You can’t triple spending and not increase taxes; all you do is shift the costs onto the next generation through either inflation or higher direct taxes to pay back foreign loans.

Apparently we are to believe the same about Obama’s Bush I-like pledge of “No New Taxes”  with the passage of the new healthcare bill. However I have one question, if there is no new tax burden in this bill then why is the IRS the enforcer of the individual mandate? According to CNSNews [emphasis added]:

Under the law, every individual and most businesses are required to report to the IRS, on their tax returns, whether they have purchased or provided the required level of coverage and disclose to the IRS which months, if any, in which they failed to do so….

If either an individual or a business has failed to comply with this mandate for any month out of the year, they are required to pay a separate tax to the IRS. For individuals this is a maximum of $750 per person (up to $2,250 per household) and $750 per uncovered employee for businesses.
Because these penalties would each apply on a monthly basis, individuals and employers would have to pay 1/12th of the maximum penalties for each month they failed to comply with the mandates.

And how will the IRS actually monitor all of this? By asking for another $10 billion to hire 16,500 new employees. To get an accurate picture of the whole cost of this you also have to remember to add penalties and fees that compound for late filings, late payments, and other causes that stem from increasing the things reported on your tax forms.

So I’m left with one more question: If all this spending can be done and no new taxes are being levied, then why do I now have to interact more with the agency whose job it is to collect taxes? Funny — it kinda feels like they’re lying to us.

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