Thursday, December 17, 2009

When a tax isn't a tax

You want to know a tax isn't a tax? It's when a Democrat imposes it.

Remember the countless times when Obama told us during the campaign that no family earning under $250,000 a year would see "one single dime" in taxes increases in an Obama presidency? Of course, there was that increase on cigarettes earlier in the year. That didn't count because it was on smokers and they have a filthy, unhealthy habit so they should pay more. Now we have the health care bill which is chock full of new taxes on lots of people earning under Obama's promised ceiling. The WSJ details those taxes.
Congressional Democrats have loaded up their health bills with provisions raising taxes on the middle-class by stacks and stacks of dimes. And Senate Democrats on Tuesday made clear they won't be bound by the President's vow; 54 voted to kill Idaho Republican Mike Crapo's amendment to strip the bill of taxes on families earning less than $250,000 and individuals earning less than $200,000.

Those tax hits include a mandate of up to $750 a year for Americans who fail to purchase health insurance; new levies on small businesses (many of which file individual tax returns) that don't offer health care to employees; new tax penalties on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts; and higher taxes on medical spending, including restrictions on medical itemized deductions, as well as taxes on cosmetic surgery. A Senate Finance Committee minority staff report finds that by 2019 more than 42 million individuals and families—or 25% of all tax returns under $200,000—will on average see their taxes go up because of the Senate bill. And that's after government subsidies.
Of course, they need to stock the bill full of tax hikes because they want to claim that their bill won't add to the deficit. Well, someone has got to pay for it and there just isn't enough money to be squeezed from the rich people.

Faced with this clear evidence of supporting exactly what he promised not to do, the Democrats are trying to redefine the terms.
Democrats are instead trying to claim that some taxes really aren't taxes. The President in September engaged in a debate with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, with the President arguing that the individual mandate isn't a tax since it is for the good of America. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says increasing the amount of medical expenses a person must accumulate before deducting them also isn't a tax because "most Americans" don't itemize. Except the millions of middle-class Americans who do. Democrats have argued their restrictions on health savings accounts simply close "tax loopholes" and therefore also aren't new taxes.

Americans who will be paying more to the IRS can be trusted to know the difference. In April, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked if the President's tax promise applied to health care. He replied: "The statement didn't come with caveats." On the evidence in December, it did.
How lame are those excuses? How clear is it that they think we're all so stupid that we won't notices such word games? We know what the meaning of is is and we know what a tax is.