Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

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"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

31 March 2010

ObamaCare and the IRS Thugs

I have been trying to find out what the role of the IRS is in ObamaCare.  It seems that the Democrats, at least those who voted on the bill, have not read it, so they cannot tell us.  Perhaps this is by design.  They do not seem to want us to know what the role of the much feared and much despised IRS will be.

IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified to Congress that IRS agents are not going to be auditing taxpayers to verify that they have acceptable health insurance.  He claimed the IRS would not be looking at our health records.  But, he was unclear about the IRS role in collecting the penalties for those who failed the individual mandate requirement for acceptable insurance.  This seems like the classic politicians run-around.

The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that 46% of Americans who will pay the individual mandate penalty will have incomes under 300% of the poverty line.  Presently, that is $32,500 for an individual and $66,150 for a family of four.  It will be interesting to see what will happen to people's attitudes about ObamaCare and Obama when they have the IRS bullying them.

One idea of how this will work is this:  The individual will attest that he has acceptable health insurance on his tax return.  The IRS will receive something like a 1099 Form from every insurance company offering health insurance.  The IRS will match the insurance company forms to individual tax returns and chase down those who do not have an acceptable match.  In 2014, the penalty for not having a match is 1% of income.  In 2015, the penalty is 2% of income.  In 2016, the penalty is 2.5% or $2,085 per person, whichever is greater.  Note that this process does not involve an audit in the usual sense, so IRS Commissioner Shulman gave Congress and the People the run-around.  His job is just to match and collect a penalty if there is no match.  Since we have to provide him with our bank account information also, it makes it very easy for him to simply transfer the penalty directly from our bank accounts as he sees fit.

Those of us who believe whether we have health insurance or not is none of the government's damn business are going to become very intimate with the IRS.  I joke!!  No one could ever possibly be intimate with the despicable IRS.  Well, I guess sadists do exist.  Hmmm.... yes, of course, many of them work for the IRS.  Unfortunately, we will be their victims and the IRS has been chosen to eat us for lunch.

There is no such thing as a free lunch, unless you are with the IRS.  Yes, some people are more equal than others in the new, changed Obama Nation.  I liked America better.


Greg said...

You know, I'm going to work on the assumption that the dems DO know what's in that bill. I'm also going to work on the assumption that they have a pretty good understanding of the consequences (such as the AT&T thing.)

Why? I'd rather not assume that they are criminally irresponsible and irrational. I prefer to think of them as rational, intelligent people who simply have a radically different view of "the way things ought to be" from the rest of America. They're also willing to lie about it.

As far as the IRS goes... when do you think they'll implement the funding for all the new agents (there was no funding for them in the bill, as I understand it) or does the IRS already have enough manpower to do the form comparison and fee collection?

Hopefully that Tea Party wave continues its rapid growth.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Hi Greg,

I think there are staffers, lobbyists, and socialist think tank experts who know what is in the bill, along with a small fraction of the Democrat Congressmen. The majority of the Democrats act and talk as though they do not know what is in it, but it really is hard for us to know how true this is. The bill is remarkable in how much has been left poorly defined and in how difficult it makes it for businesses and individuals to do any planning for the future. For businesses, this is a serious reason to refrain from hiring people, at least if you have or are near having 50 or more employees.

I hope the 2011 Congress will not authorize the money to hire many thousands more IRS agents. But, that may be something the lame duck Congress will do after the 2010 elections and before the increased number of Republicans take their seats.

I am always in a bit of a quandary with respect to why people do some of the incredibly foolish things they do. Why is it that Obama and most of the Democrats do not think that there are disastrous consequences looming in the huge federal debt and the incredible unfunded liabilities of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security? This is not rocket science. This is just "Are you mature enough to move out of your parent's home?" level reasoning.

Assuming these Democrats are ready to live on their own after leaving their Mom and Dad's home, then how can we think that they are not intentionally trying to bring doom down on us all? The best answer I can come up with is that they compartmentalize their lives and live somewhat rationally in their personal lives and whenever they think politically, they enter a dream state which they substitute for reality. The sad thing is that reality is really not all that bad and if we would only deal with it and think about it, we can make it much better. If we try to escape it into a dream state, then we can only mess up our reality really badly.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

I forgot to address your question about does the IRS have enough manpower. The IRS has been hiring people heavily since Obama took over so some of the new hires can be used if need be. The fact that the IRS will be given direct access to our bank accounts will also make their lives easier. Now, if they want you to pay a penalty, they have to make up a letter and mail it to you. They wait for a response. If they do not get one, they send another letter. If you do not then pay, they freeze your bank account, but still have to go through a process to take your money.

The new system may be much simpler. The insurance match may be done by computer. If they decide you owe them a penalty, they just remove the money from your account. That takes a lot less manpower.

We might want to consider keeping large sums of money under our mattresses.

Greg said...

Re: IRS and our bank account. It might be worth it to open several accounts or stash as much money as possible in account that can't easily be debited? Such as CDs, stocks, etc? But... given what CDs are paying these days that mattress is looking tempting.

As far as our congress critters go (which is frequently too far) I like your idea of the pocket reality. I've talked with enough honest communists (they stated that they were such) who really believe that's the way to go, never mind that their revolutionary rhetoric doesn't match my observations of reality.

I guess their thinking is kindof like doing what's right for your dog. Our dems (and too many Rs) want to give us a pat on the head and a biscuit, while ignoring our woofing.

Some of them are in it for the power (with a little lipstick applied) and I'm starting to think that Obama is one of those.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

I have wondered if we have to give the IRS just one of our bank account numbers or all of them. I expect they have that simple response to them covered and the banks will be giving them every account number and they will be authorized to make withdrawals at will from all of our accounts. Possibly CDs will have to be frozen and they will have to wait until the term is up, or they will be able to remove the money with suitable fees paid to the bank. The IRS will not care about the size of the fee, since they will just keep coming after us.

I am sure Obama is a true believer in the wonders of socialism, and wants the power, and wants the graft. He wants it all and is sure he deserves it all because he is deliver the joy of socialism and social justice to all of us. He thinks he is a great man and will hold up well in the annals of history. He really is an otherworldly character who has no idea of what reality actually is.

But others are compartmentalized in their viewpoint. Still others just feel very guilty that their lives were relatively easy, while clearly that of others is sometimes much harder.