Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 8, 2012

The Tax Man Cometh to Police You on Obamacare
July 8, 2012

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold most of President Barack Obama's healthcare law will come home to roost for most taxpayers in about 2 1/2 years, when they'll have to start providing proof on their tax returns that they have health insurance.

That scenario puts the Internal Revenue Service at the center of the debate, renewing questions about whether the agency is capable of policing the healthcare decisions of millions of people in the United States while also collecting the taxes needed to run the federal government.

Under the law, the IRS will provide tax breaks and incentives to help pay for health insurance and impose penalties on some people who don't buy coverage and on some businesses that don't offer it to employees.

The changes will require new regulations, forms and publications, new computer programs and a big new outreach program to explain it all to taxpayers and tax professionals. Businesses that don't claim an exemption will have to prove they offer health insurance to employees.

The healthcare law "includes the largest set of tax law changes in more than 20 years," according to the Treasury inspector general who oversees the IRS. The agency will have to hire thousands of workers to manage it, requiring significant budget increases that already are being targeted by congressional Republicans determined to dismantle the president's signature initiative.

Read more: The Tax Man Cometh to Police You on Obamacare 

Making Government (Less Dis)Honest

by Derek Hunter
July 8, 2012

Obamacare is a tax. It’s not a tax. Politicians and pundits are all over the map on this. A tax, a mandate, a ham sandwich…the answer depends on who you ask. But none of this matters because, whatever else it is, it’s currently the law of the land. But how did this happen?

During the debate over Obamacare, Democrats not only stampeded toward any camera they could find to say it wasn’t a tax, they spewed hundreds, if not thousands, of other lies about what it is and is not.

“It will lower premiums.”

“If you like your current plan you can keep it.”

“No one making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase at all.”

These are just a few of liberals’ greatest hits that still echo off the inside of the Capitol Dome. They are still lies. The people who said them still know they were lies from the start and they continue to repeat those lies today.

That Congress lies surprises no one. That we have tolerated this for so long does surprise.

But what can we do? Vote them out? The worst of the worst – Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Charlie Rangel and Chris Van Hollen – run no risk of losing, thanks to gerrymandering. It’s time for a new idea.

Congress lives by its own set of rules and routinely exempts itself from the laws it passes. It does insist members be somewhat polite to one another or face toothless disciplinary action. Beyond that, there is no consequence for spreading provable lies in hearings, floor speeches or anywhere else.

We’re not talking about being incorrect here. When Democrats wailed “Bush lied, people died,” that was him being incorrect based upon faulty intelligence delivered from people whose job it is to know.

We’re talking about lies here. Provably false statements designed to misdirect and mislead the public. Democrats have made any number of such statements in the Fast and Furious hearings. They knew these statements were false, and they made them anyway to deflect and divert a legitimate investigation into the murder of hundreds as a direct result of government incompetence.

As a direct consequence of their lies, they will face…nothing.

Why not change that?

Madison Revived
by Jeffrey Barrett
July 8, 2012

If anything can be learned from the recent John Roberts/Supreme Court decision to uphold the ObamaCare mandate as constitutional, it is that constitutionalists cannot rely on any branch of the federal government to curb the steady rise of federal government power that has taken place over the last hundred years.

This is not the way our constitutional system is supposed to work. The Founders were insightful students of human nature and understood that the drive to amass ever greater power was as fundamental an appetite in many human beings as thirst, hunger, and sex drive. This presented a problem for the Founders, who wanted to establish a society of "ordered liberty," a society where the citizen enjoyed the maximum freedom from government interference consistent with a stable and orderly community.

The primary political philosopher of the Constitution, James Madison, brilliantly sought to solve this problem by dispersing government power among many power centers. The state governments had their power (in those days more than the federal government), and so did the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the president. If any one of these power centers tried to unduly expand its power, the other power centers, jealous of their prerogatives, would be highly motivated to mobilize and thwart those ambitions. With the primordial power drive of each center checked by the others, the citizens could maintain their own freedom from the travails of overweening government power. As still another check on government power, the Founders created the Supreme Court, which had the duty of interpreting the Constitution and laws, which assumed the power of striking down any unconstitutional power grab from any branch of government.

The Roberts decision is an example of how this system of protecting the peoples' liberty can break down. For a brief moment in time, one political party was able to overwhelm checks and balances and expanded federal power to compel theoretically free citizens to purchase something they did not want. And the Supreme Court, which had at least four justices who regarded Madison's concerns as unimportant, failed to do its constitutional duty.

So is this the end of the story? Are five robed lawyers on the Supreme Count completely supreme and totally untouchable when they go astray? The answer is no. There is one power center remaining that can serve as a check on the Supreme Court and the federal government, and that center has one constitutional tool to work with. That power center is called the "sovereign" states, and that tool is called the "constitutional amendment."

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