After the response to my last column, I think it only fair to warn those readers who experienced those violent reactions that this one will contain more "lies from a dishonorable man." It may speed recovery if the reader spends time fact-checking my "lies." It is standard operating procedure for Progressives to attack the messenger when they are unable to attack the facts.
Okay, that was my public service announcement for the weaker class.
Let's start with new taxes - not Obamacare taxes, just new taxes period. Taxes are needed to support our current welfare state! I'm not talking about entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare (more on these later), or national defense. This welfare giveaway includes free housing, food stamps, child care, and the 83 overlapping federal programs. In 2011 this amounted to $1.03 trillion in spending by federal and state governments. The Congressional Research Service reports that federal spending on these programs is up 32 percent since 2008. For a depressing comparison, the median income per day for the average family is $137. Welfare spending for a family is $168. We need those new taxes; don't you see? And we will be paying them.
On to Obamacare taxes. We all remember those mellifluous words, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" or how about "This program will lower your medical bills and save our government money" or "Ours will be the most transparent administration ever seen." Let's examine what the administration is slowly allowing to trickle out about Obamacare. For starters there are 20 new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Seven are levied on those earning less than $250,000. I still remember his honeyed tones promising not to do that. The first is one we all know about; you know the tax that became a penalty and then morphed into a tax before the Supreme Court and is now referred to as a penalty again. This was known as the Individual Mandate Tax/Penalty. The most amazing case of sleight-of-hand! Sort of like the old shell game we used to see on street corners. Oh well, we liked these guys so much we opted for another four or more years. By 2016, the average family's base tax will be about $2,085 per year.
Next up is the Medicine Cabinet Tax, prohibiting reimbursement for over the counter medicines from health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts or health reimbursement accounts.
Then there is the Flexible Spending Account Cap. This limits pre-tax dollars deposited to these accounts to $,2500 per year. There are no limits currently.
Many families with chronic or special needs members will no longer be able to use this method of paying for medical or nursing bills.
The fourth hit is the Medical Itemized Deduction Hurdle, which is currently 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income. This rises to 10 percent. If this family were at the 25 percent rate and had a $2,000 deduction it would only be $650 on $8000 of medical costs.
The Health Savings Account Withdrawal Tax Hike increases this tax from 10 percent to 20 percent for early withdrawals. It actually sets these accounts apart from IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at a 10 percent tax.
The infamous Indoor Tanning Service Tax places a 10 percent excise tax on tanning salon users. I know out here in sunny Colorado this is not a big issue. But it is a blatant move by the government to control our behavior. As Justice Kennedy said when the Individual Mandate Tax was adjudicated, "... this fundamentally changes the relationship between the federal government and the citizen."
The seventh new tax is the Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans, characterized as the "Cadillac" plans. These are plans that provide extensive coverage and are usually paid for by employers. This imposes a 40 percent tax on the employer paid premiums on taxpayers. This tax will not be imposed until 2018 and was deferred to pay back the unions that largely bargain for these plans.
There are 13 other tax hikes that will or have already been imposed on businesses or higher income taxpayers. What most of the Progressives don't or can't understand is that businesses don't pay taxes; consumers pay taxes!
I've spent all my 700 allotted words, so I'll continue next time.
Larry Tradlener lives down McElmo Canyon.