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Emerson Report 7.5.12

Bad Taxes & Downright Dangerous Taxes

I hate taxes.  They pull resources from our families, from our small businesses and from our local econ­omy, putting hard-earned dollars into the hands of federal bureau­crats.  Every dollar the government takes from us is a dollar less we can invest in our children’s educations, our retirement plans or our entrepre­neurial ideas.

But the Supreme Court decision on the health care law last week reminds us that there are bad taxes, and there are dangerous ones.

And this law represents the most chilling powers of government: to tax as a form of interference with our freedoms, to get between Ameri­cans and their earnings at the same time it gets between Ameri­cans and their liberties.

For the key point in the Supreme Court ruling is that it is unconstitu­tional to force Americans to engage in a specific economic activity, but it is constitutional for the federal government to levy a tax that in essence has that effect.  As long as Americans are left with a choice to either buy health insurance or to pay the tax, the law can stand.

Perhaps Obamacare should in­stead be called ObamaTax.  The entire law is a web of taxes and debt.

Here are some other “constitu­tional” taxes included in the law:

A tax on high-cost health plans: $111 billion;

New taxes on health care provid­ers (which will be passed on to patients): $136 billion;

Limits on Americans’ private Flexible Spending Accounts: $24 billion;

New payroll taxes and taxes on investment income, like the sale of a home: $318 billion.

All told, there are 21 tax hikes in the ObamaTax law totaling more than $675 billion.  A $500 billion cut to Medicare is also assessed by the law.  All told, the health care law takes well over a trillion dollars out of the pockets of Americans who count on every penny to afford the health care they need.

A tax on people who are already hard-pressed to afford their health insurance is simply bad policy, and that is the most unfair aspect of the individual mandate.

The Administration has long con­tended that this law is not a tax.  Nothing could have been fur­ther from the truth.  Now the Supreme Court has put that particu­lar charade to rest, we can debate ObamaTax for what it is: a dra­matic intrusion into our lives and pocketbooks.

Simply because a tax is constitu­tional does not mean it should be the law.  The role of Congress is to recognize the deep flaws in the Affordable Care Act and to enact a full repeal, using the process also described in the Constitution to represent the best interests of our nation.  I will be working shoulder-to-shoulder with my conservative colleagues to undo this massive tax and to put real reforms that SAVE money in its place.