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Tax Weaponomics, Matt Drudge and Hobby Lobby

Two stories this week should really help get to the essence of what the Affordable Care Act is really all about.

The first story began when Internet journalist Matt Drudge Tweeted that he had just paid his non-compliance Obamacare penalty for 2014. He even called it a "liberty tax."

That set off a social media storm as thousands of people, including some White House officials, blatantly called Drudge a liar as they sanctimoniously and arrogantly insisted that no one has to pay the penalty for opting out of the ACA until 2015.

Matt Drudge
Source: Matt Drudge | Facebook
Matt Drudge

It turned out those know-it-all critics were dead wrong. Our tax code can be very difficult to understand, but the fact that small business owners like Drudge have to file their taxes quarterly and in advance is something that's easy to understand and very well known in the business community.

The frightening fact is that the same people who enacted and, in some ways are enforcing, Obamacare haven't the slightest notion how real business people pay taxes.

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When it comes to our government "leaders," we should really be asking: "What don't they know and why don't they know it?"

Hey, we've known for years that both parties have used our overgrown and arcane tax code as a blunt instrument to punish political opponents and reward friends. I call it "tax weaponomics" and we've seen it raging for decades. But for some reason, our friends on the Left either haven't caught on or they're just pretending to be ignorant.

Of course, liberals aren't the only ones who are confused about how taxes work when it comes to Obamacare.

That brings us to the second story of the week, which grabbed more headlines because it literally involved sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. (Okay, let's say it was Gospel rock n' roll).

Supreme Court to weigh birth-control mandate

That story was the Hobby Lobby case heard by the Supreme Court dealing with the family-owned retail chain insisting that it has a religious right to not provide the birth control drugs and treatments mandated by the ACA.

Count me among the skeptics who think the Green family who owns Hobby Lobby doesn't really stand a chance .

That's because, as you'll all surely recall, Chief Justice John Roberts defined the ACA as a tax. Now, I don't know if you've ever followed the hopeless crusades of the hundreds of Americans who have tried to opt out of their tax bills due to religious reasons, but the scorecard isn't pretty.

Let's put it this way: Don't go down to your local IRS office and insist on not paying your taxes because you have religious objections to U.S. wars, or drug laws, or anything else. You're going to be out of luck.

Time after time, the courts have ruled that the government can tax just about anyone and use the revenue for just about anything… and there's not a darn thing you can do about it other than sitting in federal prison.

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And that's the scariest part of Justice Roberts' decision. The Wall Street Journal editorial board described it as much the day the decision was first handed down, and nothing has changed:

"The result is that Washington has unlimited power to impose new purchase mandates and the courts will find them constitutional if Congress calls them taxes, or even if it calls them something else and judges call them taxes."

One doesn't have to be too imaginative to see future administrations calling draconian environmental regulations, educational testing standards, nutritional rules, etc. "taxes" and thus gaining legal invulnerability for those rules and regulations.

The bottom line is that Obamacare is a tax, the opt-out penalty for Obamacare is also a tax, and so is every other cost connected to the ACA. And like every other part of the tax code, politicians from both parties will surely use it as a weapon and reward system unless it's repealed or gutted.

Wouldn't be nice if those who support and oppose this massive new health care law understood that, and also understood the tax code?

Yeah… that's probably asking too much.

— By Jake Novak

Jake Novak is supervising producer of "The Kudlow Report." Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.

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