The Supreme Court recently granted Congress far-reaching new taxing authority through its Affordable Health Care Act decision. In the long-term, this is a frightening expansion of power. In the short-term, both parties raced to define the implications of the individual mandate: Is it a tax or just a penalty?
Well, actually, it’s both. And Americans probably don’t care much what the mechanism government uses to collect fines is called. The mandate’s penalty already bears the spiritually pleasing, socialistic euphemism “shared responsibility payment,” and that tells us all we know need to know about the Act’s deceptiveness and intent.
More significantly, the Supreme Court’s ruling atomizes the myth that Obamacare is anything but an expansive and expensive entitlement program that comes with a huge tax increase. And if history is any guide, today’s cost estimates will be dwarfed by reality.
According to the Congressional Budget Office—which can only calculate the narrow data it’s given—the non-tax penalty on Obamacare’s non-mandate will affect 4 million people by the year 2016. Of those paying this ‘untax,’ 75 percent will make less than $120,000—breaking the president’s promise that those making under $250,000 would not have to pay a “penny” more in taxes, which, presumably, includes “shared responsibility payments.”