'Hi. I'm from the IRS and I'm here to help'
The President's post-Roberts talking points belie the cold reality that 21 new taxes, including the individual mandate, in his namesake health care law will drive all of us into the waiting arms of the Internal Revenue Service.
A column by Elizabeth MacDonald at Fox Business notes that of the 4,500 new IRS agents coming in to administer ObamaCare, "nearly 4,000" are "slated for enforcement."
...the IRS will be the agency enforcing the law, collecting these mandate penalties, as well as determining whether individuals buy "adequate" health coverage, and whether small businesses provide "affordable" coverage to workers under the new law...
For perspective, the IRS web site reports 91,380 employees at the end of fiscal year 2011, including 21,938 "agents" and "revenue officers." While earlier estimates of new hires were speculative, the 4,500 new agents reported by the Government Accountability Office still represents a major expansion of the agency.
MacDonald quotes the Taxpayer Advocates Office (TAO), which says all individuals, for example, must now report to the IRS:
*Insurance plan information, including who is covered under the plan and the dates of coverage;
*The costs of your family's health insurance plans;
*Whether a taxpayer had an offer of employer-sponsored health insurance;
*The cost of employer-sponsored insurance;
*Whether a taxpayer received a premium tax credit; and
*Whether a taxpayer has an exemption from the individual responsibility requirement.
The MacDonald column goes through the calculations of "modified adjusted gross income," and "household income" used to determine the mandate fine, or tax, which is either a fixed amount or a percentage of income, as well as the $2,000 per employee "shared responsibility tax" for not providing "affordable" health benefits, and the $3,000 per employee "unaffordable" health insurance tax.
The TAO also sees the added intrusions on heretofore private information leading to a need for a "heavier enforcement hand at the IRS," and to "more IRS lien and levy powers."
The TAO further notes that the IRS will need to communicate, i.e. share your personal information, with other agencies it does not now deal with, and further notes that "the federal tax code is already so complex that even the IRS makes numerous mistakes in administering it."
And speaking of mistakes, The Heartland Institute observes that widespread fraud associated with the Earned Income Tax Credit is likely to multiply with the Premium Assistance Credits under the new law, quoting one taxpayer advocate:
...fraud is simply rife throughout the system...If the fraud surrounding the Earned Income Tax Credit is any guide, it is going to be an absolute disaster with Obamacare.
While the President has emphatically said "I absolutely reject that notion" - that the mandate is a tax - and continues to contort the issue even in the wake of the Roberts finding, the IRS is ramping up its tax collection apparatus to put enforcement teeth in the law, greatly expanding its role as the administrator and enforcer for the bureaucratic state.
As Shakespeare says in Romeo and Juliet, (Act II, Scene II)
What's in a name? that which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet.
And when IRS examination and collection calls, that which we call a tax, by any other name, is still due with penalty and interest.