Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Insurance Mandate as a Tax

I guess Queen Pelosi was right, we had to pass it to see what was in it. And to see what it actually is, a new tax. When are people going to wake up and realize that all the Hope and Change is based on lies?

I hope that the states fighting this monstrosity continue to fight it, even if they win on calling it a “tax” now that it is law.

From The New York Times:

When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”

And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.

Under the legislation signed by President Obama in March, most Americans will have to maintain “minimum essential coverage” starting in 2014. Many people will be eligible for federal subsidies to help them pay premiums.

In a brief defending the law, the Justice Department says the requirement for people to carry insurance or pay the penalty is “a valid exercise” of Congress’s power to impose taxes.

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Obama Economic Adviser Says U.S. Should Consider ‘Value-Added Tax’

Hopefully it will only affect those making $250,000 or more. That was the promise His Oliness made, wasn’t it?

From Fox News:

Acknowledging it would be a highly unpopular move, White House economic adviser Paul Volcker said Tuesday the United States should consider imposing a “value-added tax” similar to those charged in Europe to help get the deficit under control.

A value-added tax is a national sales tax that, like state and city sales taxes, would be collected by retailers.

Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman, told a New York panel on the global financial crisis that such a tax is “not as toxic an idea as it has been in the past.”

“If, at the end of the day, we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes,” he said.

He also said that Congress might also have to consider new taxes on carbon and energy.

A White House official asked for comment, said, “The president has passed historic tax cuts for middle-class families and continues to push for more tax cuts. The president is not proposing to cut the deficit at the expense of middle-class families.”

The value-added tax suggestion was immediately met with outrage by Republicans.

“It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Obama White House would advocate a European-style tax to help finance their European-style government health-care plan,” said Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Click here for more on this story from the New York Post.

Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after ‘Danish text’ leak

But we have to make sacrifices to save the earth! Just ask any greenie. The question is, who will sacrifice, and who will gain from those sacrifices? Fortunately, there are some who believe that this is all junk, which is apparently why these leaks are taking place: to make the uninformed public aware of what is happening to them.

The leaked document here

From The Guardian (UK):

The UN Copenhagen climate talks are in disarray today after developing countries reacted furiously to leaked documents that show world leaders will next week be asked to sign an agreement that hands more power to rich countries and sidelines the UN’s role in all future climate change negotiations.

The document is also being interpreted by developing countries as setting unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050; meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much under the proposals.

The so-called Danish text, a secret draft agreement worked on by a group of individuals known as “the circle of commitment” – but understood to include the UK, US and Denmark – has only been shown to a handful of countries since it was finalised this week.

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Pelosi says new tax is ‘on the table’

The problem is, this won’t replace the income tax, this will be in addition to the income tax.

From The Hill:

By Michael O’Brien – 10/06/09 10:59 AM ET

A new value-added tax (VAT) is “on the table” to help the U.S. address its fiscal liabilities, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Monday night.

Pelosi, appearing on PBS’s “The Charlie Rose Show” asserted that “it’s fair to look at” the VAT as part of an overhaul of the nation’s tax code.

“I would say, Put everything on the table and subject it to the scrutiny that it deserves,” Pelosi told Rose when asked if the VAT has any appeal to her.

The VAT is a tax on manufacturers at each stage of production on the amount of value an additional producer adds to a product.

Pelosi argued that the VAT would level the playing field between U.S. and foreign manufacturers, the latter of which do not have pension and healthcare costs included in the price of their goods because their governments provide those services, financed by similar taxes.

“They get a tax off of that and they use that money to pay the healthcare for their own workers,” Pelosi said, using the example of auto manufacturers. “So their cars coming into our country don’t have a healthcare component cost.

“Somewhere along the way, a value-added tax plays into this. Of course, we want to take down the healthcare cost, that’s one part of it,” the Speaker added. “But in the scheme of things, I think it’s fair look at a value- added tax as well.”

Pelosi said that any new taxes would come after the Congress finishes the healthcare debate consuming most lawmakers’ time, and that it may come as part of a larger overhaul to the tax code.

The Speaker also emphasized that any reworking of the tax code would not result in an increase in taxes on middle-class Americans.

Buy Obamacare or face $25,000 in fines and a year in jail

The first link in the story contains a photo of the hand written note.

From Politico:

This doesn’t happen often enough.

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received a handwritten note Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance.

Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty, Barthold wrote on JCT letterhead. He signed it “Sincerely, Thomas A. Barthold.”

The note was a follow-up to Ensign’s questioning at the markup.

Newsom wants to charge stores that sell sodas

From The San Francisco Chronicle:

Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, September 18, 2009

Uncle Sam Eyes Vehicle Tracking Tax

Of course they want to track and trace us. And they want us to pay for it. No mention of the cost of implementing it. What about all the old cars out there that will need to be upgraded to be trackable? Who pays for that? Ultimately, the taxpayer, but to most people, they believe if the government pays for it or they get some type of tax write-off, they’re getting it for free. Idiots.

From TheTruthAboutCars.com:

A Member of Congress proposes to use taxpayer money to fund the development of technology to track motorists as part of a new form of taxation. US Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) introduced H.R. 3311 earlier this year to appropriate $154,500,000 for research and study into the transition to a per-mile vehicle tax system. The “Road User Fee Pilot Project” would be administered by the US Treasury Department. This agency in turn would issue millions in taxpayer-backed grants to well-connected commercial manufacturers of tolling equipment to help develop the required technology. Within eighteen months of the measure’s passage, the department would file an initial report outlining the best methods for adopting the new federal transportation tax.

“Oregon has successfully tested a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) fee, and it is time to expand and test the VMT program across the country,” Blumenauer said in a statement on the bill’s introduction. “A VMT system can better assess fees based on use of our roads and bridges, as well as during times of peak congestion, than a fee based on fuel consumption. It is time to get creative and find smart ways to rebuild and renew America’s deteriorating infrastructure.”

In 2006, the Oregon Department of Transportation completed its own study of how to collect revenue from motorists with a new form of tax that, like the existing fuel excise tax, imposes a greater charge on drivers the more that they drive. The pilot project’s final report summed up the need for a VMT tax.

“Unfortunately, there is a growing perception among members of the public and legislators that fuel taxes have little to do with road programs and therefore should be considered ‘just another form of taxation,’” the March 2006 report stated. “By itself, this situation appears to be preventing any increases in fuel tax rates from being put into effect.”

The money diverted from the fuel excise tax on non-road related projects must be made up for with a brand new VMT tax, the report argued. Merely indexing the gas tax to inflation or improvements in fleet gas mileage was rejected as “imprecise.” Instead, the report urged a mandate for all drivers to install GPS tracking devices that would report driving habits to roadside Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) scanning devices.

Blumenauer is a long-time advocate of bicycling and mass transit in Congress. Many of his largest campaign donors stand to benefit from his newly introduced legislation. Honeywell International, for example, is a major manufacturer RFID equipment. The company also happens to be the second biggest contributor in the current cycle to Blumenauer’s Political Action Committee (PAC), the Committee for a Livable Future. Another top-ten donor, Accenture, is a specialist in the video tolling field.

H.R. 3311 awaits a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee. A copy of the bill is available in a 170k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File HR 3311 (Congress of the United States, 9/14/2009)