How to get around ObamaCare
Taking all parts of ObamaCare together, the IRS is expected to spend $881 million from 2010 through 2013 on thousands of new workers and upgrades to computer systems—amazing, since the bulk of ObamaCare does not even go into effect until later years.
Finally, even if the IRS has determined that you owe the new tax, it has very limited ability to force you to pay it. Basically, the IRS has two options: To ask you for the money and to reduce the size of your tax refund. But the IRS cannot reduce your refund unless you overpay. Since taxpayers have great control over their withholding, a savvy taxpayer who does not want to buy insurance could easily work the system to ensure that the IRS could not hold back his refund to enforce the mandate tax. And half of American households do not owe any income tax to begin with, so good luck getting the money from them. In addition, with electronic filing, the IRS may have already sent you the full refund before they’ve figured out that you owe the ObamaCare tax. All in all, it could take years for the IRS to collect its money.
This contrasts sharply with the way the IRS collects other taxes. To put it simply, the IRS gets the money it is owed because it has broad powers to enforce compliance. After all, there’s a reason we’re all scared of the IRS.
To enforce tax compliance, the government can bring a lawsuit against you, but that option is generally reserved for the most serious tax evaders—not individuals who owe a $695 penalty. In contrast, the ObamaCare law says that anyone who does not have health insurance and fails to pay the tax cannot be criminally prosecuted or criminally penalized. There goes the government’s strongest weapon.
Even those who do confess that they do not have insurance may not be liable for the new tax.
What happens most of the time is very simple: If you refuse to pay your taxes, then the government takes your stuff. The government can take all the assets you currently have and assets you expect to receive in the future. For example, the money you have in your checking and savings accounts, your car, your boat, your retirement account, any rental income, and wages that have not been paid to you can be taken by the IRS in order to collect the money you owe. The IRS’s power is so strong that it holds third parties liable if they choose not to surrender property that the IRS demands. So your bank has to comply with the IRS.
Not so if the tax you refuse to pay is the ObamaCare tax. Under ObamaCare, the IRS cannot seize any of your property to enforce the mandate penalty. The IRS cannot go after the money in your bank accounts, and it can’t sell your car. It can’t send you to jail, and it can’t touch your stuff.
Congress has enacted a law that cannot be enforced. Congress purposely limited the enforcement powers of the IRS to avoid the public outcry that a strong mandate to buy government-approved insurance would evoke. The mandate may be constitutional, but as Chief Justice Roberts pointed out, a constitutional law is not automatically good policy.
The government’s inability to enforce the individual mandate is just one of many problems with ObamaCare. Mandate or not, laws should be enforceable, and they should be reasonable. This law has to go. The American public should turn the tables on the government and enforce a mandate of its own: Create and execute reasonable health policy.
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