Sunday, May 19, 2013
Guest column: IRS' Next Target: Your Health Insurance
The mainstream media is rightly shocked and outraged to find the IRS has admitted to harassing and targeting the political opposition of President Obama just because they had "tea party" or "patriot" in their name, or an even graver sin, put on the IRS applications that they were a group dedicated to liberty, the Constitution or, as one report said, "seeking to make America a better place to live."
I truly appreciate the mainstream media’s coverage and outrage — it is well placed but not quite well timed. Those of us who got our start in the tea party have only been saying it for about four years.
I've been out in the mainstream media quite a bit this past week talking about how I shut down my little tea party group because I was fearful the IRS was going to come after me the way they were going after so many groups.
That's right, for a time, I shut down my political voice because I was fearful and quite frankly, I was intimidated by what the IRS would do to me because I was opposing President Obama's policies.
As much as I like to think I am one tough cookie — the fact is when all this was unfolding I was a pregnant stay-at-home mom — living on one income and I was extremely worried the IRS could come after me and my family and ruin our lives. It wouldn't be the first time in American history the IRS has done that.
Rather than risk that exposure — I shut down my group and I'm just glad bigger organizations dedicated to liberty — like Americans for Prosperity — were there when I wanted to have a platform to exercise my political voice.
But you know — it's not THIS IRS abuse that keeps me up at night with worry. It's something else to do with the IRS — far more dangerous and far more insidious and in just one more year, the IRS is going to have more power and more ability to gather personal information on Americans and use it to punitively punish us more than they ever had before.
Even without this recent scandal, it's pretty safe to say most Americans fear the IRS because they are unelected and unaccountable — yet the have the ability, at any time, to swoop in and take our hard-earned money — in the form of taxes — as they see fit. If we pay late, they fine us. If we fail to pay, it gets much worse than a fine. If we pay too little, we owe them big time on April 15th. If we pay too much during the year, they return our money to us in the form of a refund and act like they are bestowing a gift upon us rather than admitting they screwed up and took too much of our money. Our money. Our families. It's all very personal.
And while we sit here and shudder at what has happened, it's important to know that the IRS — the organization that just spent four years targeting the political opposition of the sitting President has been empowered by the President, through the health care law, to police every, single American's health care choices.
Do you want to know how bad this is going to get? Starting in 2014, all Americans are being forced to pay for health insurance. But under Obamacare — the IRS and not you will determine whether the insurance you have chosen "qualifies." You'll be forced now to send that information via your tax return. And if the government doesn’t like it? The IRS can hit you with a tax penalty.
That's right, the IRS can raise money for itself simply by deciding that you don’t have "qualifying" health insurance. Now, supporters of Obamacare will argue that there are rules and laws to mandate the IRS don't arbitrarily do that. Right ... just like there are rules and laws mandating that the IRS can't go after people because they have "patriot" or "tea party" in their name or happen to oppose the sitting President's policies. Didn't seem to stop the IRS from doing just that for the last four years, did it?
And here's what's worse: under Obamacare, the IRS was already given a billion dollars and hired 700 agents just to police our health care. It is estimated the IRS will need another $13 billion and 15,000 new agents just to police Americans' health care over the next decade and keep up with their tax collection duties.
There are so many reasons to repeal the President's health care law — but the recent admission by the IRS that they intentionally targeted the President's political opposition has to jump to number one. After all, do you want the people who can’t be trusted with our tax laws to be involved in your health care?
Jennifer Stefano is state director of Americans for Prosperity/Pennsylvania, a grassroots organization that promotes limited government and free markets. For more information, visit http://americansforprosperity.org You can also follower her on Twitter at @stefanospeaks!
Posted by TONY PHYRILLAS at Sunday, May 19, 2013