Hey Grover! Taxes Are Constitutional. Get Over It.

Robbed of his victory lap by conservative Chief Justice Roberts, Grover Norquist is now reduced to posting pathetic lists of tax hikes brought about by the Affordable Care Act.

Poor, pathetic Grover. Grover, the same dude who actually tweeted that an expansion in the Christian Science religion would probably bend the cost curve on medical costs. Regardless of Grover's erroneous assumption that Christian Science bars all medical practice, it's a cynical and toothless critique of a law that expands access to health care for people.

Grover's new schtick is ZOMG, OBAMACARE IS OBAMATAXMAGEDDON. Dive under your desks, folks, pull up the convertible roof, get yourself some survival gear and step up to Grover's Funhouse, where you can be told how terrible, horrible, and awful taxes are.

Yawn. Grover published a list of "taxes" he claims are terrible, awful, awful tax hikes in Obamacare. Before I tackle his stupid list, let me list a few tax benefits of the law:

  • Tax credits for businesses with less than 50 employees who cover them.
  • Continued tax subsidies for large businesses in the form of tax deductions for health insurance benefits.
  • Subsidies for low to middle-income families who purchase health insurance on the exchanges

In fact, middle-income families and small businesses are some of the biggest beneficiaries of the tax cuts in the Affordable Care Act. Funny how Norquist overlooked those entirely.

Here are some of the "stealth tax hikes" Norquist is touting as some evil liberal plot to kill the middle class, and the truth about them. Some I have not included, like the "economic substance doctrine" codification, or the fees on medical equipment manufacturers, pharma, hospitals, and the like. This is because they were agreed to in advance by the stakeholders and should not come as a surprise, nor are they horrible, awful tax hikes. I'll give you a few rebuttals just to prove how stupid his entire list is.

  • $50,000 excise tax on charitable hospitals which fail to comply with requirements to modernize their billing procedures and standardize with Medicare codes or discriminate as to those in their community they will treat. Hint: Excise taxes are intended to be sticks for non-compliance. This excise tax is a choice not to comply.
  • "Black-liquor" tax credit eliminated. Yes, this was a back-door subsidy to the paper industry, and the tax credit for manufacturing sludge called "fuel" was removed.
  • Tax on Tanning Salons - The Boehner Tax is more rightly termed a "Personal Responsibility" Fee, because frequent users of tanning salons are actually more prone to skin cancer.

You get the idea. Factcheck.org has a much longer, more complete, and well-documented list. I recommend bookmarking it for own satisfaction, but don't bother sending it to your wingnut uncle or handing him a copy at the family BBQ on July 4th because it's far too long and detailed and chock full o' facts for him to digest with his burgers.

So much for facts and wonkery. Listen up, because what I'm about to say next is what has to change in this country.

Paying taxes is the patriotic duty of every citizen living in this country. Grover Norquist is no patriot. He's anti-tax and he's anti-American.

Grover Norquist has undermined the foundation of our democracy with his ridiculous fetish about taxes. He has led elected representatives to commit treasonous acts like putting the full faith and credit of the United States at risk, and the result has made this country ungovernable. Anything he might have to say about the Affordable Care Act should be viewed through the lens of his unpatriotic acts, and discarded as sedition.

That's all you need to know about Grover Norquist, taxes, and Americans for Tax Elimination...er...Reform.


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