House GOP helpfully points out that tax evaders go to jail in America
Because they have so much trouble getting their message out to the world, the top of the Drudge Report is publishing some Republican talking points about health care reform plucked straight from the tree for you to choke down without even rinsing them off first. Here they are:
Today, Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp (R-MI) released a letter from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) confirming that the failure to comply with the individual mandate to buy health insurance contained in the Pelosi health care bill (H.R. 3962, as amended) could land people in jail. The JCT letter makes clear that Americans who do not maintain “acceptable health insurance coverage” and who choose not to pay the bill’s new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5% of income), are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.
In response to the JCT letter, Camp said: “This is the ultimate example of the Democrats’ command-and-control style of governing – buy what we tell you or go to jail. It is outrageous and it should be stopped immediately.”
Boy, reading garbage like this makes me want to start a new feature called STFU Saturday.
This is a great example of demagoguery in the health care reform debate. The point of this dumb press release is to suggest that the ultimate goal of the Democratic health care proposals is to incarcerate good Americans.
Actually, the plan here is to make sure that more Americans get health care coverage. The jailing part of it is already built into our code of laws. As a society, we’ve already agreed that tax cheats, i.e. people who don’t pay their taxes, pay fines and in some instances go to jail.
Now there’s room for discussion here. Should we have an insurance mandate? Should that mandate be enforced by levying a tax against those who refuse to abide by it? That’s a useful debate that we’re not having here. Rep. Camp’s ready-for-Rush quote jumps from not buying health insurance to going to jail. It takes a lot of command and control over one’s ability to suspend disbelief, and gag reflex, to not debate the mandate and tax part of it.
But if majorities in the House and Senate levy a tax, the President signs it, and the Courts do not overturn it, and you refuse to pay it, repeatedly, you go to jail.
If the Republicans are actually arguing that tax cheats don’t deserve to go to jail, I think we have another problem.