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With the IRS Scandal, Should We Delay Implementation of Obamacare?


Back in 2009, Obama gave a speech at Arizona State University and joked about using the IRS to audit unsavory people. In a jolting forecast nearly four years ago, Glenn Reynolds wrote a response in the WSJ, saying,

“Should the IRS come to be seen as just a bunch of enforcers for whoever is in political power, the result would be an enormous loss of legitimacy for the tax system.”

As the IRS problems continue to unfold, it’s pretty clear that confidence from all sides is low right now.

With that in mind, one question should definitely be discussed: Should we delay the implementation of Obamacare? Obamacare is designed to be enforced by….the IRS.

Last week, CNBC, explained how the Obamacare process will work:

“Get ready for the Internal Revenue Service to play a dominant role in health care. When Obamacare takes full effect next year, the agency will enforce most of the laws involved in the reform — even deciding who gets included in the health-care mandate.”

and further:

“In its 5-4 ruling last year, the Supreme Court upheld the law’s mandate that Americans have health insurance, saying that Congress can enforce the mandate under its taxing authority and through the IRS.

As a result, the agency has to administer 47 tax provisions under Obamacare. They include the right to levy a penalty against businesses and individuals who don’t provide or acquire insurance. Noting that the IRS will collect the penalties, the decision labeled them a tax.

The IRS also has to determine how to distribute annual subsidies to 18 million people who make less than $45,000 a year and thus qualify for subsidies in buying health coverage, as well as how to deliver tax credits to small businesses that buy coverage for workers.”

Obviously we currently have incompetency, partisanship, and trust issues in the IRS. And don’t forget about financial — IRS head Shulman asked for more money (prior to leaving in November 2012) in order to handle Obamacare in 2014. And on top of it all, the head of the IRS, Steven Miller, resigned yesterday.

At this point, the targeting has swelled to 500. Can the IRS be trusted anymore in implementing Obamacare in a fair and just manner?

UPDATE:….and the concern is now very real, folks. The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.

Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office. This was confirmed today by the IRS.

How can we be able to trust anymore that the process will be fair and equitable?

Crossposted at alanjoelny.com

About Alan Joel

Alan Joel has been a CPA for more than 40 years in New York City, where libertarians like him are few and far between. He discusses tax and politics at his popular website, www.taxpolitix.com. You can also find him at RedState, Canada Free Press and Examiner. Join the conversation!


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