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ObamaCare and an ObamaCare Slush Fund

The staff of Americans for Tax Reform posted two stories on Wednesday of last week. First, John Kartch and Ryan Ellis report on an audit report released by TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration). TIGTA reports, "The IRS is unable to account for $67 million spent from a slush fund established for Obamacare implementation." Kartch and Ellis write:

"The IRS is unable to account for $67 million spent from a slush fund established for Obamacare implementation, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report released today.

"The “Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund” (HIRIF) was tucked into Obamacare in order to give the IRS money to enforce the tax provisions of the healthcare law.  The fund, totaling some $1 billion of taxpayer money, was used to roll out enforcement mechanisms for the approximately 50 tax provisions of Obamacare.

"According to the report:  “Specifically, the IRS did not account for or attempt to quantify approximately $67 million [from the slush fund] of indirect ACA costs incurred for Fiscal Years 2010 through 2012.” (emphasis in the original)

TIGTA also reported that travel for 38 employees was charged to the HIRIF, but "no portion of their salary and related benefits was charged to the HIRIF.

In their reporting on the ObamaCare (technically the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) slush fund, Kartch and Ellis note that "The report estimates that total slush fund spending cost taxpayers the equivalent of 1,272 new full time IRS agents." Their observation is interesting because on Fox News that evening, Greta van Sustern complained that in Washington, D.C., $67 million is very often sloughed-off as too small to matter in a $3.6 trillion federal budget. However, pointing out the ObamaCare slush fund is equivalent to 1,272 ObamaCare enforcement agents makes even a small dollar amount meaningful.

In the second ATR news item, John Kartch writes:

"During his Tuesday remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative, President Obama admitted that his health care law raises taxes:  “So what we did — it’s paid for by a combination of things. We did raise taxes on some things.” (emphasis in the original)

“Some things” is an understatement. Below is just a partial list of Obamacare’s new or higher taxes on Americans."

Kartch then goes on to identify a number of the taxes that begin in 2013, 2014 or 2018. One such tax includes the medical device tax. According to Kartch, "Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales – even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year.  In addition to killing small business jobs and impacting research and development budgets, this will make everything from pacemakers to artificial hips more expensive." Other taxes that will be raised include:
  • High Medical Bills
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Surtax on Investment Income
  • Payroll Taxes
  • Individual and Employer Mandate Non-Compliance Taxes
  • "Cadillac" Health Plan Tax
Will all these taxes be enough to pay for the burgeoning health care entitlements. Not if you believe what Robert Bartley, retired editor of the Wall Street Journal said in his book about the prosperity of the Reagan years, "The Seven Fat Years." According to Bartley, "(It is) absolutely true that in the long term we will be unable to control government expenditure if the government keeps assuming new responsibilities." (HT Investor's Business Daily editorial)
 

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