It always struck us as funny that the Beatles, magically and mysteriously touring and advocating for Peace and Love and feel-good social justice , found it expedient to leave the British Isles to escape the British Tax Man, and thus their social responsibility, and take up residence in relatively lightly-taxed America. Pity the poor fishmonger or defenseless bobby left in Liverpool who had to pick up the slack to pay for the National Health Service over there. Of course the Liverpudlian emigre’s, or what’s left of them, are far from the only hypocrisy practitioners among the bleeding heart set. The Fab Four, and the Fab Social Democrats of the world are nothing if not all about human rights and making somebody (else) pay for them.
Still, they absolutely nailed it with …
Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman
A few questions then. Is health care a “right”? Why, of course! say the Socialists. So then should health care, or more correctly the means or manner of obtaining and funding it, be taxed? How can one say out of one side of the mouth that something is a “right” and out of the other that “rights” are taxable?
Employees have some new information on their W-2 forms for 2012 – the cost of their employer-provided health insurance. This amount shows up in box 12 with the code DD. It includes what the employer and employee paid in premiums last year. To find out what your employer paid, subtract what you paid (look at your last pay stub for 2012) from the DD amount. The amount in this box is not taxable, although many fear that could change as Congress looks for ways to raise revenues.
You no doubt recall that under the Obamacare law, employers with 50 or more employees are required to offer group health care insurance to their employees or pay a penalty to the IRS. Now we are being told that rather than being hailed as heroes for supplying this “basic human right” to their workers, the well-intentioned boss-men and boss-ladies might soon be taxed for their generosity and social responsibility.
Oh, yes. Governance, taxation and social justice are fraught with incongruity, non sequitur and downright insanity these days. Apparently they are thinking now of not only penalizing your employer for his largesse, but also you for accepting it. As the article points out, the IRS is getting its ducks in a row and just waiting for the green light from Congress, or Sebelius, or the Dear Leader, whoever has the most power at the given moment.
Besides being able to tax a “right”, it also 0ccurs to our leftwing overlords to point out to us that overconsumption of “rights” is not good for …….somebody, it’s not clear who:
“The requirement is supposed to make employees more aware of health care costs. But it also establishes the infrastructure for the tax treatment to change on employer-provided health care,” says Christopher Renz, a partner with consulting firm Mercer.
We are somewhat dumbfounded that the IRS sees as it’s mission a requirement to make somebody’s employees aware of costs. It has always been a practice of employers themselves to make employees aware of their compensation packages. So we’re not sure if the aim here is to make the employees grateful for the generosity of their employers, or to somehow transmogrify their gratitude to the All-Beneficent Government, or what.
The point is, if something is not liable to tax under current law, then what is it doing on a W-2, or a W-3, or a 1099, or any place else? Why are our hard-earned tax dollars going to fund what must be some sort of hobby or amusement of the IRS of supplying Americans with nice-to-know facts and figures? But wait. Maybe we can build on that.
Can we propose another “basic human right”? What about food? Isn’t it a basic human right to…..eat? Then why are not the amounts spent on feeding us during fiscal 2012 reported on our w-2’s? Our employers paid us compensation packages, which includes wages. Those wages to a considerable degree went straight into our guts as sustenance. Now sure our wages were already taxed as ordinary income and we would have to self-report how much we spent on the right to eat, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a box on the W-2 form for that? Don’t we need to be “more aware” of how much these “basic human rights” cost somebody? See, the employer is paying for not only our health care, but our food. In fact, our employer is also paying for our shelter. Shelter is a “basic human right”, isn’t it?
If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet
Here is the $64 question – Regardless of who pays, if the so-called necessities of life are considered rights, and those rights are roughly of equal importance, shouldn’t they be treated equally? Why is an individual , starting next year, going to be taxed, or penalized, if he doesn’t show on his tax forms an amount spent on his “basic human right” to health care, whether he bought the policy or his employer did, and yet he doesn’t have to show he is insuring himself against starvation? And also, is it fair if he avoids purchasing a house and waits til it gets cold outside to go to a shelter and let someone else pay for him to get warm?
If individuals, or employers, are going to be taxed for both providing and not providing a basic human right, then reporting is going to have to start for food and shelter as well. You must show proof on your federal tax form that you paid rent, made mortgage payments, or someone else did in your stead. Because shelter is a basic human right, just like health care and you as an individual cannot choose not to provide yourself with that right, in the event your employer chooses not to. Are we through the Looking Glass yet?
Dittos with food. You must provide receipts to the IRS totalling a sufficient amount spent on groceries to sustain yourself and every dependent claimed on your 1040. If not , Justice John Roberts should tax you. It’s a basic human right. You simply cannot choose not to feed yourself and then show up at a
emergency room soup kitchen somewhere when you get really hungry. You have a right to eat, but not a right to not buy groceries. And as long as the Congress, or failing that a Supreme Court Justice, asserts a taxing power, you and/or your employer should have to enter the appropriate information regarding the value of these basic human rights in the appropriate boxes on the appropriate forms.
Did we mention another basic human right – cell phones? Whether cell phones are supplied by you, or your employer, or your Nanny in DC, shouldn’t you be made aware of the cost on a tax form somewhere? After all, the meme of the day is now that Human Rights aren’t free….except contraception, of course.
Let’s start seeing a lot more boxes show up on IRS forms, including W-2 forms, 1040NOTSOEZ forms and all the rest. Do working mothers have a “right” to “affordable child care”. Oh, godalmighty YES! Shouldn’t there be a box on the W-2 form to make the mother “more aware” of the cost of child care? We understand President For Life Obama’s next crusade is going to be for universal pre-school, and we assume that if parents can’t afford it, taxpayers will have to foot the bill for those who need someone to watch their kids while they’re not looking for work, so that will fall under the category of a “basic human right” as well. This will have to be put on the W-2 or some form the parent uses to file for his unearned income credit so he will be “more aware” of the cost.
And so on. Now– Remember when SCOTUS was hearing the constitutionality of Obamacare (NFIB v. Sebelius) and the commentators remarked what an awful job the government lawyers did, how apparently ill-prepared and somewhat less than razor sharp they were? Turns out it didn’t matter, did it? Here’s the reality of the matter: the ones who were ill- prepared, the ones who apparently, given the lunacy involved in the whole rights v. taxation v. bureaucratic arrogation of power mess we describe above , the ones who couldn’t argue their way out of a paper bag – those were the attorneys for the plaintiffs. The whole episode was such a no brainer , and such an abomination, and such an embarrassing episode in the annals of jurisprudence and Constitutional scholarship, everyone associated with the case should have resigned from the Bar and from the practice of law and from their public appointments, either in shame or in disgust, lawyers and judges alike.
No, the clear winner in NFIB v. Sebelius was the Tax Man. There is precedent now for the Tax Man to require the reporting of the value of whatever the Statist/Socialists claim are human rights with a view to eventually taxing them, and you and I will be lucky to hold on to our measly 5% when all is said and done.
Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
And you’re working for no one but me
Praise to Hare Krishna that John and George aren’t still here to see the awful taxing situation that their beloved America has reduced itself to.
“Help! We need somebody…………”
Crossposted at Grumpy Opinions