Matt Drudge, creator and editor of the American news aggregation website Drudge Report, did not want to purchase health insurance as required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare"). On March 21, 2014, Matt Drudge wrote on Twitter about the individual mandate penalty:
“Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not ‘getting covered’... I’M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX!”
A controversy followed over whether the tax was due to be paid in 2014 or in 2015. However, Drudge’s coinage of “liberty tax” for healthcare’s individual mandate penalty became immediately popular.
Wikipedia: Individual mandate
An individual mandate is a requirement by law that certain persons purchase or otherwise obtain a good or service.
Health insurance in the US
In the United States, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed in 2010 imposes a health insurance mandate to take effect in 2014. In 2010, a number of states joined litigation in federal court arguing that Congress did not have the power to pass this law and that power to “regulate” commerce does not include an affirmative power to compel commerce by penalizing inaction. On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the health insurance mandate as a valid tax, and thus within Congress’ tax and spend powers.
In 2011, two of four federal appellate courts upheld the individual mandate; a third declared it unconstitutional, and a fourth said the federal Anti-Injunction Act prevents the issue from being decided until taxpayers begin paying penalties in 2015. In 1994, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report describing an individual mandate to buy insurance as “an unprecedented form of federal action… The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”
Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not ‘getting covered’... I’M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX!
12:09 PM - 21 Mar 2014
‘LIBERTY TAX’: WHITE HOUSE, MEDIA ATTACK AFTER DRUDGE PAYS OBAMACARE OPT-OUT PENALTY
by MATTHEW BOYLE 21 Mar 2014
A White House aide set off a stampede of liberal media criticism for Internet news pioneer Matt Drudge over Obamacare – but his critics don’t seem to understand how small businesses pay taxes.
The brouhaha started when Drudge tweeted, “Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not ‘getting covered’... I’M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX.”
HAPPYSPRING: WHouse @jesseclee44 and team branded me liar after I complied with rules, paid ‘14 1st QTR tax estimates http://bit.ly/1mlH6QY
8:02 PM - 21 Mar 2014
@MiamiLib @DRUDGE . Even if not due yet , coined a new phrase .Liberty Tax , love it , repeal obamacare NOW
9:45 PM - 21 Mar 2014
@DRUDGE “Liberty Tax!” Love it!
10:01 PM - 21 Mar 2014
Drudge’s ‘Liberty Tax’ Proves How Little White House, Left Know About Business
by JOHN NOLTE 22 Mar 2014, 5:37 AM PDT
Checking Breitbart News before bed last night (I’m both an employee and a fan), I thought I knew exactly what had happened based on the headline of Matthew Boyle’s story about Matt Drudge paying a “Liberty Tax.” Based on a previous tweet, I was already aware that Drudge was not going to enroll in ObamaCare. Therefore, I simply assumed he had filed his quarterly business taxes in advance, used Twitter to announce he had chosen to pay the ObamaCare fine, and in turn this had caused outrage from the Obama White House and Left.
What I didn’t expect was for them to declare their own astonishing ignorance of how business works by calling Drudge a liar.
The Wire Also Screws Up the Matt Drudge “Liberty Tax” Story
Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:11 pm
Arit John at The Wire joins the TPM/HuffPo/Tumulty triumvirate in screwing up the story about Matt Drudge’s pre-payment of the ObamaCare “liberty tax”:
Um, it says “you may want to consider this when figuring your ‘Other taxes’ owed” right now, as part of your estimated taxes that you have to pre-pay.
Although, as I noted in my previous post, there is an obscure Treasury regulation (.pdf) that says the government won’t come after you for not pre-paying the ObamaCare “penalty” (actually ruled a “tax” by the Supreme Court), anyone filling out the Estimated Tax Worksheet would be led to believe they need to pre-pay the ObamaCare payment. For the Wire to say otherwise, and claim that the form does not mention the health care payment, is just sloppy and wrong.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, March 22, 2014 • Permalink