March 24 2014
ObamaCare Penalty Twitter Battle
Patrice J. Lee
A little Twitter spat ignited this weekend over the penalty Americans face if they don’t secure healthcare cover by next Monday, March 31. The brouhaha would’ve stayed in the Twitterverse, but thanks to reporting we’re learning just how uninformed the Administration and its surrogates are about the impact of ObamaCare on small business.
Apparently, Matt Drudge, editor of the Drudge Report, tweeted that he just paid his ObamaCare penalty tax for not getting coverage. A White House aide saw it and fired back that Drudge was lying because taxes won’t go into effect until next year, when Americans file their 2013 taxes (and conveniently after the midterm elections). Other progressives compounded the criticism. Drudge then schooled them that as a self-employed businessman he pays taxes quarterly.
Breitbart news reports:
The brouhaha started when Drudge tweeted, “Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not 'getting covered'... I'M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX.”
Jesse Lee, the Director of Progressive Media at Barack Obama's White House, responded that that was a “Flat lie, no fee for previous year,” adding, “Scary how much influence he once had.”
Lee’s response to Drudge set off a firestorm in the liberal media, with many mainstream media and left-wing reporters countering him on Twitter and in their own articles to claim he does not have to pay Obamacare’s Individual Mandate tax until next year.
Drudge indicated in his followup tweets that since he is self-employed as the proprietor of The Drudge Report, he files as a small business. According to the IRS’s website for self-employed individuals, they are required to pay taxes quarterly.
“As a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly,” the IRS website reads.
Additionally, the IRS form (1040-ES) for estimating quarterly taxes specifically recommends adding the mandate penalty to line 12 for "other taxes" -- to pay before the first quarterly deadline of April 15.
“It is true that thousands of small businesses will be forced to pay Obamacare taxes quarterly in 2014,” a Senate Budget Committee aide told Breitbart News on Friday afternoon.
Are you confused? So are most Americans and so is the White House, but they likely won’t admit it.
By building such a complex regulatory system with labyrinthine rules, schedules and fines that take effect differently for different taxpayers, we have this ball of confusion that few –if any- can unravel. Central planning rears its ugly head and it’s especially pernicious because politics factors into this mêlée. The Administration desired to delay the “shared responsibility payment” (i.e., tax) until after the midterm elections, because didn’t – as this instance demonstrates- account for sole proprietors. By the way, over 70 percent of U.S. businesses are owned and operated by sole proprietors or sole trader. These business owners are facing this tax now and will certainly not forget come election time.