I heard one of Boehner’s Buffoons yelling about this on the floor of the House yesterday and I couldn’t figure out what he thought he was trying to say. Now I know, and it’s one of those you-can’t-figure-out-whether-to-laugh-or-cry deals.
Here’s the reasoning, if I may use that term loosely:
1. The House bill imposes a surtax of 2.5% of income, up to a maximum of $2500 on incomes of $100,000 or more, for failing to maintain health insurance. (There are “hardship” exemptions for those who can’t find affordable insurance, under some definition of affordability.)
2. Willful refusal to pay federal taxes is punishable both civilly and criminally. (“Willful” means that you can’t be put in jail for not having enough money to pay your taxes, only for refusing to pay them although you could.)
3. Therefore, someone who refuses to get insurance and then deliberately refuses to pay the tax surcharge could, in an extreme case, face jail: just like someone who refuses to pay any other federal tax.
4. So Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi want to put you in jail for not buying health insurance.
Dave Camp, a Republican member of the Ways & Means Committee, put out a press release with the headine:
PELOSI: Buy a $15,000 Policy or Go to Jail
Ann Althouse linked to the press release, writing:
“Buy a $15,000 Policy or Go to Jail”
Is this what the Democrats mean to inflict on the unsuspecting public that believes it is getting health care? What chaos lies ahead?
And Glenn Reynolds simply removed the quotation marks:
BUY A $15,000 POLICY, or go to jail.
Two questions here:
1. Are Camp, Althouse, and Reynolds stupid, or do they think their readers are, or are they simply too blinded by hatred to care? Camp is on Ways & Means, and Althouse and Reynolds are lawyers, so it’s hard to imagine that any of them might be sincere. It’s possible that Althouse and Reynolds didn’t bother to read past Camp’s headline and thought that there really was a jail provision in the bill, but that would have required a remarkable feat of credulity.
2. If the opponents of health insurance reform thought they had any valid arguments, why would they bother with such transparently false ones?