Obamacare – Unleash the IRS – Now it gets personal

by Skip

Conservatives have often said that Obamacare will fundamentally change the relationship between citizens and their Government.  With it being now declared as Constitutional, we may well no longer be citizens that have a Federal Government; we are now subjects as the Feds with the new regulations decreed by the Progressives and the IRS deemed to be the cop (as I posted here).

And it just bit me in the butt.  And it will change not just the relationship between the Govt and me, but also between me and my son.  And you all had better read this – it may well affect you as well.  In that previous post there were a number of things that individuals will have to cough up and “share”.

Sidenote: yeah, “share”.  Brings up the insinuation that you get to decide to share or not – you know, voluntary.  Just like when Democrats talk about the rich and “asking” them to pay their fair share.  They already are, and there is no “asking” – asking means the willingness to take “no” for an answer.  For the naive, there is no way that Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are “asking” – they are demanding.

I left out some really important information from that post concerning how the IRS would determine if YOU had to pay a penalty, as I thought it really needed it’s own post and an extremely personal touch on my life that it will now place.  From the Fox Biz post (reformatted and emphasis mine):

And it’s the intrusiveness of the health reform law that has raised eyebrows. What does the IRS base your mandate penalty on? This is where it gets nutty.

… that the “IRS will need to determine a taxpayer’s compliance with the individual [insurance] mandate and assess a penalty if coverage is inadequate.”  However, the penalty isn’t based on just your personal net income. The penalty will be based on an entirely different number that is more than just your paycheck earnings — your ‘household income.’  “This determination is based on a concept of ‘household income,’” TAO has said, adding, “this may differ from the income reported on the taxpayer’s return, because it is a composite of all of the income reported by members of a taxpayer’s household — information that may not be readily accessible to the IRS.”

Or me.  Again, the concept of “household income” absolutely turns the former relationship between me and the IRS.  My info was the IRS’s info – they’d look at it, see if I did all the right things, if I paid the right amount of tax,and would let me know if they had decided if I was right or if they were right.  But it was just me and just them – a singly based relationship.

No more:

If the IRS finds you have fallen short of the law, it would hit you with a penalty tied to your household income (which may be that of an individual or several family members).

Under the new health law, the IRS penalty would be based on “modified adjusted gross income,” not adjusted gross income that you normally report at the bottom of the first page of your tax form 1040, before you take deductions or personal exemptions.

The modifications add back in things like non-taxable interest and excluded foreign income to this number.

Next, to assess the fine, the IRS would take the total household income divided by the number of household members who must have insurance under the law.

Got that?

Yeah, GOT THAT?  Now, if it is you and your spouse, not a big deal.  But what if you have an extended family situation?  Welcome to a “collective group” responsibility – and you have not (or little) choice in the matter.  Decades ago, I date a gal whose parents were an elementary school principal and a college professor.  Also, “Mom’s” sister (a university librarian) also lived with them.  And “Dad’s” parents, too (even in their 80’s, they had a thriving truck farm business.  Both the gal I was dating AND her sister worked part-time jobs.

Go ahead, figure that one out, Mr. IRS Agent.  It didn’t matter back then – but it will now.  You look at the situation – an extended situation of a son and a daughter wanting to help their parents and sibling – and providing a wonderful environment for kids to grow up in as there is always someone watching out for them.  But given Obamacare, would this even be viable from a financial standpoint?  Again, it will be the HOUSEHOLD income that will hold sway – not just father / mother, or sister by herself, or the grandparents on their own (or the two “kids”).  It’ all for one and one [group] for Obamacare!

This raises questions of your responsibility for your other household members to abide by the new health reform law. All of this could mean a heavier enforcement hand at the IRS.

So, what is the takeaway on this?  People live in extended families to watch over each other (and to share costs) but generally their individual incomes are OFF-LIMITS to the other family members, and certainly have been of no concern to the IRS.  No more.  Now, Obama and his ilk have inserted themselves directly into the middle of your family.

Years ago, I offer to enlarge my house and take my Mom and Step-Dad in – she was getting rather frail and he was very ill (to the point of “yes”, I got a LOT of those 3am calls saying “he’s dying / can’t breath!” – “Mom, did you call 911”? – “No, I called you first” – ugh).  Even though they only lived a few miles away, at 3am in February, it was still a few miles away.  Thus, the offer to bring them in was certainly good for them for a faster response but also good for the 3am version of me.

If I had done that (they never said yes, wanted their “independence”) and if they were still around, how would that work with this new Obama / IRS intrusion?  Yes, my FAMILY – but how screwed over would I be – or THEY might be, by joining my household?

Is Obamacare a backdoor attempt to stop extended families?  Is it another way to say “rely on Government – you don’t need family”.    I’ve said here before that one of the things that Social Security and Medicare have done is to allow our seniors to say “I can keep my independence and not burden you” – never understanding or willing to admit that they have traded one set of dependence (family) to another (government).  In fact, is a “Cass Sunstein nudge” / incentive to stop this kind of inter-familial dependence?

There are also other questions as to relationships and this new mandate / penalty / tax, given that it seems that Progressives are all about non-traditional relationships.  For instance, what about a bunch of folks that decide to rent a house together – will that be considered to be a household (without a “Head of”)?

But I digress, as this started out as a topic on “but also between me and my son“.  A couple of months ago, he came to me (after leaving the moniker of “boomerang kid”) and asked:

“Hey Dad, remember that offer you made to Grammy?  About adding on and having her and Grampy move in?  Would you consider allowing me <modern relationship here> moving in?  Helps us, and then I can better help you with the stuff you can’t do anymore (he loves to call me old and decrepit because of my bad back)?”  And that way, if I do get another place to stay, I don’t have to travel as far”.

Dontcha just love it when your kids use your own arguments against you – and actually think you’re gonna be suckered in?  Heh!  Story is, it could be very beneficial – IF a whole train load of details work out well.  I even have a prototype done in my head and a good idea of how the financial AND social transactions would go and the project plan for getting this done (project plan – dust off those skills, dude, yer gonna need them again!).


And so it comes to this:

I would like him and his family to come in.  And he wants to come in. We could make this work.  But Obama has decided that he will come in between the Eldest and me.  I can figure out all of the financial transactions except for the Obamacare one – because the regs are not entirely written (thank you, Congress, for abdicating your legislative role and letting the Executive Branch to do the hard work you SHOULD have done).  Just like businesses around the country that are wondering what is next to come at them, not knowing the consequences, and cannot see their way forward because of uncertainty, I’m scared stiff.  CEOs and small biz owners alike (unless they are hooked into the crony capitalism circle) are thinking: what can happen if I do this?  Will it succeed or will I get whacked hard by more taxes, more fines, and more regs?  Will I fail after putting in a lot of capital (both labor and money) only because someone in Govt doesn’t like what I’m doing?

Any father worth their salt wants to help their son.  Any father worth their salt also does not want to put that son at risk either.  Where is the balance?  What is the tradeoff?

And I am looking at the economy numbers coming in and things do NOT look good.  I would be fronting most of the cost for this – what is the risk to TMEW and I if things go south in a hurry?  Once again, can Obama’s policies put us all at risk (he works in the aerospace industry).

Do I say yes, or do I say no?  He’s got an HSA set up right now – which will be illegal in a short amount of time.  He will be one of the first people, all Obama’s protestations aside, to lose his healthcare policy that he actually likes.

What if he becomes the target of the above machinations – what would that do, not just to him financially, but to our relationship?  We all know how some of these things can play out – sentence the innocent to steel bar / concrete rooms.  Do I want to risk that?

And he, like most people who are not the political junkies like we are, have no idea what may be just around the corner






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