IRS: We don’t have the resources to handle ObamaCare

posted at 1:30 pm on July 11, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

In the waning days of the ObamaCare debate, Republicans warned repeatedly that the IRS would need thousands of new agents to enforce the new health-insurance mandate, and that the bill didn’t provide enough resources to fund them.  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) estimated that it would take 15,000 new agents, while Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) said that the IRS would need at least $5 billion more than what Democrats allocated for the first ten years of the program.   Now the IRS’ independent watchdog says Republicans were right, and that Congressional Democrats and the White House seriously underestimated enforcement costs:

A warning that federal tax officials will need more congressional funding to administer the Democrats’ health reform law has rekindled the partisan debate over its cost effectiveness.

Senior Republicans have said for months that the new responsibilities required of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under the legislation would saddle the agency with billions of dollars in additional costs — expenses not accounted for in the bill.

A Wednesday report from the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA), an independent watchdog within the IRS, backed those claims, finding that the agency currently lacks the resources to take on the new duties. …

“Before ObamaCare passed, [Minority Leader John Boehner] and others warned that it would require an army of new IRS agents,” Boehner (R-Ohio) spokesman Michael Steel said in an email. “Democrats denied it. Now we know the truth.”

So how much will the IRS need?  No one knows — and that’s the point that Republicans have been making all along.  The NTA can’t figure it out, the IRS can’t estimate it, and the Democrats never seriously attempted to determine it at all.  Like many other provisions of ObamaCare, they simply made up cost numbers in order to argue that the bill would be deficit neutral.

Even Democratic Senator Max Baucus, one of the original authors of ObamaCare, admitted as much in response to the NTA assessment:

The office of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee, echoed that, saying Friday that funding and staffing levels won’t be decided until the IRS comes up with an implementation strategy.

“Until those factors are determined,” a Finance aide said in an email, “it’s premature to specify what the IRS will need, and certainly premature to infer the IRS won’t be able to handle it.”

That certainly is true — and again, exactly what Republicans pointed out in the debate.  No one knows what the costs will really be for enforcement of the mandate, which means no one knows whether this is a deficit-neutral system at all.  These costs and enforcement strategies should have been determined before passage of the bill, not left as an ambiguous fog in the very middle of how Americans will have to interact with government once ObamaCare gets fully implemented.

In fact, Congress should never have passed ObamaCare at all, since these issues clearly go beyond its competence, and this is yet another piece of evidence of just how far over their heads this got.


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Job growth! Finally!

mimi1220 on July 11, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Ah yes, but when Obama and his merry band of Marxist fools hire half the country to work for the IRS then all will be well.

rplat on July 11, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Hey, if IRS can’t handle ObamaCare, let TSA do it.

petefrt on July 11, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Don’t worry, Obama will put his new “Civilian Security Force” on the job…

starman on July 11, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Remember how Pelosi was barking last year on how great it would be to get Obamacare passed just in time for Christmas?

Looks like this is the “gift” that just keeps on giving…..more excuses for voters to throw every single Democrat they can out of office in November!

pilamaye on July 11, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Well, this should make the weekly un-employment numbers go down! Sure makes a person feel all warm and fuzzy about sending in the taxes on April 15th doesn’t it?
L

letget on July 11, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Is there a sane person on the face of the earth that didn’t know that Obamacare was a total disaster? The demonrats were unanimous in passing what they knew would send this country into socialized mediicine and at the same time bankrupt the whole economy. This is not politics, its insanity.

volsense on July 11, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Hey but I am happy they passed it

Typical Libtard on July 11, 2010 at 12:35 PM

/

Crr is that you?

CWforFreedom on July 11, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Congress should never have passed ObamaCare at all, since these issues clearly go beyond its competence

Congress and competence in the same sentence? Please./

CWforFreedom on July 11, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Liberal trolls me there’s no enforcement anyways, so it’s all okay. ;)

lorien1973 on July 11, 2010 at 1:39 PM

None of this matters as by the time we actually see a doctor in the ER(provided there is one) or get scheduled for surgery–we’ll all be dead anyhow…or wish we were.

jeanie on July 11, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Liberal trolls me there’s no enforcement anyways, so it’s all okay. ;)

lorien1973 on July 11, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Didn’t A. Weiner tell us there was no enforcement? At least that’s the impression I got when O’Reilly interviewed him.

VibrioCocci on July 11, 2010 at 1:44 PM

When Pelosi hands the gavel over next year, I want Boehner to shout “Obamacare!” and pretend to bang her over the head with it–three times, at least.

He’d be an American hero.

Grace_is_sufficient on July 11, 2010 at 1:49 PM

In fact, Congress should never have passed ObamaCare at all, since these issues clearly go beyond its competence, and this is yet another piece of evidence of just how far over their heads this got.

True, and government on all levels does this all the time.

Twp supervisors and city councils don’t hesitate to pass ordinances regulating all sorts of things they know nothing about. Sugary drinks and trans-fats? Suddenly they are dietitians. Cell phone towers? No problem. Just make up arbitrary height limits, antenna sizes, equipment footprint sizes and structural standards – even though they know nothing about any of those things. They are from the government, and they know it all.

forest on July 11, 2010 at 1:50 PM

What’s sad is that bill’s flaws are flaws that should be avoided in any bill, regardless of the bill’s content. In other words, a bill shouldn’t be thousands of pages long, go largely unread, require massive infrastructure that doesn’t exist, be passed in secret, and so on. Avoiding such flaws is just good statecraft. The fact that we have legislators willing to overlook such flaws because they’re ideologically sympathetic to a bill is a damning indictment of those legislators.

Bill Ramey on July 11, 2010 at 1:52 PM

When Pelosi hands the gavel over next year, I want Boehner to shout “Obamacare!” and pretend to bang her over the head with it–three times, at least.

He’d be an American hero.

Grace_is_sufficient on July 11, 2010 at 1:49 PM

I want to see him set fire to her wooden head.

VegasRick on July 11, 2010 at 1:53 PM

“…Congressional Democrats and the White House seriously underestimated enforcement costs…”

Please stop this kind of thinking – they didn’t underestimate – they outright lied.

They’re not incompetent or stupid – they’re power-hungry and evil and will say or do anything to accomplish their goals.

The day we all wake up to this will be the day we can seriously start dealing with it. Until then, underestimating their intent and downplaying their methods by simply ascribing them to stupidity or ignorance only enables them to get away with more.

Midas on July 11, 2010 at 1:56 PM

It was not a health care bill, it was the largest tax hike in history…until January 2011 comes.

jukin on July 11, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Didn’t A. Weiner tell us there was no enforcement? At least that’s the impression I got when O’Reilly interviewed him.

VibrioCocci on July 11, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Of course that’s what he said. The threat of enforcement will make Americans do the “right thing”.

I’m assuming Obama’s fix for this will be at the signmaker’s shop. Need shovel ready jobs? Make signs stating it. Need border enforcement? Make a sign to keep you away from the border. Enforce health insurance mandate? Just make a sign.

ButterflyDragon on July 11, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Defund then repeal. It’s the only way to be sure.

Pablo on July 11, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Plus , for example, as a small business owner I will be required to issue a 1099 for anything I buy over $600. The paperwork on OUR end is debilitating, but then again that was O’s plan.

bbz123 on July 11, 2010 at 2:03 PM

None of this matters as by the time we actually see a doctor in the ER(provided there is one) or get scheduled for surgery–we’ll all be dead anyhow…or wish we were.

jeanie on July 11, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Im am sure they will be more than happy to grant that wish. No need wasting precious medicine and space that someone else younger and more productive can use.

Franklyn on July 11, 2010 at 2:04 PM

And of course an extra say 50,000 IRS agents not only means 50,000 x their salaries are ultimately diverted from the private sector, but also that the productive manpower of 50,000 workers is diverted too. Government expansion is a double whammy.

Sharke on July 11, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Sure you can ban books tax someone. It is not like the FCC IRS is going to enforce it

tjexcite on July 11, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Another example of liberal “intelligence.” They believe that all they have to do is pass a law or resolution and then all the problems are solved. But things aren’t accomplished with words, they are accomplished with actions.

That’s why most liberals are academics, because they don’t know how to do tangible things. Since they don’t know how to do tangible things, they lack foresight and fail when they attempt to act. It’s like watching teenagers go through critical thinking analysis.

It reminds me of the South Park Episode. Step 1, steal underwear, Step 3 profit.

ThomasB. on July 11, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Income taxes are voluntary anyway according to Dingy Harry.

Oldnuke on July 11, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Where’s Weiner? Here weiner, weiner, weiner!!!!

Flyboy on July 11, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Plus , for example, as a small business owner I will be required to issue a 1099 for anything I buy over $600. The paperwork on OUR end is debilitating, but then again that was O’s plan.

bbz123 on July 11, 2010 at 2:03 PM

I think it’s going to be even worse. We will need to issue 1099 to anyone who we did $600 of purchases from total for the whole year, not just one time deals of $600 or more. I’ll end up sending 1099 to Staples, Fed Ex, my insurance company. The Turnpike Authority and one and on. It’s absurd.

I’d include a link, but HA is rejecting my comments with links today.

forest on July 11, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Please stop this kind of thinking – they didn’t underestimate – they outright lied.

The deceit was simply to make it appear to cost under a trillion to get it passed. They knew it would cost more. Remember they said that it would have to be passed to find out what was in it. That is a clear statement that there was more than known and more of course cost more. Now the game is to sit bask and say; Yes that will make it cost more, but we got it passed and there is nothing that can be done about it, we won. They have also said it the goal was to create a one payer system and Obamacare as passes was the legistlation to move us in that direction. The best way to do that is create a health care system so expensive that they can say a one payer system is the only way to get cost under control. After that it is all over. As like Britian, they suffer under it, but there is no escape to get out of it. As the communist have said since 1944, the only way to move America to socialism was through healt care. They are succeeding and will win if we don’t turn the tide this fall and overturn the lame duck legistlation on card check and cap and trade they will enact before they leave.

In and around 2000 I taught an economic course in which I compared the political goals of the Communist Party USA. They were pushing green enviromental goals then, but they were aimed at destroying the economy by destroying the large corporation by increasing financial burdens as the result of what we call green laws. At the time the idea was to use the laws to make them reduce polution then more laws to clean up past pollution they, or the industry caused. Once the large corporations were gone they were to be replace by smaller local factories. This would be the model of Soviet Union industries and co-ops imposed on us with government control of those producing institutions. I told my students that there was no way that was going to happen in America. I hope that I was right and fear that I wasn’t.

For those that don’t know, the current political planks of the CPUSA has been reworded so as to not be so revealing of their intent. It also should be know that Obama’s campaign platform was almost identical to their. No surprise when considering that he was mentored from the age of nine by the top Moscow appointed leader of the CPUSA.

Franklyn on July 11, 2010 at 2:29 PM

With all the new bureaucracy the gov’t will need at least 250,000 new employees not counting the actual medical personnel needed.

tim c on July 11, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Well, gee, what’s wrong with spending billions of dollars on IRS agents instead of medicine?

BillCarson on July 11, 2010 at 2:35 PM

tim c on July 11, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Well they’ve got all those census workers that will be unemployed in a couple of months. A couple of lessons in loan sharking 101 and they’ll be ready to hit the audit trail.

Oldnuke on July 11, 2010 at 2:38 PM

I think it’s going to be even worse. We will need to issue 1099 to anyone who we did $600 of purchases from total for the whole year, not just one time deals of $600 or more. I’ll end up sending 1099 to Staples, Fed Ex, my insurance company. The Turnpike Authority and one and on. It’s absurd.

I’d include a link, but HA is rejecting my comments with links today.

forest on July 11, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Liberals–Daschle, Geithner, and others–who can’t do their own taxes don’t trust Americans to accurately own up to their own tax obligations. Yes, I’m sure that much falls through the cracks by the Obamacare Form-1099-MISC requirement is absurd. Indeed, I’m p*ssed that GOP staffers didn’t uncover this before enactment. I realize that it was huge bill of moving parts. But for crying out loud, divide it up and analyze the phucking thing.

BuckeyeSam on July 11, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Well they’ve got all those census workers that will be unemployed in a couple of months. A couple of lessons in loan sharking 101 and they’ll be ready to hit the audit trail.

Oldnuke on July 11, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Census workers and now new IRS workers. It’s interesting how Obama is finding employment for all those displaced ACORN workers.

BuckeyeSam on July 11, 2010 at 2:45 PM

BTW: Is it try that Obama is making another recess appointment? Bertha Lewis as IRS Commissioner?

BuckeyeSam on July 11, 2010 at 2:46 PM

No one knows what the costs will really be for enforcement of the mandate, which means no one knows whether this is a deficit-neutral system at all

I know it is not a deficit-neutral system. Not only is it not deficit neutral, it will cost me more than I pay now. Thanks for the double whammy, Obama and co. You fricking thieves.

Aquateen Hungerforce on July 11, 2010 at 2:46 PM

BuckeyeSam on July 11, 2010 at 2:45 PM

And making us pay for them.

Oldnuke on July 11, 2010 at 2:49 PM

BTW OT: new source of conservative edginess and comedy gold. A website called http://www.pacificintelligencer.com/index.html has just launced by a decorated OIF/OEF veteran. Check it out. I found it through the http://www.americanthinker.com.

ted c on July 11, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Picky Picky Picky — They told you they would have to pass the bill before they could find out what is in it; so how could they possibly have predicted this? A corollary to that is that once they incurr the costs we will know how much it costs./sarc

KW64 on July 11, 2010 at 2:51 PM

In fact, Congress should never have passed ObamaCare at all, since these issues clearly go beyond its competence, and this is yet another piece of evidence of just how far over their heads this got.

And will the Dems use the common sense, and brains God gave em to repeal this debacle? Nope!!! They’ll just trudge ahead, knowing that out there, are union leaders, and morons of all kinds, who lap this up as a huge success for the progressive/communist way!

capejasmine on July 11, 2010 at 2:52 PM

“Wow!” said one lamestream “newsperson” to another, “Who knew?”
Everyone who gave this a modicum of thought could see this coming! We’ll have to pay higher taxes in order to pay higher taxes!

Christian Conservative on July 11, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Tell you what we need: A multi-billion-dollar IRS stimulus.

greggriffith on July 11, 2010 at 2:54 PM

The issue with the 1099s is so ridiculous, so cumbersome, that Republicans need to foreground it in November. It demonstrates just how out of touch people in Washington are when it comes to the economy. It reminds me of when Dem Gov Rod Blagojevich suggested taxing 2% of all revenue earned by IL businesses. I’m beginning to think that a prerequisite of working in government should be having spent at least SOME time in the private sector.

furytrader on July 11, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Plus , for example, as a small business owner I will be required to issue a 1099 for anything I buy over $600. The paperwork on OUR end is debilitating, but then again that was O’s plan.

bbz123 on July 11, 2010 at 2:03 PM

And we aren’t done finding new “details” like that, either. That stupid thing wasn’t a bill, it was a time bomb.

Merovign on July 11, 2010 at 3:16 PM

So lets take back the house and then just say no …

tarpon on July 11, 2010 at 3:40 PM

And will the Dems use the common sense, and brains God gave em …

capejasmine on July 11, 2010 at 2:52 PM

God may have put brains inside their skulls, but Dems don’t have a lick of common sense.

Gang-of-One on July 11, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Here’s the info on the ridiculously burdensome 1099 mandate:

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2010/04/26/costly-irs-mandate-slipped-into-health-bill/

SagebrushPuppet on July 11, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Like we didn’t see this one coming.

I swear I am going to get a shirt that says “I told you so” and wear it 24/7 until this administration bites the big one.

gophergirl on July 11, 2010 at 4:08 PM

One word: ACORN

Daggett on July 11, 2010 at 4:10 PM

All part of the plan. No surprises here. This regime is not just sneaky they are subversive in my opinion.

FireBlogger on July 11, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Picture a Federal Bureaucracy that is so strangled with legislative incompetence and malfeasance, it can’t function other than to pay itself…

… whilst enemies just walk across the border intent on destruction.

Oh, wait!

Seven Percent Solution on July 11, 2010 at 4:24 PM

ObamaCare was DESIGNED TO FAIL. And when it does, we’ll move right into ‘single payer’. Which is what Barry and Company wanted all along.

GarandFan on July 11, 2010 at 4:32 PM

I’m assuming Obama’s fix for this will be at the signmaker’s shop

Hey, Liberals! Here’s your sign!

oldleprechaun on July 11, 2010 at 4:46 PM

…yet another piece of evidence of just how far over their heads this got.

I’d suggest it’s another piece of evidence of just how far their heads were inserted into a place where the sun don’t shine….

IndieDogg on July 11, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Now the IRS’ independent watchdog says Republicans were right, and that Congressional Democrats and the White House seriously underestimated enforcement costs:

the way they are running things, I believe they didn’t underestimate, they knew it was going to cost more than an arm and leg but didn’t want anyone to truly know until after passage…

cmsinaz on July 11, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Panthers to the rescue.

Ronnie on July 11, 2010 at 5:25 PM

The only reason they got the IRS involved in the first place is to put more pressure and control on American citizens.

Just what we need, another way for the IRS to hassle us and mess things up.

scalleywag on July 11, 2010 at 6:29 PM

THE IRS FUNCTION IS TO ENFORCE MEDICAL CARE
THE IRS FUNCTION HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO ENFORCE MEDICAL CARE

I LOVE BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA

PEOPLE WHO DISLIKE BELOVED LEADER ARE RACIST ENEMIES OF THE STATE
PEOPLE WHO DISLIKE BELOVED LEADER HAVE ALWAYS BEEN RACIST ENEMIES OF THE STATE

MaiDee on July 11, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Well Nanzi Pelousi did say Health Care would immediately create 400,000 new jobs. Now we know what the botox queen actually meant.

Ogabe on July 11, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Plus , for example, as a small business owner I will be required to issue a 1099 for anything I buy over $600. The paperwork on OUR end is debilitating, but then again that was O’s plan.

bbz123 on July 11, 2010 at 2:03 PM
I think it’s going to be even worse. We will need to issue 1099 to anyone who we did $600 of purchases from total for the whole year, not just one time deals of $600 or more. I’ll end up sending 1099 to Staples, Fed Ex, my insurance company. The Turnpike Authority and one and on. It’s absurd.

I’d include a link, but HA is rejecting my comments with links today.

forest on July 11, 2010 at 2:26 PM

I truly believe this was slipped in to set up a reporting mechanism for a Value Added Tax, or VAT. All they need to do is add another box on the form for the “tax” on that transaction, and people will be sending in tax money along with those forms.

karenhasfreedom on July 11, 2010 at 7:31 PM

They won’t enforce federal immigration law in Arizona. When Arizona passes a state law (that majority of the people want) to enforce what the feds won’t within their state, they sue.

Now they want to enforce a federal law that majority of the people don’t want at a cost that would greatly burden the citizenry. And they don’t even know how much it would actually cost to enforce this.

What’s wrong with these people?

miron on July 11, 2010 at 7:39 PM

The worst law evah!! Passed solely by the Socialist Democratic Party of America!

chickasaw42 on July 11, 2010 at 7:50 PM

I’m trying to remember if I heard somewhere that Obama suggestion – in seriousness – a 100% tax on income. Does anyone know about this? If so, there’s his solution: just take our money.

We don’t need it. He does, after all.

englishqueen01 on July 11, 2010 at 7:56 PM

IRS: We don’t have the resources to handle ObamaCare

No worriers, the Democrats will bail out the IRS next.

rukiddingme on July 11, 2010 at 8:28 PM

No worriers worries.

Must. not. get. in. a. hurry.

rukiddingme on July 11, 2010 at 8:29 PM

In fact, Congress should never have passed ObamaCare at all, since these issues clearly go beyond its competence, and this is yet another piece of evidence of just how far over their heads this got.

If Congress never passed legislation that went beyond its competence, then few if any laws would get passed. That could be a good thing…

tballard on July 11, 2010 at 9:10 PM

So how much will the IRS need?

Zero, if the Rs have real ones.

Schadenfreude on July 11, 2010 at 9:52 PM

Are there any Chekists from the old Progressive Soviet union looking for work?

Chip on July 11, 2010 at 11:13 PM

If only someone, somewhere would have warned the people about OmamaCare. If only a blog or a cable new network could have laid out some of these scenarios.

angryed on July 12, 2010 at 7:21 AM

Okie Dokie. This obscenity filter really needs some explanation, as it makes no sense to me, anymore.

MNHawk on July 12, 2010 at 7:57 AM

Why did congress leave it up to the IRS to come up with an implementation plan, Max, that was your job. We had a fine health care system until the feds decided to get involved. Now we need to add 15,000 govmint workers to the IRS. Who knew those blood suckers would be in charge of our doctors.

Kissmygrits on July 12, 2010 at 9:47 AM