Video: Happy (Tax Day) in the age of ObamaCare

posted at 3:21 pm on April 15, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

If you’re getting a big bite taken out of your bank account today, well, you’re hardly alone. Millions of Americans face their tax reckoning today, and none of them will be particularly happy about it. This year may be even worse than usual, thanks to ObamaCare, but take heart — it’s better than it will be next year, National Journal reminds us:

Among this year’s changes: a 0.9 percent increase in Medicare taxes and a 3.8 percent surtax on investment income. Both are limited to high-income taxpayers, and both took effect for the first time in the tax season that just ended.

Most people won’t notice the extra Medicare tax because it was automatically deducted from their paychecks, but some could face a tax bill they did not expect, said Jackie Perlman, principal tax research analyst at the H&R Block Tax Institute.

The Affordable Care Act also raises the bar for writing off medical expenses. Previously, a tax deduction was available if medical expenses reached 7.5 percent of your income. Obamacare moved the cutoff to 10 percent for taxpayers younger than 65.

Next year will be worse, not just because of the full enforcement of the individual mandate, but because of the open-enrollment deadline:

Tax-preparation services are helping their customers figure out where they stand and what their options are, but there’s a wrinkle: The next open-enrollment window ends in February, well before most people file their taxes.

Uninsured people who file their taxes on the later end might not realize they owe a penalty until after the enrollment deadline—too late to sign up for coverage next year.

This is a concern particularly for low-income individuals who may need their tax refunds to afford insurance at all, Haile said.

So if you think this year stinks, just wait. Reason’s Remy reworks Pharrell’s “Happy” to remind us to cheer up — or just to validate the fact that we feel “crappy”:

Bill Whittle offers a more serious take as the Virtual President. We shouldn’t be happy with a system based on the politics of envy, Whittle argues, and a flat tax is the only real solution to both an overreaching government and the need for fairness in taxation. It provides equality and “forces everyone to have skin in the game”:

Rep. Michael Burgess makes the flat-tax case in Business Insider:

If one looks at other countries in which a flat tax was instituted, not only is adequate revenue generated, but there is a vast increase in both revenue and economic growth.  The theory is that by lowering the tax rate, taxpayers become more productive and create more economic growth, which in turn, provides more tax revenue because businesses are more successful and the economy is operating at a higher level.

Believe it or not, around the world, Russia is a considered a prime case of the success of a flat tax.  After the first year of its introduction in the country, the real revenues from its personal income tax rose by 25% followed by a 24% increase in the second year and a 15% increase in the third year.

Likewise, several U.S. states have also implemented a single flat tax.  Americans from Utah to Massachusetts have realized the benefits of switching to a flat rate of tax as applied to their income. State revenues have increased because of a flat tax as well.

There is a clear trend developing here.  As evidenced by the recent actions by Chairmen Ryan and Camp, more and more budget and tax experts are supporting a flat rate of tax.  I am very encouraged by this sign.   For far too long, our tax system has been one of complexity, confusion and disenfranchisement.   A flatter and simpler tax where all taxpayers are equal is the answer to the ills of the present tax code.

Bake more pies. If you have any cash left to buy the ingredients after today, that is.

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Video: Happy (Tax Day) in the age of ObamaCare




Dr. ZhivBlago on April 15, 2014 at 3:25 PM

We need to man all three branches of government with Bill Whittles. A bunch Whittles in the fourth estate would do nicely also.

Deano1952 on April 15, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Bake more pies


KOOLAID2 on April 15, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Ok, here’s a really dumb question, and I sincerely appreciate any input: Why is a personal income tax even necessary? Couldn’t whatever skeletal government we need be funded purely by sales taxes?

Bill Whittle is cool, but why is the assumption of 18% necessary? Maybe there’s some basis for that, but I don’t know what it is.

It just seems to me that there is so much waste in our budget that the personal income tax could go entirely.

I guess entitlement programs must also be a problem.

I can take care of myself and my family. And life is hard.

But taxes in general, especially personal income tax, seem unnecessary to me.

WhatSlushfund on April 15, 2014 at 3:59 PM

In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, how did the 16th Amendment even get passed in the first place? What psycho would vote for that?

WhatSlushfund on April 15, 2014 at 4:08 PM

In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, how did the 16th Amendment even get passed in the first place? What psycho would vote for that?

WhatSlushfund on April 15, 2014 at 4:08 PM

The big States were promised a ton of free money from the Fed if it got passed because they didn’t have to go by the pesky apportioning rules. Bottom line was whatever State was in power in the Senior positions in the House and Senate got to dole out the money claimed from income tax without regard to the constitutions rule about direct taxation and fairness in distribution.

Johnnyreb on April 15, 2014 at 4:16 PM


Debt Held by the Public (Total Public Debt – Intragovernmental Holdings)

Has doubled since Obama’s inauguration

01/20/2009 6,307,310,739,681.66
03/31/2014 12,619,319,113,193.99

agmartin on April 15, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Living with envy and resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Resist We Much on April 15, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Work harder…the moochers and parasites need to be fed, clothed, housed, need new smart phones and faster internet…

PatriotRider on April 15, 2014 at 4:28 PM

A flat tax rate would be a marginal improvement, but it’s still taxation of income which means it’s still ultimately a system of indentured servitude where the government owns a piece of you and it’s still a complex contraption of government justifying its own intrusiveness in the name of determining just what is “income” and what isn’t.

A national sales tax would be better… but only if we also passed a constitutional amendment outlawing all forms of income tax.

jr.ewing.78 on April 15, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Much has been said about the Obamas’ taxpayer-funded traveling–bringing fantastically large fleets of vehicles, booking entire floors of incredibly luxurious hotels, a separate jet for the dog, shutting out the news media–not to mention how the annual White House budget is higher than that of the entire British royal family. But what about the vice president?

“I literally — at Christmastime, I always sit with the kids the last five or — and say, well, where do you want to go this year? Because one of the great advantages of being vice president, I’m able to take, if I’m not going into a war zone, one of my grandchildren with me. And I do take them all.”
— Joe Biden, April 2014

itsnotaboutme on April 15, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Remy is the Mark Steyn of Rhyme!

itsnotaboutme on April 15, 2014 at 4:48 PM


Look, I got to be dead serious about the complexity of the electorate and that includes myself. And the complexity or whatever of economic system that we have. I consider myself very conservative and I would love to get rid of the IRS, as Cruz wants to.

BUT BUT BUT I really don’t think it will fly from an electoral or practical perspective to completely eliminate the progressivity of the tax system with a flat out flat tax.

Instead, get rid of the IRS and have a simple but graduated (yes, progressive) tax, like 12% 23% 34%, with a maximum total tax bill (including local and state) of 50%. Remember, in the ’50s total taxes approached possibly 90% (!!!) before JFK and later Reagan reformed that, and the libs love the idea of jacking taxes back up to those rates for the “evil rich.” Plus they want to do a wealth tax. So look, why we salivate over a 10% flat tax, with immigration and the Dem tide of new blue states like Texas they might indeed institute a Wealth Tax, like 5% yearly of your net worth (including real estate holdings), meant not to be punitive but to in fact systematically redistribute assets. So, we can find some kind of reasonable compromise that the electorate will go for (they won’t go for a flat tax, period) that includes getting rid of the IRS!!! Or we can perhaps end up at the other extreme with Wealth Taxes and sky high rates.

And as much as I am all for Ted Cruz, I hope he amends his tax proposal to include some degree of progressivity. Voters will love his ideological commitment and his stand for solid conservative principles, but the voters will just think total non-progressivity is a bridge too far. Here’s Ted’s outstanding Stand For Principle ad:

anotherJoe on April 15, 2014 at 4:55 PM


Schadenfreude on April 15, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Infuriating, every day

Schadenfreude on April 15, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Fair Tax. Eliminates a corporate tax and takes an awful lot of power away from Washington.

Lanceman on April 15, 2014 at 5:22 PM

And EVERYONE has skin in the game. Hookers & crack dealers alike.

Lanceman on April 15, 2014 at 5:22 PM

The IRS corruption led by the execrable Lois Lerner has led me to change my thinking on tax reform. I have realized that the only way to get rid of the endemic corruption is to smash the IRS to pieces, and we can only do that with a national sales tax or VAT. Anything less like the flat tax leaves the progo-fascists in a position where they will continue to accumulate power that they can use on those that they see as their political enemies.

slickwillie2001 on April 15, 2014 at 5:27 PM

The government, even it’s GOP elected officials, have no desire to fix the tax system, or it might be better to say they don’t see it as broken. They enjoy a progressive tax system teamed with a hefty enforcement component(IRS) because it supplies them with the ability to reward their friends, and punish their enemies. It’s a great source of government power. So, we can have all the cutesie videos about better systems, but you have to realize there is no better system for the bureaucracy. It loves the one it has.

DFCtomm on April 15, 2014 at 6:01 PM

The only way to stop the IRS is to constitutionally limit the SIZE of the federal government. Let’s make it 10% of GDP. 5% goes to the Department of Defense and the Legislative branch of the government can debate about the rest. Do a 20 year handoff to the State governments of all services that the new lean and mean federal government can’t do. Playing any other kind of game is a looser.

Mojave Mark on April 15, 2014 at 6:05 PM

I like Bill a lot, he’s a very intelligent man with great points. However, I find anyone sitting in a fake Oval Office a bit offensive.

Kaptain Amerika on April 15, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Flat tax, fair tax, VAT…in a few years it will make no difference at all at the rate and direction we’re going.

Amendment X on April 16, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Bill Whittle for WHATEVER HE WANTS to do…..

Sponge on April 16, 2014 at 2:25 PM