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AI Wessex
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This is cute. The Republicans in Congress are naturally attacking the ACA ruling because it is based on and therefore proves that the "penalty" is really a "tax", and we all know how they feel about taxes.

But Romney used a penalty in Massachusetts for the very same reason as Obama in his Romneycare. So he is now in the position of insisting that the SC was wrong, and that the penalty is *not* a tax. He feels he has to do that, because if Obama's was a tax, then so was his. If you're a Republican, what are you going to believe, your lying eyes or your lying ears?

This will be much more entertaining than I had hoped for [Wink] .

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Grant
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Who are you reading this morning, Al? Does it come with a map to the nearest Republican party hq and instructions on how to make a pipe bomb?
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Pete at Home
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[Big Grin]
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Grant
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Considering how many Republicans are heading there, I suggest renaming the Malebolge as simply the Domusrepublicani.
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AI Wessex
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Just Google ACA. I picked up several articles from various (non-denominational) sources as well as from Romney's campaign. I forgot to mention one (Michael Savage) that claims that Roberts' opinion was a direct side effect of his epilepsy medicine and Limbaugh's claim that Roberts ruling was a result of his need for love, which he doesn't get enough of from Republicans.

Anything else I can help you with?

[ July 02, 2012, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Grant
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No bombs? I need to write to these non-denominational sources. Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh, huh? AND the Romeny campaign website. Absolutely unconscionable.
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Wayward Son
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How about an (almost) call for revolution?

quote:
I am going on the record; we will not send the federal government a dime. Now, if they send the IRS on us then it’s not a health care issue then it’s simply a failure to pay our tax, as John Roberts said, this is now a tax. Well, what did we have a revolution for: taxation without representation. We went to war and real Christians picked up real guns and defeated a real army. I’m not calling for an insurrection or to take up guns but I’m saying that they thought it was so serious that they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to have a land that we live in, which is three greatest experiment in human liberty based on Christian principles the world has ever known, and all of that is at stake. ...

You know we always get surprised at what happened in Nazi Germany and we say, ‘if I had been there I wouldn’t do that,’ or we think back and think, ‘that was sixty or seventy years ago, how could that have happened, that was all in the past, all that draconian, totalitarian, socialist actions were in the past.’ Here we have a decision, a landmark ruling which will go down in history and every single person listening to this radio program was alive and experienced this day like we did 9/11. The question is, what will our response be?

All this over making people have health insurance! [Roll Eyes] [LOL]
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Wayward Son
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Does anyone recall any similar outrage over Social Security?

I mean, there was a tax that made people save for retirement. I mean, that is a person's personal responsibility, not something the government should mandate. And what if the person never gets the chance to collect? Why, he would just be throwing money away!

That was another unfair tax, making people pay for the retirement of their mothers and fathers. How could we take money away from people like that. It is taxation without representation! Stealing money for the eldery (instead of the infrim like today). How could our society stand after that??

Does anyone know of such overblown rhetoric regarding SS? [Smile]

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AI Wessex
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"No bombs? I need to write to these non-denominational sources. Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh, huh? AND the Romeny campaign website. Absolutely unconscionable."

By non-denominational I meant the NY Times and other news organizations. You know, you're beginning to sound like a Republican and it worries me. Put down your bombs, they are bombastic.

Read the quote Wayward excerpted. I'm sure Troy Newman is a nice person, too. But he managed to throw in about a dozen flaming metaphors (his English teachers should be ashamed), all of which have been said by actual, you know, elected Republicans in the same or similar words [Exploding] .

[ July 02, 2012, 02:11 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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kmbboots
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Okay, WS. I am old but not quite old enough to remember when Social Security passed.

I do think it likely that there was some fuss at the time.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Okay, WS. I am old but not quite old enough to remember when Social Security passed.
Are you sure? I seem to recall hearing somewhere that your Social Security number is 1. [Wink] [Smile]

quote:
I do think it likely that there was some fuss at the time.
Oh, yeah, I'm sure there was a HUGE fuss back then, too. But was it as colorful as this current one? Did bombasts decree it would cause the fall of the Republic? Did demagogs declare that all Good Christians (as opposed to the Other Kind [Mad] ) fight against it with everything they had, for the morality of our nation?

Enquiring minds want to know. [Wink]

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Grant
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Ahhhh. So the Grey Lady is the one explaining:

1. How Republicans don't like taxes
2. Candidate Romney's reasoning behind agreeing with President Obama.
3. That Republicans now must choose between lying eyes and lying ears.

I should have known that the prose "lying eyes and lying ears" only could have come from such a respected source as the Grey Lady.

Troy Newman actually sounds like an idiot, though I suppose he could be a nice person. The two are not exclusive. I know plenty of nice idiots, talk to them all the time [Smile]

I suppose, Troy Newman being an idiot, that I can infer that all Republicans are idiots, in the same way I suppose one may infer that all Republicans are liars, or at least have lying eyes and lying ears.

I suppose certain people will find it all entertaining, much in the same way certain people find videos concerning men getting constantly whacked in the nuts entertaining, or excessive flatulence.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Oh, yeah, I'm sure there was a HUGE fuss back then, too. But was it as colorful as this current one? Did bombasts decree it would cause the fall of the Republic? Did demagogs declare that all Good Christians (as opposed to the Other Kind [Mad] ) fight against it with everything they had, for the morality of our nation?

Yes, I'm sure it was just as colorful, with plenty of people warning that it would cause the nation to sink beneath the waves. I'm sure plenty of religious leaders also decried social security from the pulpit.

Example

[ July 02, 2012, 02:44 PM: Message edited by: Grant ]

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kmbboots
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I do remember (reading somewhere!) the concern that Medicare was going to ruin medicine.

Edit: I thought Fr. Coughlin was mostly upset because we weren't socialist enough.

[ July 02, 2012, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:

Edit: I thought Fr. Coughlin was mostly upset because we weren't socialist enough.

This may be true. The point is that the rhetoric was still there, not from which direction the rhetoric was coming from.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
I thought Fr. Coughlin was mostly upset because we weren't socialist enough.
From the little I've been able to Google, you seem to be correct. Apparently his main complaint was that Roosevelt's monetary policies did not go far enough.

As for criticizing Social Security, that appears to be unlikely:

quote:
Father Charles Coughlin was notable for his ideas which ultimately formed a significant part of the Social Security Act of 1936.

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hobsen
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At least Sarah Palin is pleased with the Supreme Court decision:

quote:
“Thank you, SCOTUS,” wrote Palin on her Facebook page. “This Obamacare ruling fires up the troops as America’s eyes are opened. Thank God.”
My guess would be that she is correct the decision will increase the influence of the Tea Party wing within the Republican Party, and the influence of health care issues in the campaign and election, and generally fire up voters. But the change is probably good for her and bad for Romney, whose strategists do not want him to have to talk about the health care programs he supported as governor of Massachusetts, and expect high turnout to benefit Obama.
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Grant
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Then it would appear that Fr. Coughlin was a poor example of an opponent of social security. My bad. Shall I hunt down another demigawg?
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cherrypoptart
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The thing about social security is that it's a tax. The federal government has the power to tax. I don't usually agree with having all of the taxes but I don't doubt their power under the Constitution to levy most of them.

The funny thing about this one is that both Obama and Romney are still saying this is not a tax.

http://www.bostonherald.com/business/healthcare/view/20120702romney_agrees_with_obama_health_care_mandate_not_a_tax/srvc=business&position=recent_bullet

Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior Mitt Romney campaign adviser, said in an interview Monday that Romney agrees with Obama that the mechanism to enforce the so-called mandate that Americans have insurance — a provision modeled after the Massachusetts law Romney had signed as governor — was a penalty and not a tax, a statement that runs counter to what the rest of the GOP has argued in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling last Thursday.

“He disagreed with the ruling. He disagreed with the findings of the ruling. He disagreed with the logic that supported those findings. He said that he agreed with the dissent, which was written by Justice Scalia, and the dissent clearly stated that the mandate was not a tax,” Fehrnstrom said on MSNBC’s”Daily Rundown.”

----------------------------------------------

To be honest I am still confused. Don't worry I'm used to it.

Is this a tax or a penalty?

Do we still not even know?

And one more thing. If it is a tax, exactly what kind of tax is it? Did Roberts, or anyone else, specify?

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LetterRip
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Cherry, it falls under the powers of taxation according to the Scotus majority.

However many things we consider penalties would be taxes. So legally it is a tax, semantically it is a penalty.

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cherrypoptart
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Did the four liberal justices agree with Roberts that it is a tax and not a penalty?

Or did they say that it's a penalty and it's Constitutional anyway?

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Pete at Home
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The four lefties said that it's not a tax, and that it falls under commerce, because they want Commerce to mean everything. That's why they sold out human rights on Rausch, because at the end of the day, highest priority to them is to destroy the last remnants of federalism.
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cherrypoptart
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http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/romney-obama-agree-health-care-individual-mandate-not-154845339.html

"The governor disagreed with the ruling of the court; he agreed with the dissent that was written by Justice Scalia, that very clearly said that the mandate was not a tax," Fehrnstrom said on "Daily Rundown," the MSNBC show. "The governor believes what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty, and he disagrees with the court's ruling that the mandate was a tax."

---------------------------------------

I just saw this again and found it concurred with my understanding that Romney passed his law based on the state's police powers.

This article is getting into what one of my questions was hinting at. What kind of tax is this?

It kind of matters because only certain kinds of taxes are allowed to be imposed by the federal government under the Constitution. Supposedly, Roberts refused to identify the type of tax this is so that leaves things kind of undefined which is not good for order.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703724104575378910443018730.html

"Unlike states, the federal government has limited jurisdiction. Under the 10th Amendment, the federal government has only those powers enumerated by the Constitution, and all other powers are reserved to the people or the states. Every federal action must be authorized by a constitutional provision. If there is no such provision, then the action is unconstitutional. No provision of the Constitution authorizes the federal government to command people to buy insurance.

The Taxing and Spending Clause in Article I of the Constitution gives the federal government broad power to tax the American people. But that power is not unlimited.

The Constitution originally allowed only three types of taxes. The first was a duty, which is a tax on imports. The second was an excise tax, which is a tax for the privilege of doing something, such as buying alcohol or holding a professional license to practice law. Both duties and excise taxes are indirect taxes that can be passed on to consumers.

The third type of tax was a direct tax, which cannot be passed on to someone else. The only type of direct tax permitted by the Constitution was a "capitation tax," or head tax, which every person could be required to pay. The Constitution required that any capitation tax be apportioned, meaning that every person in a given state had to pay the same amount. New Yorkers might have to pay $600 per year while Virginians only pay $500, but every person within each state must pay equally.

When Congress created an income tax in the late 1800s, the Supreme Court struck it down on the grounds that it was a direct tax but not apportioned. That 1895 decision, Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust, rejected the idea that Congress had some generic power to tax outside the three categories laid out in the Constitution.

That's why, in 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was required in order to institute a national income tax. Since then, a tax on income has been the fourth and final type that the federal government can impose."

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cherrypoptart
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Thanks Pete. That's kind of what I thought but everyone is so focused on Roberts that sometimes that part of it gets overlooked.
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cherrypoptart
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Okay, so one more time just to clarify this.

Is Roberts the only Supreme Court justice to say that this is a tax?

Edited to add: Never mind, that's what Pete just said.

So this is kind of weird. It's only Constitutional because a single Supreme Court justice calls it a tax. The people who passed it said it wasn't a tax. The President who signed it into law said it wasn't a tax. And we don't know what kind of tax this is. A new type maybe? A penalty tax? I'm not seeing that in the Constitution. I truly find this all very amusing.

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Pete at Home
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No. Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito said that it's a tax.

So 5:4 says it's a tax, and a different 5:4 say that it's constitutional, with Roberts the only justice in both majorities decisions.

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cherrypoptart
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I'm reading that the other conservative justices say it's not a tax but is in fact a penalty.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/304323/no-its-not-tax-samuel-alito

"We never have classified as a tax an exaction imposed for violation of the law, and so too, we never have classified as a tax an exaction described in the legislation itself as a penalty. To be sure, we have sometimes treated as a tax a statutory exaction (imposed for something other than a violation of law) which bore an agnostic label that does not entail the significant constitutional consequences of a penalty — such as “license” (License Tax Cases, 5 Wall. 462 (1867)) or “surcharge” (New York v. United States, supra.). But we have never — never — treated as a tax an exaction which faces up to the critical difference between a tax and a penalty, and explicitly denominates the exaction a “penalty.” Eighteen times in §5000A itself and elsewhere throughout the Act, Congress called the exaction in§5000A(b) a “penalty.”

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Pete at Home
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Exactly. It's a split decision, with Roberts being the swing vote. The left 5 say that it's constitutionally valid; the right 5 say that it's a tax rather than a penalty. While the leftward 4 say that it would be constitutionally valid as a penalty, they also agree with Roberts that it would also be constitutionally valid as a tax.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/us/politics/a-defining-move-for-chief-justice-roberts.html?_r=1

quote:
On the one hand, he said, the law’s requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance or pay a penalty could be justified under Congress’s power to levy taxes. The four liberals agreed, though they would have preferred to sustain the law as a regulation of commerce.

But the law could not be justified in that way, the chief justice went on, and here he was joined by the court’s four more conservative members.

Chief Justice Roberts suggested that even he did not find the tax argument especially plausible. But he quoted Justice Holmes to explain why it was good enough. “As between two possible interpretations of a statute, by one of which it would be unconstitutional and by the other valid,” Justice Holmes wrote, “our plain duty is to adopt that which will save the act.”

In that respect, Roberts has ultimately taken the more "conservative" interpretation with respect to the "judicial activism" issue.
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AI Wessex
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"My guess would be that she is correct the decision will increase the influence of the Tea Party wing within the Republican Party, and the influence of health care issues in the campaign and election, and generally fire up voters. But the change is probably good for her and bad for Romney..."

Sarah will gain no more followers for being encouraged by the SC ruling. I've come to the opinion that the fired up TP'ers will be circling fewer wagons into a tighter circle. They had a nice run, but they're heading into the wings of history (my turn to torture some metaphors).

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AI Wessex
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"Is this a tax or a penalty?"

Yes.

"Do we still not even know?"

Some do, some don't. Those who do don't all agree.

Doesn't matter, though. Game over.

"That's why, in 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was required in order to institute a national income tax. Since then, a tax on income has been the fourth and final type that the federal government can impose."

So where do corporate taxes come from?

[ July 02, 2012, 05:23 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
It kind of matters because only certain kinds of taxes are allowed to be imposed by the federal government under the Constitution. Supposedly, Roberts refused to identify the type of tax this is so that leaves things kind of undefined which is not good for order.
I don't believe that is a major issue, since the Supreme Court has all ready ruled, in Helvering vs. Davis back in 1937, that Congress has the right to tax for the "general welfare."

And if universal healthcare ain't "general welfare," I don't know what is. [Smile]

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cherrypoptart
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That's a good reference to Helvering vs. Davis. Seen in that light this makes a lot more sense.
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drewmie
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I'm feeling especially brilliant since I made Roberts' "it's a legitimate tax" argument last November in this post. Ah, vindication.
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cherrypoptart
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I reread some of that drewmie. Kudos to you. That was indeed a good call.

Looking at my predictions, they are way, way, way off. I'd imagined that it would be overturned with even some of the liberal justices joining in. So naive...

I got caught up with it being a penalty too much, although I must admit it acts like a tax, being collected by the IRS and all.

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drewmie
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Yep. As they say, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck,... it's a tax. [Wink]

Personally, I saw it as being the same as giving people a tax credit for buying energy-efficient windows. You can choose not to do it, but you're going to pay more than the guy who does.

Calling it a "penalty" was completely political since so many Americans are allergic to the "tax" word itself, regardless of the circumstances. For the court to make decisions based on what Congress named it would be silly. Under that logic, Bush would have been able to strip anyone of rights by simply labeling them an "enemy combatant."

[ July 02, 2012, 09:08 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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Greg Davidson
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Does the differential tax treatment of childless adults (vs. those who have dependent children) constitute a tax on childlessness?

I am not sure of the answer, but if an action not described as a "tax" that has the effect of differentially penalizing one group as opposed to another on their taxes, does that principle extend to other such situations.

And to reiterate, I am not sure this comment is pro- or anti- Obamacare, I am just interested in the implications.

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Pete at Home
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Greg, if you earn no money during 2015, nor collect a tax return, and you don't get insurance, you can't be fined or taxed, right?

But if you run a stop light, you're still fined.

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cherrypoptart
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Here's a question I haven't found a solid answer to yet.

What kind of income is the tax penalty based on?

For instance, now this isn't me quite yet and won't be for many more years but it would help answer my question so let's say that you get 100,000 dollars a year in municipal bond interest, and that's all you get from any sources. So of course you actually pay no taxes during the year and you get no tax refunds. In fact, as long as you don't buy or sell more than 100,000 dollars in bonds in a given year you may not even have to file a tax return at all.

Is that the income that the penalty tax will be based on?

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So far all I've found in my searches is that munis are exempt from the new investor tax because they don't count as gross income, along with life insurance proceeds. But I'm not sure what the standard will be for the health care tax.

http://americanpatriotalliance.com/obamataxandyou/

> It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.

If it's the case that munis keep their federal tax exempt status including as it regards to the new health care penalty tax, that might make them even more attractive. If that is not the case and there is in effect a new tax on muni bond interest, I might expect that market to take a slight hit as they won't be quite the tax haven they used to be.

If they are still tax free, it's almost a shame that not only could you dodge the new Obama tax but you might still be able to qualify to get health insurance whenever you needed regardless of pre-existing conditions which would be quite the loophole.

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cherrypoptart
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Okay, was looking some more and found this.

http://www.dcbar.org/for_lawyers/resources/publications/washington_lawyer/january_2011/obamacare.cfm

"Americans who do not buy health insurance will not be found guilty of a crime; but if they are due a tax refund, the government will withhold money from that refund. In 2014 the penalty will be the greater of $95, or 1 percent of income, as long as the amount is not greater than the cost of a basic health insurance plan. In 2016 the penalty increases to as much as $695 per adult, or up to 2.5 percent of household income."

So it appears that there is a municipal bond loophole as I personally try to allocate my portfolio between municipal bonds, cds, and a few corporate bonds so that I end up paying no income taxes because the taxable interest and dividends always falls below the standard deduction.

Unless... those penalties keep adding up every year perhaps, even most likely accruing interest and more penalties on top of them if the IRS does business the way it usually does so after a few years you could end up owing tens of thousands of dollars instead of maybe just ten thousand or so if you would have paid it even though you didn't have to, supposedly, because you got no refund.

This also says 1% of income, however, without specifying the type of income, and there appears in other parts of the law to be important distinctions between income types.

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AI Wessex
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Cherry, what are you going to do if your child has a life-threatening illness or your wife is in a serious car accident?
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