If It Looks Like a Duck

In a stunning display of word-smithery, the Internal Revenue Service contributed Shared Responsibility Payment to the clever tax lexicon contained in the ever-expanding Glossary of Obama Administration Euphemisms.

On August 30, the IRS published it’s final ruling on regulations governing the implementation of Obamacare. In case you don’t know, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also colloquially known as Obamacare, makes it mandatory for individuals to maintain minimum essential health insurance coverage OR be penalized for non-compliance. Here’s an interesting tidbit. The IRS document, aptly titled  Shared Responsibility Payment for Not Maintaining Minimum Essential Coveragecontains the catch-phrase, Shared Responsibility Payment, more than 50 times (actually 61 by my count) and yes I did count for myself and yes I did read the entire 75 page document.

You’re probably thinking WOW! You must be an expert on all things Obamacare and Shared Responsibility Paymentese now! Ehhhhh. Not so much. As one would expect from a document crafted by the IRS, the language is cumbersome, convoluted and circuitous, thereby confirming the commonly-held theory that people who are good with numbers are not so good  with words. Either that or the IRS is simply a bunch of bumbling nincompoops. After some thought, the latter is probably the more plausible theory.

Anyway, Shared Responsibility Payment is the Internal Revenue Service’s official statutory term for the penalty imposed on individuals who do not maintain minimum essential coverage as defined by Obamacare. The Shared Responsibility Payment is regulated and levied by the IRS, and is included with taxpayers’ federal income tax returns on April 15. Call me crazy, but that sounds an awful lot like a tax to me.

As it turns out, I’m not alone.  Remember all of POTUS’ rhetoric and fist-banging and proclaiming there would be no additional taxes associated with Obamacare? Yeah, well after all that, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts ruled Obamacare’s so-called non-compliance “penalty” is technically a tax. It’s a tax. It’s not a penalty. No one’s going to sit in TIME OUT as retribution for not having medical insurance. It’s not a slap on the hand and a promise to call Blue Cross Blue Shield in the morning. It’s a TAX and if you ask me, using euphemisms like Shared Responsibility Payment in reference to what the Supreme Court of the United States of America legally defines as a TAX constitutes a blatant lie to the American people. It is dishonest. It is deceitful. Sadly it is status-quo, which goes to show if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck… it’s a duck.  

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