Matt Drudge pays his ‘liberty tax’
Investors Business Daily summarizes Monday’s Internet tornado touchdown, in which White House officials and their faithful worshipers in the media once again demonstrated themselves completely ignorant of business reality… not to mention the way their own disastrous health care law works:
Despite White House claims no one has to pay ObamaCare’s individual mandate tax until next year, a Web heavyweight points out that self-employed individuals file their estimated taxes this year for 2014.
In what could be the tweet heard around the world, Internet icon Matt Drudge tweeted at 11:09 a.m. Friday:
“Just paid the ObamaCare penalty for not ‘getting covered’ … I’M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX!”
A mere 22 minutes later, White House spokesman Jesse Lee tweeted: “Flat lie, no fee for previous year.”
Lee’s tweet shows just how little the White House knows about business, particularly small business, and the self-employed individuals such as Matt Drudge who file as small businesses and who each year must not only settle up for the prior year by mid-April but must also pay their first-quarter estimated taxes for the current year.
IBD goes on to quote a few media liberals who ended up face-down in the dirt after trying to follow White House marching orders and denounce Drudge as a liar. More juicy quotes are preserved in electronic amber at NewsBusters. It’s hard to overstate how much of a debacle this encounter is for the liberals involved; fortunately, since they control the media, it will soon be forgotten. You can already hear hundreds of pundits yanking on the flush chains for the Memory Hole.
There’s nothing especially complicated about any of this; as Drudge and the IBD writers explain, not only is quarterly advance filing a basic business reality, but the IRS specifically encourages business filers to do what Matt Drudge did, and what the White House called him a liar for discussing in public:
Drudge indicated in follow-up tweets that since he is self-employed as proprietor of the Drudge Report, he files as a small business. Drudge followed up with “Dazed team Obama media reporters think Opt-Out tax ‘year away’? Not for small businesses that file Qtr estimates. We’re there NOW, baby.”
“As a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly,” the IRS website states.
IRS form (1040-ES) for estimating quarterly taxes specifically recommends adding the mandate penalty to line 12 for “other taxes” — to pay before the first quarterly deadline of April 15.
“It is true that thousands of small businesses will be forced to pay ObamaCare taxes quarterly in 2014,” a Senate Budget Committee aide told Breitbart News on Friday afternoon.
I seriously thought most people had a basic grasp of how quarterly estimated taxes work. Also, as God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.
This is what happens when people who don’t know anything about either health insurance or business are given nearly dictatorial control over both of them. It’s hardly the first time Team Obama has demonstrated astounding ignorance of the Affordable Care Act. In this case, they were probably freaked out by the size of Matt Drudge’s audience, and figured it was important to move quickly to discredit him; liberal pundits were comically eager to follow their White House pals right off the cliff, without spending five minutes researching the concept of quarterly estimated taxes. Which, apparently, none of them pay.
Clearly Drudge was hoping to goad ObamaCare’s shrinking band of defenders with his “Liberty Tax” jibe, and might not have expected to succeed as well as he did. The Obamasphere is still cleaning blood off its collective face after their “all ObamaCare horror stories are lies” narrative blew up on them; they’re desperate for anything they can portray as a spin win.
Since Americans did indeed have the economic liberty to refuse purchasing these insurance products prior to the Affordable Care Act, it’s provocative but not unreasonable to portray the individual mandate as a liberty tax. I’m sure liberals would understand if we were talking about an individual mandate to visit the Drudge Report daily, or else pay a special tax/penalty, because the government has a compelling interest in making sure voters are well-informed by a wide range of alternative media sources.