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Letter from the Capitol has a piece describing how Obamacare is just the first step in transitioning America’s citizens into paying a Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods on top of income tax in order to support our new Democratic Socialist future.  The last section on describing Obama’s impact on history is a lot nicer than I would have put it.

March 31, 2010

ObamaCare: Stalking Horse for VAT Taxation

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says we must live “like good Europeans” as ObamaCare stifles choice & raises costs.  Which may explain why Fidel Castro called ObamaCare “a true miracle” and compared it to Cuba’s CastroCare….

Charles Krauthammer divines the true method behind ObamaCare’s fiscal madness: force adoption of a European-style Value Added Tax, creating a womb-to-tomb European Welfare State, with high taxes, high unemployment & high benefits allocated by government:

American liberals have long complained that ours is the only advanced industrial country without universal health care. Well, now we shall have it. And as we approach European levels of entitlements, we will need European levels of taxation.

Obama set out to be a consequential president, on the order of Ronald Reagan. With the VAT, Obama’s triumph will be complete. He will have succeeded in reversing Reaganism. Liberals have long complained that Reagan’s strategy was to starve the (governmental) beast in order to shrink it: First, cut taxes — then ultimately you have to reduce government spending.

Obama’s strategy is exactly the opposite: Expand the beast and then feed it. Spend first — which then forces taxation. Now that, with the institution of universal health care, we are becoming the full entitlement state, the beast will have to be fed.

And the VAT is the only trough in creation large enough.

As a substitute for the income tax, the VAT would be a splendid idea. Taxing consumption makes infinitely more sense than taxing work. But to feed the liberal social-democratic project, the VAT must be added on top of the income tax.

One reason for a VAT is that, as economist Alan Reynolds writes, the administration’s plan to extract $1.2TR from rich taxpayers over the next decade will not work.  Such filers already pay over 50 percent of income taxes.  Reynolds explains:

President Barack Obama’s new health-care legislation aims to raise $210 billion over 10 years to pay for the extensive new entitlements. How? By slapping a 3.8% “Medicare tax” on interest and rental income, dividends and capital gains of couples earning more than $250,000, or singles with more than $200,000.

The president also hopes to raise $364 billion over 10 years from the same taxpayers by raising the top two tax rates to 36%-39.6% from 33%-35%, plus another $105 billion by raising the tax on dividends and capital gains to 20% from 15%, and another $500 billion by capping and phasing out exemptions and deductions.

Add it up and the government is counting on squeezing an extra $1.2 trillion over 10 years from a tiny sliver of taxpayers who already pay more than half of all individual taxes.

It won’t work. It never works.

The maximum tax rate fell to 28% in 1988-90 from 50% in 1986, yet individual income tax receipts rose to 8.3% of GDP in 1989 from 7.9% in 1986. The top tax rate rose to 31% in 1991 and revenue fell to 7.6% of GDP in 1992. The top tax rate was increased to 39.6% in 1993, along with numerous major revenue enhancers such as raising the taxable portion of Social Security to 85% of benefits from 50% for seniors who saved or kept working. Yet individual tax revenues were only 7.8% of GDP in 1993, 8.1% in 1994, and did not get back to the 1989 level until 1995.

Put simply, taxpayers alter their investment, tax & work strategies to minimize the impact of punitive levies.

Herb London warns of ObamaCare’s threat to liberty.  A WSJ 3/30 editorial explains what I missed last week; ObamaCare does not explicitly call for hiring 16,500 IRS agents.  The figure is a GOP extrapolation from the IRS budget, to derive an estimate of what will be needed to enforce compliance on the new levies; if the IRS is left at present levels of resources revenues will be lost.

A WSJ editorial last week offered emerging examples of diminished health care choice, already underway due to ObamaCare.  At NRO Rich Lowry warns that deteriorating finances will force choosing between guns and butter, and that Obama clearly will choose to preserve the latter.  Nobel economist Gary Becker’s WSJ interview presents an optimist, but one who fears, as in the old joke about optimism & pessimism, that his optimism may be unjustified.

A WSJ editorial notes major companies already writing down their asset values due to anticipated ObamaCare impact–$14B during 2010, according to one consultant.  Naturally, a senior Obama administration hack calls these “irresponsible” while California thug-Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hillbillies) plans an April 21 kangaroo-court show trial of major CEOs.  NRO’s Rich Lowry adds detail on Waxman’s efforts to muzzle companies hit by ObamaCare.

A WSJ editorial today describes just how outrageous this pressure is–companies are required by law to do what Waxman warns them not to do:

So the wave of corporate writedowns—led by AT&T’s $1 billion—isn’t caused by ObamaCare after all. The White House claims CEOs are reducing the value of their companies and returns for shareholders merely out of political pique.

A White House staffer told the American Spectator that “These are Republican CEOs who are trying to embarrass the President and Democrats in general. Where do you hear about this stuff? The Wall Street Journal editorial page and conservative Web sites. No one else picked up on this but you guys. It’s BS.” (We called the White House for elaboration but got no response.)

In other words, CEOs who must abide by U.S. accounting laws under pain of SEC sanction, and who warned about such writedowns for months, are merely trying to ruin President Obama’s moment of glory. Sure.

Presumably the White House is familiar with the Financial Standard Accounting Board’s 1990 statement No. 106, which requires businesses to immediately restate their earnings in light of their expected future retiree health liabilities. AT&T, Deere & Co., AK Steel, Prudential and Caterpillar, among others, are simply reporting the corporate costs of the Democratic decision to raise taxes on retiree drug benefits to finance ObamaCare.

Mark Steyn notes that one firm is heading for incorporation in Canada, no less–yes, CANADA:

In 2003, Washington blessed a grateful citizenry with the Medicare prescription drug benefit, it being generally agreed by all the experts that it was unfair to force seniors to choose between their monthly trip to Rite-Aid and Tony Danza in dinner theater. However, in order to discourage American businesses from immediately dumping all their drug plans for retirees, Congress gave them a modest tax break equivalent to 28 percent of the cost of the plan.

Fast forward to the dawn of the ObamaCare utopia. In one of a bazillion little clauses in a 2,000-page bill your legislators didn’t bother reading (because, as Congressman John Conyers explained, he wouldn’t understand it even if he did), Congress voted to subject the 28 percent tax benefit to the regular good ol’ American-as-apple-pie corporate tax rate of 35 percent. . . . I refer you to the decision last year by the doughnut chain Tim Hortons, a Delaware corporation, to reorganize itself as a Canadian corporation “in order to take advantage of Canadian tax rates.” Hold that thought: “In order to take advantage of Canadian tax rates”—a phrase hitherto unknown to American English outside the most fantastical futuristic science fiction.

Another little-noticed provision in ObamaCare: Money for long-term care will be automatically deducted from worker paychecks unless employees opt out; it is an estimated $146/month payment to give $75 daily care; some cost estimates peg the deduction at $240/month.  Cost at the lower figure is estimated at $100B.

Weekly Standard editor Matthew Continetti sums up what ObamaCare will do to Obama’s historical reputation:

The liberal line is that President Obama has secured his place in history by signing into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. And secured it he has. Henceforth Obama will be remembered as the man who accelerated America’s mad dash toward bankruptcy. He will be remembered as the leader who promoted a culture of dependency. He will be remembered as the figure who sacrificed a dream of national unity upon the altar of big government liberalism. It’s true: Obama is now a president of consequence. And almost all of those consequences are bad.

The fiscal picture was bleak before Obama made it worse. Government debt is 60 percent of the gross domestic product and climbing. The deficit is projected to remain above 4 percent of GDP for the next decade. The week before the president signed his health care reform into law, Moody’s warned that America’s AAA bond rating may be downgraded. The day before the signing ceremony, the nation learned that Warren Buffett is a safer investment than U.S. treasuries. One needn’t look across the Atlantic, where a penniless Greece is a supplicant to the IMF, to see our future. Look to California, where the economy is crippled by high taxes, high spending, and burdensome debt….

Gone is the charismatic young man who told the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston that there was no Blue America and no Red America, only the United States of America. All that remains is a partisan liberal Democrat whose health care policy bulldozed public opinion, enraged the electorate, poisoned the Congress, and set into motion a sequence of events the outcome of which cannot be foreseen.

This tarnished White House complains incessantly about the crises it inherited from its predecessor. Crises? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

The latest public health care horror show from the UK–presaging America’s ObamaCare future: nurses declining to bring a dying patient a glass of water.

CAN’T WAIT, CAN YE?

Bottom Line.  Coupled with America’s rapidly deteriorating financial position, ObamaCare is a massive, potentially fatal economic train wreck in the making.

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The Alliance Defense Fund brings us news that they secured an agreement with Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia to keep a disabled 40-year-old woman on dialysis after the hospital’s so-called “death board” “ethics board” determined to stop dialysis treatments over the objections of the family. This is just a glimpse of what is to come under Obamacare.

ADF-allied attorney secures agreement with hospital to extend vital care for 40-year-old woman

Family agrees to seek transfer to new medical facility by April 9 when hospital may discontinue life-sustaining treatment
Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 12:00 AM (MST) |
ADF Media Relations | 480-444-0020



MORGANTOWN, WV — An Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney secured an agreed-upon court order Friday that extends care for a 40-year-old woman on dialysis at Ruby Memorial Hospital after the hospital originally said it would end treatment on March 27 against the wishes of the woman’s family.The hospital agreed to continue care while the family of Rebecca Bennett locates another medical facility willing to continue treatment. The family agreed that if the transfer does not occur by 5 p.m. on April 9, they will no longer oblige the hospital to continue dialysis treatment for the seriously disabled woman, but the hospital will still continue her other basic care. So far, another facility has not been found.

“A hospital should not be allowed to cease care for a family’s loved one when state law gives the family the right to make medical decisions in such circumstances. Becky’s family simply wants to honor their mother’s wishes,” said Jeremiah Dys, general counsel of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia and one of more than 1,600 attorneys in the ADF alliance.

“We were pleased to assist the family in securing this agreement; however, Becky seriously needs life-sustaining dialysis treatment beyond April 9,” Dys explained. “It’s our hope that another facility will be found that is willing to work with the family to give Becky a chance to fight for her life.”

Bennett went into a coma due to complications from diabetes. The hospital’s board of ethics decided that it would stop dialysis on March 27, despite the expressed objections of Sierra Kisner, a member of the family acting as her legal surrogate. ADF attorneys argued that the hospital’s decision violated West Virginia law, which gives the surrogate decision-making power and which requires the hospital to continue care or cooperate in obtaining a transfer. It does not allow the hospital to unilaterally determine that care will cease.

The complaint and motion for temporary restraining order in Kisner v. West Virginia University Hospitals was filed with the Circuit Court of Monongalia County Friday and led to the agreed order issued the same day.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

www.telladf.org facebook.com/AllianceDefenseFund twitter.com/AllianceDefense

Note: Facts in ADF news releases are verified prior to publication but may change over time. Members of the media are encouraged to contact ADF for the latest information on this matter.

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WorldNetDaily brings us insight into some of the inner workings of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590).  The new health care legislation creates a new “health army” out of the U.S. Public Health Service reserve force.

Obamacare prescription: ‘Emergency health army’

Force subject to ‘involuntary calls to active duty’ during ‘public crises’


Posted: March 25, 2010
11:40 pm Eastern

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

President Obama’s recently passed health-care reform legislation includes a surprise for many Americans – a beefing up of a U.S. Public Health Service reserve force and expectations that it respond on short notice to “routine public health and emergency response missions,” even involuntarily.

According to Section 5210 of HR 3590, titled “Establishing a Ready Reserve Corps,” the force must be ready for “involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises.”

The health-care legislation adds millions of dollars for recruitment and amends Section 203 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 204), passed July 1, 1944, during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency. The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is one of the seven uniformed services in the U.S. However, Obama’s changes more than double the wording of the Section 203 and dub individuals who are currently classified as officers in the Reserve Corps commissioned officers of the Regular Corps.

The following is the previous wording of the act as of 2004, before Democrats passed the health-care legislation:


Wording of Section 203 of Public Health Service Act before Obamacare amendment

The U.S. Public Health Service website describes its commissioned corps as “an elite team of more than 6,000 full-time, well-trained, highly qualified public health professionals dedicated to delivering the nation’s public health promotion and disease prevention programs and advancing public health science.”

According to its mission page, officers of the commissioned corps may:

  • Provide essential public health and health care services to underserved and disadvantaged populations
  • Prevent and control injury and the spread of disease
  • Ensure that the nation’s food supply, drinking water, drugs, medical devices and environment are safe
  • Conduct and support cutting-edge research for the prevention, treatment and elimination of disease, health disparities and injury
  • Work with other nations and international agencies to address global health challenges
  • Provide urgently needed public health and clinical expertise in response to large-scale local, regional and national public health emergencies and disasters

Members are trained to respond to public health situations and national emergency events, such as natural disasters, disease outbreaks and terrorist attacks.

As stated in the health-care legislation, “The purpose of the Ready Reserve Corps is to fulfill the need to have additional Commissioned Corps personnel available on short notice (similar to the uniformed service’s reserve program) to assist regular Commissioned Corps personnel to meet both routine public health and emergency response missions.”

The Democrats’ legislation recently added the following text to Section 203 of the Public Health Service Act:

‘(b) Assimilating Reserve Corp Officers Into the Regular Corps- Effective on the date of enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, all individuals classified as officers in the Reserve Corps under this section (as such section existed on the day before the date of enactment of such Act) and serving on active duty shall be deemed to be commissioned officers of the Regular Corps.'(c) Purpose and Use of Ready Research-

‘(2) USES- The Ready Reserve Corps shall–

‘(A) participate in routine training to meet the general and specific needs of the Commissioned Corps;'(B) be available and ready for involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises, similar to the uniformed service reserve personnel;

‘(C) be available for backfilling critical positions left vacant during deployment of active duty Commissioned Corps members, as well as for deployment to respond to public health emergencies, both foreign and domestic; and

‘(D) be available for service assignment in isolated, hardship, and medically underserved communities (as defined in section 799B) to improve access to health services.

‘(d) Funding- For the purpose of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the Commissioned Corps under this section, there are authorized to be appropriated $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014 for recruitment and training and $12,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014 for the Ready Reserve Corps.’

Commissioned officers of the ready reserve corps are appointed by the president, and commissioned officers of the regular corps are appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Robert Book, a senior research fellow in health economics at the Heritage Foundation, said the service has been around some time but is not well known.

In the past, its responsibilities have included work related to the National Institutes of Health, the Indian health service and providing physicians for Coast Guard operations, he said.

As first reported by WND during his campaign, Obama called for a “civilian national security force” July 2, 2008, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set,” he said. “We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

WND also reported in January when a Rand Corporation report proposed the federal government create a rapid deployment “Stabilization Police Force” that would be tasked with “shaping an environment before a conflict” and restoring order in times of war, natural disaster or national emergency.

The blogosphere is buzzing with speculation about the amendment. Some comments include:

  • This cannot be publicized enough!
  • Remember before the election when Obama said we need to have a civil defense corps as well funded and as well armed as the armed services?
  • Is it Hitler and the Brown Shirts all over again? It is time for all who love our freedom to stand up and be counted.
  • Perhaps ACORN with a different name?
  • What about FEMA. Does this mean FEMA is to be disbanded?
  • Healthstapo!
  • I guess this is how they’ll keep all the doctors from quitting the profession and becoming window washers.
  • Amazing isn’t it, they can’t afford to secure our borders, but we can afford this nonsense – dangerous nonsense.
  • Let’s all sign up. It will be much easier to take the country back if we do it from within.

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LetterFromTheCapitol brings us a post explaining that the current threat by Democrats to use reconciliation to bypass a Republican filibuster would violate the Senate’s “Byrd Rule”.  Reconciliation was designed to only be used for bills dealing with the budget and nothing else.

February 26, 2010

LFTC – ObamaCare: Filibuster Flim-Flam

As for Democrats threatening to use the “nuclear option”–bypassing the 60-vote cloture number that cuts off filibusters, using special rules designed for budget reconciliation votes, which require only 51 votes to pass and cannot be filibustered–Human Events collected quotes from top Democrats, including then-Senators Obama & Biden, warning against ending hallowed Senate tradition.  Enjoy the quotes & watch the video (4:48) at the end.  There is much more to the flim-flam involved here….

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) published “The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate’s ‘Byrd Rule'” in March 2008; the CRS paper makes clear that the 2001 & 2003 Bush tax bills were exempt from the Byrd Rule because they included sunset provisions that kept the bills within budgetary bounds–they expired within the budget reconciliation time window.  Senator Byrd sent a Feb. 23, 2010 “Dear Colleague” letter urging that supporters not use his Byrd Rule to bypass cloture.  In his Feb. 12, 2009 testimony before the Senate Budget Committee Sen .Byrd lambasted both parties for slipping non-germane amendments into reconciliation bills.  Sen. Byrd’s single-page April 2, 2009 “Dear Colleague” letter text contains the operative language (which I could not copy & paste).  Sen. Byrd, author of a history of the Senate, with more than a half century of service that makes him the longest serving senator, is legendary as an authority on the Senate Rules.

Former GOP Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (TN) explains why GOP tax cuts in 2001 & 2003 could use reconciliation without violating precedent: they did not increase a deficit, but rather returned an estimated revenue surplus to taxpayers:

The first use of this special procedure was in the fall of 1980, as the Democratic majority in Congress moved to reduce entitlement programs in response to candidate Ronald Reagan’s focus on the growing deficit. Throughout the 1980s and ’90s, reconciliation was used to reduce deficit projections and to enact budget enforcement mechanisms. In early 2001, with projected surpluses well into the future, it was used to return a portion of that surplus to the public by changing tax rates.

Senators of both parties have assiduously avoided using budget reconciliation as a mechanism to pass expansive social legislation that lacks bipartisan support. In 1993, Democratic leaders—including the dean of Senate procedure and an author of the original Budget Act, Robert C. Byrd— appropriately prevailed on the Clinton administration not to use reconciliation to adopt its health-care agenda. It was used to pass welfare reform in 1996, an entitlement program, but the changes had substantial bipartisan support.

In 2003, while I was serving as majority leader, Republicans used the reconciliation process to enact tax cuts. I was approached by members of my own caucus to use reconciliation to extend prescription drug coverage to millions of Medicare recipients. I resisted. The Congress considered the legislation under regular order, and the Medicare Modernization Act passed through the normal legislative procedure in 2003.

Byrd, for his part, rejects Frist’s analysis, because he believes that the Bush 43 tax bills added to the deficit, which if true would violate the Byrd Rule.  Eyeballing a chart showing the federal budget deficits from 1940- 2009 shows tax revenues slightly higher in 2009 than in 2001, with a dip in the middle; the deficit as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product narrowed to about 1.5 percent of GDP in 2007, before the financial meltdown began and sent the deficit soaring into the stratosphere.

More on the Senate filibuster’s origin & use: Here is Wiki’s filibuster entry–the word comes from European antecedents meaning “freebooter,” giving rise to the imagery of pirating or hijacking a bill.

George Will adds fascinating historical filibuster perspective:

The summit’s predictable failure will be a pretext for trying to ram health legislation through the Senate by misusing “reconciliation,” which prevents filibusters. If the Senate parliamentarian rules, as he should, that most of the legislation is ineligible for enactment under reconciliation, the vice president, as Senate president, can overrule the parliamentarian. This has not happened since 1975, but liberals say desperate times require desperate measures.

Today’s desperation? Democracy’s majoritarian ethic is, liberals say, being violated by the filibuster that prevents their enacting health legislation opposed by an American majority.

GW adds telling numbers:

Liberals also say the filibuster exacerbates the Senate’s flaw as “inherently unrepresentative.” That is, the Founders — who liberals evidently believe were dolts or knaves — designed it to represent states rather than, as the House does, population.

Liberals fret: 41 senators from the 21 smallest states, with barely 10 percent of the population, could block a bill. But Matthew Franck of Radford University counters that if cloture were blocked by 41 senators from the 21 largest states, the 41 would represent 77.4 percent of the nation’s population. Anyway, senators are never so tidily sorted, so consider today’s health impasse: The 59 Democratic senators come from 36 states containing 74.9 percent of the population, while the 41 Republicans come from 27 states — a majority — containing 48.7 percent. (Thirteen states have senators from each party.)

Since there have been 50 states, Republicans have never had 60 senators. There were 60 or more Democratic senators after seven elections — 1960 (64), 1962 (66), 1964 (68), 1966 (64), 1974 (61), 1976 (62) and 2008 (60, following Arlen Specter’s discovery that he is a Democrat and the protracted Minnesota recount). But both parties have been situational ethicists regarding filibusters.

There is more, including, GW notes, that President Obama’s deficit commission requires a 14 out of 18 vote to adopt recommendations!  GW adds: filibusters (a) serve a valid purpose and (b) have never prevented adoption of legislation ardently desired by the majority of the American public:

Filibusters are devices for registering intensity rather than mere numbers — government by adding machine. Besides, has a filibuster ever prevented eventual enactment of anything significant that an American majority has desired, strongly and protractedly?

There is more.  In the quotes linked above my favorite is actually Chris Dodd’s, which underscores Will’s point about major legislation winning bipartisan support:

Chris Dodd 5/18/2005: “I’ve never passed a single bill worth talking about that didn’t have a lead co sponsor that was a Republican. And I don’t know of a single piece of legislation that’s ever been adopted here that didn’t have a Republican and Democrat in the lead. That’s because we need to sit down and work with each other. The rules of this institution have required that. That’s why we exist. Why have a bicameral legislative body? Why have two chambers? What were the framers thinking about 218 years ago? They understood Mr. President that there is a tyranny of the majority.

WSJ columnist Kimberley Strassel explains why passage of ObamaCare is far from a slam dunk, even if the Senate manages to use the 51-vote trick to pass its version, due to a very dicey head count in the House.  Bil Kristol’s mini-blog captures House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s disdain for incrementalism.  Nonetheless, Peggy Noonan casts her gimlet eye on the 7-hour summit and finds Democrats prepared to try to ram their bill through and risk voter wrath in November.

Bottom Line.  The filibuster is a valuable tool of Senate rules. The House runs on majority diktat; the Senate on consent of 100.  While both parties have been guilty of playing footsie with filibusters, using parliamentary sleight-of-hand to ram through the restructuring of one-sixth of the American economy is without comparable precedent.  Voters do not track procedural niceties, but if ObamaCare is rammed through Democrats will answer come November.

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WorldNetDaily reports that the House and Senate bills that were passed both contain the “marriage penalty”, increasing the penalty (up to $10,000 annually) for married couples who don’t comply with the nationalized health care system but significantly reduce the penalty for non-married couples.

It’s ba-ack! Health-care plan redoubles ‘marriage penalty’

Congressional proposals could penalize couples $10,000 for saying ‘I do’


Posted: February 10, 2010
11:03 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily


Allen Quist

Bills pending in Congress that would nationalize health care by setting up mandatory insurance purchases and fines for not complying could penalize married couples $10,000 annually and are a direct attack on marriage, families and the church because of their discriminatory provisions, according to a congressional candidate.

“This is as awful, I will say evil … this is as evil as it gets,” Allen Quist, who is running to unseat Democrat Tim Walz in Minnesota’s 1st congressional district, told WND.

Quist said the fine print of provisions still alive in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives deliberately create enormous pressure for couples to live together without marriage – or even get divorced – by charging married couples thousands of dollars more in premiums and fees.

“And it’s deliberate,” Quist added, “This is clearly not accidental.”

“This is the most insidious attack on our country we have ever seen,” Quist said earlier this week in an interview with David Barton of WallBuildersLive.com.

“In fact you have government policies tearing apart marriage,” he said. “Marriage is the foundation of society. It’s the foundation of our government and to a large degree the basic unit in the church. [The policy] undermines the church’s teaching and undermines church structure.

“It weakens the family. It weakens the church, and it weakens our country,” he said.

Quist is retired adjunct professor of political science at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minn., and has written five books, including his most recent, “America’s Schools: The Battleground for Freedom.” He played a role in legalizing home schools in Minnesota and was one of seven delegates elected from the state to the White House Conference on Families in 1980.He currently writes and edits curriculum modules that can be used by teachers to supplement school texts. The material focuses on “exciting new information that will not be included in textbooks because the information contradicts politically correct worldviews including Darwinism and global warming.”

Marriage penalty

The Democrats’ health care legislation essentially would restore the old “marriage penalty,” Quist said. Under the U.S. Tax Code for many years, people who were married and had two incomes paid income tax on the second income that started at the highest rate for taxes on the first income.

A husband’s first $5,000 in income was taxed at the same – or next higher rate – as the wife’s highest $5,000 in income in a year.

However, if the two people were living together without marriage, the incomes were separate, and the second income would be taxed starting at the lowest rate of the tax table.

Members of Congress worked for years to repeal the measure and take away the financial penalty for being married.

Quist said the new health-care provisions restore the penalty and double it. He said all he needed to figure that out was his knowledge of how government works – he’s been a state representative for multiple terms – and a calculator. Under the two proposals pending, which are similar, two unmarried people with a combined income of about $59,000 would pay about $1,320 a year in medical insurance.

For a married couple with the same approximate income, the tab would be about $12,000.

It would hit young married couples hard and even would bite back at empty-nesters whose children have moved away from home, he said.

Two WND columnists previously have cited the disparity in the health care programs’ recommended costs for couples. Phyllis Schlafly wrote, “Even though all evidence shows that marriage is the best remedy for poverty, lack of health care, domestic violence, child abuse and school dropouts, federal welfare programs continue to discriminate against marriage and instead give taxpayer handouts to those who reject marriage.”

She cited tables revealing the House bill cost for an unmarried couple with $50,000 in combined income would be $3,076 a year. Married, they would pay $5,160.

Columnist Craige McMillan went further, noting that the head of a family making $44,000 a year would see periodic take-home pay of $2,854 reduced to $1,604 because of mandatory health insurance costs.

He reported, however, a single woman with the same income would have her income drop only from $2,687 to $2,603 because she could opt to pay a penalty instead of buying insurance.

“If she gets sick the new ban on pre-existing illnesses means she can sign up the month before she needs an expensive operation – and drop coverage a month later. And since emergency rooms will still have to treat the uninsured, no questions asked, why would she carry insurance?”

But Quist went further, charging that it is a deliberate attack on Christians.

“It’s persecution of the church, because of the church’s involvement with marriage,” he said.

“Millions of families [will have the choice] of staying married and not making their house, their mortgage payments or getting divorced and making their payments,” he said.

“This thing is designed to destroy marriage in the middle class – just as we’ve destroyed it on the poverty level,” he said, citing aid programs that lend more benefits to a single mother with children than the same family with a father present.

Quist said. “It’s going to come in like a freight train.”

According to a Heritage Foundation analysis, the provisions in the Senate bill confirm that “saying ‘I do’ would cost some couples over $10,000 a year.”

“At nearly all age and income levels, the bill profoundly discriminates against married couples, providing far less support to a husband and wife than to a cohabiting couple with the same income,” the analysis said.

“Under the Senate bill, married couples in general would receive between $1,500 and $10,000 less in government health care support than would cohabiting couples with the same total income.”

“For example, a young couple without children, age 20, each making $20,000, would receive $4,317 more in health benefits each year if they cohabit rather than marry. Slipping on the wedding ring would cut the couple’s annual disposable income by more than 10 percent. Rather than pay this new wedding tax, the couple is likely to postpone marriage or forego it entirely,” the analysis said.

Empty-nesters “would pay an effective tax of $5,000 to $10,000 per year for the right to remain married,” the report continued. “For example, a 60-year-old couple, each earning $30,000 per year, would receive $10,425 per year less in benefits if they marry or remain married. Simply by divorcing and then living together, the couple can boost their post-tax, take-home income by nearly one-fourth.”

The Heritage report warned, “The bill’s wedding tax is perpetual. … Some couples who remained married throughout their adult lives would face cumulative penalties of over $200,000 during the course of their marriage.”

Robert Rector, the author of the analysis and a Senior Research Fellow in Domestic Policy Studies at the foundation, concluded, “On the other hand, the bill establishes cohabiters as a privileged special interest, quietly channeling tens of thousands of dollars to them in preferential government bonuses. Offering couples massive financial rewards on the condition they jettison their wedding vows, or decline to make them in the first place, is absurd social policy. But that would be the established policy of the U.S. government if Obamacare becomes law.”

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