This from the Washington Post this morning:
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs … said that a fine for not buying insurance is more like a speeding ticket than a tax. But when pressed by a reporter about the excise taxes explicitly mentioned in the legislation, Gibbs replied: “It’s pretty clear.”
Actually, it’s not. I’ve got a speeding ticket. Cost me $25. The excise taxes levied on non-insured Americans –mostly, middle-class — is in the range of $1,900 if the Finance Committee’s bill passes (by Montana law to be fined that for speeding you’d need to be traveling in excess of 200mph). And so of course the Democrats are working to fix this unfair, totally moronic tax, right? No.
The longer this attempt at fixing Max’s awful bill goes on the more my stomach turns, especially when it’s a person like Sen. Mike Crapo — Larry Craig’s replacement — who has to offer an amendment to end the excise tax. Max and friends killed the amendment though. According to the Post Max said it would take needed funding away from the reform bill.
“We cannot, uh, pay the, uh, subsidies, uh — to the, uh — if we’re not willing to tax, the (you see the thing is…)…uh…we need the tax against the people in the middle so, uh, we can, uh, give it to the rich,” our Senator didn’t say, but might as well have.
(And of course no one from the Finance Committee spoke about raising taxes on the 1-percent to cover the cost, except for Republicans who don’t wish to do that either.)
Maybe it was because the debate lasted until 2am, but Jesus-jumped-up-Christ, is it worth it to go through this for a bad bill? Seriously. If a veterinarian told you that your cat needed to have a leg amputated, a kidney transplant, eye surgery, insulin shots, three teeth removed, a feeding tube, chemotherapy, and a haircut, you’d just give the poor thing a high dose of barbiturates.
I’m afraid we’ve lost. Again. And going with Max on this is not a win, and it never will be.