RUSH: I think the mainstream media is pig-ignorant of practically every discipline except party discipline. Now, here's basically what happened. Matt Drudge is a self-employed small businessman.
As a result, Matt Drudge pays himself.
He does not have an employer. Therefore, he does not the get paychecks that contain all kinds of withholding for taxes and Medicare and FICA, Social Security, and whatever else. He has to pay all of his taxes separately and independently because they're not deducted. As such, as a small businessman, Matt Drudge and millions of others just like him -- including your harmless, lovable little fuzzball host -- pay our taxes every quarter.
We have to pay what are called quarterly estimates. This is what Matt Drudge does, and it can get a little complicated. April 15th, the first payment is due. June the 15th, the second payment is due. September 15th, the third payment is due. And on January 15th of the next year, the fourth and final payment is due. Therefore, the first payment for the 2015 income tax year, Matt Drudge has to pay it on April the 15th, as does everybody else who files quarterly estimates.
This simple fact is something that the smartest (by reputation) mainstream media reporters simply cannot understand and cannot get their arms around. Matt Drudge sent out a tweet on Friday in which he said that his first quarterly estimate coming up in April he will be paying his Obamacare penalty for not having insurance. In his tweet, he called it "a liberty tax," and the media jumped all over him!
They called him a liar. They told him he didn't know what he was talking about. Mainstream media reporters! The White House jumped all over Drudge with their agents on Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the mainstream media. They said that Drudge was lying to embarrass Obama, that Drudge didn't know what he was talking about, that Drudge was stupid and that you don't have to pay your Obamacare penalty until 2015 because it's been delayed for a year.
Matt Drudge pointed out, "No, not for us. I have to pay my 2015 taxes starting in April of 2014," and they can't understand this. It is amazing the degree of ignorance. He has talked to three or four of these people in person. The last one he talked to has admitted that he's probably not lying but that he still doesn't have to do what he's doing. The fact of the matter is, when you file your taxes next April for this year, in 2015 for 2014, everybody will have to pay the penalty.
Except those of us who pay quarterly estimates have to pay our taxes during the year. As independent contractors, we have to pay everything that's due (estimated) as it goes. The estimates can be very complicated. You can't simply take what you earned last year and divide it by four and make those payments, because, if you underestimate how much you owe, you get socked with a huge penalty. So the safest thing to do is overpay a little bit.
So Drudge went ahead and made a payment on his penalty for not having Obamacare insurance because he's not gonna buy it. He's gonna pay the penalty. At his income level, his penalty would be 1% of his annual income, 'cause the penalty formula is it's either 1% of your income or some other thing. It's the greater of the two, not the lesser of the two. Here's how Breitbart reports the story.
"A White House aide set off a stampede of liberal media criticism for Internet news pioneer Matt Drudge over Obamacare -- but his critics don't seem to understand how small businesses pay taxes. The brouhaha started when Drudge tweeted, 'Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not 'getting covered'... I'M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX.' Jesse Lee, the Director of Progressive Media at Barack Obama's White House, responded that that was a 'Flat lie, no fee for previous year,' adding, 'Scary how much influence he once had.'"
So Obama's own acolyte, Obama's own White House smear merchant, doesn't even understand. Matt Drudge is not paying last year's taxes in April, like you will be. He is paying the first payment the government is due this year, as is everybody else. When Matt Drudge files his return, if he waits 'til April 15th -- or maybe he's already done it. Let's say he hasn't. If Matt Drudge files his April 15th payment, he's already paid his taxes in four statements.
He's just filing the return. He's already paid the money. Matt Drudge paid the bulk of this year's taxes last year, and he's paying the bulk of next year's taxes this year, as is everybody, every small businessman who is an independent contractor and files quarterly. Yet here's this White House tweeting out, "Flat lie. No fee for previous year." He's not paying the previous year. Drudge is paying this year's taxes. He's paying taxes on the year that the penalty will be imposed.
He knew it and his accountant knew it.
He has to make the first payment on the penalty by April 15th.
He went ahead and did it. He filed early just to be safe.
"Scary how much influence he once had"? Was he talking about Obama? Moreover, why is there even a "director of progressive media" at the White House? Is there a director of conservative media there? (Just kidding.) Now, "Lee's response to Drudge set off a firestorm in the liberal media, with many mainstream media and left-wing reporters countering him on Twitter and in their own articles to claim he does not have to pay Obamacare's Individual Mandate tax until next year.
The individual mandate went into effect Jan. 1 of this year, and most people paying their taxes right now are paying taxes for 2013. 'Dude, there's no penalty until next yr,' Sahil Kapur of the left-wing Talking Points Memo tweeted. Kapur's colleague at TPM Dylan Scott wrote a full story with a headline alleging Drudge was 'probably lying.' 'Americans don't pay a penalty for not having health insurance until they file their 2014 taxes -- in 2015,' Scott wrote.
"'So either Drudge is lying or he paid a huge penalty a year earlier than he needed to.' 'Penalty isn't collected until 2015,' Sam Baker of National Journal tweeted at Drudge. The Huffington Post's Jeffrey Young wrote a full article in which he described Drudge's tweet as 'weird' and a 'little head-scratching' because the Obamacare tax does not kick in until the 2014 tax year.
"Drudge indicated in his follow-up tweets that since he is self-employed as the proprietor of The Drudge Report, he files as a small business. According to the IRS's website for self-employed individuals, they are required to pay taxes quarterly. 'As a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly,' the IRS website reads. So, when they file and pay those 2014 first quarter taxes, such individuals have to pay the Obamacare Individual Mandate tax if they opted to not have health insurance..."
It's on the IRS website, and still the media is running around calling Drudge a liar. Drudge is abiding by the law. They are calling him a liar; they're accusing him of trying to damage Obama. He is now referring to them as "The Obama Media." "Additionally," ladies and gentlemen, "the IRS form (1040-ES) for estimating quarterly taxes..." The ES there is for "estimates," for those of you in Rio Linda.
"Additionally, the 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."
Breitbart tracked all this down. You would think mainstream journalists would. Maybe they can't be bothered to chase down such minor details. "Drudge even indicated as much in follow-up tweets..." Hey, the law says it. Go look at the website. He's gotta make the first payment on this penalty before April 15th. "But the left-wing reporters -- and the White House -- have left their criticisms of him intact. 'Dazed team Obama media reporters think Opt-Out tax 'year away'?' Drudge tweeted.
"'Not for small businesses that file Qtr estimates. We're there NOW, baby,'" and I can tell you, Drudge is right. I'm in the same boat, folks. But the point here is that this is total, willful ignorance, on the part of people who are supposedly, as members of the media, experts on taxes and economics. They are at least supposed to know more than you do so that they can tell you what all this means when it's discussed in the news!
But they are so in the tank for Obama that all they're attuned to is anything that might appear harmful or damaging to Obama. They then have to circle the wagons, and, as is always the case, rather than debate the merits of anything, the objective is to smear and destroy whoever they consider to be the enemy of Obama. So Obama and his people make haste and write all over the place that Drudge is a liar.
They write that Drudge is "probably" lying, that Drudge is simply trying to hurt Obama, or that Drudge is stupid and is paying the tax a year before he has to. But, regardless, the simple truth is, they don't know the law. They do not know. They are our media guardians, and they do not know. They're not interested in knowing. Not one of them looked at the Drudge tweet and said, "I wonder what this is about," and went and checked it out.
Without exception, they all descended on Drudge with the effort to impugn and destroy him. I talked to Drudge about this. He said he's talked to four reporters, and only one of them has finally concluded that he's "probably not lying." Probably not lying! But that he's still wrong. It's right there on the IRS website. It's right there on IRS Form 1040-ES. There is a line, "Other taxes."
That's where you are required to make your first installment on your penalty for not having Obamacare. If you don't make the payment as you file your quarterlies, you don't have until April of 2015 to pay it; you've got to pay it now. People who are paying and filing... See, if you don't do quarterly estimates, your taxes are withheld, but you don't report anything until beginning in January of the next year.
So most people will not start filing their returns for this year until next January, February, and March. Quarterly filers are paying and filing four times a year. They're not having any withheld. They have to do that themselves and estimate what they owe -- and they've got to be close. If they underestimate, then there's hell to pay for doing that. That's why you have to have an accountant figure it out for you.
RUSH: Drudge even linked to the IRS form, the 1040-ES that shows quarterly estimate filers are required to pay their Obamacare tax penalty this year, and the media still claims he's "probably lying." He did that legwork for them. So the whole point of this, folks, is, it's not just that they're in the tank for the Democrats and the left... They're genuine...
They just don't know anywhere near as much as people assigned to them. You know, we talk about low-information voters. We've got low-information media, and they are not aware of what they don't know. They are so arrogant about their all-knowingness that they can't conceive that they don't know anything -- and, when they encounter it, they're just flummoxed.