RUSH: Lots to do here on Open Line Friday, Rush Limbaugh. Determined to be in a good mood, folks. Determined to be happy. Determined to do everything I can to enjoy life. And if that makes some of you think I’m out of touch, so be it. I’ve been dealing with that complaint for 27 years. Over and over again I’ve heard that, “You’re out of touch, Rush, you’re losing touch with what it’s like to really be in America.” No, I’m not. Never have lost touch, never will lose touch. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t sit around and have fun now and then. You can’t be mired in misery all the time.
There’s so much. For example, there is how about free community college for everybody? Oh, yeah. And do you know now that community college, that’s what stirs the drink that is America. Community college. That’s where careers are made. Community college, the best kept secret in America now, Obama’s gonna make it a freebie. The price tag for this is about 34, $35 billion, but it’s gonna be free. The professors are not gonna work free, and the utilities are not gonna provide heat and air-conditioning for the buildings on the campi free, but it’s gonna be free to you, except maybe if you are due a tax refund.
You may not know this yet, but if you traditionally or annually arrange your taxes so that you get a tax refund, it may come to an end this year, for two reasons. The New York Times says their funding is short, and they may not be able to fully complete every responsibility, and therefore refunds might be late this year. Folks, I’m not kidding here. Got it here in the Stack of Stuff. Your refund might not ever find its way to you. It might instead be taken. We warned everybody of this back during the days when Obamacare was being debated and shortly after it was signed. Many people will lose their tax refunds, they will essentially be seized by the IRS to cover health care mandated expenses via Obamacare. Not kidding.
Some of you may never see your tax refund. The IRS has the authority to seize it if you have not followed the law and either paid the fine or bought a policy or what have you. So in order to make sure there isn’t a whole lot of anger about that, Obama has to do something. You’re not gonna get your refund, well, he’s gonna give you JC, though, junior college, community college free now. This is just a taste, just a taste of what’s on tape today.
RUSH: I want to remind you, some of you might remember this, but I caught a lot of heat back in 2009 and 2010, and maybe into 2011, when I learned how the IRS was going to collect fines from people on Obamacare. You know, you pay a fine if you don’t get an insurance policy. And it all relates to the individual mandate and the business mandate and all this sort of stuff and how you’re gonna be dealt with if you don’t sign up, don’t go to an exchange, don’t buy a policy from somewhere.
There’s a schedule that people will pay fines. The fines are cheaper than policies the first couple years on purpose. It doesn’t take long, though, that the fines end up being more expensive than the policies, but the fines being cheaper than the policy are designed to get people to pay the fines first if they don’t want insurance. It’s a psychological thing. And I remember telling people, the only way the IRS is empowered to collect the money is by seizing money from you via your tax return.
The IRS cannot send you a bill. Well, theoretically the IRS can do anything. But the way it was set up when Obamacare was first being debated and we were first learning about it was that if you were judged by the IRS to be in arrears when it came to the mandates of Obamacare, if you either owed a fine or if you had not spent enough on a policy or if you had not done enough to comply with the law, the way the IRS was, according to the law, empowered to get your money was to seize your refund.
Now, I don’t expect too many people remember this, because it was three, four years ago, and it was during a time when we were being flooded with details about what Obamacare was. But I remember for those who were paying close attention back then, I caught heat, because the moment that I learned this I suggested that people make changes in their withholding so that they did not get a refund. If the IRS can only take money from you in the form of a fine for not having Obamacare or some other failure to comply, if they can only get money by seizing your refund, then don’t do a refund. And you can do that by adjusting your withholding and have less money withheld.
I mean, the reason you have a big refund nine out of 10 times is because you are allowing too big a deduction from your pay every week or two weeks, however often you get paid. So the government gets your money, pays you no interest, they hold it for the year, and then you get a refund when you file your taxes that next April, and you think, “Wow, man, look at this, $1,500 refund, look,” and you start bragging to everybody about how you screwed up the government and how you pulled one over on ’em. And you did no such thing.
I caught grief for suggesting all of this. I caught a lot of grief, people telling me, “You don’t understand people’s situations, Rush. People need those refunds. It’s the only time in the year they ever have that much cash on hand at one time. And the economy needs that money, Rush, because that’s how people go out and buy mufflers and refrigerators and big screens and so forth and so on.” All of that I understand. I understand the allure of having a check for $800, $1,200, $2,000 in one lump. And I understand how you don’t want to give that up.
But you are denying yourself disposable income during the year in order to have that big check. In effect, you’re in an enforced savings plan at zero interest. And the bank once a year gives you the money back, at no interest. And that’s the IRS and your tax refund. And if you have a refund and you haven’t complied with Obamacare and they find out about it, your refund is where they’re gonna collect. And it is being estimated already that a lot of people who are expecting a refund this year are not gonna get it for a host of reasons, and there’s gonna be a lot of anger about this.
But there’s not gonna be anything anybody can do ’cause it’s the IRS. All they can do is get mad. So here comes Obama with free community college. You see how it works? Dear Leader is offering something in return in exchange for taking your money. He-he-he-he. And calling it free.
RUSH: So I checked the e-mail and I knew this was gonna happen: “Rush, what do you mean our tax refunds are gonna be appropriated by the IRS to pay whatever we haven’t purchased properly for Obamacare? I haven’t heard that. Are you just making this stuff up?”
No, folks. I don’t make things up. That does not happen here. I remember back in 2009-2010 when this whole thing was being debated and we were becoming acquainted with how the financials of this were gonna be enforced. And there’s only one agency that can do it, it’s the IRS. Why do you think that Obamacare requires — how many new IRS agents, was it 50,000 or something? A huge number of brand-new IRS agents. Why do you think it was necessary? The IRS is the agency that has been charged with collecting the money Obamacare legally mandates that we spend on this.
Washington Examiner with the story. “The complicated process of signing up for Obamacare is now being matched by IRS instructions to help Americans figure out how much in healthcare taxes they owe Uncle Sam. The agency has issued 21 pages of instructions, complete with links to at least three long forms and nine tip sheets.
And who is this geared to? It is geared to those who have Obamacare or who owe a fine, which is dubbed “the shared responsibility payment,” in IRS lingo. The fines that people owe, if they choose not to buy insurance, are called “shared responsibility payments.” And that’s right out of the socialist dictionary, folks. Shared responsibility. The convoluted theory behind Obamacare is if everybody pays a little then everybody will be covered.
But we’re not gonna allow people to not be covered. Health insurance is gonna be required by law. If you don’t buy it, if you’re not mandated by your employer, you pay a fine, and that’s called the “shared responsibility payment.” Well, what if you can’t pay it? The IRS just can’t make you write them a check. That has to be part of an audit or what have you. But with the new regulations they can abscond with your tax refund or whatever portion of it they need for you to meet your “shared responsibility payments.” It’s right here in the Washington Examiner. I’m not making it up.
You know, I know these people writing me these e-mails are leftists thinking I’m disparaging their guy. That I’m poisoning people’s minds. I got no point in doing that. No purpose is served by lying. It’s bad enough telling the truth about this stuff. There’s two figures out there. One’s $12,000, one’s $16,000. This is the aggregated cost that it’s gonna average out and every American is gonna have to pay at some point once this thing all fully implements. It is geared to those who have Obamacare, all these tips and long forms, or who owe a fine, called the “shared responsibility payment” for refusing to get health insurance.
The IRS just put out a 21 page instruction form to tell you how to comply. And much of it is devoted to what you have to do if you refuse to get health insurance. The IRS warned that everybody must have health insurance or pay the “shared responsibility payment.” And I’m telling you, you don’t have to believe me. You don’t have to believe me if you don’t want to, but they’re gonna get it from your refund. Try it. Try not buying a policy. Opt to pay the shared responsibility. Opt to pay the fine.
Where do you go to pay the fine? You can’t go anywhere and pay it. You’re gonna find out it’s gonna be taken or added to your taxes one way or another when you file your taxes is where that “shared responsibility payment” is going to be made. They’re either gonna charge you an additional amount that you haven’t had withheld or they’re gonna take it from your refund. I’m not making this up, much as you leftists would like to believe that I am.
And this dovetails nicely with the story we’ve had all week from Harvard. You heard about this. The Harvard faculty is outraged. Now, this needs to be put in perspective. The Harvard faculty was one of the early organizations to unanimously sign on in support of Obamacare, and they just didn’t sign on to support it; they became evangelists for it. Now, it so happens that the faculty at Harvard has one of the best employee benefit health plans going. Even with Obamacare, the maximum deductible that a member of the Harvard faculty has is $250 for an individual, and $500 for a faculty member as part of a family.
Now, you may not believe that because your deductible is in the thousands. Your out-of-pocket expenses have gone up to in the thousands. Your deductible is so high that you may not even incur enough health care expense over the year to invoke it. And yet you’re hearing that the Harvard faculty has a deductible $250. Well, you know what’s next? The Harvard faculty is outraged. The Harvard faculty is livid that they have this high deductible. Because prior to this they didn’t have one. The university paid it all for ’em. It was all-inclusive. They had a health care benefit plan that very few ever had.
But because of Obamacare, the university cannot simply afford to pay all of it for all the faculty anymore, so the faculty, for one of the first times ever, is having to chip in and pay a portion of its own Obamacare in the form of a $250 or, depending on family, five hundred-dollar deductable. And they are outraged. They’re livid. And people have been having a little schadenfreude moment all week because the Harvard faculty was out there telling everybody that this is the greatest thing since sliced bread, Obamacare was, and they were urging everybody to support it, and everybody to sign up for it. And they, like most people doing that, had no idea what was in it. They’ve only learned because we have arrived now at real world circumstance affecting them.
To show you out of touch the Harvard faculty is, they are livid that their deductible has gone up to $250. Your deductible may be $5,000. But I’m just saying that the IRS has a 21-page tip sheet and a bunch of forms telling you how to comply with your “shared responsibility payment,” i.e., fine, if you don’t have an insurance company. And they’re gonna get it from you. You cannot escape this unless you don’t file a tax return. And even if you do that, they’re gonna catch you at some point.
So if you’re opting to pay the fine, it’s gonna come out of your taxes one way or the other. You’re either gonna be charged when you file your return, your preparer, H&R Block, or you’re gonna figure, whoever does it for you, “You know, you owe an additional X for Obamacare.”
“What do you mean? I’ve had all that withheld. No, no, I don’t, my withholding is –”
“No, no. It’s the Obamacare fine. You don’t have a policy, so you owe X.” And you preparer will say, “Don’t worry about it, you’ve got a $1,200 refund coming, but they’ll take $900 of it as your fine payment so your refund is reduced to $300 bucks.” That’s what’s gonna happen to a lot of people, don’t know it yet. And many of those people think they’re getting a free ride because they qualified for subsidies. I’m telling you, folks, it’s gonna be an explosion out there.