Tuesday, January 09, 2007

More on Arnold Calling Taxes "Fees"

As the L.A. Times reports, there's more than salesmanship in Governor Schwarzenegger calling the taxes which are part of his universal healthcare proposal "fees."

Fees, you see, can be passed by the California state legislature with a simple majority. Taxes, on the other hand, require a two-thirds majority to pass, and that number of votes will be much harder for the governor to obtain.

I find the governor's attempted deception -- which isn't going to fool anyone -- in order to further his agenda disturbing. A "fee" which is mandatory and cannot be avoided is a tax, pure and simple. Components of the plan include new payroll taxes on employers who don't purchase health insurance for their employees, new taxes on doctors and hospitals, and the state withholding income tax refunds or garnishing wages of those citizens who don't obtain health insurance. These are all new forms of taxation.

As Captain Ed points out, the new tax on doctors -- which Arnold euphemistically calls a "coverage dividend" -- could discourage some from becoming doctors or from practicing medicine in this state. And that's just the tip of the iceberg for the unintended consequences that clearly would result from Arnold's grand plan.

The governor needs to stop playing semantic games and honestly acknowledge that this plan will require him to break his campaign pledge against new taxes.


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