Why has Obamacare become a TEA Party issue?

Obamacare has become a TEA Party issue, and that’s a good thing for the TEA Partiers, and all freedom-loving Americans.

At the April 15 TEA Party gathering here in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, speakers will include a hopeful candidate for Congress, a pastor, and even a law enforcement official. What really caught my eye, though, was the announcement beforehand that “a local orthopedic surgeon will address the recently passed health care legislation.” This is hardly an isolated incident.

Doctors-Protest-2-in-DC-9-10-09

Think about it — the TEA Party is all about protesting massive, out of control government spending, and the excessive taxation that is necessary to support it. Obamacare has been largely debated as healthcare reform. Why should TEA Partiers care about healthcare reform? You may think that the TEA Party is branching out into more areas than the core issue that has made it such a huge and ever-growing success. You may find this risky and perhaps alarming. Let me disabuse you of that notion, and assure you that Obamacare was destined to be a core TEA Party issue from the very beginning.

Liberty, Taxes and ObamaCare

Rassmussen Reports recently published an article that began: “The number of people who say they’re part of the Tea Party Movement nationally has grown to 24%. That’s up from 16% a month ago, but the movement still defies easy description.”

The TEA Party is all about excessive taxes and our huge national debt, to be sure, but the increase in TEA Partiers grew by well over one-third in one month. How can this be? According to “new data” from Rasmussen Reports, among those who are part of the movement, 89% disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president. That figure includes 82% who Strongly Disapprove. One cannot possibly think that this has nothing to do with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the “Obamacare” statute, that was passed in the waning days of March, concomitant with the surge in TEA Party numbers. As Rasmussen puts it:

The rise in Tea party support is perhaps not surprising at a time when more voters than ever (58%) favor repeal of the national health care plan just passed by Democrats in Congress and signed into law by President Obama. Most voters remain convinced that the health care plan will require an increase in taxes on the middle class as a time when 66% of voters believe America is already overtaxed.

TEA:  Its about the LIBERTY, folks!

TEA: It's about the LIBERTY, folks!

I posit the theory that Obamacare has become a TEA Party issue — in fact, not just “an” issue, but perhaps the most pressing one. Rassmussen Reports has found that ninety-six percent (96%) of those in the Tea Party movement believe America is overtaxed, not a surprising result for a movement whose acronym, TEA, is widely considered to mean “Taxed Enough Already,” and which harkens back to a tax protest that changed world history — the Boston Tea Party. These folks know that there is no such thing as a free lunch — somebody has to pay for that hoagie. When the hoagie is government mandated/controlled/subsidized health insurance, the people paying for it are taxpayers.

Liberal/Progressive types constantly berate those voters who “remain convinced that the health care plan will require an increase in taxes on the middle class” a just blithering idiots who cannot hope to understand the brilliance of Obamacare. They constantly snipe that the CBO report shows that our gargantuan budget deficit will actually be reduced by their new “healthcare” law (and if you believe that, I have some prime snow-skiing property here in Mississippi that I would like to sell you). TEA Partiers, though, are a pretty common-sense bunch. When they see something that costs money, they know that the money must come from somewhere. Since the only source of income for the federal government is taxes, every non-Liberal instantly recognizes that taxes will have to be raised if the new spending is to be “budget neutral.”

Indeed, the list of “new and improved” taxes in the Obamacare law is staggering. According to an April 13th op-ed for the Washington Examiner by Grace-Marie Turner at the Galen Institute, “The health overhaul plan just enacted represents the largest tax hike in U.S. history – $569 billion over 10 years through a dizzying array of taxes and fees that promise to frustrate taxpayers at every turn. ObamaCare will make every day feel like April 15th. And despite President Obama’s campaign promise that no one making $250,000 or less would see a tax increase, Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation confirms that these tax hikes will hit millions of middle- and working-class families who are struggling to make ends meet.” (Emphasis added). According to well-documented research by Americans for Tax Reform in Washington DC, besides the penalty tax for lawbreakers who fail to carry health insurance (which the CBO says will cost taxpayers $39 billion from 2010-2019), there is the Medicine Cabinet Tax, the HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike, Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers, a tax on Indoor Tanning Services, a Blue Cross/Blue Shield tax , an excise tax on charitable hospitals, a tax on Innovator Drug Companies, a tax on health insurers, the elimination of a tax deduction for employer-provided retirement prescription drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D, and other draconian tax-related measures, such as the Marxist $500,000 annual executive compensation limit for health insurance executives, and red tape like employer reporting of insurance on W-2 and Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting, which creates enormous compliance burdens for small businesses and makes additional penalties likely.

I for one have concluded that Obamacare is not truly about healthcare. I take Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) at his word — it’s about controlling the people. Is there any issue nearer and dearer to the hearts of TEA Partiers than governmental control over their lives? Out of control spending and excessive taxation can only be rationally explained as a power grab by a tiny faction who control our federal government, and want to further control us.

Like the generation that fought the Revolutionary War and gave us the Constitution, the TEA Party movement recognizes that excessive taxation is a form of tyranny in and of itself. Obamacare is tyrannical in the way it mandates penalties, forces you to purchase insurance and commandeers state employees, to be sure, but it also constitutes a massive increase in taxation. TEA Partiers know this, and they don’t like it. Since 48% of voters now say the average Tea Party member is closer to their views than President Obama and 58% want Obamacare repealed, I conclude that opposition to Obamacare is not only a major issue for the Tea Party movement, it is a winning issue.

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