Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Affordable Care Act, by the numbers

   The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Fincher). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 5, 2011, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert) for 30 minutes.
   Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
   We have had a number of people ask, Why would we have a vote today to repeal ObamaCare when it has been done before?
   There had not been a vote taken since the United States Supreme Court said that the administration misrepresented what was really in this bill. It was a tax. We know there have been misrepresentations about different things, but this bill creates a massive tax for the people who can least afford it.
   So run the numbers:

   If you make $14,856 or more and if you're a single individual, then the chances are you're probably not going to be able to pay for a $12,000 health insurance policy, which is the estimated cost of the insurance policy that is being mandated by the ObamaCare law. If you cannot and if you make more than $14,856--let's say you make $20,000--and you can't afford the $12,000 for the insurance policy, then you will have an extra annual tax of $371 when the 2 1/2 percent extra income tax kicks in. If you only make $14,856 and if that's before taxes--take away a hunk of that for income tax, Medicare tax, Social Security tax--then that $371 means a lot. It may mean the difference between being able to fill up a worker's car enough times to get to and from work so he doesn't lose his job.
   If you're a family of two and if you make $20,123 or more--if you make $30,000 or anything over $20,123--then you will have an extra 2 1/2 percent tax of $503.
[Time: 18:20]
   But the more you make over $20,123, the more the tax is. But it's a minimum of $503. If you make $30,657 and you're a family of four, four people living off $30,657 under ObamaCare, if you still cannot afford the $12,000 or so policy that the government mandates under this law, then you will have an additional $766 with which you will not be able to buy food for your family. You'll not be able to buy gas for your car with that extra $766. I don't mean people who make $30,000 and have a family of four have an extra $766. The people I talk to that make that kind of money and have a family of four don't have any extra money, and especially not to pay the extra $766 Obama tax on these individuals.
   If you make $41,190 or more and you're a family of six, you will have a minimum $1,030 extra income tax that you will have to pay in order to meet the requirements of ObamaCare and to keep the Obama tax IRS agents off your doorstep. There are thousands and thousands of new IRS agents who will find jobs, even though there's hundreds of thousands in net loss of jobs since this President has taken over. We've lost four more jobs than we've picked up.
   At least one piece of good news is that the government has gotten bigger. That's good news for those who love big government. I don't happen to. There's good news for those who love more IRS agents because we're adding thousands and thousands of those who will make sure that if you make $41,190 and you're a family of six, they'll make sure that not only do you have to pay your regular income tax, you will have an added tax, an Obama tax in ObamaCare of $1,030 minimum. Anything you make above $41,190 and you're a family of six or fewer, then you will keep paying more tax the more you make. And that is if you're not able to afford the $12,000 or so average cost that is estimated that the Obama health insurance that's dictated in the ObamaCare bill will require.
   If you're a family of eight or more and you make $51,724 or more, you will have a minimum tax of $1,293 on top of regular income tax. Congratulations, that's a gift from the Obama administration and all of those--not a single Republican--on the Democratic side of the aisle that voted to cram down ObamaCare on a Nation where it was clear poll after poll after poll what the people wanted. The American people got it. They did not want the government dictating their health care.
   Now we have Chief Justice John Roberts abandoning intellectual integrity with his opinion in pages 11 through 15 and saying clearly this is not a tax, it's a penalty. It's the Obama administration penalizing everybody in America that doesn't buy exactly what the administration says. It's a penalty. Chief Roberts makes it clear the best evidence he says of what it is is Congress' own language. Congress calls it a ``penalty.'' It really is. It just penalizes those who don't do what the Obama administration says.
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   Then at about the middle of page 15 of the Supreme Court opinion, Chief Justice Roberts says since it's a penalty and not a tax, the Anti-Injunction Act does not apply. So the Supreme Court does have jurisdiction because, as he makes clear, if this were really a tax, the Anti-Injunction Act would apply, and no one could file suit over the ObamaCare bill until 2014. But he says since it's a penalty and not a tax, then we do have jurisdiction, we can proceed now, and we don't have to wait until 2014.
   Then he proceeds through the rest of his opinion, after talking about the Commerce Clause, to say that no matter what Congress called it, this is really a tax. Then, of course, he has to also justify why he calls it a penalty for one thing and a tax for another. It is one of the worst written opinions that I've seen.
   At least when the liberals on the Supreme Court have written opinions, they've at least been more intellectually consistent than that tragic opinion as written by our Chief Justice. He's a good man. He lost his way. I feel sure that at some point he will find his way back when he realizes what has really occurred.
   Today, the ObamaCare bill was debated somewhat further; but yesterday during the debate I heard people on the Democratic side of the aisle who kept saying, No one has lost their insurance. No one will lose their insurance. If you like your insurance, you're not going to lose it. There were people that I have great respect for saying that, and I know they would never intentionally tell something that's false, the key being intentionally.
   What it told me is they really don't know; they honestly don't know that people across America have already been losing their insurance that they liked and wanted to keep. They don't know that. So I'm hopeful that people across America, when they've heard over the last few days people saying nobody will lose their insurance, nobody has lost their insurance, that as people continue to and have already lost their insurance, that they will make sure to drop a line or give a call or something and make sure that people here know that, Yes, we have lost our insurance and we liked it. We were okay with it. It was ObamaCare that caused the loss.
   We heard people who kept saying we ought to be talking about jobs. I know they're sincere about that. What they don't understand is that this bill is killing jobs. As so many people have said that I've talked to, We are right there at the 50-employee limit under ObamaCare. We don't want to have 50. We're keeping things small. We're not going to hire some folks. We're doing other things because we simply cannot afford to pay that extra $2,000 an employee tax that we get hit with the minute we go over that 50-employee limit.
   There are people not being hired. There are people that are losing jobs. Others are saying, We're downscaling. We don't want to be over that 50-employee number so that we can maybe stay competitive in a down economy.
   But the trouble is, people are hurting these days. The economy is difficult.
   And I've been intrigued, as have people on both sides of the aisle, who let me know that during this time when we have a chance--Democrats for a time, Republicans for a time, back and forth--have a chance to bring things to the floor to get into the Congressional Record and to make public things that others may have missed. I constantly have people say, I had no idea about that until I heard you talking about it on the floor. I was watching C-SPAN.
   And I've been told before, Gee, we love it when you're on TV because then we can finally turn you off. Then I have been told by others in some offices here on Capitol Hill that they actually turn up the sound when they see me on.
   Whatever the case, Mr. Speaker, this is a wonderful chance to make sure people get information that they don't have time to get otherwise.
[Time: 18:30]
   We have been hearing a great deal about the photo ID.
   In the District of Columbia Federal court here, we have been having a suit between our so-called Department of Justice and Texas over whether Texas can do as Indiana did and require a photo ID in order to vote.
   Texas pretty well tracked the Indiana law. It looks like a good law. I read it. I read the Supreme Court opinion that addressed the issue and upheld the law as being a legitimate law.
   I don't know that, from reports I heard today, whether or not Texas is trying the case properly, but if they put on the evidence that's available and is quite convincing and clear, there should be no reason for Texas to lose this case that requires a photo ID. If someone cannot afford a photo ID, they can't afford the few dollars for that, then under the Texas law, as the Indiana law, they can simply make that indication, and if you can't pay for it, then you're going to get it free.
   There are groups in Texas that have made clear if you can't get to where you need to go to get a photo ID, we'll take you there.
   In fact, if this Justice Department had spent a tiny, tiny fraction of the money it has spent on this litigation against Texas, against Florida, and against these other States on just helping people get photo IDs, there wouldn't have been a problem in the world with everybody having a photo ID that needed one.
   This article, a July 11, 2012, publication, Katie Pavlich, News Editor, writes:
   Earlier today, Attorney General Eric Holder addressed the NAACP National Convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. What did media need in order to attend? That's right, government issued photo identification (and a second form of identification too!), something both Holder and the NAACP stand firmly against when it comes to voting.
   Wow, the NAACP and the Attorney General have just disenfranchised a slew of people that probably would have liked to have heard the Attorney General. But they disenfranchised them, said you can't come into the NAACP convention unless you've got a photo ID. You can't come in.
   Yet the Attorney General was in court saying that what Texas is doing is wrong, and if it's wrong, why are the NAACP and the Attorney General doing it?
   The article says:
   All media must present government-issued photo ID (such as a driver's license) as well as valid media credentials. Members of the media must RSVP to receive press credentials.
   And it gives the website. Then it says:
   For security purposes, media check-in and equipment setup must be completed by 7:45 a.m. CDT for an 8:00 a.m. CDT security sweep. Once the security sweep is completed, additional media equipment will NOT be permitted to enter and swept equipment will NOT be permitted to exit.
   But what's sad is these so-called folks that can't get a photo ID that the NAACP and the Attorney General are complaining about, not being able to get one, they can't even get into the convention.
   So how is it that these people who say we're out for those that don't have a photo ID really care about those without a photo ID if they won't even let them into their convention?
   Ironically, NAACP President Ben Jealous railed against voter ID just before Holder took the stage.
   In the convention they are railing against it, but the people without photo IDs, if there are those who can't get them that really want them, they couldn't get in to hear the speech.
   Going on:
   The head of the NAACP on Monday likened the group's fight against conservative-backed voter ID laws that have been passed in several States to the great civil rights battles of the 1960s.
   Benjamin Todd Jealous, the CEO and president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said these are ``Selma and Montgomery times,'' referring to historic Alabama civil rights confrontations. He challenged those attending the NAACP's annual convention to redouble their efforts to get out the vote in November.
   ``We must overwhelm the rising tide of voting suppression with the high tide of registration and mobilization and motivation and protection,'' he said.
   ``Simply put, the NAACP will never stand by as any State tries to encode discrimination into law,'' Jealous said.
   Well, obviously he doesn't have a chance to get out and see the real news. But in Georgia they passed a photo ID requirement for voters and have had two elections since, and in both those elections minorities
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increased greater than before, and actually increased greater than Anglo voters. There has been no disenfranchisement in Georgia.
   So, actually, it turns out that the photo ID has engaged minority voters. The fact is the Voting Rights Amendment is a violation of our United States Constitution until it is applied, section 5 is applied, to every State in the Union.
   There were southern States that were guilty of racial suppression in the sixties and prior, and it is an abomination to this Nation that such occurred, not nearly as much as slavery, but it's still an abomination. It still should not have been happening. The Voting Rights Act has done a great deal toward eliminating that.
   But, unfortunately, under the Voting Rights Act, atypical of most things in America, once you improve your State to the place where there is no problem, you still are not out from under punishment, the penalty of section 5, because of what happened in the 1960s and before.
   So, States have complained, look, you know, we fix things. We're doing good. In fact, we are doing better than so many districts in other parts of the country that are not under section 5 that's so punitive.
   Some of us couldn't help but wonder, when a big majority on both sides of the aisle voted to extend the Voting Rights Act, including section 5 that got even tougher for another 25 years, why they wouldn't have supported the Gohmert amendment. The Gohmert amendment said, look, section 5, punitive provisions ought to apply to every district, every State in the country. Failure to do so is a violation of equal protection.
   Why is it that districts in other parts of the country, north, east, west, are allowed to grow into racial disparity and suppression of minority vote but they're not treated with section 5, whereas States that have been under that punitive provision can't ever get out from under it even though they are better off than other parts of the country?
   Well, the reason, it seems to be--you wonder, why would people vote? Why not vote to do it across the country? If it's good for these States that have proved better than our own State, why should it not apply to everyone? And I still ask that question. The only thing you wonder is we had the power to ram this down on these States punitively, so we did. The last thing we wanted was any of those punitive provisions applying to our States or our districts where disparity is more a problem than those original areas.
   So, I don't know. I wonder if at some point we're going to have a rush of the bipartisan leadership that pushed that through to come back and say, You know what, Louie, you're right. If it applies to southern States, it ought to apply to everybody. It ought to apply to those districts that have more of a racial problem than there has been or exists now in those States that are treated punitively.
[Time: 18:40]
   Well, we'll see.
   We've also heard about the loving relationship, as this administration says, with such a great ally as Israel. And it defies explanation. This is from Breitbart, William Bigelow, dated 10 July 2012:
   How much does Barack Obama hate Israel and want to throw her under the bus? Here's how much: the Obama administration not only excluded Israel from a new counterterrorism forum in Spain; it didn't even mention Israel in its remarks. If there were ever a country that has dealt with murderous terrorist attacks over and over again, that country would have to be Israel.
   Here's what Marie Otero, the State Department's Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, said:
   ``Last September at the official launch of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, I had the privilege to introduce the premiere of a film `Hear Their Voices,' which tells the stories of 11 survivors of terrorist attacks from Pakistan, Jordan, Northern Ireland, Uganda, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Spain, Colombia, and the United States. The film, which was produced by the Global Survivors Network, is a powerful plea for audiences around the world, especially those sympathetic to the grievances expressed by extremists, to recognize the human cost of terrorism, and I am delighted that our Spanish hosts are planning on showing this film here later this afternoon.''
   When Secretary of State Clinton announced the coalition's formation in June, she didn't include Israel on her list of countries that suffer from terrorist attacks.
   How could Secretary Clinton not immediately think of Israel as a country that suffers from terrorist attacks when they have bombs, they have rockets flying into Israel every day?
   Defenders of Israel were furious, even those who were Democrats. Josh Block, a Democratic strategist and a former spokesman for AIPAC, said, ``When the administration promised to include Israel in the counterterrorism forum that the United States founded--after Jerusalem's inexplicable exclusion from the initial meeting a month ago--one would think that they would be true to their word. Clearly, someone failed here. How Israel could be excluded from another meeting of an anti-terror forum that we in the United States chair is beyond comprehension, especially one that focuses on victims of terrorism. At a time when Romney is challenging the administration's record on U.S.-Israel relations, this error stands out.''
   First of all, Mr. Block, no one failed here. Obama succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
   Later in the article:
   Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation of Defense of Democracies, said, ``What we're seeing is a trend of Israel being left out of the global discussion on terrorism, while Israel was extremely helpful during the beginning stages of this conversation. The Obama administration is downplaying the struggle that Israel has been enduring. I believe to a certain extent this is due to regional politics, and it's disconcerting to see this change. It just looks like a quiet effort to downplay the issue.''
   The State Department would not answer questions about the matter.
   Pretty tragic how this State Department, how this administration could continue to exclude Israel from counterterrorism discussions about countries who have been victims of terrorism.
   Here is an interesting additional article. We had another hearing today in one of our Judiciary Committees. It caused us to think again about Fast and Furious, never far from your mind when you know there are guns out there still being used to kill innocent people that were put there, forced there, by this administration. This article, dated July 6 from Deroy Murdock, National Review Online--and I'm not going to read the whole article, but a significant part is important to note.
   Mr. Murdock writes:
   While Brian Terry is the most visible victim of this notorious policy, he is not its sole casualty.
   On February 15, 2011, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata, 32, was shot mortally in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Members of Los Zetas drug gang also hit ICE agent Victor Avila in that ambush, although not fatally. This assault involved a rifle purchased in Dallas in another Obama administration ``gunwalking'' escapade.
   Largely overlooked is this plan's calamitous impact on Mexico, its people, and U.S.-Mexican relations. Fast and Furious has spilled American blood. But south of the border, it has made blood gush like an oil strike.
   ``One of the things that's so offensive about this case is that our Federal Government knowingly, willfully, purposefully, gave the drug cartels nearly 2,000 weapons--mainly AK-47s--and allowed them to walk,'' RepresentativeJason Chaffetz told NBC News. These arms were supplied to lead Federal agents in Phoenix to the Mexican thugs who acquired them. Instead, Fast and Furious guns melted into Mexico without a trace.
   And I add, parenthetically, because they were never intended to be followed. And that was clear.
   Back to the article:
   These weapons became invisible, but not silent.
   The 300 Mexicans or so that have died as a result of this also deserve attention and what it's done to our American-Mexican relations needs great sympathy and heartfelt apologies.
   With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time. 


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