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Martin Spews "Wildly Inaccurate" Garbage In Jefferson County Debate

Show Me Progress' Hotflash has a great new post highlighting some of the back and forth from Sunday's debate between Russ Carnahan and Ed Martin. It's really worth watching her clips to see what a class act Martin can be when he puts his mind to it.  In one of the clips, Martin twists Carnahan's support for repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy into support for same-sex marriage.

In another, embedded here, Martin states that "Obamacare basically says you will give up control of your health care and government bureaucrats will figure it out of it for you." (See here for Martin's previous declaration that "Democrat Health Plan = Abortion and Euthanasia.")   "And not only that, there will be 16,000 new IRS agents that will come and find you and tell you if you haven't got the right kind of care and coverage." Watch it:

You may be surprised to learn that Ed Martin is lying. (I know I was!) took a look at this claim a few months ago, and wrote that the 16,000 new IRS agent claim "stems from a partisan analysis based on guesswork and false assumptions, and compounded by outright misrepresentation."

This wildly inaccurate claim started as an inflated, partisan assertion that 16,500 new IRS employees might be required to administer the new law. That devolved quickly into a claim, made by some Republican lawmakers, that 16,500 IRS "agents" would be required. Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas even claimed in a televised interview that all 16,500 would be carrying guns. None of those claims is true.

The IRS’ main job under the new law isn’t to enforce penalties. Its first task is to inform many small-business owners of a new tax credit that the new law grants them — starting this year — which will pay up to 35 percent of the employer’s contribution toward their workers’ health insurance. And in 2014 the IRS will also be administering additional subsidies — in the form of refundable tax credits — to help millions of low- and middle-income individuals buy health insurance.

The law does make individuals subject to a tax, starting in 2014, if they fail to obtain health insurance coverage. But IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified before a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee March 25 that the IRS won’t be auditing individuals to certify that they have obtained health insurance. He said insurance companies will issue forms certifying that individuals have coverage that meets the federal mandate, similar to a form that lenders use to verify the amount of interest someone has paid on their home mortgage. "We expect to get a simple form, that we won’t look behind, that says this person has acceptable health coverage," Shulman said. "So there’s not going to be any discussions about health coverage with an IRS employee." In any case, the bill signed into law (on page 131) specifically prohibits the IRS from using the liens and levies commonly used to collect money owed by delinquent taxpayers, and rules out any criminal penalties for individuals who refuse to pay the tax or those who don’t obtain coverage. That doesn’t leave a lot for IRS enforcers to do.

Pretty much par for the course from Ed Martin. 



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