Sparks fly at health care law enforcement hearing

California Congressman Darrell Issa weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," August 2, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, GUEST HOST: To the jobs that government is creating now, an army of new IRS agents to enforce the health care law. And, today, Republicans were demanding answers.


REP. ANN MARIE BUERKLE,R-N.Y.: This is gibberish. We're talking about the most intensely personal issue for the American people. It's not just going to be your income tax any longer. It is going to be, well, I have had a baby. I have lost my job. I have gotten a promotion. All that now has to be communicated to the IRS.

REP. MIKE KELLY, R-PA.: There is nothing that strikes fear in the hearts of people that own businesses than the fact that the IRS is showing up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, I will tell you, you made it hard for taxpayers, not the IRS. Let's get this right. You wrote this law. The Congress did not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what, I just got here. I have only been here for 19 months. No, I didn't write it. In fact, nobody even read it before they passed it. This government is crushing job creators.


BOLLING: Now the chairman of that committee, California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa.

Chairman, I listened to some of that testimony today and some of that hearing and it was just unbelievable. Tell us; give us your sense of what is going on. Is the IRS going to be charged with implementing or at least keeping track of the payments within ObamaCare?


Not only did no member of Congress believe that in fact this was a tax law that was mostly about empowering the IRS to delve into every aspect of your life to see whether you did or didn't get a subsidy and so on. But on top of that, a half a trillion dollars by an IRS rule, a single stroke of the pen by the commissioner, will cause that much more money in subsidies to happen than was in the four squares of the bill.

That is what today's hearing included was, the fact that they are going to be taking and subsidizing people in violation of the letter of the law. They said it was the intent of Congress. This law was so poorly written and so vague, that you can say almost anything was the intent of Congress, even though there was not one word on the House floor or in committee that implied what they are doing, but that is what is happening today. It will cost the taxpayers half a trillion dollars a year.

BOLLING: I want to get to that in just a minute, but let's talk about that for a second.

If I don't pay my taxes, Chairman, I get fined and basically the IRS comes knocking on my door. As of 2014, if I don't buy health care, is the IRS going to start knocking on my door also?

ISSA: Oh, absolutely. They will do more than that. They will take $2,000 from your employer, $2,000 from you. Additionally, if there is a subsidy paid for those who don't take it, this is a not a subsidy you apply for. It's one the IRS will deem. They will take that from your employer. So it could cost $5,000 between the whole shebang for not doing it.

But more importantly, you now are going to have to explain to the IRS and they will look for changes in all kinds of status, including married, who is living in the house. It means there will be more information collected and disseminated by the IRS on a monthly basis than the census even does. That is part of the challenge. Its part of a challenge we heard today the IRS is not ready for.

BOLLING: Chairman, how many people, how many IRS agents are they proposing it will take to implement ObamaCare?

ISSA: Well, they are estimating 800 and some, but let's remember, we now have 67,000 TSA agents when they estimated 16,000. You know how government works. If they estimate less than 1,000, it will be more then 4,000.

BOLLING: Congressman, we just had Joe Grano, who used to run UBS, a well-respected man on Wall Street. He said the partisanship is disgusting, I believe that was his word, disgusting. What do you make of that?

ISSA: Well, I think partisanship for the sake of partisanship is always wrong. I think that is an important thing to look for an opportunity to work across the aisle any time you can. But the divide between the two parties in areas of which way we think the country should go, smaller government, lower spending, more empowerment of the private sector, get private jobs going again vs. additional subsidies for public sector activities, that is a big difference, and it's one the voters will have to resolve in November.

BOLLING: Congressman, I was listening to some of the back-and-forth with Congressman Kelly there.

The people representing -- I believe that was people representing the IRS, if I am not mistaken. They seemed angry and they seemed mad. They seemed defensive. Is this what we will expect come a year from now or so? The IRS agents that will be knocking on our door and with that type of attitude?

ISSA: Well, very clearly, the IRS is being given a job that is far beyond the scope historically of the IRS.

And it will be a burden on the IRS. Both witnesses today, both the commissioner and the tax advocacy, they said basically in written statements, in written reports that they will have to choose between audits and if you will snooping into whether or not you get the subsidy of a few thousand dollars.

And, cumulatively, this subsidy is large. One thing we heard today, too, is you may get a subsidy you didn't even want and then at the end of the year you may find $3,000 pulled back out of your tax return for a subsidy you didn't want, that didn't go to you. It actually went to a state or federal exchange, in other words to another government age.

BOLLING: Sounds like a lot more bureaucracy.

Chairman Darrell Issa, thank you, sir.

ISSA: It is. Thank you, Eric.

BOLLING: All right.

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