A March 25 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas asserts that "As many as a dozen taxes in the new health care law violate President Barack Obama’s campaign pledge not to raise taxes on families earning less than $250,000 and on individuals earning less than $200,000." But Lucas has an extremely broad definition of constitutes a "tax" -- taking his cue from Republican talking points:
At least seven of these taxes directly affect health consumers regardless of income, such as the individual mandate to buy insurance, the employer mandate, the tanning tax, and limits and penalties on health savings accounts. In addition, Republicans argue that the tax impact of the law should include indirect taxes, such as the annual taxes on the health care sector that will be passed on to consumers.
Yes, he's listing the tanning salon tax under this. Never mind that you only pay that tax if use a tanning salon. Tanning outside under the actual sun, meanwhile, is still free.
Even Lucas had to (eventually) admit his attack was specious. Near the end of the article he writes:
But Americans for Tax Reform, a libertarian taxpayer-advocacy group, does not believe it is necessary to consider indirect taxes.
“Frankly, you can say any tax is going to affect consumers. We didn’t need to really stretch to include too many other things,” ATR tax policy analyst Ryan Ellis told CNSNews.com. “We have seven that were pretty clear violations of President Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on these people. The one you always hear people bring up is the Cadillac excise tax. That’s not a tax on people, that's a tax on the insurance company. We’ve never asserted that that is a tax [on consumers] because frankly it isn’t. We don’t need to make that argument because there are seven that clearly are.”
Of course, you have to read virtually the whole article before Lucas gets around to undermining it.
Plus, it's not until the final two paragraphs that " the law provides tax credits for four million small businesses," which offsets some of those insurance mandates.