Earlier this week first term State Rep (and current State Senate candidate) Kris Jordan introduced one of the most misguided, wingnutty, over-the-top pieces of legislation I have seen in a long, long time.
HB 496 would “assert the state’s claim of sovereignty pursuant to the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution” which is crazy right wing loony talk for we don’t like the current administration and the federal legislation it supports so we’re not going follow any federal laws we disagree with.
Though the text of the bill never actually mentions the health care coverage mandate, that’s exactly what it intends to address.
And how does Mr. (yes, Kris is a guy) Jordan intend to prevent Ohioans from being forced to purchase health care coverage?
It seems obvious, doesn’t it: just have Ohioans pay all of their federal taxes to the state instead of to the IRS and then let the state decide what it wants to do with the money.
That’s what he is proposing.
I shit you not.
The bill would “require Ohio residents to remit federal taxes to the Treasurer of State” and “to require that those taxes be retained by the state for its own use”
Oh, and the bill also would “declare an emergency”…
This act is hereby declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety. The reason for such necessity is that the federal government, by repeatedly acting outside its constitutional limitations, is causing irreparable damage to the peace, health, and safety of the people of the state of Ohio. Therefore, this act shall go into immediate effect.
Mr. Jordan obviously hasn’t thought this one through. Specifically the cost.
Implementing a change like this would require hundreds if not thousands of new government employees and probably at least one new department to oversee the collection and distribution of federal taxes.
Then there’s the enforcement cost.
Oh and the legal costs as well – because at the end of the bill Jordan promises to pay for all of the legal fees, penalties and interest for any ohio resident resulting from their failure to pay proper federal taxes. Which, if this law was enacted, would pretty much be everyone in Ohio.
The state shall defend all civil and criminal actions brought against an Ohio resident by the federal government for compliance with this section, shall indemnify the Ohio resident for any tax, civil or criminal penalty or restitution, or interest the Ohio resident is forced to pay, and shall compensate the Ohio resident for any economic damages caused by the action. Any cost incurred or amount paid by the state pursuant to this section shall be certified to the director of budget and management.
For a guy who claims on his campaign website that “spending is out of control” you’d think he would spend a few minutes reviewing the potential cost of his proposals.
There’s always the possibility that this bill was never intended to be passed and it’s just political theatre on the part of Jordan. In which case Jordan is still wasting all of the taxpayer dollars required for transcribing the bill and paying lawmakers who have to debate it, posting the bill on the website, printing and distributing the bill, etc. All for a piece of legislation that was never intended to be seriously considered for passage.
With so many GOP candidates fighting each other over who can be the nuttiest tea party favorite, I’m surprised Jordan has put out a press release proudly pronouncing that he is saving the state by seceding from the union. That ought to win over some of those Tea Party ‘patriots’.