A powerful anti-Obamacare tweet hit Twitter Friday morning. Its author was Matt Drudge, chief curator of the eponymously named and influential Drudge Report, who exclaimed, partly in caps:
Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not ‘getting covered’… I’M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX!
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) March 21, 2014
Some believe the tweet has the kind of resonance that may quickly rise as an anti-Obamcare rallying call for liberty-minded voters. Certainly, it would play very well on a protest poster and as a mantra. Perhaps that’s why the Twitter ink had hardly dried on the tweet when liberal critics raced, stumbling over themselves, to shoot it down in print. Follow the timeline to observe how quickly the libs fired up their keyboards. Drudge’s tweet hit Twitter at 11:09 a.m. Only minutes had passed before White House spokeswoman Jesse Lee answered back with a tweet of her own:
Flat lie, no fee for previous year. Scary how much influence he once had. RT @DRUDGE: Just paid Obamacare penalty for not ‘getting covered’
— Jesse Lee (@jesseclee44) March 21, 2014
Lee was wrong. Drudge also posted,”WAIVER! White House just tweeted how us self-employed don’t have to pay 2014 1st Quarter Tax Estimates by April 15!” That post exposed how little Jesse Lee, a White House spokesman, knew. Obviously, she isn’t really in the White House loop. Will an apology to Drudge appear soon?
A brief but particularly scathing reaction was published by Washington Post’s liberal storm trooper, Greg Sargent, who wrote at 2.04 p.m.:
Matt Drudge proudly tells the world he paid the penalty for not having health coverage, which he has termed the ‘liberty tax.’ Which is odd, because no one has to pay the penalty until they file their 2014 tax returns in April 2015. But maybe that copy of ‘FurboTax’ he bought on Ebay wasn’t actually legit.
By 2:04 p.m., Dylan Scott had already (probably) called Drudge a liar with his article, “Matt Drudge is (probably) lying about paying a huge Obamacare ‘Liberty Tax’.”
At 2.52 p.m., Arit John, whose past articles over on the Wire show him to be a strong Obamacare supporter and a stronger critic of Republicans, weighed in with “Matt Drudge has about 316 days until he can pay his Obamacare ‘Liberty Tax,’.”
Jeffrey Young, of the Huffington Post asked at 4:43 p.m., “What’s up with Matt Drudge’s weird tweet about Obamacare?” Although his article was intended to mock, Young acknowledged that it was possible that as a small business Drudge was making quarterly tax payments and, according to IRS tax provisions, had estimated monies owed to the government for the first quarter of the year. The Daily Banter was less charitable, writing at 5:30 p.m., “Matt Drudge is a lying liar.
Drudge quickly explained that quarterly payments were precisely what he meant, first tweeting, “Obama team players trying to convince themselves NO Obamacare taxes due this year. Adjust your doses, face reality.”
It’s a fair assumption that Matt Drudge is a high-income taxpayer. Even a small percentage of his income could amount to a pile of money, although he ridiculed the tax penalty for not buying into Obamacare as “Monopoly money.”
According to a Breitbart article, Drudge is merely following sound tax advice:
“As a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly,” the IRS website reads. So, when they file and pay those 2014 first quarter taxes, such individuals have to pay the Obamacare Individual Mandate tax if they opted to not have health insurance — like Drudge just did. Additionally, the IRS form (1040-ES) for estimating quarterly taxes specifically recommends adding the mandate penalty to line 12 for “other taxes” — to pay before the first quarterly deadline of April 15.
As for the last tweet and last laugh, those may belong to Drudge as well. Today, the banner headline at his eponymous site shouts that he doesn’t just aggregate news but is the news: “OBAMACARE TAX COLLECTION BEGINS; WHITE HOUSE SLAMS DRUDGE ‘LIE'”