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February 8, 2016

‘Racist’ Tanning Tax Pinned on Obama by GOP Rep. Yoho (Updated)

Updated 5:14 p.m. | A few days after Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Mike Kelly said that President Barack Obama “divides us on race,” his Republican colleague from Florida called the president’s signature health care law “racist” because of its tax on tanning salons.

Freshman Rep. Ted Yoho told constituents at a town hall event that a provision in Obamacare imposing a 10 percent tax on tanning bed use was a “racist tax” that discriminates “because of the color of my skin.”

“I had a little fun with [John] Boehner and told him about the sun tanning tax,” Yoho said, alluding to the speaker’s famously tanned complexion.

Right Wing Watch, a blog of the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way, transcribed Yoho’s retelling of the rest of the anecdote:

[Boehner] goes, “I didn’t know it was in there,” and I said, “Yes, it’s a ten percent tax.” He goes, “Well, that’s not that big of a deal.” I said, “It’s a racist tax.” He goes, “You know what, it is.” I had an Indian doctor in our office the other day, very dark skin, with two non-dark skin people, and I asked this to him, I said, “Have you ever been to a tanning booth?” and he goes, “No, no need.” So therefore it’s a racist tax and I thought I might need to get to a sun tanning booth so I can come out and say I’ve been disenfranchised because I got taxed because of the color of my skin.”


Boehner’s office told CQ Roll Call that while the “staff remembers the comment,” it does not remember Boehner “agreeing” with Yoho.

At the same event, Yoho also said he would back legislation slated to be introduced by Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, that would, according to Yoho, “look into the birth certificate” accusations that Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

  • hepette

    so sick of this stupid asinine play by repuke baggers

  • hepette


    • Jeff Furlington

      I’m all for having Republicans continue saying ridiculous things like this. They just marginalize themselves whenever they announce their beliefs to anyone with an IQ over room temperature.

  • RottenJohnny

    “GOPpers: inside the mind of the house GOP”

    The house GOP has a mind? I would ask them to prove it.

  • Jazzboy1

    “At the same event, Yoho also said he would back legislation slated to be
    introduced by Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, that would, according to
    Yoho, “look into the birth certificate” accusations that Obama wasn’t
    born in the United States.”

    Do these yahoos know that Sen. Ted Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada of an American mother and a Cuban Dad? I guess they won’t support Cruz for President.

    • nycguy

      They’ll not only find a way to excuse it, but call you un-American for suggesting it.

  • Tom W.

    I don’t know nor have I paid attention to Yoho, but reading about this, I think this was a joke lampooning those who cry racism about everything. The logic is “if the left is going to go to absurd lengths to claim things they don’t like are racist, why can’t we?” The delivery may have been pretty lame, but it’s fairly easy to grasp.

    • Sophie Meyer

      Ah…with the current republican legislators, I have to question whether its a joke or not…have you heard some of the stuff that comes out of their mouths? Crackpots and crazies have taken over.

      • Tom W.

        Can’t argue with that!

    • Ryan

      If that was the intent, then even their attempts to lampoon anti-racism come out racist. As I’m sure many people have informed Yoho over the past few days, black people tan too.

  • godblessusa

    Is this congressman sniffing glue or something?

  • Sophie Meyer

    Good lord that man is an idiot. Is that truly what qualifies as being one of the best and brightest in the republican party these days?

  • gowian

    Digby over at the blog Hullabaloo nailed it: “They honestly believe that any accusation of racism is purely an unfair
    partisan political weapon gleefully deployed by Democrats to make
    Republicans look bad. Because they do this with religion and patriotism,
    they assume that must be what liberals are doing as well.”

  • 02maizenblue

    Wonder if Michael Jackson was taxed for going the other way?

  • lwojo

    I’m, unfortunately, in Yoho’s district. When I called his DC office yesterday, the young man answering the phone denied any knowledge of these asinine comments and tried to change the subject.

  • Seriously, Y’all

    So exposing oneself to cancer causing radiation (or whatever) which then adds to the cost of health care, is the same as being naturally dark skinned and banning the tanning beds is racist. Lord have mercy. These people really have gone off the deep end.

  • Douglas Rottmann

    Boehner didn’t know it was in there? Yeah right. Rep. Yoho must have misheard him – Boehner actually said, “How did you get in here?”

  • Daniel Maddigan

    Conservatives are still the same old ignorant, racist, confederate flag waving traitors their rebel ancestors were.

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