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

Posted August 5, 2013 at 4:00pm

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.