Obama's Economy-Killing Tax-Hike Frenzy Knows No End
Posted 07:04 PM ET
Taxes: In his first campaign, President Obama pledged to cut taxes for all but the very rich. Now that another tax day has come and gone, it should be very clear that his pledge was just another in a long line of falsehoods.
'I can make a firm pledge," then-candidate Barack Obama said while campaigning back in 2008. "Under my plan no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."
Now, almost six years after those comments, it's plain that the president didn't keep his promise. In fact, it qualifies as his biggest whopper of all.
A new report from Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a group that advocates tax cuts to restore economic growth, says that President Obama has so far pushed for 442 tax hikes — many of them aimed squarely at the struggling middle class whom Obama has vowed repeatedly to protect.
If Obama were to get his way, he'd be the most prolific tax hiker in history. A quick look shows how the tax hikes shake out in Obama's proposed budgets:
• 79 tax increases in 2010.
• 52 tax increases in 2011.
• 47 tax increases for 2012.
• 34 tax increases for 2013.
• 137 tax increases for 2014.
• 93 tax increases for 2015.
These proposed tax hikes cover a sweeping range of the economy. Virtually no sector would be untouched. We literally couldn't even list them all here.
Fortunately, the House of Representatives has been in Republican hands since 2011, and the vast majority of those proposed tax hikes went nowhere.
Still, Obama did manage to sign 20 tax hikes into law, mainly through ObamaCare — which is itself, as the Supreme Court has ruled, a massive tax scheme — in addition to the tobacco tax that he approved upon entering office in 2009.
Indeed, as we've said before, ObamaCare has turned out to be the largest tax hike on Americans ever.
A report out just this week from the Heritage Foundation notes that the 18 new taxes and penalties in ObamaCare will add $771 billion in taxes through 2022.
Those taxes range from new fees on drug companies and taxes on "Cadillac" plans to individual and employer mandates and higher Medicare payroll taxes for high earners, among others.
ATR's own estimate is even higher — more than $1 trillion for ObamaCare's taxes.
But this doesn't even touch the level of damage Obama's tax hikes are doing. In February, the Congressional Budget Office's new budget outlook called ObamaCare an implicit tax on labor, estimating that it would cost 2.5 million workers their jobs.
And who are those workers? The 1% that Obama has demonized? Nope. They're almost entirely middle-class workers. This unseen but very real tax is aimed squarely at those having incomes below 400% of the U.S. government's official poverty level.
So let's be very clear: Far from not hiking taxes on the middle class, Obama has hit that group with the most devastating tax of all — loss of employment, and all the social and familial damage that entails.
The sad fact is, rampant regulation and the threat of Obama's tax increases have discouraged small businesses and entrepreneurs from expanding and hiring new workers, robbing the U.S. economy of its ordinary powerful recovery following a recession.
A little perspective is in order. Last year, the federal government took 16.7% of U.S. GDP in taxes. That will rise to 19% in four years, according to highly conservative Office of Management and Budget estimates.
But does it matter? Well, a comprehensive and widely cited study a few years back by President Obama's own former chief economic advisor, Christina Romer, noted that a mere rise of 1% in taxes as a share of GDP correlated with a subsequent 3% decline in GDP.
That's quite a hit to growth. It's no accident the economy today is estimated to be as much as $1.3 trillion smaller than it should be. The only fix for this will come through the ballot box.