Politics

Half a trillion dollars in new taxes hidden in Obama’s budget

Half a trillion dollars in new taxes hidden in Obama's budget

President Obama’s long-delayed budget proposal cops to $580 billion in new taxes over the next ten years, which he naturally portrays as tax increases on the rich.  But in truth, a review conducted by the McClatchy news service found the actual value of Obama’s tax hikes is well over $1 trillion, and by no stretch of the imagination are they restricted to “the rich.”

This budget is absolutely stuffed with tax hikes, many of them camouflaged as “fees” or “rules changes.”  Some of these items – such as the new tax on smokers, or the way Obama’s implementation of chained CPI for calculating inflation would push many middle-class taxpayers into higher tax brackets – were fairly well-known, but McClatchy found plenty more:

There’s $79 billion from raising the tax on inheritances. Another $158 billion from income earned overseas. And $78 billion from hefty new taxes on cigarettes, nearly $1 per pack.

Then there are the fees on airline passengers, on those who fail to file certain information electronically, on banks that once took money from the federal government to survive.

[...] In speeches, briefings and fact sheets this week, the Obama administration stressed only the major tax increases that would reduce the deficit: $580 billion over 10 years raised by requiring households with incomes over $2 million to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes and limiting tax deductions for the wealthiest 2 percent.

Beyond the publicized $580 billion, Obama’s plan would collect most of the rest of the new revenue by prohibiting individuals from accumulating more than $3 million in tax-deferred retirement accounts, implementing a new formula for inflation for tax provisions, raising the estate tax and increasing capital gains taxes.

There are also new taxes on energy companies, banks and brokerage firms that may be passed on to consumers in the form of higher utility bills, fees and gas pump prices.

Oh, good, more capital gains taxes.  Just what Obama’s limp no-growth no-jobs economy needs.

As McClatchy delicately notes, “Many of Obama’s tax proposals have been proposed before, only to go nowhere.”  In other words, he had to pull these taxes out of formaldehyde before stitching them into his sloppy Frankenstein budget, whose brain still throbs with the last round of rejected demands he made during the fiscal cliff showdown.  This is “forward” thinking?  Why did Obama have to ignore the law and delay submission of his proposal for months past the required date, if the whole thing consists of dusty tax-hike proposals we’ve heard so many times before?

 

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