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Obama’s $1.5 Trillion Tax Hike

 

Remember the Great Debt Ceiling Battle?  It was only a few months ago that Congress went through a week of agonizing induced labor and gave birth to the Budget Control Act of 2011, a chubby bundle of increased debt with adorable little budget-cutting pinkies.  The Budget Control Act caused our national debt to immediately swell to $16 trillion, and put us on track to pass $22 trillion within 10 years. 

In return for all this new debt, we cut an immediate $7 billion (that’s “billion” with a “b”) out of the $3.6 trillion federal… well, it’s not a federal “budget,” because we still don’t have one of those, but let’s say $3.6 trillion in federal spending “urges” for fiscal year 2011.  If Congress’ clever plan to set aside all that messy “representative democracy” stuff and hand off its fiscal responsibilities over to the 12-member Super Committee works out as planned, we’ll get another $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next ten years.  Even if all of that came in the form of spending cuts – and it won’t – that would work out to a measly $250 billion per year for the next ten years, from a government running trillion-dollar annual deficits.

Exactly 38 days after the passage of the Budget Control Act, President Obama introduced his latest demands for more “stimulus” spending.  The rapidly increasing price tag for these proposals was $450 billion on the night he began chanting “pass this bill,” but swelled to $650 billion when the costs of his “infrastructure bank” were included. 

That’s a bit less than three years’ worth of the best-case deficit reduction we were promised in the Budget Control Act of 2011, blown in a single spending bill from our vote-hungry President, only five weeks after passage of the Act.  Let’s hear some more nattering about how the Cut, Cap, and Balance act was “draconian” and “unnecessary,” shall we?

When the Super Committee idea was first announced, many conservatives said that it would become a mechanism for demanding new taxes, not the spending cuts America is crying for.  It didn’t take Obama long to prove us right, because he’s got some ideas for the Super Committee that would pay for his new spending binge and help them meet their deficit reduction goals… with $1.5 trillion in new taxes.

You heard that right.  $1.5 trillion in new taxes.  Also, the President who already raided Medicare for $500 billion to fund ObamaCare proposed $248 billion more in Medicare benefit cuts.  You seniors might want to keep that in mind the next time desperate Democrats try to stampede you with video of honest reformers like Rep. Paul Ryan throwing old people off a cliff.

The President thinks seniors will be mollified by knowing some evil rich guy’s taxes are being raised at the same time their benefits are being cut, as CBS News reports:

The deficit reduction plan represents an economic bookend to the $447 billion in tax cuts and new public works spending that Mr. Obama has proposed as a short-term measure to stimulate the economy and create jobs. He’s submitting his deficit fighting plan to a special joint committee of Congress that is charged with recommending deficit reductions of up to $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

In a defiant note, administration officials made clear Sunday that Mr. Obama would veto any Medicare benefit cuts that aren’t paired with tax increases on upper-income people.

Dim-bulb class warfare is always better than real reforms that would repair a broken system, right?

The cornerstone of Obama’s $1.5 trillion tax hike is a package of new taxes aimed at “millionaires.”  Remember, per current Democrat Party dogma, this is not people who have a million dollars, it’s people who make over $200,000 per year.  In other words, small business owners.  You know, the people who actually do create the jobs “community organizers” always want to take credit for.

There is a little something extra in the Obama proposal for people who really do make a million dollars per year or more.  Obama calls it the “Buffett Rule,” as part of his increasingly embarrassing need to justify his ruinous policies by invoking the name of raise-my-taxes-please billionaire Warren Buffett.  The Buffett Rule would allow people who make a million dollars or more per year to rack up at least one billion dollars in back taxes and fight the IRS tooth and nail over paying them, just like Warren Buffett has done.

Just kidding!  The actual Buffett Rule is a beefed-up Alternative Minimum Tax leveled at people with incomes above $1 million per year.  CBS describes it as “designed to prevent millionaires from taking advantage of lower tax rates on investment earnings than what middle-income taxpayers pay on their wages.”  That sounds like just what Obama’s zero-growth economy needs – more taxes on investment!

Emergency backup president Bill Clinton said on Face the Nation, “I don’t think that’s such a draconian thing. He basically is asking us to return to the tax rates of the 90s.”  But don’t ask them to return to the spending of the 90s.  That would be “draconian,” just like the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act was!

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the above-mentioned reformer who was pilloried as a serial killer in Democrat political advertising for suggesting true reform of Medicare, appeared on Fox News Sunday to inject some much-needed logic and common sense into the Democrats’ latest class-war initiative:

“If you tax something more, Chris, you get less of it,” Ryan explained to host Chris Wallace.  That’s one of many simple and immutable laws of economics the Democrats keep trying to repeal, at devastating cost to all Americans – from the people who create jobs, to the people they would love to hire, if they weren’t exposing themselves to confiscatory taxes and crushing regulation by making investments. 

Let’s put it this way: is this really the right time for President Solyndra to demand the authority to decide who is allowed to be rich?  He just poured half a billion dollars of taxpayer cash into the pockets of his cronies, and now he’s going to lecture us on the evils of allowing real job creators to keep their money.

The kind of class-war tax hikes Obama demands always hit marginal taxpayers the hardest – in other words, people on the verge of moving up into the targeted tax brackets.  Obama wants to plunder people who make $200,000 per year, and really sock it to those who dare to make a million.  That won’t have much of an effect on those who count their wealth in existing assets, rather than income… but it will be brutal on those trying to earn their way into the higher brackets. 

None of Obama’s proposals are serious.  This is another time-wasting political game, part of the Obama 2012 re-election campaign, not a real effort of leadership or governance.  This economy needs an infusion of liberty: less government, less taxation, fewer hoops for businessmen to jump through.  The President is happy to put American prosperity on hold while he sets up campaign commercials for next year.

 

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Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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