Source: Americans for Tax Reform:
Since taking office three years ago, President Barack Obama has signed into law twenty-one new or higher taxes on the American people:
1. A 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco: On February 4, 2009, just sixteen days into his Administration, Obama signed into law a 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco, a hike of 61 cents per pack. The median income of smokers is just over $36,000 per year.
2. Obamacare Individual Mandate Excise Tax (takes effect in Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following:
|1 Adult||2 Adults||3+ Adults|
|2014||1% AGI/$95||1% AGI/$190||1% AGI/$285|
|2015||2% AGI/$325||2% AGI/$650||2% AGI/$975|
|2016 +||2.5% AGI/$695||2.5% AGI/$1390||2.5% AGI/$2085|
(Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS). Bill: PPACA; Page: 317-337)
3. Obamacare Employer Mandate Tax (takes effect Jan. 2014): If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees. Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer). Bill: PPACA; Page: 345-346
Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years
4. Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income (Tax hike of $123 billion/takes effect Jan. 2013): Creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income: Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 87-93
|2013+ (current law)||23.8%||43.4%||43.4%|
|2013+ (Obama budget)||23.8%||23.8%||43.4%|
*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations. It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income. It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans. The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.
5. Obamacare Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans (Tax hike of $32 bil/takes effect Jan. 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions. CPI +1 percentage point indexed. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,941-1,956
6. Obamacare Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax (Tax hike of $86.8 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Current law and changes:
|First $200,000 ($250,000 Married) Employer/Employee||All Remaining Wages Employer/Employee|
|Current Law||1.45%/1.45% 2.9% self-employed||1.45%/1.45% 2.9% self-employed|
|Obamacare Tax Hike||1.45%/1.45% 2.9% self-employed||1.45%/2.35% 3.8% self-employed|
Bill: PPACA, Reconciliation Act; Page: 2000-2003; 87-93
7. Obamacare Medicine Cabinet Tax (Tax hike of $5 bil/took effect Jan. 2011): Americans are no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957-1,959
8. Obamacare HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike (Tax hike of $1.4 bil/took effect Jan. 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,959
9. Obamacare Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka“Special Needs Kids Tax” (Tax hike of $13 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (currently unlimited). Indexed to inflation after 2013. There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,388-2,389
10. Obamacare Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers (Tax hike of $20 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax. Exempts items retailing for <$100. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,980-1,986
11. Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI (Tax hike of $15.2 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994-1,995
12. Obamacare Tax on Indoor Tanning Services (Tax hike of $2.7 billion/took effect July 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,397-2,399
13. Obamacare elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D (Tax hike of $4.5 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013) Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994
14. Obamacare Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike (Tax hike of $0.4 bil/took effect Jan. 1 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,004
15. Obamacare Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (Min$/took effect immediately): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance,” and “billing and collection” rules set by HHS. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,961-1,971
16. Obamacare Tax on Innovator Drug Companies (Tax hike of $22.2 bil/took effect Jan. 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,971-1,980
17. Obamacare Tax on Health Insurers (Tax hike of $60.1 bil/takes effect Jan. 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year. Phases in gradually until 2018. Fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,986-1,993
18. Obamacare $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives (Tax hike of $0.6 bil/takes effect Jan 2013). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,995-2,000
19. Obamacare Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 ($min/takes effect Jan. 2012): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957
20. Obamacare “Black liquor” tax hike (Tax hike of $23.6 billion/took effect immediately). This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 105
21. Obamacare Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (Tax hike of $4.5 billion/took effect immediately). This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 108-113
Read more: http://atr.org/comprehensive-list-obama-tax-increases-a6694#ixzz260Odvc4L
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Government Must Control Spending
Given his novel economic analyses, President Obama might soon declare the federal budget, too, “is doing fine.”
But of course, the government’s fiscal health is even weaker than job growth in the not-so-fine private sector. Washington’s uncontrolled spending feeds a cancer of deficits and debt that will eventually overwhelm the economy. Policymakers must act swiftly and decisively to correct this condition – or doom the country to the rueful consequences.
The Congressional Budget Office recently projected that current policies, if left largely unchanged, would drive federal spending to a peacetime record 24.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in a decade and to more than 35 percent of GDP by 2037.
CBO also noted that, absent significant reform, spending would increasingly outrun tax revenues. As a result, publicly held debt swells to nearly twice the size of the entire economy by 2037. This massive debt would stunt economic growth, leaving real (inflation-adjusted) gross national product about 4.5 percent smaller in 2027 and a staggering 13.5 percent less in 2037. The trend also increases the chance of a fiscal crisis, “during which investors would lose confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget, and the government would thereby lose its ability to borrow at affordable rates,” CBO says.
The main culprits are Social Security and federal health care spending including Medicare, Medicaid and ObamaCare. By midcentury, these programs will soak up about 18.5 percent of GDP nearly equivalent to the total average annual budget over the past 50 years crowding out all other government activities.
The pattern is clearly untenable, and the longer Congress delays, the more wrenching will be the policy changes needed to fix it. Congress must begin taking steps now, not later, and be prepared to follow through in coming years. Here are four key steps:
Get back to budgeting: Congress hasn’t passed a regular budget in three years. Lawmakers have resorted to ad hoc funding maneuvers, and spend-as-you-go legislating creates greater instability for current and future budgeting. The first step in gaining control of spending is to pass regular congressional budgets, as required by law.
Say no to any tax increases: Next year, roughly $500 billion in tax increases are slated to take effect automatically. This “Taxmageddon” would be ruinous for a weak economy. But President Obama insists on boosting the top two income-tax rates before approving any legislation to head off the other tax increases. This has produced a legislative standoff. To break it, the president and his congressional allies should agree to extend all existing tax policies long enough for Congress to develop a thorough and much-needed reform of the needlessly complex tax code.
Replace the ‘sequester’: Congress should also move quickly to head off the defense-crippling January spending cuts called “sequestration” a product of last year’s debt-ceiling agreement which already threaten military readiness. The House has adopted an imperfect but reasonable plan to replace the sequester for fiscal year 2013. The president and the Senate should promptly offer their own proposals and move toward an agreement well before the sequester hits. This should not wait for a desperate, lame-duck session at the end of the year.
Lay the groundwork for long-term reform: By addressing these near-term challenges, Congress can position itself for correcting the government’s unsustainable long-term fiscal course. This will require, among other things, fundamentally restructuring the major entitlements so they can keep their promises to 80 million retirees without smothering the economic growth needed to sustain the country.
Such reforms can be found in the Heritage Foundation proposal “Saving the American Dream,” which contains a range of entitlement and tax reforms that achieve a balanced budget in 10 years and ensure long-term prosperity.
In any event, Congress must act soon, and remain committed to spending control. The alternative is to abandon, for future generations, the opportunity and prosperity America has always provided.