AP: Obama Health-Care Plan Raises Taxes, Breaks Campaign Promises

by Hans Bader on September 21, 2009

in Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Healthcare, Natural Resources, Politics as Usual, Sanctimony

The Associated Press is now chiding President Obama for falsely claiming that his proposed tax on uninsured people is not a tax.   It is a tax increase, the AP says, and it would be enforced by the IRS: “Memo to President Barack Obama: It’s a tax. Obama insisted this weekend on national television that requiring people to carry health insurance – and fining them if they don’t – isn’t the same thing as a tax increase. But the language of Democratic bills to revamp the nation’s health care system doesn’t quibble. Both the House bill and the Senate Finance Committee proposal clearly state that the fines would be a tax.”

The AP also notes that the Administration’s proposed health-care tax increases contradict “Obama’s campaign pledge on taxes”:  “”I can make a firm pledge,’ he said in Dover, N.H., on Sept. 12, 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.’ He repeatedly promised ‘you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime.’”

Obama earlier broke his promise not to raise taxes by signing into law a regressive SCHIP excise tax increase and backing a massive new cap-and-trade energy tax (supposedly to fight global warming)

It’s part of a long line of broken promises, such as Obama’s pledge to enact a “net spending cut,” which he broke with huge budgets that will explode the national debt through $9.3 trillion in massively increased deficit spending.

The costly cap-and-trade energy legislation passed by the House and supported by Obama would lead to big tax increases, Administration officials privately have conceded, even though they publicly claim otherwise.  “Officials at the Treasury Department think cap-and-trade legislation would cost taxpayers hundreds of billion in taxes, according to internal documents circulated within the agency and provided to The Washington Times” by CEI.  It could raise household taxes by $1761 per year, equivalent to a 15 percent tax increase.   It would also result in “loss of steel, paper, aluminum, chemical, and cement manufacturing jobs,” as jobs migrate overseas to countries which have fewer environmental protections than the U.S. does.

Obama earlier admitted that “under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” since its costs would be passed “on to consumers.”  Although cap-and-trade backers claim it will cut greenhouse gas emissions, it may perversely increase them and also result in dirtier air, as well as harming forests and water supplies.

Americans for Tax Reform summarizes the tax increases in ObamaCare: an individual mandate tax of $900 per individual or $3800 per family (if you don’t have health insurance); an employer mandate tax of $400 per employee if health coverage is not offered; an “excise tax on high-cost health plans”; a “medicine cabinet tax”; capping Flexible-Spending Accounts (FSA’s); abolishing most HSAs; and increasing tax penalties for HSAs.

All these tax increases won’t even pay for Obama’s massive spending binge.  He is relying on $2 trillion in imaginary savings to pay for his health-care plan.  Even Democratic governors have criticized its huge cost.

One of Obama’s economic advisers said his health-care plan would lead to “crippling deficits” and “higher taxes.”  The Congressional Budget Office also says it will increase the deficit.

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