Big Health and Energy Tax Increases for the Middle Class from Obama and Liberal Congressmen

The middle class is facing big tax increases thanks to Obama and liberal congressional leaders.

Even the trimmed-down version of Obama’s health-care plan recently announced by a ranking Senator contains lots of tax increases for the middle class (see below).

And the costly cap-and-trade energy legislation passed by the House and supported by Obama would lead to big tax increases in the name of fighting global warming, 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 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.” As Obama admitted, that cost would be directly passed “on to consumers” — just the way Herbert Hoover’s excise tax increases were in 1932, aggravating the Great Depression. Although the tax’s supporters 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 the trimmed-down version of ObamaCare revealed by its principal drafter, Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana).  Here is a partial list:

· Individual Mandate Tax.  If you don’t sign up for health insurance, you will have to pay a tax in the following range:



100-300% FPL



300+% FPL



· Employer Mandate Tax. $400 per employee if health coverage is not offered.  Note: this is a huge incentive to drop coverage, as $400 is much less than the average plan cost of $11,000 for families or $5000 for singles (Source: AHIP)

· Excise Tax on High-Cost Health Plans.  New 35% excise tax on health insurance plans to the extent they exceed $21000 in cost ($8000 single)

· Medicine Cabinet Tax.  Americans would no longer be able to purchase over-the-counter medicines with their FSA, HSA, or HRA

· Eliminate tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D

· Report Employer Health Spending on W-2. This is clearly a setup for the easy individual taxation of employer-provided health insurance down the road.

· Cap Flex-Spending Account (FSA) Contributions at $2000. Currently unlimited.

· Backdoor Death of HSAs. By requiring that all plans (besides the few that are grandfathered) provided first-dollar coverage for most services, there would be no HSA-qualifying plans available from the Massachusetts-like exchanges