Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen (D) is criticizing Obama’s health-care plan as “the mother of all unfunded mandates,” saying it will force states to spend so much that they will have to either massively raise taxes or run large budget deficits that violate state constitutions. Earlier, Martin Feldstein, one of Obama’s economic advisors said his health-care plan would explode the federal budget deficit and lead to “crippling deficits,” as well as “higher taxes, debt payments, and interest rates” that would cut America’s standard of living.
The middle class is facing big tax increases thanks to Obama and Congressional Democrats. Even the trimmed-down version of Obama’s health-care plan recently announced by a ranking Senate Democrat 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, 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.” 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 are just a few of those tax increases: 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.
Financing expanded health-care coverage requires a growing economy. But the President is undermining the economy through trade policies that destroy jobs and drive up costs for consumers in order to satisfy the demands of left-wing unions — while sharply contradicting his own “free trade” rhetoric. That includes what the Washington Post calls a “regressive tax” on tires, a “tax on tires” demanded by union leaders.
Obama’s welfare-filled stimulus package, which the Congressional Budget Office says will shrink the economy “in the long run,” destroyed tens of thousands of jobs in America’s export sector. It contained poorly-written “buy American” provisions that were too weak to cut imports much, but explicit enough to trigger broad retaliation from countries that buy much of our exports, like Canada and Mexico, cutting our exports and increasing our trade deficit.