Barack Obama’s Tax Hikes: 21 Down, More to Come

Raising taxes will probably add to, not reduce, America's deficit.

By + More

It's looking more and more like President Barack Obama's principal reason for wanting to be president was so that he would be in a position to spend the people's money. Under his leadership—or lack thereof—the national debt has increased by more than 40 percent to almost $49,000 per person.

So far he's done it on largely on borrowed money. With the economy still in the doldrums, federal tax receipts are down, not because of inequalities in the system as the liberals charge but because of a pronounced decline in productive economic activity that can be taxed. And things don't look like they are going to get any better any time soon; in fact it's almost certain they are going to get worse.

[Read the U.S. News debate: Is a Flat Tax a Good Idea?]

It's bad enough that under Obama the American people have already had 21 new taxes or tax increases imposed on them. When the president delivers his State of the Union address on January 24—which also marks 1,000 days since the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate has passed a budget—U.S. taxpayers will be less than one year away from the largest tax hikes in history.

As the nonpartisan Americans for Tax Reform puts it, "There are three great waves of tax increases threatening families and small employers in January 2013. On top of rising income tax rates, four additional Obamacare tax hikes will kick into full gear."

According to ATR the first involves the expiration of the temporary tax relief Congress put in place in 2001 and 2003 leading to an increase in marginal income tax rates for all Americans who pay income taxes and for many small businesses:

  • The 10 percent bracket rises to a new and expanded 15 percent
  • The 25 percent bracket rises to 28 percent
  • The 28 percent bracket rises to 31 percent
  • The 33 percent bracket rises to 36 percent
  • The 35 percent bracket rises to 39.6 percent
  • [See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]

    These will be accompanied by higher taxes on married couples and families, an increase in the federal death tax and higher taxes on savings and investments as the capital gains and dividends taxes—which are both taxes paid on money that has already been taxed once—also increase.

    The second wave, ATR says, involves the 20 new or higher taxes in Obamacare, some of which have already gone into effect like the "tanning tax."

    The third wave will be an explosion in the number of Americans hit by the Alternative Minimum Tax, which may go as high as 28.5 million from the current 4 million as well as higher taxes on the U.S. business sector that is still struggle to get up off the mat.

    In theory, this means more money for the government. In reality, it means probably even less—because it has been proven time and again that most people change their behavior in response to changes in tax rates because they, unlike the government, evaluate risks against potential rewards before making important decisions. President Obama doesn't understand this and probably never will—nor does he need to since much of his political base doesn't pay income taxes in the first place.

    • See a collection of political cartoons on the budget and deficit
    • Read the U.S. News debate: Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share in Taxes?
    • See an opinion slide show of 10 wasteful stimulus projects.