Obama's Trillion-Dollar Tax Increase
President Obama's budget is out today with a barrage of tax increases that Bloomberg News estimates would increase taxes by a net $1 trillion over ten years. Among the president's proposed tax hikes, as outlined in a Treasury department press release:
An increase in the tobacco tax to about $1.95 a pack of cigarettes from $1.01, raising $78 billion over 10 years.
A change in the estate tax rates that were part of the fiscal cliff deal reached in January, raising the rate to 45% and lowering the exclusion to $3.5 million, raising $72 billion over 10 years.
A "Fair Share Tax" — sounds like something out of Orwell or Ayn Rand — also known as a Buffett Rule, which would "require very high-income taxpayers to pay at least 30 percent of their adjusted gross income in income and payroll tax (with a credit for charitable giving)." Since it includes a credit for charitable giving, it's not clear that this version of the Buffett Rule would even touch Mr. Buffett. Treasury says this would raise $53 billion over 10 years.
An increase in taxes on "carried interest" earned by managers of investment partnerships. Contrary to the wildly inflated, but still not corrected, estimates in a New York Times op-ed by Lynn Forester de Rothschild that this tax increase would raise "$11 billion annually" or even more, Treasury estimates this would raise $16 billion over ten years.
A cap on deductions and certain income exclusions "for high-income families to 28 percent." The Treasury press release assures that this "would raise $529 billion over the next ten years," notwithstanding a White House blog post signed by Gene Sperling and Jason Furman on November 29, 2012, headlined, "Limiting Tax Deductions: The Reality of the Math," asserting that it is only "plausible" to raise $450 billion over ten years from such limits.
It sure looks like, having gotten Republicans to go along with significant tax increases in January, Mr. Obama is now coming back for even more in April.
The fine print on all this, if you can stomach it, is in the so-called Green Book, more formally known as General Explanations of the Administration's Fiscal Year 2014 Revenue Proposals.
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