John Kartch

YouTube Announced As July Debate Partner


Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011, 5:45 PM PERMALINK


The Daily Caller and Americans for Tax Reform Foundation (ATRF) today announced that they will partner to produce an innovative and web-based Republican Presidential Primary Debate on Sunday, July 10, supported by technology from YouTube.  The two-hour debate will be moderated by The Daily Caller’s Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson and ATRF president Grover Norquist and will be streamed live on YouTube. 

“For Republican candidates seeking to appeal to conservatives, this debate offers an opportunity to hear from engaged primary voters,” said Tucker Carlson.  “Social media allows voters to engage candidates directly.  Conventional debates keep viewers at bay as observers. This debate will make them participants.”

For the first time this cycle, ATRF and The Daily Caller will be using YouTube’s platforms to transform the debate from a passive experience to an active, participatory process where they're connecting and engaging voters across the country.  This live forum will feature citizens’ video questions submitted via YouTube, which will be answered by the candidates.  

“This debate will focus on economics and the ongoing destruction of American jobs by the current Administration,” said Norquist.  “Real Republicans will ask real questions without the filter of establishment media bias.”

In addition to the live airing on YouTube.com, the debate will be broadcast on CBS affiliate KLAS and streamed at the dailycaller.com  The debate will be held in the Milan Ballroom at the M Resort Spa and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada from 9- 11:00 p.m. (EDT).   

Beginning Friday, July 1, people will be able to submit video questions by visiting www.youtube.com/gop2012debate and www.gop2012debate.com

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Coburn Tax Hike Talk Brings Big Wet Kiss from Robert Reich and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell


Posted by John Kartch on Friday, June 17th, 2011, 5:39 PM PERMALINK


Senator Tom Coburn continues to be showered with praise for his increasingly aggressive calls for tax increases as part of a grand compromise with President Obama and congressional Democrats.  On Thursday night’s edition of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, the following exchange took place:

MSNBC’s LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: “This is the most dramatic development in Republican tax policy in the 21st century.  Listen to what Senator Coburn said Tuesday on this program about what this could mean for the sanity of tax policy going forward!”:

COBURN: “Between now and the next year, as we go to solve this problem, everybody knows there's gonna have to be a compromise on some sort of revenue increase as we make the major cuts. That's just fact. You can deny it. And Grover's old news. It doesn't matter what he says. It doesn't matter what he wants. He's old news. We're gonna fix the country, and some of that is gonna be revenue increases. That's the only way you're going to build a compromise and get it signed by this President. Now I understand that, and everybody else – the fact is, most people won't admit it.”

O’DONNELL: “Joining me now is former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, he is a professor of public policy at University of California at Berkeley and author of ‘Aftershock.’ Robert, I think Senator Coburn just said something that you and I have waited a long time to hear, so long that it's worth hearing some of that again.”

COBURN: “We're gonna fix the country, and some of that is going to be revenue increases. That's the only way you're gonna build a compromise and get it signed by this President. Now I understand that, and everybody else – the fact is, most people won't admit it.”

O’DONNELL:  “We actually just heard a conservative Republican say that we're going to fix the country, and some of that is gonna be through revenue increases, tax increases. Doesn't want to use the word ‘tax’ but that's what it is. We’ve got a Republican here talking about tax increases. Is this the first flicker of hope that the Republican tax cut fever might be fading?”

ROBERT REICH: “Lawrence, I think that it is a big deal…We’ve got to be practical, we’ve got to be reasonable, we’ve got to deal with this budget deficit’. And maybe we are seeing the beginning of a willingness to raise taxes on corporations and indeed, raise taxes on the very wealthy.  Wouldn’t that be something!”

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Coburn Repeats His Call for a Tax Hike Sellout with Obama, Democrats


Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011, 6:19 PM PERMALINK


As a guest on MSNBC Tuesday evening, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) repeated his desire for a grand tax increase compromise with President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats. 

Coburn said the following to left-wing host Lawrence O’Donnell:

“Everybody knows there is gonna have to be a compromise on some sort of revenue increase as we make the major cuts.  That’s just fact.”

Coburn has grown increasingly aggressive in his calls for a compromise tax-hike deal with Democrats.  For this, he has been showered with praise by Lawrence O’Donnell, CBS News anchor Bob Shieffer, the New York Times editorial board, the Washington Post editorial board, and Democratic former Governor Ed Rendell, among others.

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Coburn on Obama Debt Talks: "I'll negotiate on taxes."


Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011, 3:00 PM PERMALINK


WASHINGTON, D.C. During a CBS News interview which aired Tuesday, Senator Tom Coburn said:

“You know, the reason I'll stand up as a conservative Republican, one of the biggest deficit hawks in Congress, and say ‘I'll negotiate on taxes’ -- because our country’s in trouble.”

As pointed out by Brent Baker at the Media Research Center, CBS host Bob Schieffer then praised Coburn for his “candor”.

With time, Coburn has grown more and more aggressive in his calls for tax increases as part of a grand compromise with Obama and congressional Democrats.  In a June 9  interview on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show, Coburn said the following:

"Do I believe we have to raise taxes to be able to get a deal to cut spending? Yeah."

Yet another recent example is Coburn’s May 29 interview on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers program.  The guest reporters for this edition of Newsmakers were Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post and Andrew Taylor of the Associated Press.  Below are key excerpts from the interview:

Coburn: “We’re never going to get 25% net taxes to the federal government. People, they’re just not going to do it, it has never happened and it won’t happen. But does not mean there is not a case for increasing the revenue of the federal government at a time when our whole future is based on the fact that we need to solve this problem. And to have people who say you can never do that, even if the lifeblood of our Republic depends on it, to get a compromise, we will never get the changes that need to be made in the mandatory programs without giving something.  And the thing we have to give is some revenue increases.

--

Lori Montgomery, the Washington Post:  “Sticking with taxes for just a minute.  I think this is a critical question because Democrats want to see something – forget about economic growth – they want to see a tax structure that actually raises additional revenue, recognizing that we have an aging population and the retirement programs are going to cost more. Can you and your Republican colleagues go for a tax reform proposal that does in fact increase revenue?”

Coburn: “Yeah, we’ve already said that.”

--

Coburn:  “I would much rather have a smaller government.  Not everybody would. But I would much rather have a smaller government. But I know we have to pay more for what we have if we are ever going to get reform and some of the other things. It’s called a compromise. So we’re gonna have to give some on revenues to be able to do that.”

--

Coburn: “Why will I take on those that are against tax increases for Republicans?  Because it’s the right thing to do to save our country.”

--

Coburn: “I’ve been just as vocal supporting revenue increases after I left the commission as I was before.  I’m not opposed to that cause I think that’s the only way we solve our problems.  That’s the only way we build a consensus in the Senate to get some of the changes.  But I’m not gonna go for revenue increases if we’re not gonna fix the problem.”

--

Lori Montgomery, the Washington Post:  “I think one of the most significant things we’ve learned is that Tom Coburn is willing to go for a tax reform scenario that actually raises revenues.  His Republican colleagues have been very careful to say ‘well, we want to reform the tax system, but we only want to raise more money through economic growth.’ What Dr. Coburn told us today is ‘you know, that’s not going to be enough, that’s not going to solve our problems.  I’m willing to actually increase the portion of the economy that goes to government.’  That’s a big change.”

(To watch the interview in its entirety, click here).

 

Americans for Tax Reform is a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups who oppose all tax increases.  For more information or to arrange an interview please contact John Kartch at (202) 785-0266 or by email at jkartch@atr.org.

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Coburn: "Do I believe we have to raise taxes to be able to get a deal to cut spending? Yeah."


Posted by John Kartch on Friday, June 10th, 2011, 11:40 AM PERMALINK


During an interview Thursday on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said the following:

"Do I believe we have to raise taxes to be able to get a deal to cut spending? Yeah."

Coburn’s tax hike statement echoes his recent comments as a guest on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers program.  The guest reporters for this edition of Newsmakers were Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post and Andrew Taylor of the Associated Press.  Below are key excerpts from the interview:

Coburn: “We’re never going to get 25% net taxes to the federal government. People, they’re just not going to do it, it has never happened and it won’t happen. But does not mean there is not a case for increasing the revenue of the federal government at a time when our whole future is based on the fact that we need to solve this problem. And to have people who say you can never do that, even if the lifeblood of our Republic depends on it, to get a compromise, we will never get the changes that need to be made in the mandatory programs without giving something.  And the thing we have to give is some revenue increases.

--

Lori Montgomery, the Washington Post:  “Sticking with taxes for just a minute.  I think this is a critical question because Democrats want to see something – forget about economic growth – they want to see a tax structure that actually raises additional revenue, recognizing that we have an aging population and the retirement programs are going to cost more. Can you and your Republican colleagues go for a tax reform proposal that does in fact increase revenue?”

  Coburn: “Yeah, we’ve already said that.”

--

Coburn:  “I would much rather have a smaller government.  Not everybody would. But I would much rather have a smaller government. But I know we have to pay more for what we have if we are ever going to get reform and some of the other things. It’s called a compromise. So we’re gonna have to give some on revenues to be able to do that.”

--

Coburn: “Why will I take on those that are against tax increases for Republicans?  Because it’s the right thing to do to save our country.”

--

Coburn: “I’ve been just as vocal supporting revenue increases after I left the commission as I was before.  I’m not opposed to that cause I think that’s the only way we solve our problems.  That’s the only way we build a consensus in the Senate to get some of the changes.  But I’m not gonna go for revenue increases if we’re not gonna fix the problem.”

--

Lori Montgomery, the Washington Post:  “I think one of the most significant things we’ve learned is that Tom Coburn is willing to go for a tax reform scenario that actually raises revenues.  His Republican colleagues have been very careful to say ‘well, we want to reform the tax system, but we only want to raise more money through economic growth.’ What Dr. Coburn told us today is ‘you know, that’s not going to be enough, that’s not going to solve our problems.  I’m willing to actually increase the portion of the economy that goes to government.’  That’s a big change.”

(To watch the interview in its entirety, click here).

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Senator Tom Coburn: I Want to Raise Taxes


Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, May 31st, 2011, 5:14 PM PERMALINK


Senator Tom Coburn:

I Want to Raise Taxes

I Want to Raise Taxes

I Want to Raise Taxes

“Why will I take on those that are against tax increases for Republicans?  Because it’s the right thing to do to save our country.”  -- Tom Coburn

WASHINGTON, D.C. During a C-SPAN Newsmakers interview aired on Sunday, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) repeatedly reiterated his support for tax increases. The guest reporters for this edition of Newsmakers were Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post and Andrew Taylor of the Associated Press.  Below are key excerpts from the interview:

Coburn: “We’re never going to get 25% net taxes to the federal government. People, they’re just not going to do it, it has never happened and it won’t happen. But does not mean there is not a case for increasing the revenue of the federal government at a time when our whole future is based on the fact that we need to solve this problem. And to have people who say you can never do that, even if the lifeblood of our Republic depends on it, to get a compromise, we will never get the changes that need to be made in the mandatory programs without giving something.  And the thing we have to give is some revenue increases.

--

Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post:  “Sticking with taxes for just a minute.  I think this is a critical question because Democrats want to see something – forget about economic growth – they want to see a tax structure that actually raises additional revenue, recognizing that we have an aging population and the retirement programs are going to cost more. Can you and your Republican colleagues go for a tax reform proposal that does in fact increase revenue?”

Coburn: “Yeah, we’ve already said that.”

--

Coburn:  “I would much rather have a smaller government.  Not everybody would. But I would much rather have a smaller government. But I know we have to pay more for what we have if we are ever going to get reform and some of the other things. It’s called a compromise. So we’re gonna have to give some on revenues to be able to do that.”

--

Coburn: “Why will I take on those that are against tax increases for Republicans?  Because it’s the right thing to do to save our country.”

--

Coburn: “I’ve been just as vocal supporting revenue increases after I left the commission as I was before.  I’m not opposed to that cause I think that’s the only way we solve our problems.  That’s the only way we build a consensus in the Senate to get some of the changes.  But I’m not gonna go for revenue increases if we’re not gonna fix the problem.”

--

Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post:  “I think one of the most significant things we’ve learned is that Tom Coburn is willing to go for a tax reform scenario that actually raises revenues.  His Republican colleagues have been very careful to say ‘well, we want to reform the tax system, but we only want to raise more money through economic growth.’ What Dr. Coburn told us today is ‘you know, that’s not going to be enough, that’s not going to solve our problems.  I’m willing to actually increase the portion of the economy that goes to government.’  That’s a big change.”

(To watch the interview in its entirety, click here).

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Attention Senator Coburn: 35 is a bigger number than 28


Posted by John Kartch on Friday, May 20th, 2011, 1:48 PM PERMALINK


Attempting to explain his continued push for higher taxes, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) made the following claim during an interview Thursday with ABC’s Jonathan Karl:

COBURN:  “The fact is, we’re at the lowest tax rate this country’s been in a hundred years.  Right now.”

In reality, the top marginal income tax rate for individuals is currently 35 percent.  In 1987, after Reagan’s historic tax reform, the top marginal income tax rate for individuals was 28 percent.

“Attention Senator Coburn: 35 is a bigger number than 28,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

In the interview, Coburn then said:

COBURN: “We are also at the lowest historical level in a long time in terms of revenues coming in.”

Coburn ignores the fact that tax revenues as a percentage of GDP will climb back to or exceed historical levels by the end of this decade (well, unless Coburn raises taxes, that is).  This is true even if all scheduled tax hikes are avoided. 

“Both of these claims were put forward by Coburn to make the case that Americans were undertaxed and deserved an additional whuppin’ from the tax collector, said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.  Sen. Coburn, we are not undertaxed.  Washington is spending too much.”

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Except for Coburn...Congressional Republicans have taken tax hikes off the table


Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, May 17th, 2011, 7:07 PM PERMALINK


Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) remains the odd man out when it comes to tax increases.  Though he has “decided to take a break” from the Gang of Six, he has thus far refused to rule out tax hikes.

The House GOP leadership took taxes off the table in a joint statement on May 6 -- House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, and Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp said the following:

“We want to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is why everything must be on the table except increasing taxes.  This has been and remains the Republican position.”

On May 10, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said:

“We’re not going to raise taxes.  That was decided in last November’s election.  I think the American people pretty clearly believe that we have the deficit problem because we spend too much, not because we tax too little.”

Speaking on the Senate floor on May 16, Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) took tax hikes off the table:

“When we are talking about how to get the budget better balanced, how to reduce our deficits, we should not be looking at the revenue side or the taxing side; we should be looking at the spending side.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Coburn has left the door wide open to tax increases.  First, Coburn voted for Obama’s Simpson-Bowles commission report, scored by Congressman Paul Ryan as a $2 trillion tax increase and scored by The Heritage Foundation as a $3.3 trillion tax increase.  Then he went on Meet the Press on April 24 and let the viewers know that the tax-increase-door was wide open. 

Americans for Tax Reform calls on Sen. Coburn to fully and permanently disown the Gang of Six and join his colleagues in taking tax increases off the table.

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Obamacare Tax Hikes: One Down, Twenty to Go


Posted by John Kartch on Friday, April 15th, 2011, 12:18 PM PERMALINK


President Obama on Thursday signed into law the first repeal of an Obamacare tax hike: the 1099 small business paperwork tax.  This Obamacare tax would have required every business in America to issue a “1099” tax form to every office supply store, gas station, restaurant, etc. from which they bought at least $600 in goods and services throughout the year.

The President’s signature on 1099 repeal means that there are now 20 new or higher taxes left in the Obamacare law, down from the original 21 tax hikes.  Taken together, these constitute one of the largest tax increases in American history.  Seven of the remaining tax hikes hit families making less than $250,000 per year, in direct violation of President Obama’s campaign promise not to raise “any form” of taxes on these families.

Below is the total list of all $500 billion-plus in tax hikes (over the next ten years) remaining in Obamacare, where to find them in the bill, when they will take effect, and how much your taxes will go up:

1. Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting(Tax hike of $17.1 bil/takes effect Jan. 2012): Requires businesses to send 1099-MISC information tax forms to corporations (currently limited to individuals), a huge compliance burden for small employers. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,960-1,961

2. Individual Mandate Excise Tax(takes effect in Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following

 

1 Adult

2 Adults

3+ Adults

2014

1% AGI/$95

1% AGI/$190

1% AGI/$285

2015

2% AGI/$325

2% AGI/$650

2% AGI/$975

2016 +

2.5% AGI/$695

2.5% AGI/$1390

2.5% AGI/$2085

 

Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS).Bill: PPACA; Page: 317-337

3. Employer Mandate Tax(takes effect Jan. 2014):  If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees.  Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).Bill: PPACA; Page: 345-346

Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years

4. Surtax on Investment Income (Tax hike of $123 billion/takes effect Jan. 2013):  Creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).  This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income: Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 87-93

 

Capital Gains

Dividends

Other*

2011-2012 (current law)

15%

15%

35%

2013+ (current law)

23.8%

43.4%

43.4%

2013+ (Obama budget)

23.8%

23.8%

43.4%

*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations.  It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.  It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans.  The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.

5. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans(Tax hike of $32 bil/takes effect Jan. 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family).  Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions.  CPI +1 percentage point indexed. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,941-1,956

6. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax(Tax hike of $86.8 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Current law and changes:

 

First $200,000
($250,000 Married)
Employer/Employee

All Remaining Wages
Employer/Employee

Current Law

1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed

1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed

Obamacare Tax Hike

1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed

1.45%/2.35%
3.8% self-employed

 

Bill: PPACA, ReconciliationAct; Page: 2000-2003; 87-93

7. Medicine Cabinet Tax(Tax hike of $5 bil/took effect Jan. 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957-1,959

8. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike(Tax hike of $1.4 bil/took effect Jan. 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,959

9. Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka“Special Needs Kids Tax”(Tax hike of $13 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited).  Indexed to inflation after 2013. There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs educationBill: PPACA; Page: 2,388-2,389

10. Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers(Tax hike of $20 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax.  Exempts items retailing for <$100. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,980-1,986

11. Raise "Haircut" for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI(Tax hike of $15.2 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994-1,995

12. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services(Tax hike of $2.7 billion/took effect July 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,397-2,399

13. Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D(Tax hike of $4.5 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013) Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994

14. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike(Tax hike of $0.4 bil/took effect Jan. 1 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,004

15. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals(Min$/took effect immediately): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new "community health assessment needs," "financial assistance," and "billing and collection" rules set by HHS. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,961-1,971

16. Tax on Innovator Drug Companies(Tax hike of $22.2 bil/took effect Jan. 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,971-1,980

17. Tax on Health Insurers(Tax hike of $60.1 bil/takes effect Jan. 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year.  Phases in gradually until 2018.  Fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,986-1,993

18. $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives(Tax hike of $0.6 bil/takes effect Jan 2013). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,995-2,000

19. Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2($min/Jan. 2012): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957

20. “Black liquor” tax hike(Tax hike of $23.6 billion/took effect immediately).  This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 105

21. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine”(Tax hike of $4.5 billion/took effect immediately).  This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 108-113

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Obama Makes Super False Tax Claim: "I didn't raise taxes once"


Posted by John Kartch on Monday, February 7th, 2011, 1:10 PM PERMALINK


On Sunday, in a live, nationally televised interview just prior to the Super Bowl, President Obama made the following claim:

“I didn’t raise taxes once.  I lowered taxes over the last two years.  I lowered taxes for the last two years.”

Let’s break down the statement, starting with Obama’s “I didn’t raise taxes once” claim.  This assertion is blatantly false, as President Obama has signed into law at least two dozen tax increases:

Feb. 4, 2009 – Obama signs federal tobacco tax hike:  Just sixteen days into his presidency, Obama signed into law a 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco– a hike of 62 cents per pack.  Obama’s signature on this tax hike was a violation of his central campaign promise – a “firm pledge” that no American making less than $250,000 would see “any form of tax increase”.  The median income of smokers is just over $36,000. 

March 23, 2010 –Obama signs the healthcare bill into law:  Obama’s signature on the health care bill enacted two dozen new or higher taxes (at least seven of which violate his “firm pledge” on taxes), including but not limited to:

-- Individual Mandate Excise Tax

--Employer Mandate Excise Tax

-- Small business 1099-MISC Information Reporting

--Surtax on Investment Income

--Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans

--Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax

--Medicine Cabinet Tax

--HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike

--Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka“Special Needs Kids Tax”

-- Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers

-- "Haircut" for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI

-- Tax on Indoor Tanning Services

-- Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage

-- Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike

-- Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals

-- Tax on Innovator Drug Companies

-- Tax on Health Insurers

-- Biofuel “black liquor” tax hike

-- Codification of the “economic substance doctrine”

Now let’s turn to the second part of Obama’s claim: I lowered taxes over the last two years.  I lowered taxes for the last two years.”

  • President Obama’s entire claim of being a net tax-cutter rests merely upon the temporary tax relief he has signed into law.  The tax increases Obama has signed into law have invariably been permanent.  In fact, Obama signed into law $7 in permanent tax hikes for every $1 in permanent tax cuts
  • Over 90% of the dollar value of the tax cuts Obama signed into law are only temporary
  • 100% of the tax increases Obama signed into law are, however, permanent
  • Permanent changes to tax law signed by Obama amount to a net tax hike of $618.7 billion

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