John Kartch

Flashback: Deer-in-Headlights Goolsbee Dodges Questions about Obamacare Middle Class Tax Hikes


Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012, 1:46 PM PERMALINK


During his testimony at a Jan. 26, 2011 House Ways & Means Committee hearing on the new healthcare law, Austan Goolsbee squirmed and obfuscated while repeatedly denying an inconvenient truth about Obamacare: the law contains at least seven tax hikes on those making less than $250,000 per year -- a violation of President Obama’s central campaign promise not to sign into law “any form of tax increase” on these families.

Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) simply asked Goolsbee, -- then-chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers -- whether a series of tax hikes in Obamacare were indeed tax hikes.

Below are the cryptic and dishonest replies from Dr. Goolsbee when asked whether each of the provisions in Obamacare were indeed a tax increase (Click here to watch the video clip):

Rep. Tiberi: A new tax on individuals who did not purchase government approved health insurance?

            Austan Goolsbee: uh- I don’t think that’s an accurate way to describe it, no.

            Tiberi: Not a new tax?

            Goolsbee: I don’t think that’s an accurate way.

(Americans for Tax Reform:  The individual mandate excise tax takes effect in 2014, and when fully phased in two years later will require those not purchasing “qualifying” health insurance – as defined by the government – will have to pay a tax equaling 2.5% of AGI or $695, whichever is greater).

Tiberi: A new ban on the use of flexible savings accounts, HSAs, HRAs, on using pre-tax income to purchase over the counter drugs?

Goolsbee: uh I-I don’t, that’s not a tax increase of a normal form and that’s part of a broader reform effort obviously.

(Americans for Tax Reform: Under Obamacare, an individual may no longer use Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), or Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) to purchase over-the-counter medicines. The 40 million Americans using these accounts can no longer purchase items such as aspirin, cold and flu medicine, menstrual cramp pain relievers, antihistamines, and antacids).

Tiberi: An increase from 7 and a half percent to 10 percent of income the threshold after which individuals can deduct out of pocket medical expenses?

            Goolsbee: . . . (shakes his head)

            Tiberi: Not a tax increase?

Goolsbee: uh, I, as I’m saying, the, I do not consider the affordable care act as a whole to be a tax increase on people less than $200,000.

(Americans for Tax Reform: This provision puts a tough burden on individuals with particularly high medical expenses. Currently, an individual can deduct any amount of income they spent on medical expenses to the extent those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of AGI from their income. The Obamacare law raises that threshold to 10 percent. As a result families will be able to deduct less in medical expenses than they can currently. By shrinking this deduction, Obamacare increases (again) the total amount of taxable income. This means those individuals are going to have to pay more in taxes).

Tiberi: There are two more. Impose a new $2500 cap on family’s ability to use pre-tax dollars to fund an FSA?

Goolsbee: I twen- could you—

            Tiberi: $2500 cap on—

            Goolsbee: $2500 cap; I don’t, I don’t consider that a tax increase.

(Americans for Tax Reform:  Taking effect in January 2013, this is another provision in Obamacare that leads to a substantial amount of pre-tax income spent on medical expenses becoming taxable income; again raising taxes by raising the amount of income that an individual is taxed on.

Currently, families can put their pre-tax income into a Flexible Savings Account (FSA) without a federally imposed cap to pay for various medical expenses. This greatly helps with parents trying to pay for expensive prescriptions for their children or parents who put money into the account to pay tuition for special needs schools or tutoring. By placing the $2500 cap on the amount of pre-tax income that can be used in this way, families will see their taxes potentially skyrocket depending on how much over that amount that they currently put in their FSAs. This cap has no exceptions of any kind, not for special needs children, not for Americans making less than $200,000 per year, and not for families making less than $250,000 per year).

                Tiberi: A new ten percent tax on indoor tanning services?

                Goolsbee: (chuckles) uh. . .

                Tiberi: Not a tax increase?

                Goolsbee: Well, that seems like a strictly voluntary, uh, thing that one could choose.

                Tiberi: But not a tax increase?

                Goolsbee: . . . (shrugs)

(Americans for Tax Reform:  Goolsbee’s laughter shows his cluelessness as to how this tax has been impacting Americans since it went into effect July 1, 2010.  This petty, burdensome, nanny-state tax affects both the business owner and the end user.  Industry estimates from the Indoor Tanning Association show that 30 million Americans visit an indoor tanning facility in a given year, and over 50 percent of salon owners are women.  There is no exception granted for those making less than $250,000).

 

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Obama: Thank You For Not Asking About My Tax Hikes on Families Making Less Than $250,000


Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, April 10th, 2012, 4:00 PM PERMALINK


Stumping for his “Buffett Rule” tax increase in Florida today, President Barack Obama said the following:

“For those people who make under $250,000 a year – like 98 percent of American families do – then your taxes don’t go up.” – Barack Obama, April 10, 2012

But since taking office, President Obama has signed into law at least seven new or higher taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year.

President Barack Obama’s central campaign promise – a “firm pledge” against “any form of tax increase” on families making less than $250,000 per year – was shattered when he signed the Affordable Care Act into law. The healthcare law contains at least seven tax hikes that unquestionably violate Obama’s pledge.

Documentation of Obama’s promise is as follows:

Speaking in Dover, New Hampshire on Sept. 12, 2008, candidate Obama said:

“I can make a firm pledge.  Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”  [Video]

During a nationally televised Vice-Presidential debate in St. Louis on Oct. 3, 2008, candidate Joe Biden said:

 “No one making less than $250,000 under Barack Obama’s plan will see one single penny of their tax raised whether it’s their capital gains tax, their income tax, investment tax, any tax.” [Transcript]

In an address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24, 2009, President Obama restated the promise in forceful terms:

“If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime.  I repeat: not one single dime.” [Transcript] [Video]

During a White House press briefing on April 15, 2009, spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked if Obama’s tax pledge applied “to the health care bill.”  Gibbs replied:

 “The statement didn’t come with caveats.”  [Transcript] [Video]

Yet Obama’s commitment to the American people was thrown out the window when he signed the healthcare bill into law. The seven Obamacare tax increases that break his “firm pledge” are: 

1. The Obamacare Individual Mandate Excise Tax:  Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance – as defined by Obama-appointed bureaucrats -- 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

 

2. The Obamacare Medicine Cabinet Tax:  This tax took effect in January 2011 and prevents Americans from being able to use their 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).

3. The Obamacare Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax”: Starting in January 2013, Obamacare imposes a cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited under federal law). 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 education

4. The Obamacare "Haircut" to the Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI: 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).  Beginning in January 2013, this new Obamacare provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. 

5. The Obamacare HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike: This provision, which took effect in January 2011, increases the 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.

6. The Obamacare Tax on Indoor Tanning Services:  Since July of 2010, Americans using indoor tanning salons face a new 10 percent excise tax.

7. Obamacare Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans: Starting in 2018, this provision imposes a new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family).  Higher thresholds exists for early retirees and those in high-risk professions.

None of the above tax increases contain any exemption whatsoever for families making less than $250,000 per year.

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Why is the IRS Diverting $500 Million to Enforce Obamacare?


Posted by John Kartch on Monday, April 9th, 2012, 3:18 PM PERMALINK


Millions of Americans are struggling to meet the April 17 IRS tax filing deadline. Today, The Hill newspaper reports that the IRS is receiving an emergency infusion of $500 million from the Obama administration – not to enforce the existing convoluted tax code – but to impose the 2,700-page Obamacare law on an unwilling country. 

Why would the IRS need hundreds of millions of dollars to implement a healthcare law?

Because Obamacare is one of the largest tax hikes in history, saddling American families and small employers with 20 new or higher taxes.

Click below to see the full list of Obamacare tax increases by 1) size of tax hike and 2) order of effective date:

Comprehensive List of Obamacare Tax Hikes in Order of Effective Date

Comprehensive Obamacare Tax Hikes Listed by Size of Tax Hike

 

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Definitive List of Obamacare Tax Hikes Listed by Size of Tax Hike


Posted by John Kartch, Ryan Ellis on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012, 12:22 PM PERMALINK


WASHINGTON, DC -- Two years ago today, Obamacare was signed into law. One of the largest tax increases in American history, Obamacare contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and small businesses—seven of which fall on families making less than $250,000 per year (in direct violation of President Obama’s campaign promise.)

Arranged by their respective sizes according to CBO scores, below is the total list of all $500 billionplus in tax hikes (over the next ten years) in Obamacare, their effective dates, and where to find them in the bill.

1. Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/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*
2012
2013+
15%
23.8%
15%
43.4%
35%
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

2. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax ($86.8 bil/Jan 2013): Current law and changes:

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

Current Law
 

Obamacare Tax Hike

1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed

1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed

1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed

1.45%/2.35%
3.8% self-employed

Bill: PPACA, ReconciliationAct; Page: 2000-2003; 87-9

3. Individual Mandate Excise Tax (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
2015
2016
 1% AGI/$95
 2% AGI/$325
 2.5% AGI/$695
 1% AGI/$190
 2% AGI/$650
 2.5% AGI/$1,390
 1% AGI/$285
 2% AGI/$975
 2.5% AGI/$2,085

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: 317-33

4. Employer Mandate Tax (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

5. Tax on Health Insurers ($60.1 bil/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

6. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans ($32 bil/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

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

8. Tax on Innovator Drug Companies ($22.2 bil/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

9. Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers ($20 bil/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

10. Raise "Haircut" for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI ($15.2 bil/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

11. Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” ($13 bil/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 education. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,388-2,389

12. Medicine Cabinet Tax ($5 bil/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

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

14. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (Tax hike of $4.5 billion). 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

15. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services ($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,397-2,399

16. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike ($1.4 bil/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

17. $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives ($0.6 bil/Jan 2013). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,995-2,000

18. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike ($0.4 bil/Jan 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

19. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (Min$/immediate): $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

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

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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Comprehensive Obamacare Tax Hikes Listed by Size of Tax Hike


Posted by John Kartch, Ryan Ellis on Friday, March 23rd, 2012, 12:02 PM PERMALINK


Two years ago today, Obamacare was signed into law. One of the largest tax increases in American history, Obamacare contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and small businesses—seven of which fall on families making less than $250,000 per year (in direct violation of President Obama’s campaign promise). 

Arranged by their respective sizes according to CBO scores, below is the total list of all $500 billion-plus in tax hikes (over the next ten years) in Obamacare, their effective dates, and where to find them in the bill:

Click here to view

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Comprehensive List of Obamacare Tax Hikes in Order of Effective Date


Posted by John Kartch, Ryan Ellis on Friday, March 23rd, 2012, 12:02 PM PERMALINK


Two years ago this week, Obamacare was signed into law by President Obama.  This jobs-killing law will certainly wreck America’s healthcare system, but what many don’t know is that Obamacare is also one of the largest tax increases in American history.  Obamacare contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and small businesses—seven of which fall on families making less than $250,000 per year (in direct violation of President Obama’s campaign promise). 

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

Click here to view

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Comprehensive List of Obama Tax Increases


Posted by John Kartch, Ryan Ellis on Friday, January 20th, 2012, 11:37 AM PERMALINK


Since taking office three years ago, President Barack Obama has signed into law twenty-one new or higher taxes on the American people:

1. A 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco:  On February 4, 2009, just sixteen days into his Administration, Obama signed into law a 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco, a hike of 61 cents per pack.  The median income of smokers is just over $36,000 per year.

2. Obamacare 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. Obamacare 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. Obamacare 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

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. Obamacare 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. Obamacare 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, Reconciliation Act; Page: 2000-2003; 87-93

7. Obamacare Medicine Cabinet Tax (Tax hike of $5 bil/took effect Jan. 2011): Americans are 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. Obamacare 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. Obamacare Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” (Tax hike of $13 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (currently 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. Obamacare 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. Obamacare "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. Obamacare 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. Obamacare 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. Obamacare 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. Obamacare 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. Obamacare 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. Obamacare 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. Obamacare $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. Obamacare Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 ($min/takes effect Jan. 2012): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957

20. Obamacare “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. Obamacare 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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"Patriotic Millionaires" Meet with Grover Norquist


Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011, 6:40 PM PERMALINK


Today, the “Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength” visited with Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist to make their case for higher taxes. The group approached ATR with the request last week.

On their website, the Millionaires write: “Please do the right thing for our country. Raise our taxes.”

Norquist pointed out to the group that if they want to pay higher taxes they have several options:

They can cut a check directly to the U.S. Treasury. Any citizen may make a donation today simply by writing a check to the Treasury, to a fund called “Gifts to the United States.” In September, Norquist wrote a letter to Warren Buffett pointing out this fact.

They can cut a check to one of the state “Tax Me More” funds. There are at least eight states that have established Tax Me More funds to allow those who feel they are not paying enough in taxes to contribute to the state treasury.

They can support the “Buffett Rule Act of 2011.” ATR supports this bill which would instruct the IRS to provide a prominent, convenient checkbox line on 1040 forms to allow those so inclined to pay extra income tax. In the House, the bill (H.R. 3099) is being championed by Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.), and in the Senate (S. 1676) by John Thune (R-S.D.)

ATR also pointed out that the tax code is already steeply progressive, with the top 1% of income earners paying 40% of all income taxes while the bottom half pay just 3% of all income taxes.

Handed to the Millionaires was a copy of Maimonides’ Eight Levels of Charity. A ninth level was added by ATR in good humor, called The Warren Buffett Level: “Not anticipated by Maimonides and lower than all the others, this is when someone doesn’t actually make a charitable contribution but parades around saying he would if he was forced to after everyone else was forced to.” 

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Boehner Makes It Clear: We're Not Raising Taxes


Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011, 2:31 PM PERMALINK


During a press conference today, House Speaker John Boehner explained why House Republicans will not be voting for a net tax increase:

BOEHNER:  “Listen: Our conference is opposed to tax hikes because we believe that tax hikes will hurt our economy and put Americans out of work.”

 

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Reminder: Simpson-Bowles is a $1 Trillion to $3 Trillion Tax Hike


Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011, 11:29 AM PERMALINK


Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, Co-Chairmen of President Obama’s debt commission, will testify before the Congressional “Supercommittee” this afternoon.  Taxpayers should be reminded that the Simpson-Bowles plan is a net tax increase of $1 trillion, $2 trillion, or $3 trillion over a decade:

  • Even the internal score of Simpson-Bowles admits the plan raises taxes by over $1 trillion.
     
  • House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who voted against Simpson-Bowles, writes:

“Relative to a current policy baseline, the proposal would increase revenues by $2 trillion over 10 years.”  [“Expanded Views on the Fiscal Commission,” by Paul Ryan, Dec. 4, 2010]

  • The Heritage Foundation scored Simpson-Bowles as a $3.3 trillion tax increase over ten years:

“Overall, the fiscal commission would raise taxes by $3.3 trillion over the decade.”  Heritage also wrote that Bowles-Simpson would be “the highest sustained tax burden in American history.” [“Fiscal Commission Report: Too Much Taxes, Not Enough Spending Cuts,” by Brian Riedl, Dec. 3, 2010]

 

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