On Friday, the Washington Post ran a fact check in which they found that the President's healthcare law was a net tax cut for the middle class. That was a big surprise to us, since we have been highlighting the 20 new or higher taxes in Obamacare for years, especially those which fall directly on families making less than $250,000.
Senator Jim Demint (R-S.C.) and staff were also apparently not amused. If you read that analysis, they make the excellent point that 78% of the value of the "tax relief" in the bill comes in the form of spending ("outlays") not tax relief. If someone has a zero tax liability, you by definition cannot cut their taxes. You're simply using the IRS to deliver a welfare check. The fact that the WaPo missed this is a huge error in their analysis.
There are a couple of other points to consider.
First, the analysis totally glosses over the 20 new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Many of these will fall directly on families making less than $250,000 per year. Some obvious examples that come to mind are the FSA cap, the medicine cabinet tax, and the high medical bills tax. There are many others.
Second, the WaPo analysis ignores the phase-in factor on the tax hikes. Most of the tax increases don't take effect until 2013 (and one, the Cadillac Plan tax, not until 2018), but the scoring windows begin in 2010 (when Obamacare passed). As a result, the first several years of each tax increase is scored as "$0." What should have been done was to create a new window with all the tax increases fully phased-in. This would likely have to be a 2018-2027 window. Just inflate the tax increases every year to construct, and you can truly see how big these tax hikes are. This wasn't done, nor was this "window dressing" in the score acknowledged by WaPo.
The bottom line is that the President's healthcare law is a massive tax increase on the middle class (and we haven't even mentioned the tax penalty for not complying with the individual mandate). That's just common sense.