Today, the President held his first press conference since being elected to a second term. President Obama was given the opportunity to come clean on the size of the tax hike he wants on small business employers when MSNBC White House Correspondent Chuck Todd asked him:

“Are you — is there no deal at the end of the year if tax rates for the top 2 percent aren't the Clinton tax rates, period, no if, ands or buts? Any room in negotiating on that specific aspect of the fiscal cliff?”

The President has repeatedly argued that he wants “to go back to the tax rates under Clinton.” However, because of the 3.8 percent surtax on investment income in his health care law, President Obama actually wants rates to be above where they were under Clinton. In fact, President Obama’s health care law is a $123 billion tax hike on investment income, a tax increase that will land on top of the majority of small  businesses that are already facing higher income tax rates under the Obama tax plan.

  Capital Gains Dividends
Clinton-era rates 20.0% 39.6%
2012 15% 15%
2013+ (current law) 23.8% 43.4%

While the President dodged answering the question in the press conference today, the correct answer would be “no.” President Obama doesn’t want taxes to go back to the level they were in the Clinton-era. He wants them to be higher.