Last year I tried to compile a list of all the taxes President Obama and his allies were maneuvering to impose. But each week brings new ideas. Just recently we’ve heard about a bank tax, applying the Medicare tax to capital gains and other “passive” or “unearned” income, raising the Medicare tax rate, raising or broadening the capital gains tax, an income tax “surtax,” a tax on tanning — and of course the tax on private health insurance to pay for the expansion of government insurance has moved to the top of the list.
And all of these on top of these ideas proposed or publicly floated by President Obama and his aides and allies:
- Raise the top income tax rates from their current 33 percent and 35 percent rates to 36 percent and 39.6 percent in 2011
- Limit itemized deductions for people paying high rates
- Increase capital gains and dividend taxes by 33 percent for people paying high income tax rates
- Impose a value‐added tax (VAT) on all goods and services
- Raise the Social Security tax by lifting the cap
- Raise a variety of business taxes by $353 billion over 10 years, including repeal of LIFO rules, restoring Superfund taxes, seven tax increases on energy companies, and more
- Tax employer‐provided health benefits
- Implement a cap‐and‐trade system for emissions permits, the functional equivalent of a massive new tax
- Tax drivers on their mileage
- Change rules to raise gift taxes
- Restore the estate tax at 45 percent
- Raise cigarette tax by 62 cents a pack
- Raise taxes on beer, wine, liquor, and soda
- Eliminate health savings accounts and flexible savings accounts
- Tax employer‐provided cellphones
- Tax AIG employee bonuses
- Raise taxes on overseas corporate earnings
Back in July the Wall Street Journal reported:
President Barack Obama’s health‐care plan is in jeopardy because of serious concerns that costs will spin out of control. As much as anyone, it’s White House budget director Peter Orszag’s job to save it…
After his TV appearances, he went straight to the Senate Finance Committee, where he spent three hours with committee aides brainstorming about how to pay for the trillion‐dollar legislation. At one point, they flipped through the tax code, looking for ideas.
Flipping through the tax code, looking for ideas on how to relieve us of more of our money. That’s a great visual of Obama’s Washington. President Obama and his allies look at the vast abundance in America, and all they see is wealth that they don’t yet control. It annoys them. They could do so much good with that money. How dare bankers and businesses, farmers and entrepreneurs, widows and foundations hold tight to their wealth, when government has so many plans to fund? “Let’s go and get it from those who’ve got it,” they cry, in the immortal words of Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
But perhaps Thomas Jefferson’s words are even more immortal and equally applicable: “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”