Published on TheHill.com on April 10, 2012
If Obama is reelected, the tax increase he and a Democratic Congress would impose on middle- and upper-middle-income Americans would be disastrous. It’s easy to lose sight of his tax plans because he has hidden them in a variety of nooks and crannies, including the Simpson-Bowles Commission Report, the Pelosi budget of 2009 and the various tax proposals advanced by his party. But, should he win, they will all come out of hiding, and together, they will be the principal legislative thrust of his efforts in 2013.
For a couple making $250,000, these tax hikes would add another $3,000 to $4,000 a month in taxes (depending on whether they were self-employed).
For a couple making $150,000, they would add another $1,200 to $1,400 per month.
Let’s all realize that Obama let a massive deficit accumulate precisely because he realized that doing so gave him the leverage he would need to raise taxes and increase, permanently, the size of government in America. Reagan let the deficit pile up so liberals couldn’t spend more money. Obama did so in order to make conservatives vote for higher taxes.
How will he tax us? Let us count the ways:
• Most basic, of course, will be an increase in tax rates. Those paying 33 percent will now pay 36 percent. People paying 35 percent will now pay 40 percent. Most people accept and expect that Obama will raise these brackets if he is reelected. But they don’t realize what else he will do.
• As he advocated in the 2008 campaign, he will eliminate the ceiling on wages that must be taxed for Social Security. Currently, wages are taxed at 6.2 percent (now, temporarily, at 4.2 percent) up to a ceiling about $100,000 per year in income. The ceiling rises with the cost of living. But Obama will eliminate the ceiling and subject all wages to FICA taxation. (In his campaign, he spoke of a “carve-out” for those making between $100,000 and $200,000, where income would be exempt from FICA, but don’t count on it.) For those who are employed, the increase in FICA taxes will mean an effective increase in their tax bracket of 6.2 percentage points. For the self-employed, it will mean a whopping 12.4 percentage point increase, bringing their effective tax rate, if they are in the top bracket, over 52 percent. Obama has refrained from addressing Social Security’s financial problems and will do so until after the election. But his solution will be higher taxes, not curtailed benefits.
• All deductions for mortgage interest, charitable giving and state and local tax payments would likely end for those making more than $250,000.
• Even for those making less than $250,000, the Bowles-Simpson recommendations call for replacing the current tax deduction for mortgage interest, charitable giving and state and local taxes with a tax credit. Usually 8 percent is mentioned as the tax credit level.
So add it up:
Home: $300,000 (mortgage interest: $20,000)
Property taxes: $15,000
Basic tax rate: +5% +$12,500
FICA on full income: +$18,600 ($9,300 if employed)
Mortgage interest +$ 6,500
Prop Taxes +$5,000
State income tax (9%) +$7,500
Total additional tax: +$50,100 ($40,800 if employed)
Home: $200,000 (mortgage interest: $10,000)
Property taxes: $10,000
Basic tax rate: +3% +$ 4,500
FICA on full income +$6,200 ($3,100 if employed)
8% credit, no deduction
Mortgage interest +$ 2,500
Property taxes +$ 2,500
State income tax (6%) +$ 1,500
(calculation replaces deduction at 33% bracket with an 8% credit)
Total additional tax: +$17,200 ($14,100 if employed)
Can we afford Barack Obama for four more years? No way! And don’t say you weren’t warned!
View my most recent videos in case you missed them!