Even so, Mr. Obama has already broken his no-new-taxes pledge. On Feb. 4, Mr. Obama signed a $33 billion cigarette tax increase, which fell disproportionately on lower- and middle-income individuals. And the “cap and trade” energy bill, approved by the House on June 26, is a tax on anyone who owns a light switch, uses a car key, or has bought anything manufactured, shipped or sold in the U.S.
The House version of Mr. Obama’s health-care—excuse me, “health-insurance”—reform already has four taxes that will largely be paid by people making less than $250,000 a year. There’s $8.2 billion in taxes for using health savings accounts and other tax-free medical savings vehicles to purchase over-the-counter drugs. There’s an 8% tax on employers who don’t offer insurance: The Congressional Budget Office says workers in those businesses would pay the $163 billion cost via lost wages.
There’s a 2.5% “Tax on Individuals Without Acceptable Health Care Coverage” in the House bill that applies to people who either don’t have insurance or whose policies the government deems inadequate. Finally, there’s a $2 billion “Comparative Effectiveness Research Tax” on all private and “public option” insurance policies.
If some version of ObamaCare is passed, the president will break his tax pledge several more times while adding trillions to the deficit, dismantling the best elements of our health-care system and slashing Medicare by hundreds of billions of dollars.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner gave the real reason for the new tax increases, "We have to bring these deficits down very dramatically. And that's going to require some very hard choices." For those who don't read Treasury code, that means that the bond market will demand that the president become more serious about the deficit, or our bond rating could be degraded, costing us billions in additional dollars in borrowing costs.
Of course, the president already has raised taxes on regular folks, and his allies on Capitol Hill already are dreaming up ways to hit them harder. Indeed, the president signed a sharp increase in the federal tax on tobacco, which hits lower income people who happen to smoke the hardest, and there are many plans on the board that include new taxes on soft drinks, beer, wine, trans fats, gasoline and a myriad of other items enjoyed by many Americans who don't happen to be rich.
It is income tax rates where the Democrats can most be expected to increase taxes on middle-class earners. Because, as the famed criminal Willie Sutton once said about why he robbed banks, "That is where the money is."
The American people are also skeptical about paying higher taxes for a new health care plan. Indeed, according to a new Rasmussen poll, to the question "Are you willing to pay higher taxes so that all Americans can be provided with health insurance?" 60 percent of the American people said thanks, but no thanks.