Wednesday, July 15, 2009 5:07 PMBy: Dan Mangru
Read his lips.
“I can make a firm pledge,” Obama told a crowd in Dover, N.H. last September.
“Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”
Famous last words: Not any of your taxes. Apparently Obama and his administration believe that the American public only listen to rhetoric and read the headlines.
Just this week, I couldn’t get on the Web or pickup a newspaper without reading The New York Times headline, “House Health Plan Outlines Higher Taxes on Rich,” or some version of taxing the rich. All of which point to Obama as Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor in the name of healthcare. While that may sound nice to the middle class, seniors, small business owners, and the poor, sometimes you have to look beyond the rhetoric and beyond the headlines. Laced into Obama’s government healthcare bill are tax increases that no one is talking about that will actually pay for the massive healthcare expansion.
First off is the new tax on soda. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel has introduced a 10-cent per can tax on sugary sodas onto Obama’s healthcare bill. Estimates indicate that this tax could generate over $112 billion.
I wonder if anyone in the Obama administration stopped to ponder if people who make less than $200,000 a year drink soda. I wonder if they thought that a soda tax only affected the rich.
News flash to Obama and Congress: People who make less than $200,000 a year drink soda.
What’s so appalling about the soda tax is not that Obama is going to hurt millions of American families by raising their cost of living. It is that Obama is doing so without anyone realizing it.
The middle class and the poor have been duped by Obama and his $600 stimulus checks and his tax rebates (which have really been increases in welfare spending and not direct tax rebates). Obama wants to go on the PR tour and talk about how he’s putting money back in the pockets of American families.
Well, as Obama giveth, Obama taketh away.
What the middle class and the poor don’t see is that Obama is taking back that money and then some with his hidden tax hikes. For instance, Obama is taking an extra 62 cents for every pack of cigarettes that you smoke.
Insignificant you might say.
The National Taxpayers Union notes that tobacco taxes take a 50 times larger share of income from households making less than $20,000 in annual income than those earning more than $200,000 in annual income.
In addition, families making less than $30,000 a year shell out more than 50 percent of all taxes levied on cigarettes, and households earning over than $60,000, let alone those making over $200,000, pay only 14 percent.
After taking away your money by taxing sodas and cigarettes, Obama also wants to hit you where it really hurts, your energy bill.
By limiting tax breaks for domestic production of energy and a host of other energy tax hikes, Obama’s new budget is expected to raise U.S. energy bills by $105 billion over the next 10 years. All of that is without even mentioning cap and trade, which is projected to cost American families billions more.
But to repeat the Obama mantra, we’re only going to raise taxes on the rich.
Let’s take a further look at that. If Obama raises taxes on all individuals making more than $200,000 a year, will that affect working families?
According to a recent Joint Committee on Taxation analysis of President Obama’s budget proposal, almost half (47 percent) of the income that would be exposed to Obama’s tax hikes would be income produced by small business men and women who file as individuals.
If small businesses are being taxed more, they are just going to swallow it up and pay more money, and chalk it up to bad luck. As Vice President Joe Biden would say about paying more taxes, it’s the patriotic thing to do.
However, as British poet John Donne once said, “No man is an island.”
We are all interconnected. When small businesses and businesses in general see higher taxes, they respond by raising the prices of their goods and services to pay for those taxes. So when your local plumber, whose business brings in over $200,000 a year, decides to raise the rates, just thank Obama for that. When the price of getting your car fixed at your local mechanic shop goes up, just thank Obama for that. And when it comes time to send your kids to school and you can’t afford to put gas in your car, just thank Obama for that.
What the administration doesn’t understand is that when you go to buy a gallon of gas, they don’t ask you whether you earn over $200,000 a year or not. They tax you just the same as everyone else.
Taxes have a way of trickling down our economy, and when you tax one of us, you tax all of us because we are all interconnected. So when Obama speaks of just taxing the rich, remember that you just can’t tax the rich, because eventually, in some way or another, you’ll end up bearing the burden for at least some of those taxes.
Whether it is higher food costs, higher energy costs, or just a higher cost of living, in the end, everyone has to pay for tax hikes. Obama and his PR team don’t want you to know that. They just want you to collect your $600 stimulus check and be happy.
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