During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama vowed that he would not raise taxes on the middle class.
“And I can make a firm pledge: under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase - not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”
Curiously, a survey released by Rasmussen on July 12 showed that 54 percent of American adults consider $50,000 a year -- not $250,000 per year -- to be middle income.
But that isn’t the only discrepancy Obama must square with the American public.
In a 2009 interview with the president, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos argued that the law’s individual mandate – which forces people to purchase insurance, or pay a fine if they don’t – was a “tax.”
"No. That’s not true, George. The — for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase."
Then Stephanopoulos read Merriam Webster's definition of the word “tax,” -- "a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes."
George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition.
During arguments before the Supreme Court in March, as reported by Politico, court appointed attorney Robert Long argued that the “Anti-Injunction Act is an absolutely central statute to litigation about taxes.”
On June 28, the Washington Post reported that the United States Supreme Court upheld the legislation as a “tax.”
In an interview with MSNBC’s David Gregory, as reported July 1 by Town Hall, Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said it isn’t a tax.
“It’s a penalty that comes under the tax code.”
So, “it is a new tax,” Gregory surmised of Pelosi’s response, “a new tax on the American people.”
“No, no, no – no, no.”
It’s a ridiculous argument that calls to mind the Clinton-Lewinski-gate “sex” conundrum of his guilt in having a sexual affair with an under-aged intern all boiling down to what the definition of “is” is.
As reported by John Kartch of Fox News in June, the law contains no less than 20 new or higher taxes. The five major taxes, which will take effect in January, will cost American taxpayers an estimated $257 billion over the next ten years.
However, as reported by U.S. News on July 10, the nonpartisan Americans for Tax Reform said that pledge was broken with the passage of Obamacare.
"Many of these tax increases fall on families making less than $250,000—a direction violation of candidate Obama's promise not to raise 'any form' of taxes on these families."
Seniors will be hit particularly hard.
The "individual mandate excise tax," set to go into effect in 2014, will rise to 2.5% of adjusted gross income for a senior couple in 2016. That’s an additional tax burden of $1390 for those making less than $55,600. That means that Obamacare will raise taxes on these younger seniors – just prior to retirement -- by punishing them if they don't purchase "qualifying health insurance."
Starting in 2018, the "Cadillac Plan" excise tax in Obamacare imposes a staggering 40 percent excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans. This is defined for seniors as a plan whose premiums exceed $29,450 for a family plan, or $11,500 for a single senior.
The dividends tax hike will hit seniors in 2013, raising the top tax rate on dividends from today’s rate of 15 percent to 39.6 percent.
Regarding the "medical device excise tax," just ask yourself: Who buys more pacemakers, wheelchairs, and most other medical devices? Seniors do.
Never mind that Obamacare already gutted $500 billion from Medicare.
"President Barack Obama has worked mightily to avoid the 'T' word," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"The big question is whether the Republicans can sell the idea to voters that the president's Affordable Care Act breaks his promise not to raise taxes on those who make less than $250,000. That's why what voters believe on this issue matters."