Obama’s Long Game, Ctd

Jan 23 2012 @ 10:50am

Hot Air's second criticism of my essay on Obama's record is on taxes. I note that, despite Republican rhetoric, Obama has lowered taxes quite dramatically – by cutting the payroll tax cut, by extending the Bush tax cuts past their scheduled expiration, by the stimulus. Hot Air counters:

Obama’s signature healthcare law raises $813 billion from 2012 to 2021. Almost half of the “stimulus tax cuts” were actually spending. The House GOP voted for a year-long extension of the payroll tax cut, while Obama demanded an unworkable short-term cut to be offset by… a tax increase.

Well, the first number is not yet in the record of Obama's first term, but let's measure it anyway: Politifact says the healthcare law does indeed have a variety of fees and taxes that will amount to $104 billion in 2019. Since Karl doesn't provide a source for his $813 billion, I can't explain the discrepancy. As for the notion that tax credits for the working poor are not tax cuts, we're talking semantics here. As for the payroll tax cut, he's playing partisan spin. It's big and Obama has backed it from the beginning and wants it extended throughout next year. The stimulus tax cuts, according to the WaPo's fact-checker, amounted to around half of GWB's tax cuts, while exempting the very wealthy. I'd say that a Democrat cutting taxes in his first term by half as much as Bush did does not make such a Democrat a Saul Alinsky radical.

As for the proposed future Obamacare tax hikes, they amount to around one-third of the tax hikes signed by Ronald Reagan in 1982, according to Bloomberg. Reagan also doubled the gas tax. So I think I win that round. Obama's first term was marked by tax reductions, not increases, even as revenues sank to 50-year lows. If he were what Romney and Gingrich now say he is, that simply would not have happened.