Remember, back in the 2008 presidential campaign? Back when the AP "fact checked" GOP predictions that Saint Obama would raise taxes? Of course, the Saintly One was promising to raise taxes on only the wealthiest of Americans, promising that 95% of taxpayers will see either a decline in taxes or that they will remain the same.
Naturally, one month after inauguration, President Obama kept that promise by signing into law a 62-cent-a-pack cigarette tax. Now, my math may not be all that good, but surely more than 5% of the American population are smokers impacted by that tax hike. In fact, I went and checked for myself. According to Web MD, smokers account for just under 20% of America's population.
Apparently, my pocket calculator is defective, because I just subtracted 20% from 100% and I didn't come up with 95%. Maybe the Justice Department should look into this matter!
But it's not just the taxes on cigarettes that gives one pause. Let's look at some other policy matters that the Blessed Barack is pursuing:
The Stimulus Packages:
Now, I know many folks will say that these didn't involve tax hikes. Perhaps not directly. However, with "Obamanomics" needing to print money in amounts that would deforest major land masses, the devaluation of the dollar and the unnatural tightening of the money supply as cash goes into favored industries and institutions will put a major hurt on the average taxpayer. We're talking about job creation, economic displacements caused by government intrusion into the market place, and recessions and depressions.
Any economist worth his salt will tell you, for instance, that FDR's policies (which President Obama has doubled down on with a vengence) prolonged rather than cured the Great Depression. Indeed, we were told that passage of his monstrous stimulus package was needed to hold unemployment at 8%. Now that we're closing in on 10% and higher, his people are out telling us we need another stimulus.
Can we get off the ride now?
President Obama is promising health care coverage to every American, citing the "travesty" of 43 to 47 million people with no coverage. Forget that this touted figure is bogus --subtract illegal aliens, folks who got coverage within a year of losing it, folks who choose not to buy insurance, and factor in the fact that it is a matter of law that all folks who seek medical attention get it. You just have to ask the obvious question: How does he expect to pay for it? The fact is, you and I, rich or poor, small business or large -- all of us are on the hook for the tab. Sure, Saint Barak has promised the average family would save $2,500 a year in insurance costs.
But is that likely, or even plausible? Last month, the Washington Post reported that "Obama conveyed his concern over early pronouncements by the Congressional Budget Office that a bill drafted by the Senate health committee would cover just 16 million additional people at a cost of $1 trillion". That's a lot more than the $60 to $65 billion a year promised during the campaign. And what about the 24 to 28 million who don't get covered?
Take a look at what the intent, if not the actual claims by proponents, of the various schemes that are bandied about. The Heritage Foundation noted: "Less than 24 hours after Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner questioned the veracity of President Obama’s persistent claim that, under his health care proposals, “if you like your insurance package you can keep it”, the White House has begun to walk the President’s claim back." Basically, government-run health care will inevitably drive the private sector out of the insurance business.
So, what do people think about their present coverage? According to Fox News, a Kaiser Foundation survey found that "89 percent of Americans were satisfied with their own personal medical care". If that's the case, then why do we need to nationalize yet another industry?
Then there's the question of rationing. I hate to break this to you Leftists out there, but the only way to contain costs to even unrealistic levels is to ration your health care. Sure, I know! Insurance companies deny coverage for one reason or another, thus a form of rationing. But then, you can ply your business with another insurance company or pay for the denied treatment out of your own pocket. But where do you turn when it is the federal government that is the insurance company, and your private company was driven out of the business?
So what would getting a needed procedure that is banned by the up and coming health care czars be worth to you? Isn't the denial by bureaucrats of certain medical procedures a sort of tax?
The Climate Change Bill:
If you know my stuff, you know I don't buy into the whole Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) nonsense. Besides, this essay is about taxes. Which brings us to our next topic: the Climate Change Bill.
Essentially, in what is euphemistically called "Cap And Trade", the government would set limits on how much CO2 a given business can release into the atmosphere. If said business exceeds this arbitrary amount, it will be fined. However, should another business actually admit less CO2 than the first, that first business can buy "carbon credits" from the second, allowing the first to emit more CO2. Every few years, the government will reduce the permissible levels of CO2 emissions until we reach a Green Nirvana of no AGW.
This bureaucratic nightmare is touted by the Left as a "free market solution". But it is nothing of the sort. Once again, the free market is distorted by government meddling to solve a problem that exists only in the fevered imaginations of the Eco-Marxists. All that would be created is yet another bloated bureaucracy strangling the host (see Montag's First Immutable Law of Nature) and solving nothing. Meanwhile, idiots like Algore get rich trading in carbon credits while wandering the globe in their private jets and massive motorcades.
But we were talking taxes, weren't we? You see, buying these carbon credits and paying the fines for violating the limits are all taxes. Oh, not directly on you, the taxpayer, but on the companies you buy goods and services from, on the companies you work for. These added costs will ultimately be passed to the consumer. Employees will find fewer job opportunities among affected businesses. The only job growth will be in the government, in the bureaucracy that will be created to police this monstrosity.
Should this become law, you can expect a doubling or tripling of energy costs. You'll find that, even though GM and Chrysler got a bailout, you still can't afford to drive. We'll see Jimmy Carter's idea of energy independence, as we all turn down the thermostat and button up our sweaters. And, naturally, as the old joke goes: "the poor, women and minorities will be hardest hit."
Yep! We were promised that 95% of us wouldn't see a tax hike at all under President Obama. So let me ask you, Obamaniacs: How's that working out for you?
Copyright July 10th, 2009 by Gregory Indelicato