Ezra Klein: No, 'Obamacare' Is Not The 'Largest Tax Increase In The History Of The World'


From this Monday evening's The Rachel Maddow Show, guest host Ezra Klein does a recap of the column he wrote earlier that same day, debunking the right wing's latest talking point that the Affordable Care Act is “the largest tax increase in the history of the world.”

No, ‘Obamacare’ isn’t ‘the largest tax increase in the history of the world’ (in one chart):

Since the Supreme Court decision, Republicans have been calling the Affordable Care Act “the largest tax increase in the history of the world.” Politifact rates this false. Kevin Drum’s got a table of the 15 significant tax increases since 1950, and the Affordable Care Act, which amounts to a tax increase of 0.49 percent of GDP, comes in 10th. Austin Frakt took Drum’s table and made a chart: [...]

So no, the Affordable Care Act isn’t the “biggest tax hike in history.” It’s not even the biggest tax hike in the past 60 years. Or 50 years. Or 30 years. Or 20 years.

But it does include a number of tax hikes. The individual mandate, however, isn’t one of the big ones. It’s only expected to raise $27 billion during the next decade. The largest tax increase in the law is on high earners, who will see their Medicare payroll taxes increase by 0.9 percentage point and who will also pay a slightly higher rate on investment income. That raises more than $200 billion. There’s also the tax on unusually expensive health insurance plans, which raises $30 billion in the first decade, and much more in the second. There’s a $60 billion tax on insurance companies. You can find the whole list here.

And as Derek Thompson at The Atlantic rightfully pointed out: 2 of the Last 3 GOP Presidents Signed Larger Tax Increases Than Obamacare.

And as Klein noted in the clip above, President Obama has also cut taxes as he did in the stimulus, by extending the Bush tax cuts for two years and as he's promising to do with extending most of the Bush tax cuts for the lower and middle class permanently. None of those facts seem to matter to Republicans much, who are just desperate to paint Democrats as tax and spend liberals and make paying taxes of any sort a dirty word rather than all of our duty to make sure our government functions and that we protect the most vulnerable in our society and our society and democracy as a whole.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm really just exhausted from watching and listening to this Libertarian wing and bunch of extremists that have taken over the Republican Party and the media's unwillingness to call them out as the dangerous ideologues that they are. Klein did a good job of calling out their lies and the fact that they want to demagogue the issue of paying taxes here. Sadly segments like this one have been the exception when it comes to Republicans and their reaction to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act. For the most part they've been aided and abetted by our corporate media, and not just Fox.


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