More Taxes than Meet the Eye in Obama’s Budget

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Yesterday’s budget from President Obama claimed to raise taxes by $650 billion, which would come in addition to the $650 billion in tax hikes in January 2013. However, it appears that the president wants much more money from our pocketbooks. The exact amount isn’t entirely clear due to the games the Office of Management and Budget is playing with its various tables. But if the president had his way, more than $1 trillion in tax hikes would be coming.

Here are some of the tax hikes the president is proposing:

  • “Buffett tax” ($53 billion): President Obama resurrected this tax idea, which would require high-income individuals to pay at least 30 percent of their incomes in taxes.
  • Limiting tax deductions ($598 billion): President Obama would limit the value of itemized deductions for high-income earners.
  • Changes to the “death tax” ($131 billion): The president suggests going back to the estate tax rules of 2009, which would increase the marginal tax rate on estates and lower the exemption, subjecting more assets to taxation.
  • Changes to oil and gas taxation ($44 billion): Frequently criticized by the president, these tax provisions are generally not subsidies to oil and gas companies, but instead ameliorate the tax code’s improper treatment of capital expenditures.
  • Changes to international taxation ($276 billion): Instead of moving the United States to a territorial tax system like most other industrialized countries, the president moves in the opposite direction and proposes further raising taxes on corporations with overseas earnings.
  • Cap on 401(k) and IRA contributions ($28 billion): This provision would prohibit individuals from contributing to retirement accounts if their balances were greater than $3 million.
  • Increase in tobacco taxes ($78 billion): To pay for his universal pre-K proposal, President Obama would increase the tobacco tax from $1.10/pack to $1.95/pack.

On tax policy, the president’s budget trots out old, tired, blame-the-rich rhetoric rather than tackling the country’s real problems.