Yes, Actually, Obamacare Is the Biggest Tax Increase in History

Just because a headline or an idea is repeated over and over again doesn’t make it true.

No sooner had Chief Justice Roberts issued his ruling that ObamaCare’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance ObamaCare was a tax than the law’s defenders in the press were racing to rebut the idea that the law, overall, is the largest tax increase in American history.

“No, ObamaCare Isn’t the Biggest Tax Increase in History,” was the headline over Kevin Drum’s piece in Mother Jones, published July 1.

“No, ‘Obamacare’ isn’t ‘the largest tax increase in the history of the world’ (in one chart)” was the headline over a July 2 postby the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, which hyperlinked back to Kevin Drum.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Elizabeth Dwoskin weighed in on July 3. Her article was headlined, “Why ObamaCare’s Tax Increase Isn’t the Biggest Ever,” and it linked back to Ezra Klein.

On July 5, The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn, a college pal of mine, joined the fray with an article whose web headline is “The Affordable Care Act Is Not The Biggest Tax Hike.” He linked back to both Ezra Klein and Kevin Drum.

Critics would call this herd journalism, or pack journalism, or groupthink. Defenders would say it is just giving credit where credit is due, and that it happens routinely among right-leaning journalists as well as among left-leaning ones. The important thing for a reader to remember, though, is just because a headline or an idea is repeated over and over again doesn’t make it true.

In this case, the left-wing claim that ObamaCare “Isn’t the Biggest Tax Increase in History” is based on exceedingly flimsy evidence, and there’s an entirely plausible case that it is the biggest tax increase in history.

In this case, when one gets into the matter, Drum’s article, which is the basis for all the others, is flawed. It relies itself on two sources: a June 6, 2011 Treasury Department paper and an analysis by Politifact.

Let’s take the Treasury Department paper first.

First, it comes from Obama’s own Treasury Department, which has a political reason to minimize the size of the tax increase.

Second, it comes from June 6, 2011, when the Obama administration was still taking the position that the mandate wasn’t a tax at all. 

Third, Drum and the other journalists just cite its figures on revenue as a percent of GDP, not its numbers on the size of the tax increases, either in inflation adjusted terms or in nominal dollars. When defenders of Republican presidents try to do that to make deficits look smaller, the left cries foul. 

Fourth, the Treasury paper looks at the overall “revenue effects” of legislation. That’s a bit different from what many Americans normally think of as a tax cut or a tax increase. To make this concrete while oversimplifying slightly, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis, the ObamaCare legislation raises taxes by $420 billion between 2010 and 2019 and spends $788 billion to increase health coverage. If $100 billion of that $788 billion is tax reductions or tax credits for uninsured people to help them buy their own health insurance, is the total tax increase $420 billion? Or is it $320 billion, because the $420 billion in tax increases is offset by $100 billion in tax cuts? When subsidies are disguised as tax credits or tax expenditures, just looking at the “revenue effects” doesn’t always tell the full story. To the person whose taxes are being increased, it’s a tax increase, and the fact that his taxes are being used to give some other person a tax break doesn’t make it any less of a tax increase, no matter what either Kevin Drum, Ezra Klein, or the Obama Treasury department says. 

Fifth, the Treasury paper looks at the effect of legislation two or four years after enactment. This method doesn’t do a good job of capturing the effects of the ObamaCare legislation because so many of its provisions were written to go into effect only several years after the law’s implementation. The 3.8% tax on capital gains and dividend income, for example, is scheduled to go into effect in January 2013, even though ObamaCare was passed back in 2010.

The Politifact analysis tries to adjust for this by looking at the year 2019: “We used 2019 as our baseline because that's when all of the tax provisions of the law will be in effect. In 2019, the CBO estimates, the government will see increased revenues of $104 billion.” One problem with that is that 2019 is so far off that it’s difficult to predict with much accuracy what will happen then. And despite Politifact’s profession of certainty about the CBO, the CBO itself says it is taking another look at the whole thing following the Supreme Court decision: “CBO is still assessing the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the agency’s projections of federal spending and revenue under current law. We expect to complete that assessment and release updated projections of the budgetary effects of the ACA’s coverage provisions during the week of July 23rd.”

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  • Pro Libertate||

    Mr. Obama--tear down this tax!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    We choose to do the mandate. We choose to do the mandate in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard

  • Dylan||

    The era of Big Freedom is over.

  • Hollywood||

    The question we must to ask is: Is our patients healing?

  • Raven Nation||

    Perhaps the three best opening comments to any thread. Ever.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    So he's closing the deficit more than anyone in history?

  • Dylan||

    No, because his policies will cost more then they are projected to. By a lot.

  • The Hammer||

    Wow, this is a weak premise even by your shitty standards.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    Revenue doesn't close a deficit now? I didn't hear the latest edict from CATO.

    In all seriousness - the US can either go on the same course and suffer fiscal disaster, or it can try the libertarian/Paul Ryan roadmap which will lead to societal disaster. I and Obama don't want to try either route, but we don't believe team red or team purple are interested in anything but less revenue and lower expenditures. People are on welfare because they need food, medicine and housing etc. If they can't get that because entitlements are removed by fiat, they'll start killing and burning because they will have nothing to lose.

    Of course, you could predict that Laffer/Voodoo magic will generate so many jobs and growth that welfare spending won't be needed and private charity will pick up the slack anyway. The problem is that if we try that and it doesn't work, you libertarians will never allow the majority to peacefully vote to have welfare spending and more progressive taxation brought back - you will actively try to kill them or disband democracy altogether.

  • Virginian||

    lollololololololololol

    God this is a good troll. It doesn't quite have the smug of MNG, but it brings the weapons grade stupid all day everyday.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "People are on welfare because they need food, medicine and housing etc. If they can't get that because entitlements are removed by fiat, they'll start killing and burning because they will have nothing to lose."

    Really?

    And why weren't they doing that from the inception of the country up until Medicare was enacted in 1965?

    " you will actively try to kill them or disband democracy altogether."

    This country was never a democracy to begin with. It is a Constitutional Republic.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    "And why weren't they doing that from the inception of the country up until Medicare was enacted in 1965?"

    Because their wages were livable etc., no thanks to the free market.

    "This country was never a democracy to begin with. It is a Constitutional Republic."

    Let me rephrase that - if you ever manage to attempt a Galtian utopia and the majority realizes it's nothing but a dystopia for them, you will try to remove the right to vote altogether, and maintain that removal by force. Libertarians are like communists in that respect - they will never let go of it, even in the face of massive human suffering.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Because their wages were livable etc., no thanks to the free market."

    Prove it.

    " Libertarians are like communists in that respect - they will never let go of it, even in the face of massive human suffering."

    More gibbering nonsense. Libertarians have never been like Communists in any respect. Nor have they ever caused any "massive human suffering".

    And YOU aren't the least bit capable of proving the case is otherwise.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    "Prove it."

    First there was the gilded age and then the New Deal introduced collective bargaining of a sort.

    The capitalist wants to lower wages as much as possible, the laborers want to get as high wages as possible. The new deal evened out that playing field.

    "Libertarians have never been like Communists in any respect."

    Property is theft - taxation is theft. The free market is always good - the free market is always evil. The state is always good - The state is always evil. Communism will bring prosperity for all - Libertarianism will create the best possible outcome. Capital will always grow until it destroys and exploits - governments will always grow until they destroy and exploit.

    Communism and libertarianism are metaphysical and will not react to empiricism. Libertarians would never ever abandon their theories, economical predictions and dogmatic moralism even when faced with a perfectly libertarian society that had descended into a miserable hellhole for almost all its inhabitants. They would say that the wealth would start trickling down any minute, as sure as the neo-cons repeatedly said Iraq qould soon turn a corner.

  • Sevo||

    Apparently a 'statist'|7.9.12 @ 6:15PM|#

    "Prove it."

    "First there was the gilded age and then the New Deal introduced collective bargaining of a sort.
    The capitalist wants to lower wages as much as possible, the laborers want to get as high wages as possible. The new deal evened out that playing field."

    That steaming pile of propaganda isn't "proof", and I'll bet you're stupid enough to not know that.

  • Teaching Student||

    The Gilded Age was all about Cronyism and Paternalism, not Free-Markets.

  • Libertarius||

    It was the most relatively free era in American history, and to that extent it proved what is possible under (even mostly) laissez-faire capitalism.

    We inherited our industrial civilization from that Gilded Age, and I'm sick of seeing it downplayed by alleged defenders of capitalism. Humanity dragged itself out of the agrarian middle ages in 19th century America--but now our intellectuals are bound and determined to take us back.

  • Virginian||

    What massive human suffering?

  • Libertarius||

    The kind we all learned about in government schools, but some of us dare to question it.

  • Juice||

    Here's a chart that compares revenue to spending. Revenue is increasing, but spending is going through the roof.

    http://www.heritage.org/federa.....ng-revenue

    Federal spending grew 12 times faster than median income.

    http://www.heritage.org/federa.....l-spending

    You can dispute the source, but the numbers don't lie.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    "but spending is going through the roof."

    Yup. So the solution is to lower revenue and lower spending. That will deal with indebtedness.

  • Juice||

    Maybe you can agree that the first step is to reduce spending?

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    Both simultaneously, or no dice.

  • Juice||

    That was a trick question. The government will never reduce spending.

  • Sevo||

    Apparently a 'statist'|7.9.12 @ 6:16PM|#
    "Both simultaneously, or no dice."

    Fuck you. slaver.

  • The Derider||

    Fuck you, hyperbolic anarchist.

  • Devil's Advocate||

    This is pretty much a perfect metaphor for what happens when spending cuts are traded for revenue cuts:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a9NVDgKc4ot=1m45s

    (jump ahead to about 1:45, since YouTube doesn't seem to be recognizing the link properly)

  • grizzle||

    This is the same Heritage Foundation whose own senior fellow Edmund Haislmaier touted "...one of the most promising strategies out there" regarding RomneyCare?

    Interesting....

  • Devil's Advocate||

    There is a difference between a graph of data points and an opinion as to the expected efficacy of a policy decision, no?

    Also, attacking the wisdom of the source of the data is not the same as refuting the data. The chart in the link actually credits OMB as the source of the data.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "try the libertarian/Paul Ryan roadmap which will lead to societal disaster"

    You sure of that, Nostradamus Junior?

    BTW, when did Paul Ryan become a libertarian?

  • bassasaurusrex||

    Hong Kong was on the Libertarian/Paul Ryan road map prior to the Brits giving her over to the Chinese and it was among the freest and most prosperous nations on Earth. I haven't heard of a societal meltdown there. In fact their economy has been remarkably devoid of massive peaks and troughs.

    Second, the government only got into the entitlement game to begin with because charities made a LOT of money prior to the government getting into the "charity" business. Government figured they could provide the same service and be able to pocket the same amount of overhead for 'administrative fees' that the charities did and they were, as they so often are, wrong.

    To your initial point, more revenue isn't bad. However, when there are already more spending plans that demolish those new revenues on the horizon it is meaningless. It's like being proud that you put $10 into your savings account 5 minutes before writing a check for $250,000 with no possible way to cover that debt.

    You keep making it sound like Libertarians have 'had their way' on the contrary, you leftist/RINO/statist types have been having your way for quite a while now and we are reaping those 'fruits' now. 'Your way' has been proved a ridiculous failure and a fraud that is nothing short of criminal.
    No you've had your way and your way sucks. It's our turn now.

  • fire115||

    Argentina declared its independence from Spain on May 25, 1810. For several decades after that, the country was plunged into a series of disastrous civil conflicts, which culminated in "order" being established under a brutal tyrant by the name of Juan Manuel de Rosas. He murdered a lot of people with an agenda to destroy all federals that oposed him. The federals were the suporters of the union of states under a central government distinct from the individual governments of the separate states aka what the federal government of the U.S. is today.

    So inenveratly when Rosas was overthrown and forced into exile in 1852. The outcome was one of the most unusual periods in the history of man. Nothing like it appears anywhere else in all of Latin American history. The period from 1850 to 1930 in Argentine history is a model of prosperity out of.

    Upon Rosas' ouster, a new constitution for Argentina was drafted. The man most responsible for the new constitution was Juan Bautista Alberdi — one of the greatest men in Argentine history. Alberdi had been strongly influenced by the ideas of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Alberdi believed that individuals had inherent rights of life, liberty, and property with which no government could legitimately interfere. He believed that the primary purpose of government was to ensure the protection of these unalienable rights.

    see next comment...

  • fire115||

    The result: for the only time in all of South American history, government's power over the citizenry was extremely limited. With various exceptions (land grants to railroads being among the most notable), people were free to engage in any economic enterprise without governmental interference and to accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth. There was no income taxation, and indirect taxation was extremely low. Enterprise, by and large, was free — very few licenses, permits, regulations, and other governmental barriers interfered with people's ability to earn a living. There was virtually no governmental welfare system. There were few barriers to trade and investment.

    By the outbreak of World War I Argentina had experienced almost twenty years of prodigal expansion. Per capita income equaled that in Germany and the Low Countries, and was higher than in Spain, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland. Having grown at an average annual rate of 6.5 percent since 1869, Buenos Aires had become the second city of the Atlantic seaboard, after New York, and by far the largest city in Latin America. . . . Except entrepôts like Holland and Belgium, no country in the world imported more goods per capita than Argentina. By 1911, Argentina's foreign trade was larger than Canada's and a quarter of that of the United States.

    see next comment...

  • fire115||

    Again and again history prove its self, yet the uneducated sheep and Apparently a 'statist' keep beating their chest and trying to prove their way is the only way correct way. Well guess what history proved it many times over our founding fathers saw it. You can argue against the logic of Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson and all other founding fathers that crafted the constitution. The expansion of the federal government and taxes have done nothing but hamper progress in this country. Largest recession in history not enough for you? Should it be the largest depression for you to see it? I don't think people like you are capable of admitting wrong even if an truck full of proof hits you on the head.

    references: www.fff.org/freedom/0794a.asp
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Manuel_de_Rosas
    dictionary.reference.com/browse/federal

  • Rhino||

    The course Obama has us one will only speed up the coming disaster. Seriously, if you raise $500B in revenue, but pair it with a program that raises $2.3T in spending, you are only increasing the deficits. As your hero, Obama, would say, "That's not politics. That's just math."

    As far as welfare goes, when people stop showing up to collect their food stamps and welfare check in their Escalades, i'm sure we'll stop worrying about welfare programs. Better idea, lower people's taxes so that they can afford to be more generous. Let actual charities take care of the poor. welfare is not moral. charity is. the difference is force.

  • Brutus||

    Ha-ha. No, he's spending more than he's confiscating.

  • ||

    You really need to drop the "Apparently" from your handle.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    Why? The word "statist" is absolutely meaningless, especially when used by a libertarian. For a race of people obsessed with the spectre of inflation due to government printing excesses, libertarians don't understand that over-usage of a word renders it weaker.

  • mr simple||

    Racist!

  • Virginian||

    What the fuck are you babbling about? We call you a statist because that's what you are. Unlike the brain dead leftisits, we don't rename ourselves every so often in an attempt to make the shit sandwich of socialism go down easier.

    A is A you ignoramus. Renaming something doesn't change what it is.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    "We call you a statist because that's what you are."

    And? I am just as nice and decent a person as the average libertarian. Perhaps even nicer. I love my country and I am a great asset to it. I am completely incapable of looking the other way if some person in a uniform and tried to drag my neighbor to some camp.

    I often get the impression that libertarians think themselves the last enclave not yet conquered by some brain-controlling extra-terrestrial fungi that renders people utterly immoral and completely obedient to government or whatever. It's a monstrously overblown villainization of every person that isn't a pure libertarian. It's like Team Red and Team Blue are the Yeerks and Team Purple are the Animorphs.

    God those books sucked. Juvenile, outlandish, hyperbolic and a sort of wish-fulfillment for high-strung, outcast kids that want to fight a big scary enemy so they can feel important.

  • fish||

    I love my country and I am a great asset to it.

    Well all governments depend on their cheerleaders! Bring it Mary!

  • BigT||

    ...libertarians think themselves the last enclave not yet conquered by some brain-controlling extra-terrestrial fungi that renders people utterly immoral and completely obedient to government or whatever

    Some truth to that. Socialism is a terribly destructive meme that keeps promising unicorns and pony rides if you'll just do what is good for the state, run, of course, by the right people. Libertarians reject that, and look to objective evidence, and voluntary actions.

  • ||

    I am just as nice and decent a person as the average libertarian.

    Nice try, but insulting us doesn't help your case.

  • T o n y||

    Ah Ayn Rand, who could turn a tautology into a strict set of social policies and thousands of pages of fascism masquerading as freedom.

  • Virginian||

    Except for being a slaver, you're a nice guy. Seriously, why is it so hard for you statist pricks to understand that?

    Oh, and Tony, she was arguing against fascism. But you wouldn't know that, what with being a moron and all.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony's under the impression that one of us wants him to die from AIDS, as if he gets a pass on how people wish him to die.

  • T o n y||

    Oh, so she was a democrat? Did she sing the virtues of majority rule? Or did she think the outcomes of majority rule were often abhorrent, and that super special elites ought to rule as our unelected betters?

    Maybe it's because she was born outside of the Western liberal tradition, but all she was doing was replacing one form of authoritarian control with another, which didn't differ except by a thin surface of perfunctory Enlightenment-sounding gobbledygook. Stupid people favor fascists, and she bragged about not caring about other philosophers, i.e., the history of thought on politics and ethics. She ended up being merely a major cult leader espousing unschooled and unnuanced Nietzsche as her justifying creed.

  • T o n y||

    Which is to say Objectivism is to reason what Scientology is to science.

  • Sevo||

    Shut up, shithead.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "super special elites ought to rule as our unelected betters"

    You just described so-cons AND leftists, Tony. Quite the conundrum for you, what what.

  • BigT||

    ...the outcomes of majority rule were often abhorrent...

    Of course, this is a truism. Majority rule (mob rule) often tramples individual rights. The individual is sovereign, not the majority, not the state. ONLY individuals have rights.

    Or maybe you would support Proposition 8 in CA, passed by a majority?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Now you have him, T. Watch him dance.

  • T o n y||

    Folks, this is what a strawman looks like. Being a (small d) democrat doesn't mean I support majorities being able to trample civil rights.

    The flipside is you must mean that we must always be governed by minorities or oligarchs. Is that what you believe?

  • ||

    "we must always be governed"

    Right there's your problem.

  • ||

    Because you advocate for the state to control people's lives?

  • bassasaurusrex||

    Making a word weaker due to overuse only happens when the claim is flimsy at best. Like when leftist just call everyone 'racist' who doesn't buy into their idea.
    However, calling the sky 'blue' doesn't make it any less blue and doesn't make people think the sky is less blue because it is a verifiable and undeniable fact.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Well the entire cost of all the insurance coverage mandates that are and will be reflected in increased insurance premiums should also be considered a tax for purposes of calculation.

    To do otherwise is to let the Obamacare designers/supporters get away with trying to blame the private sector for the effects of their legislation. Politicians love to try disgusing the costs of legislation by imposing costly mandates on private parties and then blame those parties for passing those costs along to their customers instead of enacting outright taxes to pay for what theyr'e doing.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    Large employers and insurance providers already neglect people and leave ERs and the public to pick up the tab (America, weak of character as it is, refuses to let said people die in the streets). The PPACA is designed to make them stop. Republicans and apparently all libertarians want to go back to that.

  • Brutus||

    We all remember the dead and dying lining our avenues back in the dark, evil days of the...Carter administration.

  • ||

    Dun duh duh!

  • Jake W||

    *Thunder and lightning*

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    There is no such thing as a free lunch. People didn't die, but they suffered, offered the nation less productivity and the costs for their healthcare (which became more severe because they had to wait for emergency care) had to be passed on to society.

  • BC||

    The point cannot be made often enough: the "cost" of uncompensated healthcare in this country represents a mere 1.7% of total healthcare spending. Free riders are a tiny, tiny problem in the larger scheme of things.

    I would prefer that there were no free riders; I would rather repeal EMTALA and cast healthcare deadbeats into the intolerable Outer Hell of having to rely on voluntary support from family, community, and charity for their healthcare needs. But some fucking perspective is important: 1.7%.

  • BC||

    Moreover, and this part is important, Americans absorb all kinds of other costs as a function of various societal choices. For example, we're not a police state; ergo we absorb the costs of retailers' security personnel and loss from theft. We have a First Amendment; ergo, we absorb the costs of having to listen to the profoundly stupid griping of profoundly stupid progressives with their dresses over their heads about the Citizens United decision.

    Uncompensated care is the cost of not living in a society where the government is empowered to force people to buy a regulated medical insurance plan. Suck it up, princess.

  • T o n y||

    Are we ousting the old, disabled, and poor from their government-provided healthcare as "healthcare deadbeats"? It won't be 1.7% anymore. Then repeal EMTALA and then you have basically the vast majority of those with healthcare needs with no access to healthcare.

    You guys argue for requiring people to save up hundreds of thousands of dollars for the potential medical event (because you'd be throwing people who are uninsurable out into the private market) while arguing for minimizing worker leverage and thus depressing wages as much as possible. This is the product of reason? This is as harsh as the Old Testament God in its testing of moral character.

  • Sevo||

    Shut up, shithead.

  • BC||

    Then repeal EMTALA and then you have basically the vast majority of those with healthcare needs with no access to healthcare.

    Yes, because prior to the Carter administration the vast majority of those with healthcare needs had no access to healthcare.

    Idiot.

    You guys argue for requiring people to save up hundreds of thousands of dollars for the potential medical event

    I have never argued for that. Rather, I've argued for letting medical insurance actually be medical insurance -- i.e., for financing the risk of catastrophic medical expenses -- while requiring people to pay for mundane, predictable healthcare expenses out of pocket.

    Spare me your insipid caricatures of what I believe, you worthless asshole.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    EMTALA was a Reagan bill.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Which showed even Reagan was capable of huge, blundering fuck-ups.

    Just like Obama.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|7.9.12 @ 9:51PM|#
    "EMTALA was a Reagan bill."

    And? Are you arguing that Reagan was better than Carter?

  • BC||

    EMTALA was a Reagan bill.

    So?

    That EMTALA was signed into law by Reagan merely illustrates that Democrats have no monopoly on drooling retardation.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    "Spare me your insipid caricatures of what I believe, you worthless asshole."

    +1, totally plagiarizing this. K thx bai

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No, Apparently a 'shitheel', but you leftists are trying to *invent* the free lunch.

  • Registration At Last!||

    This is confusing. We are talking about not the mandate-tax/penalty but other tax provisions? What do they consist of? There should be more clarification for those of us without the inside-baseball knowledge of the revenue side of the law. Maybe we could piece it together by clicking through all the links, but then why bother with a capsule blog post? You should at least provide a thumbnail of the taxes at issue. The only ones I have heard about is the suntanning-bed tax and the individual mandate.

  • J Freeman||

    It wouldn't let me post a link for it, but there is a pretty good breakdown of the 21 new or higher taxes at economic policy journal.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    headline over Kevin Drum’s

    post by the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, which hyperlinked back to Kevin Drum.

    it linked back to Ezra Klein.

    He linked back to both Ezra Klein and Kevin Drum.

    That's some mighty fine circle-jerkin' there, Lou.

  • fish||

    Limpo you bring sanity to difficult times.

  • Nike air max womens||

    This method doesn’t do a good job of capturing the effects of the ObamaCare legislation because so many of its provisions were written to go into effect only several years after the law’s implementation. The 3.8% tax on capital gains and dividend income, for example, is scheduled to go into effect in January 2013, even though ObamaCare was passed back in 2010.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    There is no such tax.

    Snopes on why you are confused -- http://www.snopes.com/politics.....estate.asp

  • ant1sthenes||

    You're the one earnestly arguing with a spambot, shrike.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    He'll also do anything to prop up Team Blue.

    ANYthing.

    Just ask the guys at the truck stop. They'll tell you how eager shrike is to please.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Spambot can churn out Libertarian talking points with the same skill others here possess.

  • ant1sthenes||

    It's ok to be embarrassed, everyone makes mistakes. I can barely finish a post anymore without making a typo.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, you're denying that the guys at the truck stop love you, shrike?

  • ||

    There is no such tax.

    Snopes on why you are confused

    I'm not sure why you're bring Snopes into this. Did you even read the article? It says that there isn't a tax on real estate transactions (which no one here, commenters or Stoll, has claimed), while confirming that it IS a tax on capital gains and dividend income.

    And the comment you're responding to is copied verbatim from the article, not an original comment. It's a spammer.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Critics would call this herd journalism, or pack journalism, or groupthink.

    Well-informed critics would suspect this was Journolist 2.0.

    In this case, the left-wing claim that ObamaCare “Isn’t the Biggest Tax Increase in History” is based on exceedingly flimsy evidence, and there’s an entirely plausible case that it is the biggest tax increase in history.

    If the case that Obamacare is the biggest tax increase in history is merely "plausible", then it seems a little harsh to say that the case against is "flimsy".

  • The Derider||

    This is the dumbest article I've read in Reason in a long while.

    1. Aren't libertarians always bitching about inflation? The numbers Ira Stoll cites are not adjusted for inflation or GDP growth. "In 1945, the entire federal budget was only about 92.7 billion" -- yeah, and you could buy a coke with a nickel. What a moron.

    2. Ira Stoll claims CBO numbers are "flimsy evidence", and bases his analysis of the cost of the ACA completely on his interpretation of CBO numbers! Got that? Stoll says that CBO analysis is "exceedingly flimsy evidence", and then says that "there’s an entirely plausible case that it is the biggest tax increase in history"--and the only evidence he makes that case with are (older!) CBO numbers.

    That's some epic hackery right there.

  • Sevo||

    Not nearly as stupid as your comments:
    1) ""In 1945, the entire federal budget was only about 92.7 billion" -- yeah, and you could buy a coke with a nickel. What a moron."
    You ignore the fact that prices were fixed in 1945 (yes, certainly soft drinks). You further ignore that the federal budget was distorted by a world war. But given the source, we'll allow the first couple of examples of your stupidity, and accept a $92.7B budget and a nickle Coke.
    Right now, you can get 12oz cokes for $0.56( http://www.buycheapr.com/us/re.....+cola+8+oz ), so it's 11:1 on the Coke.
    The current US "budget" is unknown, since the liar-in-chief can't quite figure out what the term "budget" means. Using expenditures for 2011, we find $3,598,000,000; ~38.5:1.
    Does that answer your question, dipshit?
    --------------------------------
    (cont'd)

  • The Derider||

    THE POINT IS YOU NEED TO CORRECT FOR INFLATION TO COMPARE SHIT TO 1945 YOU MORON.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Sevo is not among the wingnut elite here.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|7.9.12 @ 9:53PM|#
    "Sevo is not among the wingnut elite here."

    Shriek, is, as he admits, something stuck in someone's asshole.

  • Sevo||

    The Derider|7.9.12 @ 9:50PM|#
    "THE POINT IS YOU NEED TO CORRECT FOR INFLATION TO COMPARE SHIT TO 1945 YOU MORON."

    Reading is a skill you can brush up on at your local CC:
    "Oh, and just so you don't have to burn out your last brain-cell, we'll do a further comparison between 1945 and 2011.
    In 1945, defense spending totaled 89.5% of that $92.7B budget; $82.9B.( http://www.learner.org/worksho.....spend.html )
    Normalized to now when defense spending is still (ridiculous) at 14%, that 1945 defense budget would have been $12.9B, yielding a total budget of $22.7B.
    So correcting for what we can identify, unlike 'fixed prices', the actual delta is closer to 160:1, compared to 11:1 for the Coke.
    OK, dipshit, let's see your numbers"

  • Sevo||

    2) "Stoll says that CBO analysis is "exceedingly flimsy evidence",

    That's a lie, dipshit. The actual quote is:
    "In this case, the left-wing claim that ObamaCare “Isn’t the Biggest Tax Increase in History” is based on exceedingly flimsy evidence,"
    No reference to the CBO until this:
    "the CBO itself says it is taking another look at the whole thing following the Supreme Court decision: “CBO is still assessing the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the agency’s projections of federal spending and revenue under current law."

    If you're trying to beat shithead in the "Lefty Lying Contest", it's a good start, but you got tough competition.

  • The Derider||

    No, the first reference is this one:" To make this concrete while oversimplifying slightly, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis, the ObamaCare legislation raises taxes by $420 million between 2010 and 2019 and spends $788 million to increase health coverage."

    Learn to read, moron.

  • Sevo||

    The Derider|7.9.12 @ 9:52PM|#
    "No, the first reference is this one:" To make this concrete while oversimplifying slightly, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis, the ObamaCare legislation raises taxes by $420 million between 2010 and 2019 and spends $788 million to increase health coverage."

    So you admit to lying? Gee, dipshit, that doesn't quite match:
    ""Stoll says that CBO analysis is "exceedingly flimsy evidence",
    Does it?

  • Sevo||

    Oh, and just so you don't have to burn out your last brain-cell, we'll do a further comparison between 1945 and 2011.
    In 1945, defense spending totaled 89.5% of that $92.7B budget; $82.9B.( http://www.learner.org/worksho.....spend.html )
    Normalized to now when defense spending is still (ridiculous) at 14%, that 1945 defense budget would have been $12.9B, yielding a total budget of $22.7B.
    So correcting for what we can identify, unlike 'fixed prices', the actual delta is closer to 160:1, compared to 11:1 for the Coke.
    OK, dipshit, let's see your numbers

  • The Derider||

    So we agree that 1945 dollars do not equal 2012 dollars?

    Good, then we agree that Ira Stoll is a moron.

    And so are you for defending this tripe.

  • sticks||

    Let the hate flow through you.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's all leftists have, sticks.

  • Sevo||

    The Derider|7.9.12 @ 9:53PM|#
    "So we agree that 1945 dollars do not equal 2012 dollars?"

    Yes, dipshit, and I gave you the comparison. Is reading one of those skills you haven't yet mastered?

    "Good, then we agree that Ira Stoll is a moron."
    No, we can agree you're an ignoramus.

    "And so are you for defending this tripe."
    Defending it? Against what? Your strawmen? Your attempt to misdirect? Your inabbility to read?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    And why can't leftists see the obvious - that inflation is a creation of the Fed and it's artifical dollars? There was no inflation in these United States prior to 1914. Married women were able to stay home and raise the children, as inflation didn't eat up the husband's paycheck. And families were larger, (not counting today's welfare queens). The State they so love has been sodomizing us for almost 100 years and the left can only cry for more. Pray we don't have a 2nd revolution, I'll mow you fuckers down.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Lefties are hi-larious.

    And sad.

    But mostly hi-larious.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    In terms of GDP % this is the 10th largest tax increase since 1950. Reagan had 5 of the largest 15. Table below -

    http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookm.....ic-growth/

  • Sevo||

    Yep, shriek, I'm sure the listed .49% is, well, someone's wild guess.
    Now, got data? Or just more of your bullshit?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    He'll do anything to prop up Obama.

  • Sevo||

    Shriek's got Tommy Smothers problems; I grant him more slack than Derider, who's simply one more lefty liar in the shithead mold.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Pointing out that it is #10 among tax increases is not flattery.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|7.9.12 @ 10:13PM|#
    "Pointing out that it is #10 among tax increases is not flattery."

    Citing a newspaper article is about the limit of your ability.
    But, again, I grant you some slack.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You're a shill for Obama, shrike. You have yet to say anything critical of him.

  • Epicdelusion||

    Had to drink a lot when I heard this news... very depressing

  • tee shirt pas cher||

    “Isn’t the Biggest Tax Increase in History” is based on exceedingly flimsy evidence, and there’s an entirely plausible case that it is the biggest tax increase in history.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Ezra Klein and Jonathan Cohn are whores. Nothing they say should ever be taken as anything more than a lie until proven otherwise, no matter what garters or lipstick they have on that day and no matter what exotic services they promise.

  • JoshSN||

    Politifact calls it not just a lie, but a "Pants on Fire" lie, but Reason stands behind it, attempting to refute Politifact's research by waving its hands and saying "We don't really know what's going on in 2019."

    Talk about weak tea.

  • Libertarius||

    Yeah, and that bullshit about "it might be plausible that obozokare is going to be a fiscal disaster" was lame as hell.

  • DarrenM||

    the left cries foul.

    Ha! They cry a whole lot more than that.

  • jerbigge||

    It is a tax. The Supreme Court said it was a tax. There can be a debate on how much of a tax it is, but there is no doubt that it is a tax.

  • XM||

    It don't matter none whether it's a tax or a mandate or penalty. The bottom line is that in less than two years, a lot of people will have to come up with hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a month to pay for insurance.

    What was that one line Shakespeare said - if you call a rose an onion, it'll still smell sweet? Nancy Pelosi is kinda right, Americans won't really care whether it's a tax or not. Money leaving their pocket is money leaving their pockets, and they won't like it.

    Starting 2014, I have to pay for medicare, my own insurance, some sort of state medicaid for other people, and cost stemming with lawsuit bonanza and IRS expansion.

    We're saved

  • ||

    n this case, the left-wing claim that http://www.lunettesporto.com/l.....-3_21.html ObamaCare “Isn’t the Biggest Tax Increase in History” is based on exceedingly flimsy evidence, and there’s an entirely plausible case that it is the biggest tax increase in history.

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