NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 6, 2008

On multiple occasions, Barack Obama has declared that it is fair and even virtuous for "people who have done well like me" to pay higher income taxes.  Then why didn't he, asks the Wall Street Journal?

Kim Strassel has reported on a voluntary federal fund for liberals who want to contribute more taxes than they owe -- but, alas, almost none do.  The annual collections are less than 0.1 percent of all tax collections.  As Ryan Ellis of the American Shareholders Association asks: "What's the difference between Obama and the big corporations who 'cheat' the government by taking advantage of what the tax code affords them?"

Ellis's group has reviewed Obama's tax returns for the past eight years:

  • The Illinois Senator has dutifully paid his taxes in full.
  • But in no year did Obama make extra tax payments to help reduce the deficit or fund all the spending programs he favors.
  • If Obama's tax plan had been in place over the past 12 years, he would have had to pay $250,727 more in federal taxes over this period.

In the end Obama's income tax hikes aren't likely to raise as much revenues as he expects because "rich fat cats" -- as they did after Bill Clinton's tax hikes -- will arrange their affairs to realize and report less taxable income.  Famous was Hillary Clinton's accelerated final bonus from the Rose Law Firm, which allowed her to keep more money than under her husband's pending tax plan.  Studies indicate "rich" Americans were able to cut their extra payments by as much as 40 percent simply by timing their income to avoid the Clinton tax premium.  Expect more of the same in 2009. 

Source: Stephen Moore, "The Do-It-Yourself Tax Hike; Obama doesn't need the presidency to raise his own taxes," Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2008.

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