Economics, Taxes and Spending

Top 10 things Obama’s $82 billion tax hike on the rich would buy

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthy will bring in roughly $82 billion a year. Since the federal government is spending well over a trillion dollars more than it takes in each year, that won’t put much of a dent in our fiscal problems.

But what exactly does $82 billion in new revenues each year buy? Not much. Here’s a top 10 list of what $82 billion pays for:

  1. 8.5 days of federal spending ($3,540B annual budget)
  2. Food stamps for about one year ($81 billion)
  3. The budget of United States Postal Service for just over a year ($70.6 billion annual budget)
  4. The US intelligence budget for about one year (75.4 billion annual budget)
  5. The costs of Hurricane Sandy recovery for New York and New Jersey (current est. $71 billion and growing)
  6. Just 4 months interest on the debt ($258 billion in 2012)
  7. Just under one tenth of the 2009 “stimulus” (about $830B)
  8. 6.6% of our Social Security/Medicare costs in 2012 ($1231B)
  9. 7.5% of the deficit ($1.1 trillion) – essentially prevent one month of borrowing per year
  10. One-third of the annual new cost of Obamacare coverage expansions (about $240 billion annually by the end of the decade)

In other words, taxing the rich does not get us very far out of the fiscal hole we are in.

21 thoughts on “Top 10 things Obama’s $82 billion tax hike on the rich would buy

  1. “In other words, taxing the rich does not get us very far out of the viscal hole we are in.”

    NO ONE EVER SAID IT WOULD BY ITSELF.

      • Oh, stop it already. Once again: there is no serious observer who believes it won’t take revenue increases AND cuts to get the job done. No one has said any differently, and if you were an informed person, you wouldn’t have made such a statement. In fact, every budget proposal made has called for more cuts than revenues no matter who proposed it, and that includes the President’s, Simpson Bowles, or even the one Ryan is running away from after he proposed it.

        It’s remarks like that that only prove you’re an unthinking person. By any measure, we have reduced revenues far too much, and its brought the country to where we are now- including making cuts we wouldn’y have HAD to make if tax policy hadn’t been so f&&king reckless.

        • We are in this position b/c of reckless/careless spending….NOT b/c revenues are too low! The top 4 deficits in presidential history! My children thank the left for that! YOU don’t get it…we need more taxpayers, I.e. more jobs, not higher taxes. Unemployment will be around 9% after all the seasonal employees go home in Jan/Feb. The left’s plan won’t work. Here comes the Bush blaming and the Clinton misinterpretations…

          • re: historical revenues vs historical expenditures.

            how bout we draw up a list back to …say… Reagan?

            ” the gross public debt increased from $5.7 trillion in January 2001 to $10.7 trillion by December 2008,[16] due to decreasing tax rates and two unpaid wars. ”

            http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/mspd/2012/opds022012.pdf

            ” The broadest measure of the tax rate is total federal revenues divided by the gross domestic product.

            By this measure, federal taxes are at their lowest level in more than 60 years. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that federal taxes would consume just 14.8 percent of G.D.P. this year. The last year in which revenues were lower was 1950, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

            The postwar annual average is about 18.5 percent of G.D.P. Revenues averaged 18.2 percent of G.D.P. during Ronald Reagan’s administration; the lowest percentage during that administration was 17.3 percent of G.D.P. in 1984.

            In short, by the broadest measure of the tax rate, the current level is unusually low and has been for some time. Revenues were 14.9 percent of G.D.P. in both 2009 and 2010.”

            http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/are-taxes-in-the-u-s-high-or-low/

            there are ample other credible sources that document the revenue shortfalls but the “deniers” simply ignore the fact and proceed on with their fantasies.

            Right now – we bring in less than 1.5 trillion in non-FICA income tax revenues. that’s a fact. That’s about all the money we have for discretionary spending to include the non-FICA entitlements and DOD and other govt spending.

            Right now, we are spending almost 1.5 trillion on National Defense – which includes DOD but also the VA, military pensions and health care, Homeland security, NASA military Satellites, etc.

            there is no realistic way to balance the budget with cuts only. No serious person believes that.

    • The President’s tax proposal is a joke. It does nothing. And the spending cuts already planned will do nothing to address trillion dollar deficits and a $16 trillion debt. In fact, together they hardly address the interest we’re currently paying. We know raising taxes is not going to solve high unemployment but we know it will have a negative impact on job creation and cost jobs so why are we even talking about raising anyone’s taxes? We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. It’s obvious the President is not serious about jobs if his first task following re-election is raising taxes. He’s doing this to avoid looking weak after running a year long campaign of class warfare.

      • WHERE are the GOP cuts? The GOP says we have a “spending” problem but instead of them identifying what needs to be cut – they say the POTUS must do that?

        The POTUS must provide the cuts the GOP won’t?

        WTF?

      • “The President’s tax proposal is a joke. It does nothing. And the spending cuts already planned will do nothing to address trillion dollar deficits and a $16 trillion debt. In fact, together they hardly address the interest we’re currently paying. We know raising taxes is not going to solve high unemployment but we know it will have a negative impact on job creation and cost jobs so why are we even talking about raising anyone’s taxes? We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. It’s obvious the President is not serious about jobs if his first task following re-election is raising taxes. He’s doing this to avoid looking weak after running a year long campaign of class warfare.”

        Polly want a cracker?

        • “Polly want a cracker?”

          and the right-wing anti-tax talking points just keep coming regardless of the realities of actual revenues which are about 1.5T.

          and I see no hand-wringing for the expiring 2% payroll tax which will be a tax hike on every working person and constitutes about 100 billion a year in increased revenues.

          For four years, we have heard that we have a spending problem but no real proposals for actually cutting anything except entitlements and not near enough to actually balance the budget.

          For four years, the spending increases enacted by the GOP – doubling the DOD budget, two wars and two Medicare entitlements – prescription drugs and “gap” coverage .. all that “spending” added, driving the budget into deficit… and NOW we have a “spending” problem AND the Dems have to fix it.

          The GOP created the problem and now refuse to deal with it.

          • Let these morons crash the markets- and with it, perhaps, the EU- for the sake of a 4.9% tax hike which doesn’t even affect anyone earning less than $350k a year.

            That’s how brilliant these morons are.

  2. re: “no one ever said….”

    yup… but that’s not relevant to these knuckleheads.

    they want to basically oppose doing ANYTHING about the deficit because ONE PART of a proposal – is tax increases,

    they have nothing to offer alternatively other than more supply-side voodoo economics. Even Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave if he could see just how irrational so-called “conservatives” have become.

    • No alternatives???? How ’bout closing loopholes and deductions to the tune of hundreds of billions. “Revenues” are on the table…time for the left to cut some spending. Will they?

      • re: ” No alternatives???? How ’bout closing loopholes and deductions to the tune of hundreds of billions. “Revenues” are on the table…time for the left to cut some spending. Will they?”

        well.. that”s what Reagan did when his budget went into deficit….

        but to point out that when you cut loopholes you also increase taxes paid – and that’s where the “revenue on the table” actually comes from – higher taxes for those who previously had lower taxes because of the “loopholes”.

        the GOP seems to have trouble coming to grips that “revenue on the table” is, in fact, selective tax increases also.

          • well.. it has to be a budget that will also pass the Senate and get signed by the POTUS.

            that means when you write it that you’d be serious about doing it in a way that you KNOW it will likely pass the Senate and get signed by the POTUS.

            If you write a budget that you KNOW has no chance in hell of passing the Senate, what are you doing?

            We spent 4 years doing whatever you call that approach.

        • re: cuts to Medicare. The funny/amusing thing is that Romney/Ryan hammered Obama over these cuts and said that they would not cut Medicare – even though Ryan’s Congressional budget contains the same cuts PLUS voucherizing it.

          they not only believe this crap..they are complicit in spreading the propaganda!

  3. I actually find this quite surprising in a good way. So, rather than eliminating food stamps (affecting many hard working well deserving folks–not just moochers) we can now pay for them. The money is better off in the hands of those who will put 100% of it back into the economy than in the retirement account of Michael Moore or Mitt Romney. :)

  4. Taxing the rich sounds good in theory. But it will trickle down to everyone else. When their taxes go up the cost of our goods and services do to.

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