The hodgepodge of new taxes that have already or will soon take effect as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may not all show up in the income tax tables, but their huge cost is still very real. This cost will become most apparent in lost wages and international competitiveness, and it reduces middle- and low-income families’ wages just as surely as an income tax hike would. These taxes break President Barack Obama’s promise not to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year.
Now that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010 has been passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama, substantial tax increases can be expected in the near future. Combined, all of these tax increases (including those on employers that do not provide health insurance for their employees and on individuals who do not buy health insurance) will cost taxpayers $503 billion between 2010 and 2019.
These tax hikes will slow economic growth, reduce employment, and suppress wages. Further, in an act reminiscent of George H. W. Bush breaking his “no new taxes” pledge in 1991, the tax hikes in the PPACA will raise taxes on middle-income families in direct violation of President Obama’s oft-stated pledge not to do so. And by delaying the effective date for most of these new taxes, the President and Congress have shown themselves unwilling to implement these taxes on their own watch, raising doubts as to whether future Presidents and Congresses will be willing to do so. This increases even further the likelihood that this bill will substantially increase the deficit, which would break another Obama promise.