Obama’s Health Care Tax Increase Smaller than Reagan’s Tax Hike

Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the penalty for not having health insurance is a tax, some Republicans, including Rep. Connie Mack of Florida and Rep. Jeff Landry, have blasted the federal healthcare reform law as containing the largest tax increase in U.S. history.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has gone so far as to declare it’s the largest tax increase ever in the world.
Using historical tax analysis provided by the Department of the Treasury, Aaron Sharockman at the Tampa Bay Times’ PolitiFact measured the total taxes contained in the law against the gross domestic product to see just how large a hit it will be for the country.
The rate came out to be .49%.
This is by far not the largest tax burden in American history. When measured against other tax increases since 1950, it came in tied for 9th place with President George H.W. Bush’s 1990 tax increase.
At No. 5 was Ronald Reagan’s tax increase of 1982: .80%.
Leading the list are the Revenue Act of 1951 at 1.52% and the Revenue Act of 1950 at 1.33%. Even these don’t compare to World War II-era Revenue Tax of 1942 (5.04%) and Revenue Tax of 1941 (2.20%)
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Revenue Effects of Major Tax Bills Updated Tables for all 2010 Bills (by Jerry Tempalski, Department of the Treasury) (pdf)


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