This Sunday while defending charges that he was a “man who wants to redistribute wealth,” President Barack Obama told Fox News‘ Bill O’Reilly: “I didn’t raise taxes once.” As PolitiFact points out, not only is this completely false, but President Obama began raising taxes almost immediately upon taking office:
The idea that Obama did not raise taxes is just plain wrong. He signed legislation raising taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products soon after taking office; that money goes to pay for children’s health insurance programs. The law went into effect in 2009. He also signed the health care law, which includes taxes on indoor tanning that went into effect last year. (Regular PolitiFact readers will remember our fact-check of reality TV star Snooki and her complaint about the new tax last year.)
The new health care law also includes a tax on people who decide not to have health insurance, as an incentive for them to get coverage. The tax phases in gradually, starting in 2014. By 2016, the tax would be $695 per uninsured person up to a maximum of three times that amount, or $2,085. The law includes exemptions for people who can’t find affordable insurance, and a few other special circumstances.
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More significantly, the health care law includes new taxes on the wealthy, starting in 2013. Individuals who make more than $200,000 and couples that make more than $250,000 will see additional Medicare taxes of 0.9 percent. They will also, for the first time, have to pay Medicare taxes on their investment income at a 3.8 percent rate. (Current law is that all workers and employers split a 2.9 percent Medicare tax; the self-employed pay all of it.)
The small percentages may not sound like a lot, but those taxes are expected to generate $210 billion over 10 years, or just over half of all the new revenues the health care law authorizes. Other provisions include new fees on health insurance companies and prescription drug manufacturers, and a new tax on high-cost “Cadillac” health insurance plans.
Politifact fails to total up all of Obamacare’s tax hikes, but The Heritage Foundation did. All told Obamacare contains 18 separate tax increases that will cost taxpayers $503 billion between 2010 and 2019.