Easily duped, millions of voters dutifully believed Barack Obama's and the Democrats' campaign rhetoric that they only wanted to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires – out of “fairness”. But, once re-election was in the bag, things changed. Surprise!
Instead of "protecting the middle class" as the campaign blather promised, Obama insisted on a 2 percent increase in the payroll tax as part of the final legislation. That will mean significantly higher tax bills for every working family regardless of income level. For someone making $50,000 per year, the government will be taking an additional $1,000 out of their paycheck.
But, as the Wall Street Journal reports, there is more. Scores of moderately successful Americans will get nailed by other provisions of the bill.
Obama campaigned on a plan to increase income tax rates on individuals making above $200,000 or couples above $250,000. Republicans balked, so the President eventually "compromised" at $400,000 and $450,000. But, it wasn't a compromise after all.
Obama insisted – and Republican leadership apparently agreed – on reviving two dormant 1990's era caps on exemptions known as PEP and Pease for individuals making $250,000 annually, or joint-fillers above $300,000. The net result of the "compromise" will mean even higher total tax payments to the federal government for affected taxpayers than if the Bush Tax Rates simply had been allowed to expire.
If you didn't hear any mention of this before, there is an all too familiar Washington explanation: They had to pass it so we could find out what was in it.
In fact, it is completely conceivable that the politicians had little idea what was in the 154 page bill, either. As has been reported by CNSNews.com, "senators received the bill at approximately 1:36 AM on Jan. 1, 2013 – a mere three minutes before they voted to approve it at 1:39 AM." The House voted about 20 hours later.
Following are key excerpts from the WSJ editorial regarding the PEP and Pease phase outs appropriately titled, "The Stealth Tax Hike: Why the new $450,000 income threshold is a political fiction."