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  • Chart of the Week: Total Tax Burden Is Rising to Highest Level in History

    President Obama unveiled the details of his jobs plan last week, including a proposal to offset the new government spending with tax hikes.

    It’s a bizarre strategy for a president who says he wants to create jobs. As the above chart from Heritage’s 2011 Budget Chart Book illustrates, Americans are already grappling with the prospect of massive tax increases.

    If the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire on Dec. 31, 2012, and more middle-class Americans have to pay the alternative minimum tax, taxes will reach unprecedented levels. The president’s budget would also increase the overall tax burden, even if the Bush tax breaks are extended.

    The jobs plan isn’t exactly a new strategy from the Obama administration. Heritage’s Curtis Dubay, a senior analyst in tax policy, recently outlined the dangers of Obama’s proposal:

    In the Administration’s poorly crafted and contradictory jobs package, the American people get permanent tax hikes that would enlarge the federal government to offset the cost of temporary jobs policies that would not create any jobs. In the long run, the tax hikes in this plan are more likely to destroy more jobs than the jobs policies create.

    Raising taxes on working Americans couldn’t come at a worse time. With the fragile economy still recovering, Obama has put forward a plan that threatens to make things worse.

    Or as Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) told us in an interview last week: “We need to not be doing more of the same things that made the problem worse. We need to refocus on getting the federal government out of the way rather than making the federal government part of the problem.”

    Posted in Featured, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Chart of the Week: Total Tax Burden Is Rising to Highest Level in History

    1. bobeaston says:

      "…Highest Level in History"…

      Did "history" begin in 1975? What does this chart look like if we extend it back to when Congress first started collecting taxes? How did the high marginal rates (FDR's 75+%) affect the average historical tax burden?

    2. Joe Spooner says:

      Oh great, and other countries are eating our lunch. Thank you Chairman Obama !

    3. @Mr_Sterling says:

      This chart should show projected tax numbers as distinct from historical and current numbers.

    4. Ardathnoni says:

      This chart doesn't even reflect Obama's brand new 3 Trilion dollar debt plan that includes and additional (?) $1.5 T in tax hikes! Re-do the chart and let us see that one!

    5. Buck O'Fama says:

      There will be plenty of time to reflect when all of the Obamanations machinations are known.

    6. Amanda says:

      Anyone want to cite how this graph was calculated? Or did you just pull it out of thin air?

    7. Adam says:

      So, according to this chart, the U.S. had its highest tax burden at the end of Clinton's second term (2000). As a result, the economy was healthy, we had a balanced budget, and a budget surplus. Currently, according to the chart, the U.S. tax burden is at its lowest level. As a result, the economy is unhealthy, we have an unbalanced budget, and a budget deficit. Conclusion: Higher taxes = healthier economy and a balanced budget. Lower taxes = unhealthy economy and massive deficits. Thanks for showing us that raising taxes are a good thing for this country!

    8. Tony says:

      Commentators are confusing tax rates with revenues. Revenue collection in 2000 was high due to the Dot Com boom—huge capital gains collections and income tax collections due to stock exercises—-and low unemployment (about 4% equals lots of taxpayers). This is why we need to get the economy going. Revenues for 2010 were about 100 billion below FY 2006, but expenditures were up about one trillion. See the BEA website.

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