Thursday, March 05, 2009

Obama, the 1930's, and Excise Taxes

Is history repeating itself? Look at the comparison and decide for yourself:

Obama’s Scary Hoover-Style Tax Hikes
The composition of the tax hikes in the 2010 budget is frighteningly similar to the Revenue Act of 1932, the much-maligned Hoover tax hikes that put the “Great” in Great Depression by putting an enormous tax burden on millions of Americans, largely through excise taxes. These taxes, raised even further by FDR, were justified by the promise that the funds would be returned in the form of relief programs, which is to say that some portion of the tax revenue, after administrative costs in Washington, would go back to the states with strings attached, often to further political rather than economic objectives.

As the table below shows, the Obama budget blueprint, like the 1932 act, is split mainly between broad excise taxes and income tax hikes on high income earners. Unfortunately, there were no 10-years projections back then, so I had to use one year numbers, but it’s still an interesting comparison.

[...] Despite President Obama’s promise that “If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increase a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime,” his new budget raises 45 percent of its revenue from energy taxes that will be paid by everyone who fills a gas tank, pays an electric bill, or buys anything that was grown, shipped, or manufactured. [...]

This has all happened before. Do you know what an "excise" tax is? Well you're gonna find out. Read the whole thing to see the parallels with the 1930's. It seems we've learned nothing from that experience.

An important difference is, in the 1930's, the government wasn't already TRILLIONS of dollars in debt, and printing more money to put us in debt for trillions more. We're skating on thin ice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

FDR's political strategy was "tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect."

I don't see that Obama's as any different.