Obama calls for more tax hikes even as revenues hit record high

During a speech on Monday marking the fifth anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis, which ushered in the “Great Recession,” President Barack Obama once again repeated calls for more tax revenue to flow into federal government coffers.

President Obama praised several parts of his post-recession economic agenda, including ObamaCare, financial reform, and heavier spending on infrastructure projects, and then shifted to the tax hikes that went into effect at the beginning of the year.

“We also changed a tax code that was too skewed in favor of the wealthiest Americans.  We locked in tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans,” he said. “We asked those at the top to pay a little bit more.”

“As I said before, our deficits are falling fast. The only way to make further long-term progress on deficit reduction that doesn’t slow growth is with a balanced plan that includes closing tax loopholes that benefit corporations and the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class,” he added later, transitioning to tax reform. “That’s the only way to do it.”

While President Obama is pushing for higher taxes, it’s worth noting that the United States Treasury has collected a record amount of tax revenues through the first 11 months of the year, notes CNS News, which adjusted the numbers for inflation:

The federal government raked in a record of approximately $2,472,542,000,000 in tax revenues through the first eleven months of fiscal 2013, which ran from Oct. 1, 2012 through the end of August, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement for August.

That is up about $285 billion from the approximately $2,187,527,000,000 in taxes the government took in through August of fiscal 2012.

Despite these record tax revenues, the federal government still accumulated a $755 billion deficit in the first eleven months of fiscal 2013. Total federal spending through the first eleven months of the fiscal year was $3.228 trillion.

It’s natural that tax revenues fall, both during and in the immediate aftermath of a recession. And even with record tax revenues, the federal government is still running a $755 billion budget deficit, and that comes after four consecutive years of $1+ trillion deficits. Ultimately, spending, which is largely being driven by entitlements, is the problem here; not a lack of tax revenue.

But five years after the Great Recession, the economy has still struggled to live up to its potential. This is for various reasons, much of which has to do with policies pushed by President Obama.

The fiscal cliff deal that President Obama praises for raising taxes on the wealthy hit many small business owners and also ended the payroll tax holiday, that latter of which was part of the 2009 stimulus bill. In the end, the fiscal cliff tax hikes hit 77% of American families. Moreover, $1 trillion of ObamaCare tax hikes also went into effect at the beginning of the year.

Couple these facts with the $1.8 trillion federal regulatory burden and ObamaCare, it’s not hard understand why the economy hasn’t picked up the pace and continued to struggle in terms of job creation.


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