The Course of Tax Policy Since 2009

In light of President Obama reigniting the tax debate yesterday, Dylan Matthews of Wonkblog has a very informative blog post showing the course of tax policy since President Obama took office three and a half years ago. The post shows the net effect of the tax changes contained in the 2009 stimulus, the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 tax cut, and in everything between alongside his proposals in the President's budget.

His conclusion:

Obama’s first term has been heavy on tax cuts, especially those — like the stimulus tax breaks, insurance tax credits, and payroll tax cut — targeted at lower and middle-income people. Of the almost $2 trillion in tax cuts passed during his tenure, only the $570 billion that went toward extending the Bush tax cuts and the AMT patch primarily benefited upper and upper-middle income families.

He looks set to continue those lower-income breaks going forward, but with a new emphasis on both phasing out upper-income cuts (like the Bush cuts for those making over $250,000 a year) and imposing new taxes on high-income people, through measures like the itemized deduction cap, the closure of the carried interest loophole, and the Buffett rule. What’s more, the new taxes in the Affordable Care Act set to take effect in 2014, such as the excise tax on expensive plans and the Medicare payroll tax surcharge, primarily target high-income people, while the law’s tax cuts primarily target low-income people. So even if Congress takes no new action, the phase out of the Bush cuts and the implementation of the ACA look to set back rich taxpayers considerably.

Click here to read the full post.