Day in and day out, I’m confronted with the same rhetoric from my liberal friends who continuously claim that President Obama has never raised taxes and is, in fact, actually some sort of tax-slashing machine.  I hear about how he extended the Bush Tax Cuts and how he fights to keep all of our taxes low.  I’ve decided to take a hard look at this issue because it definitely deserves more attention in this election year, as I’m sure we will be subjected to a myriad of propaganda in regards to the various candidates’ tax policies.

The tax cutting pinnacle of Obama’s agenda is supposedly the lowering of the payroll tax by two full percentage points.  This tax cut has the potential to save the average American worker approximately $1,000 a year and, while it sounds great on the surface, my previous article shows that it is nothing more than an unpatriotic raid on the Social Security system. In all reality, the tax cut prevents payroll contributions from making their way into the system; these contributions are necessary for keeping the system solvent.  It’s no wonder the system is dangerously close to collapsing.

I will concede that Obama has not raised the income tax rates, (and I suppose this is what my liberal friends are primarily talking about) but that is only because Congress prevents him from doing so.  He desperately wants to raise taxes on those individuals earning more than $200,000 a year, contending that they need to pay their “fair share,” despite the fact that the three percent of individuals who fall into that category already pay more than 50% of the total taxes collected in this country.

If they would just give up a little more of their property in the name of fairness then we would all be better off, right?  Evidently, Barack might be the only one that thinks that way.  Republicans are consistently accused of blocking legislation, but in this case, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, refuses to bring the issue up for a vote. He says that it would be “foolish” for the Democratic party to offer up a budget plan.  I guess that explains why Harry Reid’s Senate has refused to pass a budget in over 3 years.

So which taxes has Obama actually raised?  For starters, President Obama raised the federal excise tax on tobacco by 62 cents within three weeks of his inauguration. If you were wondering why your personal favorite pack of cigarettes is now upwards of $7, well, now you know why.  I vaguely remember the president promising that he would “never raise taxes” on those individuals making less than the $250,000 threshold.  Ergo, I suppose only those making more than $200,000 annually smoke cigarettes anyways. The purpose of this tax is obviously to discourage people from smoking. It should also be noted that the revenue generated from this tax is used to fund children’s insurance programs, so I guess this is the silver lining of the tax increase. Obama also signed into law a ten percent excise tax on indoor tanning services. Fortunately, this tax is very limited in regards to how many people it actually affects.

The Obama Administration increased corporate taxes by eliminating several deductions that international companies use to reduce their tax liability.  This inevitably raises the cost of doing business for these companies.

As part of the healthcare transformation, Obama approved an annual fee be imposed on manufacturers of brand-name drugs to help generate revenue for his new healthcare plans.  Barack Obama also has several impending tax increases for his landmark legislation Obamacare, most of which are strategically slated to take place after the November elections. There are about 20 tax increases in all.

Raising taxes directly has always been an unpopular endeavor, regardless of which party the president is affiliated with. This president hasn’t accomplished much in the form of direct taxes, but he has gone full-on Marxist with the indirect taxes.  His policies, mostly in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency, have skyrocketed the costs of doing business. On the day Obama took office, gas prices were averaged around $1.77 a gallon.  Today as I write this, the local station here in Texas has regular gasoline for $3.49 a gallon.  By this measure, it costs me an extra $1.72 a gallon to drive the same route today than it did just three years ago.  For someone that fills up a twenty-gallon gas tank once a week, this increase costs an extra $140 a month.  If this isn’t a tax increase, albeit a hidden one, then I don’t know what is.  Increasing travel costs make everything more expensive. Let’s also not forget that our electricity prices are skyrocketing (Obama’s words, not mine) due to the destructive cap and trade program.

Food prices have also gone up substantially. In the first part of last year, the Labor Department stated that food prices soared 3.9% in a single month.  It was the biggest increase in over 36 years.  Since then, we have continued to experience record levels of food price increases.  Perhaps this might explain why 1 in every 7 Americans is now on food stamps.  This president’s policies have made affording food a monumental task.  In addition to food and gas, we are experiencing a myriad of other hidden taxes. Our home values have tanked by 13%, tuition costs are up 25%, and our health insurance costs have gone up by a staggering 23%.

While the Obama Administration has been prevented from realizing many of their direct tax proposals, they have succeeded in imposing hidden taxes on the American people by increasing the prices of things we buy.  Energy prices are up, food prices keep going up, and we pay almost twice as much at the pump than when Obama first took office.  In the aggregate, his policies have been an economic disaster which have substantially increased the cost of living for each and every American.

Jeffrey Max :: Texas Wesleyan University :: Fort Worth, Texas :: @JeffreyMaxxx