Two Math Lessons for President Obama
In his speech to the Democratic National Convention a few weeks ago, President Clinton said that one of the new ideas Democrats brought to Washington was “arithmetic.” Which is particularly ironic, given two developments associated with yesterday’s updated CBO estimates of the mandate taxes associated with Obamacare:
- The Administration claimed that the tax increase wouldn’t harm middle-class families because the tax “will only affect people who can afford health care but choose not to buy it.” But the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 600,000 people with incomes UNDER the federal poverty level – that’s $15,130 for a family of two in 2012 – would pay higher taxes due to the Obamacare mandate. CBO has also projected that the average premium in the Exchange will be $15,200 per family per year. Last time I checked, $15,200 was greater than $15,130 – meaning some people may face higher taxes because Obamacare forces them to buy health insurance whose total premium could cost more than their family’s entire income.
- CBO also admitted that “most of the increase—about 85 percent—in the number of people who are expected to pay the penalty tax [since CBO’s April 2010 estimate] stems from changes in CBO and JCT’s baseline projections since April 2010, including the effects of legislation enacted since that time, [and] changes in the economic outlook, primarily a higher unemployment rate and lower wages and salaries.” I could be wrong, but I thought it was better for unemployment to be going down, not up, and for wages to be going up rather than down. In which case a President running for re-election on a slogan of moving “Forward” has in reality moved the American economy backward since CBO made its initial estimates two years ago.