WASHINGTON – You wouldn’t know it by the Tax Day rhetoric, but Americans are paying lower taxes this year, even with increases passed by many states to balance their budgets. Don’t expect it to last.
Congress cut individuals’ federal taxes for this year by about $173 billion shortly after President Barack Obama took office, dwarfing the $28.6 billion in increases by states.
In the next few years, however, many can expect to pay more. Some future increases were enacted as part of Obama’s health care overhaul. And former President George W. Bush’s tax cuts expire in January. Obama and the Democrats want to renew only some of them, thus raising taxes for individuals making more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000.
“The fact is in the past year we have had more tax cuts than almost anytime in our nation’s history,” said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. “It’s something that people don’t realize because of the false rhetoric that is spread throughout this Congress.”
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said conservatives didn’t see any need to wait before protesting. “Last year, people started reacting, the tea parties started organizing, in reaction to spending too much. They didn’t wait for the tax increases to come.”