By: Terence P. Jeffrey
April 22, 2014
In the budget proposal he presented to Congress last month, President Barack Obama called for what would be the highest level of sustained taxation ever imposed on the American people, according to the analysis published last week by the Congressional Budget Office.
Under Obama’s proposal, taxes would rise from 17.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2014 to 19.2 percent in 2024. During the ten years from 2015 to 2024, federal taxation would average 18.7 percent GDP.
America has never been subjected to a ten-year stretch of taxation at that level.
In the twelve fiscal years preceding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (1930 through 1941), federal taxation averaged 5.3 percent of GDP.
In the five fiscal years encompassing U.S. involvement in World War II (1942 through 1946), federal taxation averaged 16.1 percent of GDP.
In the fiscal years since World War II (1947 through 2013), federal taxation has averaged 17.1 percent of GDP.
In the period from fiscal 1992 through 2001, federal taxes averaged 18.3 percent of GDP. But in the last four years of that period (1998 through 2001), the federal budget was in balance.
In the twelve fiscal years from 2002 through 2013, federal taxes averaged 16.1 percent of GDP—the same that they averaged during World War II. However, the federal government ran deficits in each of those twelve years.
In all ten years from 2015 through 2024, under Obama’s proposal, federal taxes would be higher than 18.3 percent of GDP. During the period of 1992 through 2011, there were only five straight years (1997-2001) when federal taxes were higher than 18.3 percent of GDP.
Under Obama’s budget proposal, according to the CBO, the budget will never balance. But over the next ten years, the federal government would add $7.183 trillion to its debt held by the public.
While adding that $7.183 trillion to the debt held by the public, Obama would increase taxes by $1.4 trillion, said the CBO report.
“The President’s budget would make a number of changes to the tax law,” said the report. “If enacted, those changes would boost revenues by $32 billion in 2015, and by $1.4 trillion, or about 3 percent, during the 2015-2024 period.”
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