As noted by Ezra Klein on his WONKBLOG earlier today, despite the echo chamber of conservatives who’ve called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) the “largest tax increase in the history of the world,” the truth is that the ACA isn’t even in the top five largest tax increases in the past 50 years, much less the history of our nation.
Since the Supreme Court decision, Republicans have been calling the Affordable Care Act “the largest tax increase in the history of the world.” Politifact rates this false. Kevin Drum’s got a table of the 15 significant tax increases since 1950, and the Affordable Care Act, which amounts to a tax increase of 0.49 percent of GDP, comes in 10th.
Here’s a chart (courtesy of WONKBLOG) that demonstrates exactly how big a tax increase the Affordable Care Act is (if you buy into the notion that it’s a tax increase, which I don’t).
I think it’s absolutely hilarious that the supposed tax increase that’s a part of the Affordable Care Act isn’t even as big as the 1982 tax increase signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, the “patron saint” of Republican politics.
For the record, I’m among those who understand the tax penalty included in the ACA isn’t a direct tax – it’s a tax penalty for those who choose not to buy health insurance coverage. Surely that’s a fine distinction, but it’s a distinction nonetheless.