As soon as the Supreme Court declared that Obamacare was constitutional because it was a tax Republicans have come out in force calling it the largest tax increase in history. Rush Limbaugh even called it the largest tax increase in the history of the world! This was going to be a major election year strategy for Republicans going forward until Mitt Romney messed that up and flip flopped on what to call the individual mandate. Now the claim has been looked into thoroughly and shockingly it turns out the claim is false.
Of course anytime you quote Politifact or FactCheck, ignorant conservatives claim that they are part of the ‘left-wing media machine’ and ignore the findings. Unfortunately, facts are facts. Projecting out to 2019 when the full effect of the individual mandate will be felt, Obamacare will be a tax increase of 0.43% of GDP. Now that could definitely fluctuate depending on how large GDP actually is in 2019. Even if GDP holds at $16 trillion, by the time the full effect of the individual mandate is in place the tax would be equivalent to 0.57% of GDP.
So how does that compare to other tax increases in history? If GDP holds at $16 trillion, Obamacare would rank the 7th largest as a percent of GDP. If GDP rises to projected levels, Obamacare doesn’t even crack the top 10.
These numbers don’t surprise me. I knew the claim that this was the largest tax increase in history wouldn’t pan out. Of course that won’t matter to Republicans. They will claim the numbers are off and construe the data to fit their own viewpoint. Oh well, back to reality.