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.
As this year’s April 15 federal deadline passes, the debate about future tax increases has Republicans in Congress and conservatives across the country portraying Democrats as tax-and-spend liberals even before any new levies are approved. The discussion also is helping frame the congressional elections this fall.