Politico: Still higher taxes coming online in 2014

In announcing their kind of bizarre and severely hackneyed plan to foster “promise zones” in specially selected locales as a means toward economic growth this week, the Obama administration at least seemed to acknowledge — if perhaps in a sort of weirdly implicit, cart-before-the-horse way — that lower taxes are a very viable method to spur wealth- and job-creation. Part of the “new” initiative includes tax credits for hiring workers as well as tax write-offs for capital investment within the zones, which would suggest that the Obama administration understands that when businesses and investors get to keep more of their own money, they often put that money toward growing their businesses, hiring more workers, and more subsequent capital investment.

The question, then, is why the Obama administration thinks that a small spot-treatment approach to growing the economy thusly will be at all effective while the rest of the country is still operating under the tax structure from which they plan to slightly relieve a handful of cities — especially considering that they just posted their most pathetic jobs report in three years, with people still dropping out of the labor force right and left.

But why apply that lower-tax logic to everyone when you can instead defy intellectual consistency and wage class-warfare while continuing to shave earnings out of the private sector in order to pay for your massive and redistributive social programs? Because that’s what a whole host of new ObamaCare taxes, as well as new taxes coming online for higher earners, are meant for, via Politico:

Democrats are pushing to make income inequality a major election-year issue with high-profile bids to extend jobless benefits and raise the minimum wage. But they’ve already had some victories moving the tax burden up the income ladder, reversing Bush-era policies that had slashed levies on the rich, especially on investment income.

Taxes on capital gains, for example, top out at 25 percent, once various surcharges are included, a sharp increase from 2012. …

The newest taxes, designed to help defray the cost of Obama’s 2010 health care law, didn’t begin taking effect until the 2013 tax year. One requires individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples above $250,000 to pay an additional 0.9 percent Medicare tax, in addition to the program’s 2.9 percent payroll tax. That’s projected to raise $87 billion over a decade, according to Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation. …

The deal also included other, stealthier increases on high earners. One provision, known in the tax world as “Pease,” reduces the itemized deductions they may take by 3 percent of every dollar for individuals who earn above $250,000. That adds about 1.2 percentage points to the top rate, Kautter said.

And etcetera, because yes, I’m sure that this time, all of these new taxes that still come nowhere remotely close to covering our level of federal spending will help to spur the job market. Or something.