What Is a Tax?

What is relevant in the broader context is that this president has revealed himself to be quite comfortable denying that which our lying eyes can see clearly. And so the implicit-but-heavy energy taxes to be imposed by a carbon-regulation regime would not be “taxes.” Nor would banking regulations ostensibly aimed at “soundness,” but in fact designed to facilitate political control over the allocation of capital, etc.Would such policies impose large economic burdens upon those earning less than $250,000 per year? Well, yes. Would those people thus write checks to the government directly? Well, no. And so in the strange new world of Obama, the costs are not “taxes,” and so do not violate his campaign promises. Does Obama actually believe this? It is hard to say. If he believes that they are not “taxes,” would he then conclude that they would not impose substantial economic burdens upon ordinary people? Given Obama’s utter ignorance about how markets work, the answer to that last question is not obvious, not a salutary observation to be made about any occupant of the Oval Office.

Benjamin Zycher is a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.

This blog post originally appeared on National Review’s Critical Condition.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

Scroll to Top