Tax, Spending, and Health Care Reform

There has been much debate recently about increasing taxes to help balance the budget.  The debate centers on the fact that even though annual federal, state and local tax revenues have increased by 18% over the last decade, this increase has only offset a mere quarter of the same period’s 71% rise in government spending.

Taxes are certainly a topic for serious discussion.  When government spending exceeds tax revenues, the difference must be borrowed – borrowing a free society can only repay through additional taxes generated by an expansion of private enterprise and/or the contraction of the government itself.  Regardless of the fiscal path ultimately chosen, tax-debaters should keep two facts in mind as they seek a solution: 1) tax revenues must increase by at least 50% simply to match current government spending, and 2) tax revenues must increase by substantially more than 50% BEFORE the U.S. can begin to repay the $14.8 Trillion (over $47,000 for each man, woman, and child in the US) it has borrowed so far.

Those who desire higher taxes, however, needn’t fret for long – they’re on the way!  Health Care Reform (via The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010) will raise $450 billion in new tax revenues, partially offsetting its estimated $900 billion cost.  In this article I’ll help you prepare for the future by briefly reviewing tax changes scheduled to occur through 2013.

2010:

2011:

2012:

2013:

This article has discussed some of the tax changes brought about by health care reform through 2013.  Those not directly impacted by the taxes themselves will probably experience them in the form of higher prices.  I did not discuss the complex employer tax rules that will go into effect in 2014.  If you need assistance with a particular tax issue or have a tax question you would like addressed personally or in this column, please feel free to contact our office to consult with a tax professional.

Brett Hersh's avatar
  • Author: Brett Hersh
  • Bio: Brett Hersh, EA, MBA, is the owner of HBS TAX & Small Business Experts. He is an Enrolled Agent (EA) with the IRS and licensed by the US Treasury Department to prepare all tax returns and represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits, collections and appeals. He is also Dave Ramsey’s ELP for Tax and Accounting, a continuing education instructor for tax professionals through Lorman Education, and a local speaker/presenter on the topics of tax and business growth. He can be reached at (304) 267-2594.