2 of the Last 3 GOP Presidents Signed Larger Tax Increases Than Obamacare

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The Affordable Care Act is not "the largest tax increase in the history of the world," despite what you might have heard on The Rush Limbaugh Show. In fact, it's not even the largest tax increase in the history of The Rush Limbaugh Show. Two years after Rush's national syndication, President George H. W. Bush signed a slightly bigger tax increase in 1990. And Reagan's tax increase from 1982 was bigger than both of them.

The following graph of the biggest tax increases since 1950 is Kevin Drum's Treasury data graphed by Austin Frakt (via Ezra Klein):

If you're looking for something/anything superlative to say about the ACA, you could say it's the biggest tax increase of the entire millennium (!!!) or perhaps that it's the second-biggest tax increase signed by a Democrat since LBJ. As for the biggest tax acts in "history," health care reform barely cracks the top ten ... for the last 60 years.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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