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

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.

Presented by

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

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Business

Just In