Raising taxes on the rich was the cornerstone of President Obama’s reelection campaign. “If we’re serious about reducing the deficit,” Obama told a rally in Columbus, Ohio, on election day, “we’ve got to ask the wealthiest Americans to go back to the tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was in office.”
But just how much deficit reduction would Obama’s tax hikes on the rich necessarily accomplish?
Nothing, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Letting tax rates rise to Clinton era levels for those families making over $250,000 a year would only raise $824 billion over ten years. That is not even enough revenue to undo the sequester that Obama promised “will not happen” during his final debate with Mitt Romney.
A chart breaking down the costs of the relevant fiscal cliff provisions is below.