Taxing the middle class
President Obama frequently says he doesnâ€™t want to hurt the middle class. The consequences may be unintended, but many of his policies seem to do just that.
In regard to Obamacare, President Obama has said "Families will save on their premiums; businesses that will see their costs rise if we do nothing will save money now and in the future.â€ť
In reality, premiums continue increasing. Also, employers are eliminating jobs, cutting employeesâ€™ hours, or leaving positions vacant to save from spending more for health care.
One of the problems is the new medical device tax that is a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices. The tax will impact the cost of devices such as insulin pumps, knee and hip replacements, and heart valves, among other treatments.
Who pays the cost? The answer is ultimately either you or the taxpayers generally. If itâ€™s not paid for from a government program, then it is paid by insurance companies who pass the cost on to the consumer, mostly the middle class.
For that reason, I am cosponsoring legislation to repeal this tax.
Itâ€™s not just health care; itâ€™s also energy.
Last week in an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, I questioned Ms. Mary Hutzler, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Institute of Energy Research, about new regulations targeting coal-fired power plants. These regulations will cause electric rates to go up by 10 to 20 percent in most parts of the country. They also will amount to 183,000 jobs lost per year as facilities work to comply with the burdensome regulations.
The people hurt most by the increase in electric rates are the poor and the middle class, and those 183,000 jobs lost per year â€“ those arenâ€™t CEOs losing their jobs.
If we are to keep energy affordable, we need to access and use all energy sources. We shouldnâ€™t make coal a four-letter word.
In Washington, I will continue to look for common-sense solutions to our nationâ€™s problems and work to avoid unintended consequences that negatively impact the middle class.
As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at