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Obama’s Taxation Policies: Application and Evaluation


Taxation is an essential mechanism the government uses to get the finances required to live on and conduct public services. It is a type of system that is very complicated, and it involves all government levels. Additionally, tax policies exist to achieve several other policy goals. However, cutting-edge customs, a proficient means of accomplishing most policy goals, provide returns to more or more minor general public sectors. Hence, it might seem unfair to those who will not benefit from them.

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Moreover, most citizens are obsessed with the evenhandedness of taxes and, more so, the clue of getting value for the paid taxes. Therefore, when instituting taxes, the government should select taxes based on the concepts of buoyance, collectability, distributive effects, financial neutrality, and mind visibility (Calio, 2017). While many persons feel discontented with the prevailing taxation structure in the United States, change remains hard to achieve.

However, during President Obama’s government, there were significant alterations in income wages and taxation to endorse fair taxes for every American. The previous president fought to create an unbiased system to benefit the low-class and middle families to advance their income while avoiding taxation loopholes and breaks amongst the wealthy Americans (Porch, 2017). Hence, this essay deliberates on policies of taxation proposed through the government of Obama, their application, and evaluation.


The taxation mechanisms used in the United States for the first 150 years of commercial tax history have a small likeness to the present taxation system. Initially, the Americas’ constitution constrained the federal government to direct taxation which meant taxes directly to persons. However, the government depended on secondary taxes such as tariffs (taxes on importations) in addition to excise duties. In the 1800s to early 1900s tariffs were the main source of revenue in the country. During the time of war, for example, the 1812 war, taxes rose temporarily to finance or pay debts (Slemrod, 2018). And once the crisis passed, the taxes were then reduced. Possibly the utmost important tax rule implemented in the course of the civil warfare became the initial nationwide income tax. While preliminary income tax remained progressive, it was less sweeping than many anticipated. While tax remained beleaguered near the affluent – during the first few years merely around two percent of homes were remunerated.

Therefore, the greatest current significant tax bill was the George Bush censored approved in 2001. The main establishment of the act comprises reducing the single rates of income, increasing the number of employees and scheduling retract of the 2010 estate tax (Calio, 2017). Many bill requirements are back-loaded, that is; the reduction of taxes is phased with time and most of the tax drops are upcoming. Moreover, a smaller tax cut was also enacted in 2003 which eventually lead to a decrease in scheduled rates of taxation. Lately, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 extended various tax tributes (Slemrod, 2018). Numerous deductions, exclusions, and credits complement the tax returns span and completion time (Calio, 2017). Taxing families instead of individuals needs complex calculations. Consequently, does the Minimum Tax Alternative force taxpayers to compute their tax obligation twice, that is, the standard income tax, and then calculate under the Alternative Minimum Tax, then pay whichever is greater.

Implemented Policies

In August 2011, President Barack Obama signed a bilateral agreement that guarantees taxation equality. Subsequently, cover the tax income from tax respite in low-class and middle-class persons. Consequently, the economic incentive set, which targets a reduction of tax for the middle-class and low-class families, was accepted by Congress in February 2009. The package involved a budget cut of $288 billion in tariffs—family tax reduction by $800 and Individual tax reduction by $400 (House of Representatives, 2017). Following the deal, the ex-president set priorities to prevent the administration from defaulting expenditure reduction transversely to all segments

Subsequently, the costliest bills employed by Obama did not reflect significant policy change; instead, they were tax cut extensions planned to expire. The tax cuts included 2001 and 2003 tax cuts extensions, passed initially by President George W. Bush, and chains of slight scratches mainly called the “tax extenders,” which Congress renews regularly (House of Representatives, 2017). Since this high national debt, the AMT reinforcement and the 2001 and 2003 tax reductions were permanent in January 2013. Hence, in December 2015, many yearly tax extenders were also made permanent.

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Following an initial surge, the former president and Congress raised mandatory spending by $853 billion in 2009 and 2010 and reduced compulsory expenditures by $369 billion in the following six years (House of Representatives, 2017). The revenue side indicates a strong contrast after the 2010 elections. The most significant legislation of $3.6 trillion made permanent much of the Georges’ tax cuts enacted in early 2013 under split government. However, apart from essential extensions of previous tax policies, Congress passed an overall ten-year, $519 billion tax rise.

Policy Evaluation

As soon as a policy is employed, it is essential to evaluate the program for consequences. If required, the existing policy will have to be changed. Evaluators encounter many problems when trying to gauge programs. These challenges comprise finding enough measures, defining goals, adjusting to rising requirements, steering the political procedures essential in all policy kinds of stuff, accounting for standards, and determining a plan’s level of effectiveness and efficiency (Calio, 2017). After completing the evaluation, the legislators should scrutinize the policies.

Policy variation is probable to happen, either inside the organization or in a way that may result in consolidation, a variety of solutions, or splitting of activity (House of Representatives, 2017). However, recommendations do not translate into change immediately. Therefore, as with all phases in the rule process, legislations and the involved actors significantly influence what form a policy change might take. Hence the final step of the policy procedures is to assess what has happened as an outcome of policy choice and implementation to make an appropriate policy modification. Subsequently, there are two methods of investigating policy choices:

Ethical Analysis of Public Policy

An ethical classification is often valuable for public policy analysis, and the system used is utilitarianism, whereby actions are vindicated as creating the most significant net advantage for the entire society. Several moral questions arise during the implementation of public policies. Ultimately, public officials may encounter queries that have no freely acceptable responses, ethically, politically, and economically (Donaldson, 2021). Ethical moralities and values conflict more frequently, and sometimes one must be violated to protect another. Despite the mentioned complications, policymakers and citizens’ obligation reason about policies ethically. Perhaps most policymaking has been piloted, lacking attention whatsoever, but the economic and political consequences receive enough attention.

The perception behind the utilitarianism of cost-benefit analysis generating the highest net advantage to society is commendable. Legislators can use it to justify actions that disrupt usual ideas of nondiscriminatory sharing of the benefits of the community and disrupt procedural standards. However, the valuable tactic tends to decrease all policy dimensions to one standard economy. However, the core trouble in ethical scrutiny of policy is finding values that can produce good consistent decisions for diverse circumstances. Words like equity, justice, and sound are mixed about in a somewhat cavalier style in discussions over public policies.

Therefore, the analysts should try to systematize their ethics and apply them dependably. Additionally, the analyst must be a decent artist and operator or remain a “baby analyst” as Arnold Meltsner throughout their career. Hence, there are five crucial non-utilitarianism value principles for making policy decisions. That is the safeguarding of life, conservation of personal self-sufficiency, fairness, truthfulness, and the concept of desert (Donaldson, 2021). The first value is personified in Judeo-Christian ethics and similarly in all professional ethics codes. However, several conflicts may arise in the application; for example, a battle between statistical and identifiable lives may exist.

As mentioned earlier, there exist the value of personal Autonomy, which allows each to be free to make their own decisions about their lives. This standard highlights a substantial form of conservative political thought that takes responsibility for the individual’s interest (Donaldson, 2021). As long as everything else is equal, it correspondingly assumes that persons may select substitutes at times that other individuals and the entire society performing through government may seem unacceptable. Subsequently, on the truthfulness matter, it is believed that when an individual lies to another, the deceiver deprives the recipient of the capability to make informed or relatively rational decisions.

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Cost-Benefit Evaluation

The essential principle of CBA is that any undertaken project must yield a benefit to society more than its cost. Secondly, when many projects have possibilities of producing positive net profits yet cannot accept all because of inadequate resources, the plan that creates the highest net gain to the society must be nominated (Mouter, 2017). Hence, the procedure is perhaps applicable to investment projects like building dams and highways, but it can be applied to other public activities (Donaldson, 2021). A project’s cost and benefits are altogether likened along the solitary determining rod of cash, and the projects that create the utmost net advantage are considered superior.

According to the principles of CBA, a concept fundamental to the analysis originates from the habit in welfare finances that has been required to develop social welfare that is acceptable or desirable for making mutual policy selections. Therefore, one of the primary criteria for interest was the Pareto principle (Mouter, 2017). This type of policy is the one that aids a single individual without hurting or affecting anyone. However, in the actual domain of civil decision-making, this kind of policy is sporadic, considering that political decisions are always based on who acquires what at whose expense. Therefore, making use of the principle by Pareto would be tremendously conservative, subsidizing a few public involvements.

However, John Hicks and Nicholas Kaldor progressed a different criterion on welfare. This criterion bases a change in policy as generally justified if the victors gain an adequate amount to recompense the losers and remain with a bit for themselves. That doesn’t suggest that the winners will automatically reimburse the losers, or the administration can even detect the losers, but instead assumes that the general public is better off since there is an overall surge in benefits. However, this welfare criterion validates the cost-benefit analysis reliance on manufacturing the utmost conceivable net use.

Another essential underlying idea on CBA is the consumer’s surplus. Therefore, this idea explains that the amount in monetary value a consumer or customer is ready to pay for a specified product, less the amount they must essentially pay (Mouter, 2017). For example, the investments done by the government in the construction of a new superhighway that decreases the consumers’ cost of driving and reduction in the potential loss of lives and property makes a consumer surplus. The savings signify the lowest definition of societal improvements due to the new highway.

Finally, the most significant factor in cost and benefits evaluation is the time; representatives need be sure of the long-standing costs-benefits and the short-standing consequences must be favorable. The assignments must also be rehabilitated to existent values beforehand any calculation is done or made. Therefore, CBA appears to service projects which only offer payoffs quickly other than more significant long-standing benefits but maybe also more special operation and maintenance costs.

Future of the Policies

Since the passed Obama’s tax policies, the economy has continuously grown despite estimates that the guidelines would deteriorate. Although reduction of taxation rates lowers the revenues for some years, it might contain other long-term properties on tax rates, which in return may result in more tax loopholes (Ferrara, 2018). The re-implementation of President George Bush’s tax cuts guarantees fairness as the affluent also shoulder the weight of taxation while the low and middle-class have the tax relief. Therefore, cutting taxes will reduce debts in tax by about $800 billion or more (Ferrara, 2018). Moreover, the policies have helped shield childcare and education costs by providing additional tax relief to low-class families over the years, hence promoting fairness.


The former president’s taxation policies cut excessive government spending in security and non-security government sectors, creating a fair taxation mode in middle-class and low-class employees. The United States corporate tax rates are very high, creating ghoulish economic ineffectiveness in a global economy. Therefore, decreasing business tax rallies will entice more foreign and local financiers to build amenities and industrialized plants in America, boosting economic development and economic effectiveness.


Calio, V. (2017). Winners and losers of tax reform. Njbiz, Web.

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Donaldson, T. (2021). Business Ethics Pioneers: Thomas Donaldson. Business and Professional Ethics Journal, 40(3), 321-327. Web.

Ferrara, P. J. (2018). How President Trump can engineer a soft landing from president Obamas policies. Investor’s Business Daily. Web.

House of Representatives. (2017). The 2017 joint economic report (pp. 1-167). Washington D.C: U.S Government publishing office. Web.

Mouter, N. (2017). Dutch politicians’ attitudes towards Cost-Benefit Analysis. Transport Policy, 54, 1-10. Web.

Porch, S. (2017). Tallying the facts of Obama’s economic legacy. TCA Regional News. Web.

Slemrod, J. (2018). Is this tax reform, or just confusion? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 32(4), 73-96. Web.

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