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Encyclopedia > Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (or OBRA-93) was passed by the 103rd United States Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It has also been referred to as the "Deficit Reduction Act of 1993." The 103rd United States Congress met from January 5, 1993 to January 3, 1995 // Dates of Sessions 1993-1995 First: Second: Major legislation See also: List of United States Federal Legislation#103rd United States Congress Party Summary Senate House of Representatives Officers Senate House of Representatives Members Alabama Senators Howell... For the pop band, see Presidents of the United States of America. ... William Jefferson Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. ...



It created 36 percent and 39.6 rates for individuals, and created a 35 percent rate for corporations. The cap on Medicare taxes was repealed, transportation fuels taxes were hiked by 4.3 cents per gallon, and the taxable portion of Social Security benefits was raised. There are several publicly funded health services in various countries called Medicare: Medicare (Canada) is a comprehensive, universal (for all the citizens and permanent residents in the country) public health financing system. ... Social Security in the United States is a social insurance program funded through a dedicated payroll tax. ...

The phase-out of the personal exemption and limit on itemized deductions were permanently extended.


Some alternatives to the bill included a proposal by Senator David Boren (D-OK), which among other things would have kept much of the tax increase on upper-income payers but would have eliminated all energy tax increases while also scaling back the Earned Income Tax Credit. It was endorsed by Bill Cohen (R-ME), Bennet Johnston (D-LA), and John Danforth (R-MO). Boren's proposal never passed committee.

Another proposal was offered in the House by John Kasich (R-OH). He sponsored an amendment that would have reduced the deficit by cutting $355 billion in spending with $129 billion of the cuts coming from entitlement programs (the actual bill cut entitlement spending by only $42 billion). The amendment would have eliminated any tax increases. The amendment failed by a 138-295 vote with many Republicans voting against the amendment and only six Democrats voting in favor of the amendment.


Ultimately every Republican in Congress voted against the bill, as did a number of Democrats. Vice-President Al Gore broke a tie in the Senate on both the actual bill and the conference report. In the House the bill passed by only a two-vote margin, 218-216. President Clinton signed the bill on August 10, 1993.

Republican Warnings

The entire bill was very controversial. Many Republicans warned that many of the bills provisions would result in economic catastrophe and that deficit would actually increase. The recently elected President Clinton was criticized by many for what was perceived as a reversal of his campaign pledge to cut middle class taxes although in actuality taxes increased on only the top 2% of taxpayers, and while many Americans initially were supportive of changes in the tax code to help the economy and lower the deficit (according to public opinion polls taken at the time), by the mid-term elections of 1994, many American voters were galvanized by the Republican charge that the Democratic Party had raised their taxes.


The bill, at the time, was based on unproved economic theory. Since the Reagan administration, the American public was more receptive to the type of neoliberal economic policies pursued during the 1980s. The theory behind the bill was that federal budget deficits were more critical to economic health than either the New Deal liberals or Reagan-era conservatives wanted to admit. Both groups dismissed the importance of the federal budget deficit.

The bill, which both raised taxes and cut government spending, has been credited as the major cause behind the deficit reduction and eventual surpluses during the 1990s. The theory holds that federal budget deficits increase both inflation and interest rates. These two phenomena are widely known to cause economic stagnation. Indeed, when inflation increases, often the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates to contain the inflation.

The U.S. government pays for its debt by issuing additional debt instruments (such as Treasury Bonds and Treasury Notes). As U.S. government debt instruments are one of the safest investments in the world, they pay some of the lowest interest in the world. This causes the rate charged on federal bonds to act as a floor. This is because most other debt instruments are more risky (it is more likely that other issuers will default on their bonds than it is likely that the U.S. government will default on its bonds, and so those other issuers must pay higher interest rates to compensate for the higher risk). As more U.S. government debt is issued, there is an increasing demand for world capital to pay for these insturments. As the supply of these instruments increase, the interest rates paid by the U.S. government must increase to attract additional investors. As U.S. debt becomes more costly to carry, debt around the world also becomes more costly. This increase in worldwide interest rates causes it to be more expensive to opperate businesses. This suppresses economic growth. It also causes companies to charge more for their products and services to pay for the more expensive debt. This causes inflation.

External links

  • Senate roll call vote
  • House roll call vote
  • Summary of OBRA-93
Tax Acts of the United States

1861 | 1862 | 1894 | 1913 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1921 | 1924 | 1926 | 1928 | 1932 | 1935 | 1940 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1948 | 1950 | 1950 | 1951 | 1954 | 1954 | 1962 | 1964 | 1968 | 1969 | 1971 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1981 | 1982 | 1986 | 1990 | 1993 | 1997 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 Taxation in the United States is a complex system which may involve payments to at least four different levels of government: Local government, possibly including one or more of municipal, township, district and county governments Regional entities such as school, utility, and transit districts State government Federal government // Federal taxation... The Revenue Act of 1861 proposed that there shall be levied, collected, and paid, upon annual income of every person residing in the U.S. whether derived from any kind of property, or from any professional trade, employment, or vocation carried on in the United States or elsewhere, or from... The Revenue Act of 1862 was passed by the United States Congress during the Civil War. ... The Revenue Act or Wilson-Gorman tariff of 1894 slightly reduced the U.S. tariff rates from the numbers set in the 1890 McKinley tariff. ... Revenue Act of 1913 - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ... The United States Revenue Act of 1916 raised the lowest income tax rate from 1 percent to 2 percent and raised the top rate to 15 percent on taxpayers with incomes above $2 million. ... The United States War Revenue Act of 1917 greatly increased federal income tax rates while simultaneously lowering exemptions. ... The Revenue Act of 1918 raised income tax rates once again. ... The United States Revenue Act of 1921 was the first Republican stab at tax reduction following their landslide victory in the 1920 federal elections. ... The United States Revenue Act of 1924 cut federal tax rates and established the U.S. Board of Tax Appeals, which was later renamed the Tax Court of the United States in 1942. ... The United States Revenue Act of 1926 reduced inheritance and personal income taxes, cancelled many excise imposts, and ended public access to federal income tax returns. ... The Revenue Act of 1932 raised United States tax rates across the board, with the rate on top incomes rising from 25 percent to 63 percent. ... The Revenue Act of 1935 raised United States taxes on higher income levels, corporations, and gifts and estates. ... The Revenue Act of 1940 temporarily and permanently increased individual income tax rates, temporarily and permanently increased corporate tax rates (top rate rose from 19% to 22. ... The United States Second Revenue Act of 1940 created a corporate excess profits tax (top rate 50%) and increased corporate tax rates (top rate from 22. ... The Revenue Act of 1941 permanently extended the temporary individual, corporate, and excise tax increases of 1940, increased the excess profits tax by 10 percentage points (top rate rose from 50 to 60 percent), and increased corporate tax rates 6-7 percentage points (top rate increased from 24 percent to... The United States Revenue Act of 1942 increased individual income tax rates, increased corporate tax rates (top rate rose from 31 percent to 40 percent), and reduced the personal exemption amount from $1,500 to $1,200 (married couples). ... The United States Revenue Act of 1943 increased federal excise taxes on, among other things, alcohol, jewelry, telephones, and admissions, and raised the excess profits tax rate from 90 percent to 95 percent. ... The Current Tax Payment Act of 1943 introduced the concept of income tax withholding in the United States. ... The Individual Income Tax Act of 1944 raised individual income tax rates in the United States and repealed the 3 percent Victory Tax. ... The United States Revenue Act of 1945 repealed the excess profits tax, reduced individual income tax rates (the top rate fell from 94 percent to 86. ... The United States Revenue Act of 1948 reduced individual income tax rates 5-13 percent, increased the personal exemption amount from $500 to $600, permitted married couples to split their incomes for tax purposes, and provided additional exemption for taxpayers age 65 and older. ... The United States Revenue Act of 1950 eliminated a portion of the individual income tax rate reductions from the 1945 and 1948 tax acts, and increased the top corporate rate from 38 percent to 45 percent. ... The United States Excess Profits Tax of 1950 created a temporary excess profits tax of 30 percent up through June 30, 1953. ... The United States Revenue Act of 1951 temporarily increased individual income tax rates through 1953, and temporarily raised corporate tax rates 5 percentage points through March 31, 1954. ... The United States Excise Tax Reduction Act of 1954 actually temporarily extended the 1951 excise tax increases (through March 31, 1955), but also reduced excise tax rates on, among other things, telephones, admissions, and jewelry. ... The United States Internal Revenue Code of 1954 temporarily extended the 5 percentage point increase in corporate tax rates through March 31, 1955, increased depreciation deductions by providing additional depreciation schedules, and created a 4 percent dividend tax credit for individuals. ... The United States Revenue Act of 1962 established a 7 percent investment tax credit and required information reporting to the government for interest and dividend payments. ... The United States Revenue Act of 1964 reduced individual income tax rates (the top rate fell from 91 percent to 70 percent), and reduced the top corporate rate from 52 percent to 48 percent. ... The United States Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968 created a temporary 10 percent income tax surcharge on both individuals and corporations through June 30, 1969. ... The United States Tax Reform Act of 1969 established individual and corporate minimum taxes, established a new tax schedule for single taxpayers, and lowered the maximum rate on earned income from 70 percent to 50 percent. ... The United States Revenue Act of 1971 reinstated the investment tax credit, repealed the 7 percent automobile excise tax, and increased the minimum standard deduction from $1,000 to $1,300. ... The United States Tax Reduction Act of 1975 provided a 10 percent rebate on 1974 tax liability ($200 cap) and created a temporary $30 general tax credit for each taxpayer and dependent. ... The Tax Reform Act of 1976 was passed by the United States Congress in September of 1976, and signed into law by President Gerald Ford on October 4, 1976, becoming public law 94-455. ... The Tax Reduction and Simplification Act of 1977 was passed by the 95th United States Congress and signed into law by President James Carter on May 23, 1977. ... The United States Revenue Act of 1978 reduced individual income taxes (widened tax brackets and reduced the number of tax rates), increased the personal exemption from $750 to $1,000, reduced corporate tax rates (the top rate falling from 48 percent to 46 percent), increased the standard deduction from $3... The Kemp-Roth Tax Cut (officially the Economic Recovery Tax Act, or ERTA) of 1981 reduced marginal income tax rates in the United States by approximately 25% over three years (the top rate falling to 50% from 70% while the bottom rate dropped to 11% from 14%) and indexed them... The United States Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 rescinded some of the effects of the huge Kemp-Roth Tax Cut passed the year before. ... President Ronald Reagan signs the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on the South Lawn. ... The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (or OBRA-90) was designed to reduce the United States federal budget deficit. ... The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 reduced several federal taxes in the United States. ... The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 was a sweeping piece of tax legislation in the United States. ... The Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 increased carryback of net operating losses to 5 years (through September 2003), extended the exception under Subpart F for active financing income (through 2006), and created 30 percent expensing for certain capital asset purchases (through September 2004). ... The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 was passed by the United States Congress on May 23, 2003 and signed by President Bush five days later. ...

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