WSJ: A Tax a Day

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Tom B, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Tom B

    Tom B

    A Tax a Day
    Turning Medicare into an income redistribution program.

    Another day, another tax increase to finance the trillion-dollar health-care overhaul.

    The latest schemes are leaking out of the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid is scrambling to find enough money while not offending Big Labor. The Senate Finance bill imposes a 40% tax on expensive private health plans, many of which belong to union members as part of their negotiated contracts. So Mr. Reid wants to reduce this tax and is floating a new Medicare payroll tax surcharge as a substitute.

    Just what an economy with 10.2% unemployment rate needs: Another tax on hiring.

    The versions leaked so far would add as much as 0.5% on workers who earn more than $200,000. If assessed on both the worker and employer, this would increase the Medicare tax rate to 3.9% from 2.9% today. It would also create the first progressive payroll tax in American history, with wealthier workers paying a higher Medicare payroll tax rate than lower income workers.

    Until 1993 the Medicare tax was capped— the Social Security tax still is capped at $106,800 this year—because Medicare was supposed to function like an insurance program. For example, the rich don't pay more for auto insurance than the poor do. But Democrats lifted the cap with their 1993 tax increase, so the Medicare levy now amounts to a marginal rate tax on every new dollar of wage income. Mr. Reid's payroll surtax would sever the link between the tax paid over a lifetime and the medical benefits received, officially making Medicare an income redistribution program.

    In another trial balloon, Mr. Reid would impose the payroll tax on all income, not just wages and salaries. This means applying the tax to capital gains, dividends and other investment income. This would convert the Medicare levy into a de facto version of the income tax.

    The tax on expensive health plans would at least provide some incentive to spend less on health care, which is what Democrats still pretend their "reform" is about. In reality, it has became nothing more than a vast scheme to redistribute income, as their mad tax-a-day scramble for revenue shows. If all of this damages job creation and the economy in the process, Democrats don't seem to mind.
  2. TGregg


    Of course they don't mind. Who needs big government if they have a job and can take care of themselves?

    One thing that you can absolutely, positively take to the bank is that taxes will go up under this, the most liberal whitehouse and the most liberal senate and the most liberal house we've ever had. The Sun is more likely to not rise tomorrow to start a 15 season winning streak for the Detroit Lions than our taxes not go up.

    The only things we can do are to try to keep the increase as low as possible, keep government from growing as much as possible and make sure everybody knows that these socialists are raising taxes.
  3. Tom B

    Tom B

    I agree.
  4. nitro


    I believe every human being has a trinity of responsibilities in his life, in order of importance (by force of logic):

    1) To himself.
    2) To his family
    3) To society as a whole

    That people do not see why they have to pay for 3, they have not studied history, or if they have studied it, they have selectively studied it.

    What is amazing to me and continues to make me shake my head in disbelief given how immoral and selfish the human animal is, is how all the money and power in the world cannot stand against the constitution of the united states. One man, one vote, and he won fair and square. People voted for a man with a concious. Nothing on earth can stop his will, and by representation, the people that put him there.

    I keep asking this on different threads and noone has ever answered. Has anyone ever thought what this means?

  5. Tom B

    Tom B

    Prosperous people in the US generally pay a lot towards number 3. The question is how much is enough?

    Not to mention that the "health reform" bill is a terrible bill, and will not improve health care or society as a whole.
  6. nitro


    Perhaps so, but there are 50 million Americans without healthcare, and small businesses are having a horrible problem competing with larger businesses because they cannot provie comparable benefits.

    It used to be that if you were poor in the US, it just meant you could not have fancy cars, or a fancy house, or fancy clothes, etc. At least you had the dignity of being able to pay your rent and heat and eat rice and beans. Health problems, while they could bankrupt you, it was much much rarer than it is now. In today's world, it is literally life threatning to be poor because having a job is not enough when your wages stay frozen and the price of everything continues its march higher, with health care on an exponential curve. This is unconditionally unnaceptable, no matter how much more it costs.

    But here is my biggest gripe though with people that keep complaining about basic human needs and who pays for what. This particular train of thought, universal health care, has been fought from the time of Ted Kennedy, through the Clintons, now to Obama, over forty years with almost no reform (a few bones thrown here and there, like Cobra won by Ted Kennedy.) Do you realize there was a time when there was no such thing as a weekend, and corporations forced you to work seven days a week, even though this country was founded by Protestants, and not working on the seventh day is one of of the commandments!!!( see 4 below)? Do you know who you owe two days of rest to? Unions. Unions are public enemy number one of Capitalism, right? Are you thankful? Hey, it costs more not to have people work those two days, by 2/7ths of GDP!!!!

    I believe that some sort of hybrid Democratic socialism is the most humane form of government. But, just like two day weekends were fought over tooth and nail, this too will be fought tooth and nail. What is funny is, society as a whole has benefited, and that overall joy tends to trickle down to each of us individually.

  7. TGregg


    If government can force you to pay for other people, then surely you also believe the government should force you to complete items 1 & 2 on your list, correct? They are a higher priority after all. Do you want Uncle Sam saying "That's enough Big Macs for you, get your fat @$$ off the bench and onto the treadmill?"

    While men may owe a responsibility to others, that does not give the government the right to enforce that responsibilty.

    Winning an election does not empower anyone beyond the Constitution.
  8. Unless your name is Bush or Cheney.
  9. You have been brainwashed.

    There is no such thing as 'society', that is a concept used to rob you. What that concept means - in the real world - is that someone convinces (or forces) you to part with your resources to give to some cause that they determine is 'right'. It usually turns out that they skim a little off the top for themselves, or use your resources to benefit themselves personally- - such as to bribe voters.
    Now if you decide to voluntarily give some of your resources to another individual human being, that is an entirely different matter. You Can help other people this way. You can't help the concept 'society'. (Just point your finger at it - - you can't, though you can point to individuals.) Some people who are so willing to force others to give using the blunt force of 'the law', - - give the least of their own personal resources to charity. True charity is a wonderful thing IMO.

    Some (often atheists) have tried to turn the argument around when wanting someone to go along with some law that would redistribute the resources of one person to give to another. They smirk & ask "What would Jesus do ?" My answer is, "Well, I can't speak for Him, but I'd imagine He would like a person to do acts of charity, but wouldn't condone sticking a gun to my head to force me to do so. That ain't true 'charity'. "

    P.S. - - beware of those trying to club you with that word 'selfish'. What they are actually saying is "I think you should do what I think you should do, rather than what you determine is best for yourself and those you personally care about." They always have a personal agenda, even if it is so they can 'feel good for doing the right thing' or often to feel superior to others. But using guilt and manipulation on others this way, is only predatory or neurotic.
  10. And this 'cause that they determine is right' is used on both sides of the fence. Liberals think it is the 'right' thing to do, to take a portion of one mans life to provide for another which is not specified in the Constitution, while at the same time, bible toting right wingers want to control what a man can and cannot do with his free time (i.e. drinking, gambling laws), because of their 'cause that they determine is right'.

    And I'm 'right' in the middle. :mad:
    #10     Nov 17, 2009