Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NYPost: ObamaCare: Will mean massive tax hike

My response to Geoff Earle comes at the suggestion of Firedoglake, hoping to gain criticism for the weakness of Obama's proposal.

I, however, praised the tax increase on capital gains in protest to Geoff Earle's slanted article.

Geoff Earle tries to shed the harshest possible criticism on President Obama's proposed Health Care Reform Bill.

In fairness to Earle, he does mention that the tax would primarily effect wealthy earners' interest, dividend, annuity, and other investment income. Yet Earle doesn't then connect this factoid with his concluding mention that, "[L]ower-earning salaried employers currently pay a Medicare hospital-insurance tax, but people with large investment income don't."

What Earle leaves out altogether is the fact that capital gains are only taxed at 15%, unlike other income very rich have to pay an already-modest 35% tax on.

(By the way, under Eisenhower, the highest income earners paid upwards of 75% income tax.)

Earle also fails to mention that the "double whammy" of the expiring Bush tax cuts (that are expiring because they were passed with 53 Senate votes through reconciliation) has been one of the major culprits in shrinking Federal revenues and driving up the deficit since 2001.

Let's face it, the Senate health bill on which Obama's proposal is based, is deeply flawed: the individual mandate, the state (not federal) exchanges, no public option, ban on generic pharmaceuticals, etc.

But don't complain about rich people paying taxes, Geoff. While the average household income for 80% of Americans has declined over the last 15 years, the top quintile has gotten richer, and the top one percent have made out like bandits.

Without the laws and protections of government, and our subsidy of the commons, the wealthiest could not make their money at all, so their debt to society is obviously much greater than those who earn much less.

The problem with Obama's health proposal is that it doesn't go nearly far enough in correcting the economic imbalances in our health care system and our economy that are necessary to restore fairness and health to our society.

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