And since we’re talking about health care…

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar mike farmer
    Ignored
    says:

    LOL — you mean the imaginary income that disappeared in 2008 and 2009? I’m sure the top 1% wouldn’t wouldn’t mind those gains being taxed.Report

  2. Avatar Todd
    Ignored
    says:

    You might also ask how much of the increase in taxes collected by the government came from the top 1% in that same time period. Based on the information I found at the Tax Foundation, it appears that between 2002 and 2007 the amount of federal income taxes attributable to the top 1% increased from 33.7% to 40.4%. I’m guessing that these folks do not feel undertaxed. Also further increasing dependency on higher earners for tax revenue is likely to increase volatility in the income stream as well as incentives for tax avoidance.Report

  3. Avatar Freddie
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m guessing that these folks do not feel undertaxed.

    The top 1% in America is not tax-sensitive, as we might gather from its support for Congressional Democrats and Obama in recent elections.Report

  4. Avatar Ryan
    Ignored
    says:

    Eh, this is a place I mostly divert from the liberal orthodoxy. Income taxes don’t have much of a rational relationship to health care provision. Not to mention that incomes don’t grow as fast as health care costs, so even if this works for 10 years ,what does it look like in 20?

    Don’t get me wrong: taxes should be quite a bit higher (on everyone, not just the richest), but making the argument using health care doesn’t really persuade me.Report

  5. Avatar E.D. Kain
    Ignored
    says:

    Taxes could certainly be higher – Clinton-years-high to be sure. But the question is how to contain costs, not merely how to pay for the initial tab. Without some way to actually, effectively contain public spending on this and Medicare/Medicaid we are looking at taxation levels that will begin to hurt the economy in the long run. That’s unacceptable. But yes – by all means, raise taxes on the rich (and on the middle and lower tax that will benefit from these reforms) but also find better ways to keep costs in line. HSA’s perhaps (the Singapore/DeLong model).Report

    • Avatar Ryan in reply to E.D. Kain
      Ignored
      says:

      Or, horror of horrors, tax the benefits directly.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Ryan
        Ignored
        says:

        This is where the unions start clearing their throats. I work at a pretty good job with pretty good health care benefits. A co-worker (one who has chronic friggin’ everything) told me that he’s not on our health care plan but on his wife’s. “Your wife works at a place that has a better plan than here?”, I asked incredulously. “She works at (national grocery chain).”

        Now, (national grocery chain) doesn’t pay exorbitantly well, but they do provide an amazing health care plan. Taxing that benefit would decimate (at least!) their paychecks.

        Which, of course, is not to say that I don’t agree with you in principle.Report

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