Skip to comments.Why the Baucus bill Doesn’t Help the Middle Class[Economic Case Against Baucus Health Bill]
Posted on 10/17/2009 6:53:47 AM PDT by Son House
Back to the economic case against the Baucus health-care bill. The Harvard economist Greg Mankiw looks at some new data from the Congressional Budget Office and calculates the marginal tax rate that the bill piles onto middle-class families:
According to CBO, a family of four making $54,000 would pay $4,800 for health insurance. The rest of the premium would come from government subsidies. If the familys income rises to $66,000, the subsidy falls, and the cost of health insurance rises to $7,600. In other words, earning an additional $12,000 requires the family to pay an additional $2,800. The implicit marginal tax rate is $2,800/$12,000, or 23 percent.
Similarly, a single person earning $26,500 would pay $2,300 for health insurance, but if his income rises to $32,400, his premium rises to $3,700. This yields an implicit marginal rate rate of 24 percent.
As Mankiw notes, these increases come on top of marginal income and payroll taxes. A family of four earning $66,000 a year probably falls into the 15 percent tax bracket, meaning most if not all of those additional earnings would be taxed at the 15 percent rate. So besides the loss of $2,800 in subsidies, this hypothetical family would pay an additional $1,800 in federal income taxes plus 6 percent, or $720, in state income taxes here in Georgia plus 7.65 percent, or $918, in federal payroll taxes.
So our family of four is actually forfeiting more than $6,200 out of its $12,000 raise.
Now, the president has denied that forcing Americans to buy something they werent buying before constitutes a tax, so my guess is that he and other Democrats will try to argue that this isnt one, either. They will say that taking away a government subsidy is not the same thing as taking away earned income. And from a purely semantic standpoint, that may be true.
The key phrase here, however, is marginal tax rate. Economists use this phrase to describe the taxes a worker pays on the last (or next) dollar earned. Its important, because it factors into a workers decision to earn more money by working overtime, furthering his education or accepting a promotion; or an entrepreneurs decision to start a business; or an investors decision to invest more money; or a companys decision to expand. The question is: Is it worth the effort or risk?
Seen in that light, the sliding scale of subsidies absolutely represents a rising marginal tax rate, or its practical equivalent. And it doesnt matter that some earners would nevertheless decide to make the additional effort or take on the additional risk as long as a sufficient number of them dont, the economy wont grow as much as it might have. As Mankiw also notes, CBO does not factor in these potential macroeconomic changes when scoring legislation, including the Baucus health bill. So its not counting the full economic cost of the legislation.
The fact that these kind of marginal rate increases happen right around the median household income level and right around the level where, the data indicate, families are having to decide whether they can afford to purchase insurance makes a downright mockery of the idea that this plan is designed to help the middle class.
It is designed to increase the number of people dependent on government. Period.
Here is something that ties in to this story. GUN RIGHTS GONE!
This is about taking your freedom away. Nothing else.
When the moonbats are in the WH
and the Deceiver is appointing Czars
Then theives will steal our nation
and socialism will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of NEFARIOUS
The age of NEFARIOUS, NEFARIOUS
Disharmony and reparations
blame shifting and spin abounding
no more transparency or integrity
golden urine streams of drivel
mystic liberal machinations
and the mind's true incarceration.
Great article thanks for posting
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.