Friday, May 29, 2015

ObamaCare and Struggle for Context

As the ObamaCare debate drags on, you rarely hear anyone putting the health law in context.

Right now the argument over the upcoming Supreme Court decision is about what to do with those 7.7 million people subsidized on federal health exchanges should the Court say only those on state exchanges can be subsidized.

Assuming the U.S. has a population of 320 million, what about the other 313 million? What about us? Well, about 125 million are on Medicare (55 million) or Medicaid (70 million). That leaves 188 million. Another 10 million are in VA or other military related programs. That leaves 178 million. Another 11 million are illegal immigrants. We’re now down to 167.3 million. Of these 167 million, employers and self-employed account for about 150 million. Of the remaining 17 million, 2 million or so are on state heath exchanges, and the rest have no insurance or are unaccounted for.

Which brings us putting taxes in context to pay for those on health exchanges, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans’ programs.

Of the 313 million, the top 10% pay 40% of income taxes, the middle 40% pay 60% of taxes, and bottom 50% pay little or no income taxes.

Which leads to these aphorisms.

Nothing is certain but death and taxes. Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society. In any civilized society, the middle class carries the burden for any government program. There are never enough rich people to carry the burden of any general government service. According to the Laffer Curve, there is a point at which a high level of taxation is counterproductive and leads to less government revenue. This may be where we are now with the highest corporate income tax in the world. The more you tax something, the less return you get. But says the President, It is not the level of taxes or their return that’s important, it’s the fairness of the taxes.

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