A Devastating Attack on Prosperity

The brightest, most productive, most skilled, most entrepreneurial men and women in this country are in the financial crosshairs of the House Democrats’ healthcare “reform” plan. This proposal would have a devastating negative impact on job creation and wealth creation, creating a bold disincentive to work, create, and innovate. If you think unemployment is reaching scary levels now, just wait for this to kick in. (emphasis is mine). From the Washington Post:

House Democrats announced a plan yesterday that would force the richest 2 million U.S. taxpayers to shoulder much of the cost of an expansion of the nation’s health-care system, by imposing a surtax of as much as 5.4 percent on income above $350,000 a year.

The House proposal aims to extend insurance coverage to 37 million Americans over the next decade, covering more people through Medicaid and providing subsidies to help others meet a new federal mandate to purchase insurance. Democratic aides said the proposal would cost more than $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, and would ensure that 97 percent of Americans were enrolled in a health plan by 2015.

About half of the cost would be covered by reducing spending on federal health programs, primarily Medicare, which serves the elderly and the disabled. But much of the rest of the money would come from a new tax on families earning more than $350,000 a year and individuals earning more than $280,000. The taxes, which would take effect in 2011, would affect about 2.1 million taxpayers, the nonprofit Tax Policy Center projected.

The surtax would start at 1 percent and rise to 5.4 percent on income exceeding $1 million. Combined with the expiration next year of tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration, the surtax would drive the top federal tax rate to 45 percent, the highest level since lawmakers rewrote the tax code in 1986.

And by the way, you have to read all the way down to the final paragraph to find out that the backers of this plan already concede that costs will skyrocket beyond initial estimates. Thus:

The House proposes to raise about $37 billion by changing the corporate tax code, but those provisions would be dwarfed by the surtax on the wealthy, which is projected to raise $544 billion over the next decade. Initially, the surtax would add 1 percent to the tax rate on income exceeding $350,000, 1.5 percent on income exceeding $500,000 and 5.4 percent on income exceeding $1 million. But the lower rates could rise again if the cost of health-care expansion exceeded expectations, to 2 percent and 3 percent respectively.

Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute discusses what may be ahead in this interview. Can you say rationing?

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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