Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Does Obama plan to tax people making less than $250,000?

Keith Hennessey explains how Obamacare will result in higher taxes on the middle class.

Excerpt:

As expected, the House bill would mandate that individuals and families have or buy health insurance.

But what if they don’t buy it?

Then Section 401 kicks in.  Any individual (or family) that does not have health insurance would have to pay a new tax, roughly equal to the smaller of 2.5% of your income or the cost of a health insurance plan.

I assume the bill authors would respond, “But why wouldn’t you want insurance?  After all, we’re subsidizing it for everyone up to 400% of the poverty line.”

That is true.  But if you’re a single person with income of $44,000 or higher, then you’re above 400% of the poverty line.  You would not be subsidized, but would face the punitive tax if you didn’t get health insurance.  This bill leaves an important gap between the subsidies and the cost of health insurance.  CBO says that for about eight million people, that gap is too big to close, and they would get stuck paying higher taxes and still without health insurance.

He uses several different examples to show how Obama’s plan would raise taxes on people making much less than 250,000 dollars a year. I know what you’re thinking – “Wintery! Obama promised he wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class!” Well, he’s going to do exactly what is consistent with his voting record. If only the left-wing media had told us his voting record, instead of talking incessantly about Sarah Palin’s children.

I should note that Obama broke his tax pledge many times already.

Americans for Tax Reform has been documenting Obama’s string of broken tax promises. Obama first shattered his $250K promise only 16 days into the presidency when he enacted a 61 cent tax increase on cigarette packs, disproportionately hurting low-income Americans. Next, Obama aggressively supported the cap-and-trade tax that, if the bill passes the Senate, will increase energy costs for an average American family by $1,500. Now, in a recent interview with Obama’s Senior Adviser David Axelrod, the administration is waffling about how taxes will be raised for health care reform. When asked if tax increases on families making less than $250,000 might pay for health care, Sen. Schumer, D-N.Y. said, “There are lots of things on the table now.”

Next time, don’t worry about Tina Fey’s sketches, worry about the thousands of dollars that Obammunism will cost you in increased health care costs, increased electricity costs, higher taxes, lost income, stock losses, interest on the national debt, etc. Katie Couric isn’t going to give you all your savings back. Campbell Brown isn’t going to give you your job back. They’re rich Democrats. They don’t care about truth.

UPDATE: Hot Air links to the story and adds this:

As John Boehner points out, many of the so-called “rich” above $250K a year in earnings are small-business owners who simply file their business revenues as personal income.  A 5.4% “surtax” — really just a hike in the upper tax bracket — will take more of their capital out of their businesses and reduce the opportunity for job growth.

The Post notes that the “surtax” would apply to about 2.1 million Americans.  The mandate for coverage will force almost four times as many middle-class Americans to pay higher taxes as a result of the ObamaCare plan in the House while preventing them from getting coverage.  The House hasn’t soaked the rich; they’ve declared war on the middle class and the uninsured.

Socialists against the middle class.

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Understanding the effects of government-run health care

Previous health care posts

Before we see today’s post, here are some of my previous posts on health care.

Socialized medicine by the numbers

I was having a nice chat today with a friend about whether we should expect government-run health care to work as well as private health care. I asked to him to reflect on how incompetent government offices are for services like driver’s licenses, vehicle titles, immigration, postal services, etc. Then I asked him how satisfied he was shopping online from Amazo.com or in person at Wal-mart. A private seller in the free market needs to meet your needs better than other competitors, so you will get good service – because you have a free choice. But what happens when you have only one option?

Hot Air has a post by DirectorBlue that analyzes government-run health care.

Here are just a few of his numbers related to waiting times:

14: The percentage of all patients in Britain who wait more than one (1) year to receive treatment after a referral by a general practitioner. Half of all National Health Care patients in Britain wait between 18 and 52 weeks for treatment.

90: Number of days, on average, each Canadian patient must wait for an MRI under the Canadian government-run health care system.

750: The estimated number of people waiting in line (in the pouring rain) at Britain’s Bury Office attempting to register for dental care.

10,000: Number of Canadian breast cancer patients to file a class action lawsuit against Quebec’s hospitals because, on average, they were forced to wait 60 days to begin post-operative radiation treatments.

443,849: The number of British patients of the National Healthcare Service (NHS) who waited four or more weeks for inpatient admittance into a hospital (Excel file) in May of 2009 (more than 75% of all patients).

1,500,000: The number of Canadians who do not have — and cannot find — a general practitioner/primary care physician due to shortages in medical staff: “In Norwood, Ontario, 20/20 videotaped a town clerk pulling the names of the lucky winners out of a lottery box. The losers must wait to see a doctor… Shirley Healy, like many sick Canadians, came to America for surgery. Her doctor in British Columbia told her she had only a few weeks to live because a blocked artery kept her from digesting food. Yet Canadian officials called her surgery ‘elective.’ …’The only thing elective about this surgery was I elected to live,’ she said.”

The article also discusses the costs of socialized medicine, patient outcomes, illegal immigrants, fraud, waste, etc.

Needless to say, this is a MUST-READ. Send it to all your friends!

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Round-up of news on Obama’s economic policies

Tax policies that destroy traditional families

New taxes on married couples with intact families to subsidize out-of-wedlock births. (This is basically an incentive to not marry, by the way)

Hans Bader at the CEI’s blog reports: (H/T ECM)

Not content with repealing welfare reform through the job-killing stimulus package, and proposing a massive marriage penalty in the tax code, Obama and his Congressional allies are now planning to make married and widowed taxpayers subsidize benefits for which they are not eligible, such as payments to households with out-of-wedlock births. For example, they are pushing a bill that will allow even households that receive tens of thousands of dollars a year in child support to demand food stamps.

…Intact families, and widows, usually have every dollar they make considered in whether they qualify for food stamps. But under the Obama-backed proposal, unwed mothers, and divorced mothers, would not, since the child-support dollars they receive would be arbitrarily excluded.

Stop and think about what sorts of incentives this creates. What kind of man would be stupid enough to consider getting married and being a father to his own children? This is how Democrats destroy the family with tax policies, so that women with children depend on the state, and the state can in turn influence the way children are raised by getting them into day care, pre-K and government-run schools.

The goal is to prevent parents from influencing their own children with benighted traditional beliefs about traditional religion and morality. According to Democrats, that is the job of qualified public school teachers using approved teaching materials designed by experts like Kevin Jennings. And besides, the more children are raised without fathers, the more government jobs are created to deal with the fallout.

And there’s more:

The Obama-backed bill also increases the federal matching funds states receive for maximizing their collection of child support payments, giving them an incentive to artificially jack up child support obligations in order to reap federal money (as many states did in the aftermath of the 1988 Family Support Act), even if that means forcing fathers who have never missed a payment to pay much more than the actual cost of raising a child. I have previously written about how court-ordered child support payments generally exceed the actual cost of raising a child under most existing state child-support guidelines.

Democrat women that I know (single/divorced women and single/divorced mothers) are so mystified as to why men are not lining up to marry them. Maybe they should be thinking about the policies that they actually voted in favor of – they are not husband-friendly or father-friendly.

Democrat women think that they can crush the last drop of liberty and autonomy out of a man, and still expect him to love, protect and provide for women and children. Inexplicable. They want the security of the state and they don’t realize how it decreases the number of men willing to make commitments.

Home sales will require government approval

The Democrats cap-and-trade bill will require you to fix your house up to be eco-friendly, before you will be allowed to sell it. What? Global warming isn’t going to solve itself, you know…. Oh, wait!

CNSNews reports on what we can expect. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

The 1,400-page cap-and-trade legislation pushed through by House Democrats contains a new federal policy that residential, commercial, and government buildings be retrofitted to increase energy efficiency, leaving it up to the states to figure out exactly how to do that.

This means that homeowners, for example, could be required to retrofit their homes to meet federal “green” guidelines in order to sell their homes, if the cap-and-trade bill becomes law.

This is the first time since these subprime mortgage bank bailouts started that I’ve ever been happy about renting.

New Republican cap-and-trade TV ad

Here’s the new ad put out by Republicans to educate the public about the cap-and-trade bill that just passed the house. (H/T ECM)

Now that’s a great ad.

Why Democrats voted for Obama

Because they don’t know anything about economics!

The second one is from Nice Deb.

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Obamacare exposed: rationing for thee but not for me

Previous health care posts

We need to learn from what goes on in other countries.

The latest news

All communists are the same. They only want YOUR wealth to be redistributed, not theirs. In Obama’s socialist America, all the people are equal, but Obama is more equal than the others.

Check out this story from Hot Air. (H/T ECM)

President Obama struggled to explain today whether his health care reform proposals would force normal Americans to make sacrifices that wealthier, more powerful people — like the president himself — wouldn’t face.

The probing questions came from two skeptical neurologists during ABC News’ special on health care reform, “Questions for the President: Prescription for America,” anchored from the White House by Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson.

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that elites often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loves ones get sick, they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it’s not provided by insurance.

Devinsky asked the president pointedly if he would be willing to promise that he wouldn’t seek such extraordinary help for his wife or daughters if they became sick and the public plan he’s proposing limited the tests or treatment they can get.

The president refused to make such a pledge, though he allowed that if “it’s my family member, if it’s my wife, if it’s my children, if it’s my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care.["]

The video is here at RealClearPolitics.

Read the whole thing, and remember what single-payer health care means, more demand, less supply, waiting lists, rationing and denials of service. But only for you plebians – NOT for Obama and his family.

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How government forces private firms out of business with predatory pricing

This article on Fox News’ Forum is by John Lott. He explains the threat of predatory pricing as it relates to Obama’s health care plan.

First, Lott explains the stated goal of Obama’s plan:

President Obama is selling government health insurance to the American people as the way to save money.  That government health insurance will merely provide competition to keep private insurance companies from gouging their customers.

But here is the problem with a parallel system run by the government:

There are a couple of problems with Obama’s argument.  Government is just not known for its cost effectiveness or quality.  And the way for government enterprises to survive is with massive taxpayer subsidies and charging customers prices below the firm’s actual costs, driving more efficient private firms out of business.  These subsidies mean that when government enterprises “win” they do so by driving more efficient private firms out of business.

Here is an an example of how it works with USPS vs Fedex:

The U.S. Postal Service would often increase its first-class mail rate, where it had a monopoly, to raise money to subsidize its overnight delivery service where it faced stiff competition.  For example, it raised first-class mail to thirty-three cents in January 1999 and simultaneously reduced the price of domestic overnight express mail from $15.00 to $13.70, even though it was already losing money at the $15.00 rate. The price, which was lowered in response to increasingly successful competition in overnight delivery from FedEx and UPS Overnight, remained below $15.00 for the next seven years.  Clearly the Postal Service was not able to drive its competitors out of business with this maneuver, in part because its on-time delivery record and quality was poorer.

The Postal Service lost money on its overnight deliveries despite advantages that FedEx and UPS could only dream of.  The Postal Service is exempt from paying state sales, property and income taxes.  And it uses some of the most expensive real estate in the country — rent-free. The competition that Obama advocates between government and private insurance companies isn’t going to be any fairer.

The government can run huge deficits, effectively transferring money from the productive private sector into their parallel public competitor, with the end goal being complete control of consumer purchases. Obama intends to run private companies out of business so that you have only one place where you can go to purchase health care: OBAMA. And you will do anything he tells you in order to get that health care.

It’s all about controlling your behavior by taking your money and then restricting your access to services. The end goal is that everyone will have equal life outcomes regardless of how hard they work, and how risky and/or immoral their lifestyle. Democrats do not trust you to keep the money you earn, and to spend your money on the things that you want. They think government knows best.

In his book “Freedomnomics”, Lott has even more examples of predatory pricing. I recommend that book, especially for the chapter on abortion and crime. Pro-lifers will find the book very useful. It’s important for people to understand that the more involved government gets in the free market, the less liberty we have as consumers.

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