Friday, March 31, 2017

Krauthammer thinks Trump might go for single payer in the end, in which case Americans should get it, good and hard

Think of it as socialism with Republican characteristics.

Krauthammer, here:

Obamacare may turn out to be unworkable, indeed doomed, but it is having a profound effect on the zeitgeist: It is universalizing the idea of universal coverage.

Acceptance of its major premise — that no one be denied health care — is more widespread than ever. Even House Speaker Paul Ryan avers that “our goal is to give every American access to quality, affordable health care,” making universality an essential premise of his own reform. And look at how sensitive and defensive Republicans have been about the possibility of people losing coverage in any Obamacare repeal. ...

As Obamacare continues to unravel, it won’t take much for Democrats to abandon that Rube Goldberg wreckage and go for the simplicity and the universality of Medicare-for-all.

Simplicity? Draco's laws were simple. The penalty for every crime was death.

I wonder if Krauthammer has a clue what he's talking about.

Total Medicare outlays in 2015 came to $632 billion.

Total Medicaid outlays in 2015 came to $552 billion country wide (read the Notes).

Total Social Security and Disability outlays in 2015 came to $897.1 billion.

That is a total of $2.0811 trillion from 2015 total net compensation of $7.4158 trillion, or 28%, without even talking about "universal coverage" yet.

Yet all your typical American pays now for this is 10.63%:

6.2% in Social Security tax and 1.45% for Medicare, plus whatever taxes are paid at the state and local level toward Medicaid, which federal law mandates must account for at least 40% of program revenues. So $221 billion from 160.8 million wage earners across the country in 2015 represents another 2.98% paid by them at the state level.

The status quo therefore is funded only 38% by its beneficiaries, at best. I say "at best" because many beneficiaries pay NOTHING because they don't work and never have. But I digress.

So bring about Krauthammer's revolution, for that is what he's talking about, and reset the table as follows.

Total healthcare outlays in the United States in 2015 came to $3.2 trillion. Add in $897.1 billion for Social Security and Disability, and you now have a "universal" obligation bloated to $4.097 trillion, which represents 55% of net compensation that year.

That's your tax.

You've become France, Germany, Denmark or some other Western European paradise which depends on the United States for its defense.

And that's before even talking about funding the $1.2 trillion part of the federal budget which is discretionary, like defending ourselves against that little fat kid playing with hydrogen bombs in North Korea.

Of course there's another chunk of money out there being made in the United States apart from net compensation, about $8 trillion in 2015. The recipients of this income typically pay the lower capital gains tax rates, not the payroll and income tax rates which are for the chumps.

It's a nice little system which isn't paying its fair share for socialism in the United States, even though it is rich guys who typically shout the loudest on behalf of it. They do this because they know it will keep the little guy down, from whom they don't want the competition some day. But tax that system equally to net compensation and you cut that 55% tax in half, to say 27.5%. That, however, means a big fat tax increase on the rich, and on everybody else. I doubt they'll stand for that any more than they open their checkbooks now to make patriotic voluntary donations to the US Treasury.

We live in a fantasy land where no one wants to pay what it costs for anything.

We think we can have our cake and eat it too.

We want infrastructure spending, and a tax cut dammit.

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