At the close of the Obama administration, the top 50% of income earners paid 97% of the tax revenue collected by the IRS, while the bottom half paid a paltry 3% (the split being at $40,087 adjusted income). The total income tax collected was $1.4 trillion in individual income taxes. I know numbers are boring, but they are important when considering Democrat presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren’s “Medicare for All” platform that the Massachusetts senator hopes will secure her the Democrat nomination.
Warren says her plan will cost a mere $20.5 trillion and that the middle class will not incur a tax increase. Taxpayers will allegedly also enjoy the manifold fruits of her socialized, single-payer healthcare plan at no cost to them. She claims that the revenue to fund this plan will come through military spending cuts, eliminating VA and current Medicare costs by rolling both programs into the new plan combined, of course, with punishing those ‘evil billionaires’ with a staggering income tax increase.
Several questions are starting to surface, however, that may bury her presidential hopes in 2020. Many who are not blindly salivating over the idea of ‘free stuff’ have begun raising questions ranging from the actual cost of the program to the quality of single-payer healthcare. Estimates from places like the Rand Corporation, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and the Urban Institute estimate the additional government spending for Warren’s “Medicare for All” plan will be closer to the $31-$34 trillion range, with recent estimates from the Urban Institute as high as $59 trillion in a ten year span.
Given that the outlay of the federal government was $4.1 trillion in 2018 and the individual income tax collected was $1.7 trillion (total revenue collected was $3.3 trillion), Senator Warren’s promise of shielding the working class from more taxation echoes Obama’s empty promise “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Adding another $2.4 trillion to federal spending (using the $34 trillion/ten year figure less the $1 trillion a year spent on current medical programs) will increase the outlay to $6.5 trillion, effectively broadening the federal deficit to $3.2 trillion.
Figure 1 www.cbo.gov
The shortfall will be taken out of the pockets of the middle class both directly and indirectly, no matter how much Warren tries to persuade voters of the opposite (she recently told Andrea Mitchell that no one who isn’t a billionaire will pay one penny more in tax). If Senator Warren goes after Wall Street to fund her plans, she will be attacking middle class retirement investments and siphoning off dividends that belong to 401k and IRA investors. This means YOU, Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class. Likewise, increasing business tax will mean lower income, fewer full-time jobs, and another recession for workers and small business owners to overcome. Simply put, workers will be on the hook for Warren’s monster regardless.
Senator Warren has also promised to force down medical costs. On the surface, this seems like a great idea, but what costs will actually get reduced? Will doctors accept less pay? Will unionized nurses bow to the Democrats and accept fewer benefits? Will medical supplies, research and development, and lawsuit insurance magically experience a reduction in cost? Highly doubtful on all matters. What will suffer is the quality of healthcare for the individual. Reductions in staff, reductions in the number of qualified doctors, and fewer facilities will add up to longer waits, more misdiagnoses, and a dysfunctional records system. To fix this broken system, the middle class will be called upon in the future to foot the bill ‘for the greater good’.
Senator Warren has a decent chance to win the Democratic presidential primary. A Warren presidency openly threatens Wall Street, big business, and billionaires. But make no mistake, the working class will be attacked just as severely if she is allowed to carry out her “Medicare for All” plan. Whether directly or indirectly, working-class America will pay dearly for her hard-left politics.
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.