Saturday, January 20, 2007

Preznut Proposes Tax Increase On Middle and Working Classes

If you have employee-provided health care coverage, Preznut Bush wants to tax you for it. He says the tax money raised from the tax increases on middle and working class people will go for providing health care coverage for people without it:

The basic concept is that employer-provided health insurance, now treated as a fringe benefit exempt from taxation, would no longer be entirely tax-free. Workers could be taxed if their coverage exceeded limits set by the government. But the government would also offer a new tax deduction for people buying health insurance on their own.

There you have it - the preznut who cut capital gains and dividend taxes, cut taxes for corporations, provided tax relief to oil, energy, and drug companies and still wants to cut the estate tax for multi-billionaires and multi-zillionaires wants to raise taxes on middle and working class people who are lucky enough to have employer-provided health insurance (or who have sought jobs that provide employer-provided health insurance.)

Let's see how far this proposal goes.

Do you think the Republicans in Congress who got hammered in 2006 over the Iraq war and the inequity of the economy are going to embrace a tax increase on middle and working class Americans who have employer-provided health insurance plans?

I'm going to bet not.

I'm going to bet Dems will be opposed to this proposal as well.

Labor unions obviously will oppose it.

Business groups are likely to oppose it too:

“This is a classic case of robbing Peter to help Paul pay for coverage,” said E. Neil Trautwein, a vice president of the National Retail Federation, which represents retailers of all sizes. “I do not think the president will find many backers in the employer community for this proposal.”

In trying to address the problems of the uninsured, Mr. Trautwein said, “we should not start by endangering coverage for people who already have it.”

I'm going to bet the plan will be dead on arrival Tuesday night.

Like with Bush's Social Security plan (and with just everything else these assholes in the White House touch), the Bush-proposed "solution" to the health insurance problem makes things worse, not better.

Heckuva job, Bushie. Heckuva job.

This isn't the dumbest thing he's ever proposed (that would be privatizing Social Security), but it's right up there.

What is this man thinking? Aren't people having a hard enough time as it is paying for health care?
I'm w/ you on this, abi. I just don't understand even the politics behind it. Exactly who is going to support this proposal if the Dems are totally against it, the unions are against it, the business people are against it, and Repubs are worried about looking like they're screwing middle and working class people?
Perhaps, in losing this one, he wants to show that his opponents are unwilling to make sacrifices. But I can't honestly see how anyone is gonna spin it that way, even O'Reilly. Or maybe they want to allow the Republican legislators to oppose it to give the impression they actually care about working people.

Maybe they want more people to view health insurance as a liability so they won't want to be provided with it. It's really outlandish.

There has to be some reason for it. But after having given away the surplus largely to ease Steve Forbes' tax bill, I don't know who they're expecting to fool.
Leave it to you math wizards to get the tax angle wrong when it comes to health insurance.

The NY Times article states there are 175 million Americans with employer-sponsored healthcare plans and 27 million who have arranged their own healthcare insurance coverage.

The article states the average cost of healthcare is $11,500 per family.

Thus, the 175 million employer-insured individuals enjoy a tax benefit withheld from the 27 million who buy their own health policies.

By what rationale is health insurance different from life insurance, car insurance or homeowner's insurance?

Everyone who's ever evaluated an insurance plan to be paid for out of one's own pocket knows that decisions must be made about how much coverage to buy and how much it will cost.

But such fiscal restraint is never applied to company-sponsored healthcare plans.

However, if employees were spending after-tax dollars for their health plans, they'd want to know where every dollar was going and what they would get for it.

In other words, consumers would tailor their policies to their needs. By that process, they would spend less as a result.

The Bush plan offers deductibility to those who buy their own policies and it levies a tax on those whose companies give them gold-plated health coverage.

In other words, the guys at Goldman Sachs would receive a tax bill along with their generous corporate health benefits, and the guy who drives his pick-up truck to his job at the construction site where he's pounding nails for an hourly wage and no benefits will see his out-of-pocket expenses decline.

In other words, the handful of wealthy guys at Goldman pick up some of the bill for the thousands of guys who feel the pain of health insurance payments.
NYC, they haven't provided much in the way of details on the program. I guess we'll get details tomorrow during the SOTU. But maybe not. These guys are so fucked up lately. They used to be really disciplined w/ their leaks and message. Now shit leaks out of the admin all the time and then other stuff either leaks out or is officially released that contradicts what first leaked. So who knows what they're thinking? Part of me suspects they're just looking for network time killers so that the speech actually makes it to an hour.
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