November 1, 2019

$52 Trillion for Medicare for All?

Elizabeth Warren raises the stakes in her bidding war with socialist Bernie Sanders.

Elizabeth Warren’s much-ballyhooed plan to implement Medicare for All has been released, and it’s a doozy. The estimated cost comes in at “just under $52 trillion” over the next 10 years. Yeah, read that again. All the while, Warren repeats her tired refrain, “We don’t need to raise taxes on the middle class by one penny.” And we have oceanfront property in Arizona for sale.

Suddenly, Bernie Sanders’s version of Medicare for All is a comparative bargain, whether at the initially estimated $32 trillion or his later figure of $40 trillion.

“When fully implemented,” Warren says, “my approach to Medicare for All would mark one of the greatest federal expansions of middle class wealth in our history. And if Medicare for All can be financed without any new taxes on the middle class, and instead by asking giant corporations, the wealthy, and the well-connected to pay their fair share, that’s exactly what we should do.”

When the top 1% already pays the lion’s share of income taxes while the bottom half pays roughly nothing beyond payroll taxes, what exactly does “fair share” mean?

Fox News explains, “The campaign’s detailed Medicare-for-all proposal … insists that the costs can be covered by a combination of existing federal and state spending on Medicare and Medicaid, as well as roughly $20 trillion in taxes on employers, financial transactions, the ultra-wealthy, large corporations and more. This includes what is essentially a payroll tax increase on employers, something economists generally say can hit workers in the form of reduced wages.”

Ah, there it is — tax increases for the middle class. Warren has finagled the numbers to avoid an income tax increase for the middle class, while disguising the real cost in the payroll tax. Those taxes are technically split between employer and employee, though even the leftist Tax Policy Center acknowledges the economic reality of reduced wages: The “employee bears the burden of both the employer and employee portions of payroll taxes.”

Just Tuesday, we added up Warren’s “freebies,” concluding her plans would cost $4.2 trillion on top of the current federal budget of $4.75 trillion. But her new Medicare numbers blow that out of the water, as that alone would add $5.2 trillion per year.

Did we mention that even she admits her healthcare plan could kill two million jobs? We suppose the middle class won’t pay higher taxes if they’re not earning a paycheck.

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