Tag Archives: Medicare for All

Democrat Congresswoman calls for 70% tax rate to fund complete overhaul of energy production and usage

Cost of renewable wind and solar energy
Cost of renewable wind and solar energy

A top Democrat Congresswoman has announced her plan to convert all American businesses and individuals away from low-cost energy production (natural gas, etc.) to high-cost “green” energy sources.  The new government spending will require a tax rate of 70%, which means you (or your employer) will be taking home 30% of what they work for. Let’s look at the consequences of this plan.

Here is the report from Daily Signal:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is ready to tax the rich to make her Green New Deal a reality.

“People are going to have to start paying their fair share in taxes,” the recently elected New York Democrat told TV show “60 Minutes” in an interview set to air Sunday.

Speaking of prior decades’ taxation rates in the country, Ocasio-Cortez added, “Once you get to the tippy tops, on your 10 millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent.”

What is this money for? To convert all existing energy production away from low-cost energy sources:

Among its goals are meeting “100 percent of national power” demand through renewable sources, retrofitting “every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort, and safety,” and eliminating “greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing, agricultural, and other industries.”

Those changes are going to come with real costs. According to an editorial for Investor’s Business Daily, moving the economy away from fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy will come “at a cost of about $5.2 trillion over 20 years.”

You’ll be paying more for energy usage. And what’s more, your EMPLOYER will be paying more for energy usage, which means that a lot of people will be losing their jobs in order to make ends meet.

Even if we’re willing to shoulder the costs, it’s, well, impossible to achieve.

“Producing 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources is a practical impossibility in the near future,” stated a report issued by the Senate Republican Policy Committee in December.

Keep in mind that Ocasio-Cortez also wants to spend another $32 trillion over 10 years nationalizing the health care industry and turning it into an expensive single payer scheme. In Canada, single payer health care costs the average family about $11,000 in taxes, and they get inferior health care (long wait times, lower success rates for cancer / disease treatments, etc.). In 2018, the entire federal budget was $4 trillion. Adding $3.2 trillion (for single payer health care) and $0.52 trillion (for green energy total makeover) will DOUBLE the current budget, and give us $5 trillion dollar annual deficits. The entire national debt is currently $22 trillion, and we’d be adding $5 trillion per year to it. Interest payments on the debt would quickly take over the budget, blocking out all other spending.

Three points

I want to make three points about this.

First, even if we take every penny from “the tippy top” producers in America, we can’t afford a fraction of what all these big government programs will cost. In 2011, the Tax Foundation explained that even if you taxed ALL THE INCOME from all the people who make $200,000 or more, you would only raise $1.53 trillion dollars. We have to come up with $5 trillion annually to cover all this spending.

In any case, the rich are already paying “their fair share of taxes”:

The highest earners already pay the most taxes
The highest earners already pay the most taxes

Half the country doesn’t pay income tax at all, and that’s only going to increase because Democrats keep importing uneducated, unskilled immigrants.

Secondly, raising the tax rates does not guarantee that you will get more money from the people you are taxing. The same person who works 70-hour weeks in order to keep 70% of the $200,000 they earn will not work as hard if you only let them keep 30% of the $200,000 they earn. What will they do instead? Well, they can leave the country. They can hide their income by moving into the underground economy. They can downsize their business by laying off young, inexperienced workers. But most likely, they will just take a break, and reduce the amount of hours, so that they work normal hours in an easy job.

Raising tax rates just causes people to work less and pay less
Raising tax rates just causes people to work less and pay less

Democrats are the party of slavery, so they think that they can enslave people and those people will keep working. It’s not true. People are not slaves, and if you take most of what they earn, they they will stop working. I would personally quit my job and scale down to a regular job if someone raised my taxes over the 30% I pay right now.

Third, U.S. emissions already way down under Trump, because one of the first things he did was deregulate the energy industry, setting them free to innovate. Surprise! If the American people decides that pollution is a problem, then private sector businesses are going to have to solve that problem, since they can only profit by pleasing their customers. The American energy businesses were able to come up with innovative drilling techniques to extract natural gas, with virtually zero impact on the environment.

The Washington Times explains:

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 2.7 percent last year, the first year of the Trump presidency, even as the administration slashed environmental regulations and global emissions continued to climb.

The United States has cut carbon emissions more than any other country on the planet, despite not taking part in socialist climate accords:

Carbon emissions have declined more than any other country
United states carbon emissions have declined more than any other country

The problem with Democrat like Ocasio-Cortez is that don’t see how allowing businesses to innovate can lead to solutions to problems like carbon emissions. And that’s because they don’t have any serious experience in the private sector solving problems for customers in exchange for their money.

I hope everyone understands that the truth about Ocasio-Cortez is very different from the image that she portrays. She likes to present herself as “Alex from the Bronx”. But the truth is that she grew up in Yorktown Heights, which is over 80% white, with an average household income of $116,741 a year. Her father was an architect and partner in an architecture firm. She attended the prestigious Boston University, which currently charges $70,000 a year for tuition. She interned with former Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy. And the reason she likes socialism is because she failed to get a job in the field she was educated in. She was working as a bartender until age 29. She spent a quarter million on her education, and didn’t use it. And that spectacular failure of a woman is now deciding how the earnings of people far more educated and successful than she is will be spent. I want nothing to do with her.

Canadian hospital denies man’s requests for assisted care, offers him euthanasia instead

Killing patients is an easy way to keep costs down
How much does “free” health care cost in Canada’s single-payer system?

On this blog, I’ve been consistently opposed to government intervention in health care. I arrived at this position by looking at how health care works in government-run systems like the UK’s NHS and Canada’s single-payer health care system. We’ve already discussed how NHS hospitals were paid bonuses if they got more patients to die. Now Canada is doing it.

This story is from the far-left CTV News, one of Canada’s national television news providers.

Excerpt:

An Ontario man suffering from an incurable neurological disease has provided CTV News with audio recordings that he says are proof that hospital staff offered him medically assisted death, despite his repeated requests to live at home.

Roger Foley, 42, who earlier this year launched a landmark lawsuit against a London hospital, several health agencies, the Ontario government and the federal government, alleges that health officials will not provide him with an assisted home care team of his choosing, instead offering, among other things, medically assisted death.

Foley suffers from cerebellar ataxia, a brain disorder that limits his ability to move his arms and legs, and prevents him from independently performing daily tasks.

In his lawsuit, Foley claims that a government-selected home care provider had previously left him in ill health with injuries and food poisoning. He claims that he has been denied the right to self-directed care, which allows certain patients to take a central role in planning and receiving personal and medical services from the comfort of their own homes.

[…]He is now sharing audio recordings of separate conversations he had with two health care workers at London Health Sciences Centre, where he has been stuck in a hospital bed for more than two years.

In one audio recording from September 2017, Foley is heard speaking to a man about what he has described as attempts at a “forced discharge,” with threats of a hefty hospital bill.

When Foley asks the man how much he’d have to pay to remain in hospital, the man replies, “I don’t know what the exact number is, but it is north of $1,500 a day.”

[…]“Roger, this is not my show,” the man replies. “I told you my piece of this was to talk to you about if you had interest in assisted dying.”

In a separate audio recording from January 2018, another man is heard asking Foley how he’s doing and whether he feels like he wants to harm himself.

Foley tells the man that he’s “always thinking I want to end my life” because of the way he’s being treated at the hospital and because his requests for self-directed care have been denied.

The man is then heard telling Foley that he can “just apply to get an assisted, if you want to end your life, like you know what I mean?”

And how has the government responded to the audio recordings? The same way you would expect any government to respond – with silence:

“I have not received the care that I need to relieve my suffering and have only been offered assisted dying.  I have many severe disabilities and I am fully dependent. With the remaining time I have left, I want to live with dignity and live as independently as possible.”

Lawyers for the hospital were sent the audio excerpts on July 19.  Foley and his lawyer have not received a response.

CTV News also asked the hospital for a statement. The hospital has not responded.

This isn’t the customer service that you would get in a capitalist free market where private sector businesses have to compete on price and quality for your dollars. This is single-payer health care. They have your money already, and they know that you can’t go anywhere else, except to leave the country. The response of the government-run health care system to requests for better care is “go kill yourself, we already have your money”.

And a lot of patients in Canada are being killed.

Wesley J. Smith explains:

Canadian doctors and nurse practitioners have reported that they have killed almost 4,000 (3,714) patients since euthanasia was legalized in Quebec in December 2015 — after which it was legalized throughout the country by Supreme Court fiat — an act of judicial hubris quickly formalized by Parliament.

Nearly 2,000 were killed in 2017, not including a few territories that did not report figures and assuming all euthanasia deaths were reported. All but one of these deaths resulted from a lethal jab — homicide — at the patients’ request.

[…]Note that as is the usual case, the number of doctor-facilitated deaths has increased steadily since legalization. For example, there were more than 200 more such deaths in the last six months of last year than the first.

The recordings help to explain what the phrase “at the patients’ request” really means.

Previously, I blogged about how the lack of money for palliative care is behind Canada’s push to “suggest” euthanasia to patients who ask for better palliative care. Again, what leverage do you have if you already paid them your money in taxes? You have no leverage, and they know that.

This is what happens when government taxes people when they are well, and then decides later who to give health care to, based on the politicians deciding whose votes to buy. Naturally, the young people with less problems are given “health care”, e.g. – contraceptives. abortions, sex changes, IVF, breast enlargements – because they have lots of voting ahead of them. The older people get asked to kill themselves for the good of those running this vote-buying operation.

New study: “Medicare For All” would cost $32.6 trillion, but it’s actually more

A Christian friend of mine who is divorced with children surprised me by telling me that she favored single payer health-care. I asked her if she realized that people would have to be taxed to pay for all this free health care, and she seemed to be aware of it. But even I didn’t realize how much it would really cost.

Investor’s Business Daily reports on a couple of recent studies – one from the left, and one from the far-left – that both agreed on the price tag for universal health care.

Excerpt:

Last year, 16 Senators, including three presidential hopefuls, co-sponsored Sanders’ “Medicare for all” bill. And earlier this month, more than 70 Democrats signed on to form a “Medicare for all” caucus. Support for the bill is now something of a litmus test for Democratic hopefuls.

Do they have any idea what they’re endorsing?

A new study out Monday from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center finds that Sanders plan would add to federal spending in its first 10 years, with costs steadily rising from there. That closely matches other studies — including one by the liberal Urban Institute — that looked at Sanders’ plan.

To put this in perspective, “Medicare for all” would the size of the already bloated federal government. Doubling corporate and individual income taxes wouldn’t cover the costs.

Even this is wildly optimistic. To get to this number, author Charles Blahous had to make several completely unrealistic assumptions about savings under Sanders’ hugely disruptive plan.

The first is a massive cut in payments to providers. Sanders wants to apply Medicare’s below-market rates across the board, which would amount to a roughly 40% cut in payments to doctors and hospitals. Blahous figures this will save hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

But cuts of that magnitude would drive doctors out of medicine and hospitals out of business, since the only way providers can afford Medicare’s cut-rate reimbursements today is by charging private payers more.

The study also assumes that shoving everyone into a government health care plan would cut administrative costs by $1.6 trillion over the next decade and prescription drug costs by $846 billion. Neither of those are likely, and wouldn’t make much of a difference in overall spending anyway. Private insurance overhead accounts for about 6% of national health spending, and drugs less than 10%.

There’s also the fact that every other federal health program has seen costs explode “unexpectedly” after they were enacted. The per-enrollee cost of ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, for example, is almost 49% higher than expected. Medicare itself cost nearly 10 times as much as projected in its first 25 years.

The author of the Mercatus study was nominated Barack Obama to be a member of the Board of Trustees of the Social Security Trust Funds. That might explain his questionable assumptions about costs. And the Urban Institute is even further to the left. There can be no doubt that the true cost of the Sanders health care plan would be much higher than what these two studies calculated it to be.

Now, you might think that we can just tax the people who earn the most money to pay for all this spending.

In 2012, John Stossel wrote this in Forbes:

If the IRS grabbed 100 percent of income over $1 million, the take would be just $616 billion.

In 2011, the Tax Foundation explained that even if you taxed ALL THE DISPOSABLE INCOME from all the people who make $200,000 or more, you would only raise $1.53 trillion dollars:

There’s simply not enough wealth in the community of the rich to erase this country’s problems by waving some magic tax wand.

[…]After everyone making more than $200,000/year has paid taxes, the IRS would need to take every single penny of disposable income they have left. Such an act would raise approximately $1.53 trillion. It may be economically ruinous, but at least this proposal would actually solve the problem.

Taxing the rich isn’t enough to pay for single payer health care. $32.6 trillion over 10 years works out to $3.26 trillion per year. We’re not going to pay that off even with $1.53 trillion a year of additional revenue. And this is assuming that the wealthy would just allow themselves to be made into slaves, and keep working even if the government takes all their money.

Pretty soon, our mandatory expenses will consume all of our tax revenues
Pretty soon, our mandatory expenses will consume all of our tax revenues

Who is going to pay for all the spending we already have scheduled? As the graph above shows, things are going to get worse in the future as the big entitlement programs pay out more than current tax rates take in. I’m sure glad that I’m going to be retiring before 2032, and I’m not going to be stuck with the bill for this. It’s one thing for me to get out of bed every morning to be paid only 75% of what I earn. I certainly wouldn’t want to be working if the tax rates here were more like Europe, so that I’d be taking home less than half of what I earn. No thank you!

By the way, it might be a good idea to think about whether you want to have children or not before you vote. Children are expensive, and if we keep electing the big spenders like Obama, then there isn’t going to be any money left over to run a family and raise kids. Think about it before you vote with your feelings only.