The headline actually came from a sub header on an editorial from Washington Post, the headline on Memeorandum originally read "House Democrats Want to Fund Health Care With an Ill-Advised Surtax on the Rich," but somehow when you click the link, the headline miraculously changed to "The Deep-Pockets Mirage" with a sub header saying "House Democrats would have us believe that the rich can pay for it all."
Guess Wapo couldn't leave the original title because it dared to state the truth of trying to milk the rich of even more money being "ill-advised."
Mr. Obama praised the House bill yesterday without addressing the surtax. A far better way to pay for health care would be to end the tax break for employer-provided health benefits, a subsidy that not only artificially pumps up demand for expensive treatments but also disproportionately benefits upper-income earners. Eliminating or, at least, capping it would be good health-care policy as well as good tax and budget policy. Pretending that "the rich" alone can fund government, let alone the kind of activist government that the president and Congress envision, is bad policy any way you look at it.
The Wall Street Journal points out that small businesses will suffer under the Democrats proposal.
Under the House measure, employers with payrolls exceeding $400,000 a year would have to provide health insurance or pay the 8% penalty. Employers with payrolls between $250,000 and $400,000 a year would pay a smaller penalty, and those less than $250,000 would be exempt. Certain small firms would get tax credits to help buy coverage.
The relatively low thresholds for penalties triggered the sharpest criticism yet from employer groups, who said the burden on small business is too high and doesn't do enough to help them expand insurance coverage.
"This bill costs too much, it covers too few and it has way too much government involvement," said Michelle Dimarob, a lobbyist with the National Federation of Independent Business, the main trade group for small firms. "Small business doesn't want any of those things."
According to 2006 data from the federation, businesses with between five and nine workers, representing about one million employers, had an average payroll of around $375,000 a year. A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only about half of firms with three to nine workers offered health benefits in 2008.
The fact here is that the rich pay the majority of income tax as it is, right now. They fund almost everything and the government seems to think that stealing their hard earned money is the way to pay for the government spending Obama and the Democrats keep proposing and passing.
The chart at the top of the page says it all.
You can read America's Affordable Health Choices Act: Complete Bill Text (HR 3200) (PDF file) for yourself.
One has to wonder how long it will be before the rich say enough is enough and move their money offshore, quit spending and say the hell with the rest of us.
Who will be our John Galt?