Friday, November 20, 2009

Another Saturday Night Vote?

Under the cover of darkness they're going to vote to proceed on this monstrosity in the Senate.

Appropriate, since if people saw the bill for what it is, it wouldn't have the meager support it currently enjoys. One wonders why the AP assigned two reporters to fact check this stuff, while Sarah Palin's book got eleven?

Grace-Marie Turner write for National Review on the Reid plan:

The 2,074-page health reform bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled last night is a maze of complexity and duplicity. It spends $848 billion over ten years to provide new subsidies for health coverage, increases taxes by $486 billion, and allegedly cuts spending by $491 billion. Yet it still leaves 24 million people without insurance.

The new taxes never will be enough to pay for Reid's reform plan because Congress does not have the will to make the cuts to Medicare and Medicaid he uses to bring down the bill's advertised cost.

What's that? It's going to cost more and 24 million are still uninsured?

Even worse, at this moment, is the job-killing aspect of the plan.

Job-killing taxes on employers: Employers will be faced with new penalties and taxes, especially if they hire workers who qualify for any of the new federal subsidies for health insurance. According to the Congressional Budget Office, "Firms with more than 50 workers that did not offer coverage would have to pay a penalty of $750 for each full-time worker if any of their workers obtained subsidized coverage through the insurance exchanges."

Expect to see more part-time hires. Or no hires.

And then there are the taxes. OH, there are the taxes. On "the rich", for now. But the taxes are not indexed for inflation, so expect yourself to be considered rich in the near future. More from NRO:

Then there are the tax increases. CBO gives Senator Reid credit for cutting the budget deficit in a second decade, but that’s not because the plan would do anything to slow the pace of rising health-care costs. It wouldn’t do much of anything in that regard. What it would do is impose massive tax increases, in part by resorting to the same kind of discredited “bracket creep” so despised by the public in the 1970s. At that time, the thresholds separating the various income-tax brackets were not indexed for inflation, which meant that every year many people paid taxes at a higher rate simply because inflation had boosted their wages. Of course, many in Congress liked it that way because it meant a tax increase without the nuisance of a politically unpopular vote. Senator Reid and his Democratic colleagues are trying to pull off the same trick now. They are proposing two tax increases which would hit America’s middle class increasingly hard over time because the dollar thresholds used to assess the tax are not indexed to full inflation. The first, the 40 percent excise tax on high-cost insurance plans, would apply initially only to family policies exceeding $23,500 in annual premiums and individual plans with premiums exceeding $8,500. Those thresholds would increase by general inflation plus one percentage point each year, but that would be still below the rate of expected medical inflation. Consequently, more and more middle-class families would find themselves bumping into the premium thresholds as time passed.

The same trick is being used on the payroll tax, 2.9 is increased to 3.4 on those making more than $200,000 a year. As more and more hit that $200,000, they join the ranks of the "rich" as that income increasingly become "middle class."