Now, I know I have no business commenting on health care reform. I haven't been following the debate, I know nothing of the plans or the details, and I have no time to look anything up. But I read today's NY Times story, cheerily titled (in print but not online) "Obama Pushing, But Early Vote on Health Fades" and my heart sank imaging the stories of yet another president whose early swagger was lost to the Republicans --NO I mean demons -- of health care reform.
Deep in the story there's a quote in response to the House plan to raise the income tax threshold Obama suggested to raise money to pay for the plan from $280,000 and over for single earners and $350,000 for couples to $500,000 for single people and $1,000,000 for couples. Eric Toder a tax economist at the Urban Institute is quoted as saying, "I really do not understand the politics of trying to sell health care reform, which is supposed to be for the benefit of the vast majority of Americans, and saying it should be paid for only by people making over $1 million....If it's worth doing, and I think it is, more people should be willing to pay for it."
Now, I would agree that more people than just the rich as defined here should be willing to pay for health care reform. I'm fine with the original income levels, quite frankly. But I'd point out that more people would pay for health care reform simply by paying their taxes. And I'd ask what is the relative percentage of income those making over $500K and $1 million currently pay in taxes to those making less than that? I'd ask that for the lower threshold, too. And I'd bet that couples making over $1 million pay relatively less in taxes, proportionally speaking, than those making significantly lower incomes. Just a guess. A wild guess from a blogger without the time to look up the answer. I'm just guessing.