Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren released her long-promised plan to fund Medicare for all and, if nothing else, she should be congratulated for thinking big.
Not just big: Gargantuan. Humongous. Mind-boggling.
Those skinflints among us might also use the adjective “grotesque.”
Warren’s plan calls for spending $52 trillion over the next decade. That’s about 50 percent higher than most previous estimates. She would pay for it by creating several new taxes and raising taxes on the wealthy, but swears that she won’t raise taxes on the middle class “by one penny.”
“We don’t need to raise taxes on the middle class by one penny to finance Medicare for All,” Sen. Warren, D-Mass., said in her plan — a copy of which was obtained by Fox News.
Some of Warren’s rivals for the nomination are unlikely to buy that claim, after having repeatedly challenged her assertions that the middle class would not be hit by tax hikes and suggesting she has not been upfront with voters.
The campaign’s detailed Medicare-for-all proposal, however, insists that the costs can be covered by a combination of existing federal and state spending on Medicare and other health care, as well as roughly $20 trillion in taxes on employers, financial transactions, the ultra-wealthy and large corporations and some savings elsewhere. This includes what is essentially a payroll tax increase on employers, something economists generally say can hit workers in the form of reduced wages.
Warren’s “Now you see it now you don’t” funding plan is imaginative. Someone must have dropped some LSD into the drinking water at her headquarters for her staff to have fantasized a plan this breathtaking.
Consider that Warren wants to raise taxes by $2 trillion every year for 10 years. What will happen when the government sucks that much cash out of the economy — cash that should be going into the pockets of businesses and citizens but instead, ends up funding a frightening array of healthcare bureaucracies and bureaucrats?
Among other proposals, Warren calls for bringing in nearly $9 trillion in new Medicare taxes on employers over the next 10 years, arguing this would essentially replace what they’re already paying for employee health insurance. Further, Warren’s campaign says if they are at risk of falling short of the revenue target, they could impose a “Supplemental Employer Medicare Contribution” for big companies with “extremely high executive compensation and stock buyback rates.”
Of course, someone would have to exactly define “extremely high executive compensation.” This will be a constant problem for the “you make too much money” crowd. How do you define resentment? The fanatical socialists who will be administering this plan will try to figure it out while the rich abscond with their billions. I hear Fiji is the hip place to go.
Warren also proposes even more taxes on the ultra-rich, expanding on her previously announced signature wealth tax, to tax more of anyone’s net worth over $1 billion (estimated to raise another $1 trillion). Warren also calls for raising capital gains tax rates for the wealthy, taxing more foreign earnings and imposing a tax on financial transactions to generate $800 billion in revenue.
Aside from those and other taxes, the campaign claims they can scrounge up $2.3 trillion with better tax enforcement and policies, as well as additional funds by reining in defense spending.
Anytime a liberal talks about “scrounging up” $2 trillion, it’s time to hold on to your wallet for dear life and bury the silverware in the backyard.
For anyone interested in just how fantastical an amount $52 trillion is, I can tell you exactly: If you stacked $52 trillion one-dollar bills, one on top of another, the stack would reach from the earth to the moon and back 6.5 times.
Now that’s imagination.