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Letters to the Editor

Sick of ‘solution’

January 30, 2007

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To the editor:

Once again George Bush finds a way to hurt the working and middle class, with the spin that he's helping them. Look at his "solution" to health care. Bush proposes a $15,000 tax deduction to offset the cost of health insurance.

What he really means is raising the standard deduction from the current $10,300, an actual increase of only $4,700. In a 25 percent tax bracket, the actual tax savings is only $1,175.

Will $1,175 buy a family policy? I know my family policy costs $11,184 annually, so I'm still short about 10 grand.

I am fortunate enough to buy my family policy through my employer, and, thus, with pre-tax income. Bush's proposal, however, would change that. Again at 25 percent tax, I would pay an additional $2,796 in taxes - more than double my tax "savings" from the increased standard deduction. Bottom line: Bush wants to raise my taxes by $1,621 and have me believe he's helping me afford health care.

Mark Twain once said, "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." Either case makes me sick. If only I could afford a doctor.

David Reber,

Lawrence

Comments

Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

While the Presidential proposal isn't very impressive, this author seems to lack an understanding of income taxation, pay & benefits and just what is (and is not) proposed.

The proposal is not to increase the standard deduction but rather to create a deduction for family returns of up to $15k. One is free to add in any other deductions.

In other words, up to the first $15k of health insurance cost is "tax free" income. That's roughly eighty percent of workers.

(Beware the 50 year old, unionized auto worker who receives more than $15k in health benefits. He/she will pay taxes on the excess.)

imastinker 7 years, 10 months ago

James -

I agree. This definitely does help the working person. It may not be as much as some want, but it does help.

Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

Well it helps some. It also penalizes those who have "too much" health care.

It doesn't: 1. help bridge the gap between the poor on Medicaid and those who can, with this tax help, barely afford insurance. 2. it doesn't eliminate the free-riders who could but don't pay for insurance but expect everyone to provide 'emergency(room) insurance' if they gamble wrong. 3. it doesn't constrain costs, which are double any other country. 4. it doesn't improve delivery or quality of health services. 5. it doesn't sever the anchor of employment to insurance coverage. 6. it doesn't put one ounce of control in individual's hands as consumers of health care.

Most important of all, as the Heritage Foundation points out just this week, tax revenues to the government are running well-ahead of their historical average. The Bush Administration and Congress need - more than anything else - to put their fiscal 'house' in order, by reforming entitlements, ending corporate welfare, and eliminating all farm subsidies. That's the foundation the will allow real progress to be made on health care.

All just part of the incredible shrinking Bush legacy. In this instance, a tax-increase on middle class workers. Thanks, Mr. "Conservative".

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