To The Daily Sun,
People are struggling to make ends meet across this country. I pointed that out in my previous letter (https://www.laconiadailysun.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/dependent-people-become-dysfunctional-and-desperate/article_2a148556-a271-11e9-bb3b-e39c37c9c8ac.html), which calculated that about two-thirds of working age Americans pay little or no income taxes. It’s not terrible that they don’t pay taxes but rather that they don’t earn enough to be required to pay income taxes. Has anyone looked at why that’s so? I have and it is my belief that it’s due primarily to taxes. There are three types of taxes government levies on its citizens. They are “progressive,” “proportional” and “regressive” (https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/042415/what-are-differences-between-regressive-proportional-and-progressive-taxes.asp). Income taxes are a progressive tax. The more someone earns the more they pay percentage-wise in taxes.
Payroll taxes (SSI and Medicare) are “proportional,” where everyone is taxed at the same rate. The fact that someone making $100,000 per year pays four times as much as someone making $25,000 does not change the fact that both are paying the same percentage of their income.
“Regressive” taxes negatively affect low income earners. Property taxes is a good example. In N.H. the average is 2.19 percent, so anyone owning a modest $200,000 home will pay $4,380 per year. If you make $100,000 per year, that is 4.38 percent of your income. If you make $25,000 it’s 17.5 percent of your income. Other “regressive” taxes include car registration and excise tax on your cars value. We don’t have a sales tax on goods in N.H. but most states do and they range up to 7 percent. I was surprised to see many states even have local taxes of up to 9 percent on top of that. The blue (Democratic) states tend to be on the upper end of those ranges. Gasoline and diesel fuel are both taxed at about $.60 per gallon. There are other taxes both federal and state but those are the major ones.
All those taxes combined pale, however, to the health care “tax.” Obamacare effectively wiped out the inexpensive catastrophic health care options that many lower wage earners relied on. I had one when I worked as a private contractor and a family plan cost under $2,000 per year in 2007. Now the average individual plan cost $5,280 and a family plan is $14,000 (https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/resources/uncategorized/much-obamacare-cost-2018). As a result, many healthy low and middle-income workers go without health insurance because they can’t afford them and don’t qualify for subsidies.
To understand health care costs, open the “NHE historical and projections 1960-2027” excel spread sheet at (https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/NationalHealthAccountsProjected.html). There is a wealth of information delineating how the $3,647 billion cost of health care in 2018 was paid. For those that don’t have access to the internet or Excel the summary in order of largest to smallest contributors are private insurance at $1,238 billion, Medicare are $747 billion, Medicaid at $595 billion, Other third party at $547 billion, out of pocket at $379 billion and other at $141 billion. 100 percent of the $3,647 billion was picked up by private industry or the American taxpayer and it is “regressive,” which means the lower your income the higher percentage of your income needed.
In 2010 when Obamacare was passed, the total cost of health care was $2,599 billion and 135,000,000 filed income tax returns for a cost per taxpayer of $19,252 each. In 2018 the total cost of health care was $3,647 billion and 141,000,000 filed income tax returns for a cost per tax payer of $25,865 each for an increase of approximately 26 percent. How many among us has seen an increase in pay of that much? This is the reality the left never wants to talk about and why they never use numbers to justify Obamacare. For the two-thirds of Americans who pay little or no taxes it’s a non-issue; however, for those in the middle-income bracket health care costs are a driver in why they can’t get ahead. Those that had private insurance before the enactment of Obamacare have probably seen the 26 percent increase and more. The real problem; however, is what’s not getting paid for in additional taxes or insurance premiums is getting paid for by increasing the national debt.
I’ll close this letter by stating the purpose. Numbers matter! Obamacare was “sold” to the American taxpayers with the promise it would save the average family $2,500 per year. It has accomplished the exact opposite. I see red flags every time I hear Democrats promise free stuff because the American workers will always pick up the tab or the national debt will increase. Neither is good!