Monthly Archives: March 2010

Obamacare’s Bracket Creep

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Let me try to make this short and sweet; that very phrase must surprise all you within a closer circle of trust, those subject to my ramblings in the wake of Obamacare, the single greatest step towards state control in American history.  The good news is, American has been closer to socialism before under FDR, who moved slower and more incrementally in getting us there.  The bad news is, Obamacare did more to get us there quicker than any we’ve seen before, with unprecedented restrictions upon the individual, in one massive reconciliation package.

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So, here’s to your health - paid for by the American taxpayer.

There is much to say about Obamacare, but for now, I won’t focus on it in its entirety; I’ve written enough on it already, and I stand by every word I have already said.  So with little regard toward the actual impact of their legislation, the Democrats passed their key piece in their social agenda.  Part of me refuses to believe it actually happened, but it did.

For the Left, it is equally unfathomable that opposition to their legislation remains fermented.  The Democrats cannot understand the billion dollar write-downs of corporations such as AT&T and Caterpillar, and John Deere.  All said, the bill may cut $14 billion from corporate profits, in the words of Speaker Pelosi, “Jobs, jobs, jobs, and more jobs,” notwithstanding.  While piecemeal destruction of the private sector may indeed be their intention, who will pay for these cuts in profits?  That’s right, the individuals; the employees.  Echoing what 17th Century British philosopher Jeremy Bentham once said, “It is vain to talk the interest of the community, without understanding what is the interest of the individual.”

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But I digress.  I promised short and sweet, so I’d like to point out how (some of) this bill will (theoretically) be paid for, by utilizing a deliberate form of fiscal drag known as “Bracket Creep.”  Allow me to explain.

As you know, Obamacare will subsidize Health Care for families who cannot afford it, commonly referred to as “the poor.”  The new standard of “poor” (a deliberate phrase, for you econonerds) is “four times the poverty level,” or $88,200 for a family of four.  The “poverty level,” as you know, is indexed to the Consumer Price Index, as to keep up with inflation.

Obamacare will be (theoretically) paid for with revenue increases, including (theoretical) cuts to Medicare, and taxes.  Among the many taxes (seventeen, total) within Obamacare, the ”Hospital Insurance Tax” of Section 9015 levies an excise tax on income and investments of “High Income Taxpayers,” defined as an individual making more that $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers) a year in Adjusted Gross Income; that is, the proverbial “rich.”

So let’s recap:  $88,200 is the new poor, and $250,000 is the new rich…  this year.  You see, as the dollar is devalued and inflation kicks in, the standard of poor will rise, while the standard of rich stays the same.  The new rich are ”the rich” today, “the rich” tomorrow, and “the rich” forever.  This is not speculative; this is statutory language, signed into law last week.

Do you see what’s happening here?  More and more people will enter the “High Income” tax bracket, acquiescing their income to government, with more and more people receiving a subsidy for Health Care.  This is a form of Bracket Creep, which occurs when middle income levels move into higher tax brackets as income rises with inflation.  Scoff, you may – Obama’s strengthening the middle class, right?  Yeah, and it’s been done before; Cuba, for instance, only has two classes:  the Middle and the Bureaucrat.  And, as Michael Moore told you, Cuba also has universal Health Care.  Little wonder Obamacare garnered the endorsement of none other than Fidel Castro: It’s a “miracle!”

And so goes the American empire; it sure was a good run.  Really?  Well, with no one left to pull the cart, how can it move?  As Josh Fisher of Bloomberg News puts it,  “With easy access to abundant government handouts, it’s no wonder so many jobless people have stopped looking for work.”  He blames our swollen entitlement programs for the impending “meltdown ahead,” following in the footsteps of the Roman Empire.

“Oh, come on!” you may say.   As long as there is no inflation, nobody will “creep” into the “High Income” tax brackets, right?  Oh, wait…  Record increases to the money base (to pay for handouts) will result in record inflation, which will result in higher taxes on the middle class.  It’s just a matter of time.  Increasing dependence accelerates the United States down the same plank from which Greece just walked.  Which, if you ask me, was precisely the point.

Who cares, though?  Not my generation; no, sir.  I mean, get a grip, Travis!  Even if it is the law of the land, who will actually police our health care taxes and penalties?  The IRS?  Surely you jest!  Oh, wait

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In a 2008 Rolling Stone interview, then-candidate Barack Obama answered the question “Three books that really inspired you” with the following:  “Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, the tragedies of William Shakespeare and probably Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

So, in reference to the reference of the reference, I’ll close with the following; John Donne’s Meditation XVII, 1624:

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.  If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were:  any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

It tolls for thee.  The 2010 (and 2012) elections are right around the corner.  We are not Cuba yet.  There is hope for our country.  It starts with repeal of Obamacare.  That hope is found in the voting booth.

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Filed under Health, News
Mar 31, 2010

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