When Sen. Elizabeth Warren finally said how she intends to pay for her “Medicare-for-All,” plan, claiming that the trillions of dollars it would cost would be paid for by a tax increase that would only affect “billionaires,” it was met with quite a bit of skepticism.
Even the usually left-leaning comedians on Saturday Night Live spun her pledge not to “raise taxes on the middle class by one penny” as a promise to raise middle-class taxes by “several trillion pennies.”
But, to get serious for a minute, is there any feasible way that Warren’s and other Democrat’s so-called “Medicare-for-All” plans can be funded?
The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) recently released a report outlining how our country could come up with those “several trillion pennies.” $30 trillion is the conservative number to pay for Medicare-for-All. Some have said that Warren’s plan as released, will cost over $50 trillion. The options for the government coming up with that kind of money are alarming — and have the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell of garnering the support of the public.
For example, the federal government could gin up $30 trillion over a decade by reducing all non-health spending by 80%. That’s absurd. An 80% cut to the military, for example, would require reducing the number of soldiers and officers from 1.3 million to just 270,000. The average new Social Security benefit would drop from $18,000 annually to just $3,600 a year.
The CRFB also took a look at what kind of taxes would be required to raise $30 trillion. One idea is a new 32% payroll tax on top of the existing 15.3% payroll tax. The result would be a total tax rate of over 47% on just about every dollar of wage income in this country. Middle-class workers ultimately pay these payroll taxes in the form of lower wages.
The government could also more than double all individual and corporate income tax rates. That would make U.S. corporate tax rates the highest among developed nations. Alternatively, the government could allow the national debt to double, to reach 205% of the economy — five times the historic average.
As far as that “raising the taxes of only billionaires” that was a flat out lie by Warren. Her own published plan clearly indicates taxes will be raised directly on at least 1.4 million people and indirectly on the rest of us.
There are only 607 billionaires in the entire United States today, so somewhere along the line, she misplaced tax increases for over a million of the rest of us.