By now it will come as no surprise to anyone that I am an enthusiastic and vocal supporter of Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. But rather than putting up yet another pro-Bernie post, I’d like to put a discussion topic out there for everyone’s consideration.
The estimated combined annual cost of Sanders’ single-payer health care plan and his tuition-free college plan is, by any estimation, substantial. Between the two, it’s about one and a half trillion dollars. (!)
But let’s compare that against current expenditures. The 2015 federal budget, between mandatory and discretionary spending, provides for just over a trillion in Medicare and health spending, and a further fifty billion in tertiary education (college-level) spending.
So we’re already spending 70% of what Sanders is proposing.
Sanders further proposes to levy a tax of “a fraction of a percent” on Wall Street speculation, which he believes would bring in revenue of seventy-five billion. A fraction of a percent doesn’t seem unduly onerous to me, and that gets us to 75% of goal.
What he suggests in order to defray the health care costs are a personal income-based tax of 2.2%, which is substantially less than most households currently pay for insurance, deductibles and the like, and a business tax of 6.2% of the employees’ income – again, substantially lower than what most employers are currently paying to their benefits providers. These two tax increases are estimated to generate eight hundred and thirty billion dollars in revenue.
That brings us to 130% of that goal – fully paid for and then some, and saves money for businesses, workers and students alike into the bargain. That seems pretty good to me, and the benefit of a healthier and better-educated populace seems like an obvious choice at that point.
Sooooo… since I will admit that I am by no means an economist, I would like to see a conversation *WITHOUT partisan rhetoric, please*, in which someone explains to me why this scenario is apparently so undesirable to so many.
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Today you were going to be entertained by a guest post from fellow blogger FrancoBeans. However, prep for this event was trumped by our dealing with Sick Toddler.
Looks sick running around grinning like that , doesn’t he? I can assure you, though, that is a bona fide pediatrician’s exam room in the background.
Poor little guy has an ear infection, and this led to much much screaming both during last night and on waking this morning. We have ear drops and Motrin and antibiotics, though, so hopefully he’ll get a better night tonight.
I’ve also been battling a nasty virus of some description (and D has too), but other than being majorly tired, I seem to be doing better for the most part.
So yeah. There will still be a guest post from FB sometime in the near future. Watch this space! 🙂
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