President Obama's healthcare speech to the Democratic Caucus, before the Sunday vote on the healthcare bill, was made up of statements about the bill that really amounted to a set of motherhood and apple pie assertions:
- Everyone would be covered by health insurance;
- Pre-existing conditions would be covered;
- No lifetime cap on medical care;
- Small businesses would be given a tax incentive to provide health insurance;
- Special exchanges set up to allow people and small businesses to purchase health insurance at a lower cost;
- $1 trillion in deficit savings over 20 years;
- Everyone with health insurance would keep it at no increased cost.
If this was indeed the crux of the bill, everyone in Congress would have voted for it and the text of the bill would have constituted about 50 pages.
The other 2,700 pages were apparently needed to show how to get $95 billion a year from those among us the current congressional leadership doesn't like and from some questionable savings from Medicare.
There is an alternative!
A 1 percent tax on the $4.32 trillion of retail sales in the U.S. each year.
According to the Census Bureau, this would be enough to cover the total cost of the healthcare bill as estimated by the CBO. Yes, this would even give us at least $1 trillion savings on the deficit inside the next 20 years, and it would be inflation proof.
Such a tax is about equal to the error in estimating the CPI on an annual basis. It would be almost unnoticeable, and there would be no need to heap the burden of this taxation on the 5 percent of the population who are already paying 80 percent of the taxes and upon whom all of us depend in order to get out of this job-killing recession.
~ Joe Maskrey,