‘Medicare for All’ Isn’t Sounding So Crazy Anymore

To be able to deliver on its promises, single payer would not only require trillions in new revenue through higher taxes, but also huge cost savings from slashing payments to drug companies, doctors and hospitals. “There are a million and one complexities” to single payer that no one has really dealt with, said Dean Bake

.. Senator Sanders went out of his way to list all the tax hikes he’d use to pay for his 2016 proposal, including an across-the-board 2.2 percent income tax. But two prominent policy analysts said the plan would cost about twice as much as the senator claimed.

.. But many advanced, industrialized democracies with universal coverage don’t have a pure single-payer system. France, for instance, has health care for all that is largely state-financed, but most people also buy private supplemental coverage.

.. Mr. Baker believes the top priority is a credible transition plan. “If you just take everyone with employer-provided insurance and put all of them on a public plan, you’re going to freak people out,” he said. He’s interested in reviving the public option — a government-run plan that would compete with private insurance on the exchanges — as well as opening up Medicare or Medicaid to those who want to buy in.

.. Democrats risk making the same mistake on health care as Republicans: big promises without a plan to follow through.

Magerman: How ‘instant billionaires’ threaten America

In the case of Perelman, it made me want to make the school more Orthodox. Which was not what the school was. … Who am I to come in and say I have the right to own their mission and push them in my direction?… I realized hands-off is better. I can give them scholarship money and do arm’s-length things. ..
.. We have this phenonmenon I call the “Instant Billionaire.” In five or 10 years, a person can go from being a person of above average means, to close to a billionaire.
.. In the past the ultra-wealthy had similar characteristics. There were families that made investments in manufacturing, in transportation, in the infrastructure of this country. … They were partners with the government.  They had a strong investment in the status quo.
But today the instant billionaires [who have made money in intangible businesses — finance, software, liquid investments] have almost no personal investment, no ailgnment, with the status quo. They’re more like lottery winners.  Even if they’ve actually worked quite hard to earn it, they don’t have the same relationship (to American society).
.. A lot of this kind of wealth can go to very idiosyncratic projects. And not necessarily be good.

When you are that wealthy, you can make a platform to drown out everyone else’s voice.
There is I think a similarly large issue: the way people are hoarding wealth is starving out the rest of us.
.. But when you have a trading company or a hedge fund, you have a few dozen key employees at most. Your have desks, computers, tech infrastructure. You put money in. You get it back as profits.

You don’t have a lot of employees. You don’t share the profits. There’s no one involved other than a few other rich white people. You are pulling money out of the economy.
.. A lot of people blanch at a 90 percent tax rate. But I think, if you make millions of dollars a year, do you think being taxed at 90 percent above that level will affect how you do your work?

It would cause you to invest more of your earnings back in. You might take you that money and pay your people more. You might enhance your facilities.
.. As things stand, there’s no disincentive for people in my industry to take every dime as profit. People want maximum leverage. They want to take everything out so they can get whatever luxuries they buy. Or other investments …
I know, economic life is not a zero-sum game. But I see the damage done when an industry that’s supposed to be just a service industry, finance, becomes 34 percent of the economy, putting a lot of wealth into a few people’s hands.
.. I tried doing angel investing. Which I was a disaster at. I’m too generous in my valuations. People can snow me easily.
.. It isn’t anything by itself. It’s a virtual machine, that does things. It doesn’t have a lot of customers.
.. I was offering software to grammatically analyze text. I did it in grad school. It was the most useless field, it was never going to amount to anything. But I did it really well.
.. The thing that drove me was, being in a lower-middle-class environment, I wanted better. I was driven. I was frugal. I was hyper-focused on education and reaching higher.
.. I get the most constructive growth when I’ve done something wrong. It’s not usually presented to me in the nicest way. But I get a lot of value from it.
Philly isn’t New York. This city hates change. No one likes change. But this city seems much more averse to change than others.

How Trump’s tax cuts (and hikes) will impact you, explained in one simple chart

Great news for those in the 35% and 40% brackets. Not so great for those earning less than $18,550, where, according to HowMuch.net, the tax rate would actually go up by 2 percentage points to 12%.

.. Of note, Amoros points out that the graph doesn’t account for other aspects of Trump’s plan, like the increase of standard deductions and a cap on itemized deductions.

Obama’s Trickle-Up Economics

.. median income rose a remarkable 5.2 percent

.. In fact, the top one percent is now paying about the same share of its income in federal taxes as it did in 1979, before Ronald Reagan began the era of big tax cuts for the rich. And some of the increased tax take is being used to subsidize health insurance for middle- and lower-income families.

Conservatives predicted disaster from these initiatives. Tax hikes on the rich, they insisted, would stall the economy. Obamacare’s combination of regulation and subsidies, they declared, would kill millions of jobs without increasing the number of Americans with insurance.

.. Any attempt to help working families directly, we’re told, will backfire by hurting the economy as a whole. So we must cut taxes on those “job creators” instead, counting on a rising tide to raise all boats.