“I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it”

Patterico noted, in an article entitled “I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it”:

PATTERICO MOUNTS SOAPBOX — GINGERLY, OF COURSE, AS HE IS IN FACT GETTING OLDER: This is one of the reasons I’d like to see withholding ended. I argued for this in January 2004 (wow, saying that makes me feel a little old, just like mounting this soapbox did):

You want the cure for big government?

No more withholding.

As it is, people don’t feel as though the money that is being withheld is really theirs. It’s like they never got it in the first place — because they didn’t.

Under my regime, it wouldn’t be that way.

Under my regime, every pay period you would personally set aside the amount of money you will need to save up for the eventual tax bill. Come April 15, you would take out your checkbook and write a huge check to the federal government — for thousands upon thousands upon thousands of dollars.

You think you might start thinking twice about what they’re doing with your money then?

Today, I would add one other suggestion: a requirement that the government send taxpayers an itemized bill showing the breakdown of what they owe and what the money is going for.

After all, generally we decide whether a good or service is “worth it” when we fork over the money. If the money comes pre-forked, and we’re never told how much we are paying for what, how can we make an informed decision about value? At that point, the government service feels like it’s free, even though, on an intellectual level, we know it isn’t. “I supported [insert name of government program or agency here] until I found out how much I was paying for it” would be a very common phrase — if we sent out itemized bills and did away with withholding.

The downside, of course, is that we would probably collect a lot less in taxes. The upside? The People would demand that we spend a lot less.

On balance, I think it would be better.

People are generally “all for” more government services until they find out they are paying for them.

More at the link.

Part of our problem is that we haven’t been paying for all of the government services we have: instead, we’ve been borrowing a rather large amount of money to pay for more government than we are willing to be taxed to support.

And, of course, there’s the problem that a lot of Democrats people are willing to raise taxes on other people to fund more government services, but not raise taxes on themselves. Rather, they advocate raising taxes on the top producers in our economy and, of course, those wicked ol’ corporations, because those same Democrats people are too ignorant to realize that corporations pay no taxes at all; they simply pass along the taxes imposed on them to the end consumer of their products. In the end, individuals pay for everything.

It could be argued that Patterico’s proposal simply wouldn’t work; far too many people wouldn’t be able to save up enough to pay their taxes. But, given the way our government spending is completely out of control, I’d say that it’s difficult to argue that our current system of withholding works either.

Perhaps some form of system such as quarterly filing for everybody might help?

19 Comments

  1. But, given the way our government spending is completely out of control, I’d say that it’s difficult to argue that our current system of withholding works either.

    Unfortunately, it works just fine for Big Government Democrats. They get lots of money to spend, and the taxpayer gets screwed without even noticing it.

    Personally, I would argue for a national sales tax (this would be incumbent on completely abolishing the income tax first). With a sales tax, you feel the bite every time you buy something, whether it’s a Big Mac or a car.

  2. “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan…” Said the Liar-in-Chief. Does Obummer even know how to tell the truth? He has lied for over the last 5 years and will continue to LIE. Also, he is president incompetent since he knows NOTHING.

  3. The truth is simple: President Obama and his minions would have said anything, anything! to get some sort of universal health care coverage passed. The goal was to get the concept passed; they’d worry about h ow to make it work later. I’ve said before that their (unspoken) goal was single-payer.

  4. Meanwhile, back in the real world

    My wife had cancer in 1994. The small business where she worked at the time lost their insurance over it. She hasn’t been insured for 19 years. The only bright spot: the indications that your leukemia is back include full-body bruising and blood coming out your ears when you floss. At least we haven’t spent the decades wondering if something was lurking that regular followups might have found.

    In January 2005 her mammogram showed a mass. We knew that we were going to lose everything, as the best-case outcome. My wife went outside after listening to the voicemail (left at 4:55pm on a Friday asking her to come back in Monday morning but not saying why…) and smoked her last cigarette.

    By Monday we’d found the baseline film, by Wed. the radiologist that Planned Parenthood referred her to (paid by the YWCA program for uninsured women) had matched them up. The lump was scar tissue from a bee sting in childhood. She still hasn’t smoked again, but that was the longest weekend of my life.

    This is what it means to be uninsured: the news that your 5 year old may lose a parent in elementary school takes a backseat to ‘we’re going to lose the house…unless my wife dies quickly’.

    I have melanoma, the cancer that lurks. I’m now on a followup schedule that continues until I die of something else, or the lurking semi-solid cells that are statistically likely to be somewhere in my body hit a switch and start to multiply again.

    Our business has never been big enough to offer insurance. We knew from 1994 that plans to cover fewer than 50 people wouldn’t pay out or would take the premiums and run if we ever made a claim, so we didn’t bother to offer the option to make Blue Cross richer in order to feel insured. Obviously this has affected recruiting at our company.

    Two critical points:

    -In the past 4 weeks, I have received 5 resumes from exactly the kind of people we would like to hire more of. All say they’ll be available around the 1st of the year. Demographically they’re very different from the resumes I’ve seen over 15 years in this business. They’re younger and looking for fewer hours doing something they already know is hard in ways they enjoy. They can afford to leave Big Ugly Death Star Corp. because they can buy health insurance.

    -I was diagnosed in Sept. 2011. Because my state had already implemented the part of the ACA that requires insurance companies to continue policies at similar rates EVEN IF the individuals on them make claims–not something we expected, after our earlier experience–I’m still insured.

    We’re going to buy an exchange plan that puts our family on one deductible and OOP max, for the first time ever, next week.

    The technical issue we discovered with the web site was after applying: whoever coded the ‘citizenship for adopted people’ section of the eligibility database chose the wrong field type for the only way our government has to verify my kid lives here legally. So we have to talk to a manager with superpowers before we can choose among the 57 (!) options to get our family covered.

    We can afford any of these plans. Fifty-seven choices. Sure, some of them aren’t appropriate for our family’s health profile (rare cancer=must have some out of network coverage; hearing aids for kid must be covered, etc.). Some of them cost more than I’d prefer to spend, once we add up the premium and deductible–which we anticipate meeting sometime in Feb. 2014, with the backlog of preventive and screening that Mrs Phoenix hasn’t had access to since before PET scans were invented. But we get to buy insurance, in a market that has to take our money and has to pay for the health care we may need.

    As a parent, a spouse and a small business owner, I would carry the Congresscritters and President who got us these solutions across a river of acid on my back to keep them.

  5. “But we get to buy insurance, in a market that has to take our money and has to pay for the health care we may need.”

    In other words, he gets to force an insurer to issue a policy and his neighbors have to pay for it.

    Funny how getting to do what they want, is not enough for a collectivist. It is never satisfied until it has fuc8ed up your life as well as its own.

    Of course if they were any morally good for anything, they would have started up the Democrat Party Insurance Corporation. “All collectivists and client class members welcome.”

    But even with 40 million of them, they, and we, know how it would turn out; since it would just be lots of the same morally, mentally, and physically disordered types sharing each others’ pain. And that they call the “real world”.

    Funny how the collectivist kind hate what they cannot live without, which is those who do not need them.

  6. Press this:
    Meanwhile, back in the real world

    And get this. So that is the world you live in:
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    Great Proof Poke Poke

  7. In 1977 I had a rare cancer. Synovial Sarcoma over my right hip. From 1977 to 2006, I had the removal of the tumor, then another operation to remove lymph nodes, 35 days of intense radiation treatment, hospitized 10 days a few years later for an infection caused by the treatment, had several more rounds of infections about every two years, fluid build-up in the leg but not an infection, in 1998 the femur broke due to the radiation treatment, hip replaced in 2003 due to radiation treatment (weakened) 2005 exploratory surgery for swelling and infections, and finally the leg removed in 2006. Altogether the bills were well in excess of $200K. My output from 1977 to 2006 was maybe $5K to $7K, insurance paid the rest. Fortunately what I pay for insurance is high, but worth it. Overall, I’m ahead in the money department. And I worked all the time this was going on. I’m a happy camper and will stay that way. Poke, poke :-)

  8. No, no, Mr. Editor. In Dumbass world doctors work for free and hospitals spring from unicorn farts. To these economically retarded fools everything is free. What it really means is it’s a fuckin’ thief stealing someone else’s money to pay for things it wants. Must be a great way to go through life, knowing you’re nothing but a slug living off your neighbor. Bunch of vile pigs.

  9. Really? I suppose that depends upon what you mean by “fully covered,” doesn’t it? You were fully covered for your ingrown toenails, but only if you were willing to wait, in pain, for four months, by which time your toenails would have grown completely out the front of your toes. Instead, to get decent care, you had to pay $600 out-of-pocket.

    And, of course, paying out of pocket is how many Americans would handle it given the deductibles on insurance policies

    And when I had a catastrophic infection which may have killed me, I was rushed into hospital, kept there for three weeks, given several MRIs and CAT scans, had two specialists working with me, had a PIC line inserted in surgery, had followup treatment for years with physiotherapy, crutches and equipment, and was scheduled for (but managed to avoid) major surgery that would have tied up an operating room for most of a day.

    And it didn’t cost me anything.

    In the US, as a middle-class salary earner, I’d be bankrupt. Or maybe my insurance would cover part of it leaving me seriously out of pocket, and having had the privilege of paying premiums all my working life to have had that insurance.

    And, of course, you certainly do pay for your coverage, unless you don’t pay anything in taxes.

    Well, that’s your problem, isn’t it?

    As of 2010, NZ spent 8.2% of its GDP as public healthcare expenditure, and 1.9% as private, total 10.1%.

    As of 2010, the US spent 10% of its GDP as public healthcare expenditure, and 7.9% as private, total 17.9%

    We’ve been telling you these facts for a while, but wingnuts never seem to listen.

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