The Corner

How Much Are You Willing to Pay for Health-Care Reform?

Well, it does really matter. The real question is: How much will you have to pay in taxes, whether you want it or not? The House of Representatives’ health-care bill includes an income surtax that would range from 1% to 5.4% on incomes over $350,000. The Heritage Foundation’s Brian Riedl and Curtis Duey did the math for us:

As calculated by the Tax Foundation, when factoring in the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, average state and local income taxes, Medicare taxes, and the new surtax, the average top marginal income tax rate in the U.S. would be 52 percent!

The top rate in the U.S. would then be higher than countries like France, Canada, Italy, Spain and Germany. Only 3 countries in the 30-member OECD, an association of the most economically developed countries in the world, would have a higher rate. Taxpayers in the 6 highest taxed U.S. states would pay higher rates than every country in the OECD except Denmark. Taxpayers in every state, even the 9 that do not levy a state income tax, would face a higher top marginal rate than taxpayers in 21 out of the 30 OECD countries.

Hold on to your wallet, everyone. It is, of course, a myth that only the rich will be taxed. Besides, as Cato Instistitute Dan Mitchell reminds us here, when the government takes aims at the rich, it’s often the middle class that gets hit in the crossfire.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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