Opinion

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Are 'Completely Aligned' On Socialized Medicine

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Posted: Sep 04, 2020 12:01 AM
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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Are 'Completely Aligned' On Socialized Medicine

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Democrat vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris recently proclaimed that “Joe Biden and I are completely aligned” on having a government takeover of healthcare.

Biden has previously said that he is a “transition candidate,” effectively conceding that his presidency would be a stepping stone for his running mate’s radical progressive agenda. 

During her short-lived candidacy, Harris embraced a vowed socialist Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” scheme, endorsing trillions of dollars in Sanders-style tax hikes on the American people. 

Harris would impose a new 7.5 percent payroll tax on employers, a $3.9 trillion tax hike that would slash wages for millions of middle class Americans as employers pass down the extra costs to their workers. Harris would also impose a 4 percent payroll tax hike on families making more than $100,000 per year, directly hitting29.2 percent of households.

Harris supports raising taxes on all Americans by establishing several new, higher tax brackets. Harris would raise the top income tax rate to 52 percent, a 41 percent increase from the current 37 percent top tax rate. 

Harris also wants to raise capital gains taxes, which would harm Americans’ ability to build a nest egg and hurt the value of their homes, farms, and businesses. Taxing capital gains and dividends as ordinary income would decrease GDP by more than 3 percent over the long term and cost 700,000 jobs according to the Tax Foundation. It would also reduce household income for all American families by more than 4 percent. 

Harris would impose a slew of financial transaction taxes (FTTs) on American businesses. These new taxes include a 0.2 percent tax on stock trades, a 0.1 percent tax on bond trades, and a .002 percent tax on derivative transactions.

These new FTTs would especially impact 401(k)s, pensions, and index funds. Returns on pension funds and other savings would be lower because of the increased costs of buying and selling and the reduction in value of shares. On a macroeconomic level they would increase the cost of capital and reduce productivity, harming jobs and wages all across the country. 

The Harris tax hikes don’t end with the living. Harris would replace the existing 40 percent flat death tax rate with several new brackets, topping out at a 65 percent marginal death tax rate.This would be a massive blow to family farms and small businesses all across the country, who can’t afford the army of lawyers and accountants to exempt large portions of their estates from the tax. 

According to estimates touted by Harris and Sanders, the total tax hikes Harris endorses add up to roughly $8 trillion. 

This is a tiny fraction of what implementing a government takeover of healthcare would actually cost. According to the best-case estimates on the left, Medicare for All could cost a whopping $32 trillion. 

Despite their claims to the contrary, Biden and Harris would have to raise taxes on every American to fund their healthcare takeover, not just “the rich.” 

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) projects that financing a $30 trillion Medicare for All plan would require some combination of the following tax hikes: a 32 percent payroll tax, a 25 percent income surtax, doubling all income tax rates, or a 42 percent value added tax (VAT). The federal government would have to reduce non-health spending by 80 percent or increase the national debt to 105 percent of GDP to come close to financing Medicare for All. 

Medicare for All would also destroy the economy and kill jobs. Analysis from the Penn Wharton Budget Model and CRFB projections shows that a deficit-financed government takeover of healthcare could kill up to 17 million jobs and shrink the economy by up to 7.3 percent in 2030. This is the last outcome we need as our economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Government-run healthcare is just the tip of Biden-Harris tax-and-spend iceberg, as both candidates support raising your taxes to fund radical new expansions of government. Throughout the campaign, Biden has pledged $4 trillion in new or higher taxes on the American people, quadrupling failed 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton’s call for $1 trillion in tax hikes. Biden and Harris are united on repealing the Republican-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Such repeal would raise taxes on over 90 percent of Americans. 

As Americans decide who will earn their vote in November, they should keep in mind that Harris and Biden are “completely aligned” on healthcare. If elected, their plan for government takeover of healthcare would ultimately raise taxes by tens of trillions of dollars, decimate our economy, and kill tens of millions of American jobs. 

Tom Hebert is a Policy Analyst at Americans for Tax Reform.