Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Senate Dems' Stupidity Goes National

Cross-posted at THEB.

The greedy tax grab proposed by the Democrats running the state Senate in terms of creating a single-payer health care system in Wisconsin managed to make it to the pages of the Wall Street Journal.

In an editorial, the WSJ suggests that the entire nation look over this plan as the drumbeat escalates toward turning health care over to the government — which, other than national defense does nothing well. And makes it really, really expensive.

This part is just amazing:

Democrats who run the Wisconsin Senate have dropped the Washington pretense of incremental health-care reform and moved directly to passing a plan to insure every resident under the age of 65 in the state. And, wow, is “free” health care expensive. The plan would cost an estimated $15.2 billion, or $3 billion more than the state currently collects in all income, sales and corporate income taxes. It represents an average of $510 a month in higher taxes for every Wisconsin worker.

Employees and businesses would pay for the plan by sharing the cost of a new 14.5% employment tax on wages. Wisconsin businesses would have to compete with out-of-state businesses and foreign rivals while shouldering a 29.8% combined federal-state payroll tax, nearly double the 15.3% payroll tax paid by non-Wisconsin firms for Social Security and Medicare combined.

This employment tax is on top of the $1 billion grab bag of other levies that Democratic Governor Jim Doyle proposed and the tax-happy Senate has also approved, including a $1.25 a pack increase in the cigarette tax, a 10% hike in the corporate tax, and new fees on cars, trucks, hospitals, real estate transactions, oil companies and dry cleaners. In all, the tax burden in the Badger State could rise to 20% of family income, which is slightly more than the average federal tax burden.

Think about that. $15.2 billion in new taxes, more than Wisconsin collects on current taxes. State businesses would have to compete against businesses in other states while absorbing a nearly 30 percent payroll tax. Guess who really pays that? The consumer. That’s if the businesses even stay here. How difficult will it be for businesses to relocate just across the state line — if they are close to Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota or Michigan — to avoid this tax and still maintain their customer base?

Also, watch the exodus from Taxconsin continue, since this will become a mandatory tax on individuals as well. No one will be exempt from participating. No one.

The editorial goes on to explain how that tax could move even higher as freeloaders from around the country are drawn to Taxconsin for the mandated free benefits. Free, only in the sense the end user doesn’t pay for them. The rest of us do.

[T]he health plan includes a tax escalator clause allowing an additional 1.5 percentage point payroll tax to finance higher outlays in the future. This could bring the payroll tax to 16%. One reason to expect costs to soar is that the state may become a mecca for the unemployed, uninsured and sick from all over North America. The legislation doesn’t require that you have a job in Wisconsin to qualify, merely that you live in the state for at least 12 months. Cheesehead nation could expect to attract health-care free-riders while losing productive workers who leave for less-taxing climes.
That’s right. Every Freddy the Freeloader from around the country will be finding his or her way here and using the very liberal qualifications in order to mooch off the overburdened taxpayers — at least the ones that haven’t had the good sense to leave. That includes illegal aliens as well.

How will skyrocketing costs eventually be controlled? You guessed it: rationing. Price controls, waiting lists, coverage limitations. Just like in England and Canada. Picture a government bureaucrat deciding that spending $200,000 on a person in their 70s isn’t worth it, effectively sentencing that person to die. It’s happening everywhere government-run health care is in place.

As the WSJ points out:

This is Michael Moore’s medical dream state.

And a nightmare for the rest of us.