Vox’s Ezra Klein on Bernie Sanders health care plan (bolding mine):
Clinton’s third attack was that Sanders’s plan would raise taxes on the middle class. In response, Sanders gets very detailed on the financing of his plan. It would raise taxes on the middle class — in part through a 2.2 percent tax increase on all income, and in part by a 6.2 percent “income-based premium” on employers (which would, in turn, get passed onto workers through lower wages and higher prices).
The rest of the financing would come through a raft of new taxes on the rich. Sanders would raise marginal rates on income over $250,000, he would raise the tax rate on capital gains and dividend income, he would hike the estate tax, and he would close sundry deductions and loopholes.
In general, I’m comfortable with higher taxes on the rich — though they’ve risen substantially in the Obama era already — but tax increases of the scale Sanders proposes here would begin to have real economic drawbacks. European countries tend to pay for their health-care systems through more broad-based, economically efficient taxes like VATs; Sanders’s effort to fund a universal health-care system so heavily on the backs of the wealthy would be unprecedented.
The highest tax rate under Sanders’ plan, for the record, is 52% for incomes exceeding $10 million a year. Now I certainly realize that 52% sounds like a big chunk of anything, but once you hear the “FOR INCOMES OVER TEN FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR” any such concern should dry up. I mean seriously, if you honestly feel the slightest bit of sympathy for someone making over $10 million in a year because they face paying more in taxes to support health care for all Americans, you shouldn’t get to call yourself a “liberal” (and I realize how diluted that term has become already). You are a moderate libertarian.
I really wish Klein and his crew of “wonky” moderate libertarians would just fuck off already. It’s bad enough that self-proclaimed “liberal Democrats” are shitting on the very concept of single-payer health care because Hillary is against it. Now we’re supposed to believe that taxing the rich can Go Too Far because everyone’s favorite millionaire boy genius says it could be “inefficient.”
And for the record: I don’t even like Bernie. I’ve loathed him since I heard him lauding the bombing of Serbia at the first Democratic debate. In addition to warmongering, his brand of social democracy aims at middle class respectability far too much. But good god, if establishment progressives are now convinced that taxing multi-millionaires at a rate only slightly above half is “too much” then things are even worse than I could have imagined.