Let’s Not Get Hysterical About the Tax Increase in the Health-Care Plan

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We just thought we'd beat the Post to this Photoshop. Photo: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images

This morning's New York Post contained a hysterical story about the Obama administration's health-care plan, which plans to pay for universal health care by increasing the tax on the wealthy. The plan is currently trapped in the bowels of Congress, where said increase is being vociferously debated. Meanwhile, the right-wing think tank the Tax Foundation did the math, and figured out that New Yorkers are getting especially screwed (also Oregon, but who cares about them), since with the proposed surtax, the tax rate for the people in the top tax bracket (Individuals earning $250,000 and up, and families earning $350,000) will go up to 58.68 percent, or almost 60 percent. Sixty percent! SIXTY FUCKING PERCENT!

The Post, who hates rich people except for in times like these, went crazy. So did the Drudge Report, which linked to the story with the headline: TERRIFYING 57% TAX LOOMS FOR BIGGEST EARNERS IN NYC.

How terrifying is it really? The story makes it sound like Obama Hood is coming to take away more than half of everyone's current income, which is not actually the case. The plan is not even to raise the tax rates of those New Yorkers making over $250,000 by 60 percent. It's to raise it by 5.4 percent.

Here in New York, the top tax rate, including city taxes, local taxes, and medicare, is already 53.17 percent. It already sucks that bad. And lest we forget, with the plan, we'd get health care, which, last we could bear to look at our pay stub, already siphons away a healthy percentage of everyone's income.

We're not saying that people in that income bracket should just roll over without even whimpering. No one wants to pay more taxes. It's unfortunate that it impacts the middle class — and in New York, $250,000 is arguably middle class, much as it weirds us out to type that. Sure, it would be nice if our cost of living here were taken into consideration, or if the bill specifically targeted these guys. But this isn't really about that. It's about health care, which we desperately need fixed. So, maybe everyone should stop stressing out. You wouldn't want to have to go to the emergency room. We all know how bad those are.

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