CRFB: ‘Medicare For All’ Would Require 42% National Sales Tax

Senators Elizabeth Warren (left) and Bernie Sanders (right) both say they support a so-called Medicare for All plan. While Sanders has admitted he would raise taxes on America’s middle class to pay for it, Sen. Warren has not. Now a new report suggests a tax on the “wealthy” could not raise nearly enough to pay for the $30+ trillion program.

WASHINGTON D.C. – Providing the $3 trillion in annual federal funding for the “Medicare For All” type programs Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders support won’t come cheap, and the wealthy taxpayers they claim they would hit hard to pay for it don’t have enough cash, says the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

The group, known for their bipartisan leadership team of leading budget experts and former heads of House and Senate Budget Committees, says their preliminary analysis of funding such proposals show there is no easy way to do it and that financing the scheme with taxes on the wealthy would require “impossibly” high tax rates.

In fact, the CRFB says that a 100% income tax on every American in the top two tax brackets would not cover the cost.

Some of the other options the CRFB says would need to be undertaken include:

A 42% national sales tax. This would be on top of the existing 5.5% state sales tax Mainers already pay.

A 32% payroll tax. You and your employer already split a 15.3% payroll tax, so double that.

A 25% income surtax. CRFC says that means the bottom federal income tax rate would more than triple, from 10% to 35%. All other rates would have to dramatically increase as well.

More than double all individual and corporate tax rates. Everyone shares the pain. But the federal government would still likely be $3 to $8 trillion short per year.

Cut federal spending not related to health care by 80%. The CFRB says that would mean programs like Social Security would have to be cut dramatically. They say someone receiving an annual benefit of $18,000 per year would see their benefit cut to $3,600.

More than double the national debt, which would eventually create large budget problems when the cost to pay the interest on the debt grows out of control.

While the appeal of not ‘paying for’ Medicare for all now is likely high for a lot of supporters, CRFB says in the report, “Deficit-financing Medicare for All would be far more damaging to the economy. Assuming that such a massive increase in the debt would not roil financial markets or lead to high inflation, we estimate that a 108 percent of GDP increase in the federal debt would shrink the size of the economy by roughly 5 percent in 2030 – the equivalent of a $4,500 reduction in per-person income – and far more in the following years.”

The committee says they will be releasing detailed policy analysis of all the financing options in the future.

Medicare For All has been a centerpiece of the Democratic Presidential Primary contest. Senator Bernie Sanders has gone on the record to admit that he would have to raise taxes on middle-class Americans to pay for the program.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, another supporter of Medicare For All, has taken withering criticism for her refusal to provide details on how she would pay for Medicare For All. She has said she would not raise taxes on middle class Americans to pay for it but has so far been unable to produce a plan showing how she would do so.

You can read the entire preliminary analysis from the Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget by clicking here.

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