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taxes and health care costs, country comparison [Matt Bruening / Jacobin]

April 16, 2019

The following Jacobin article by Matt Bruening looks at country comparisons of the combined tax + health-care-cost load


It is the 15th of April, so I’m feeding the machine for another year. For various reasons, this is a retro low tech paper based ritual for me, complete with totally unnecessary procrastination and then stress.

Anyway I’m self employed as far as the IRS is concerned, which means getting the short end of the stick on taxes and benefits (tho I shouldn’t complain overall). There are roughly 10 million Americans in this category, per the BLS. I thought it’s worth noting that I and everyone in this category experienced a big change, with the Trump tax cuts kicking in. If I followed the instructions right, my bottom line is 16-17% less than last year, even while my raw income rose.

Tax cuts will be a huge part of Trump’s re-election pitch (the one he makes to big business as well as the one he makes to individuals). On the other side, maybe, if we’re lucky, we will have a discussion of things like single payer health care. The numbers in the Jacobin article continue to tell the same story – In the US system, we are paying more to get less. Opponents of single payer claiming that existing system provides better efficiency because it is a free market, are full of it. What the existing health care market in the US provides provides better is profiteering.


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