The House and Senate Subsidies

29 Oct

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) for a few minutes during his visit to the UNC campus. We chatted briefly about my dissertation topic and then I went on my way. Then I saw this piece from Ezra Klein highlighting the work of James Leuschen, Rep. Cooper’s legislative director.

I’m not up for reinventing the wheel right now, so I’ll just suggest that you take a look at Ezra’s post. What you’ll find is a nifty comparison of the differing subsidy levels provided under House and Senate Finance health reform legislation. As Ezra notes, the House bill would cost taxpayers more, but individuals less, while the Senate Finance bill would do just the opposite. It’s all about incentives and reactions to them. Now if Harry Reid would just release the final Senate bill so Leuschen could update his graphs, I’d be ecstatic.

1 Comment

Posted by on October 29, 2009 in Uncategorized


One response to “The House and Senate Subsidies

  1. Joel

    October 29, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    As income goes down, the "government pays" a greater portion of the individual's expenses?Even if your income tax liability to the IRS is zero on April 15th, you are a taxpayer all the same. Taxpayer = Individual. The disparity between the two is nonsense.Read with me now: Money our government spends comes from you, the individual. Sure there's the obfuscatory shuffle game to make you think you're getting something for nothing hopefully in exchange for a vote. There are many complex ways our government leverages debt (trust funds, revolving funds, special funds, etc.) to move money around and mortgage our future, but suffice it to say that debt is debt. This type of shenanigans was facilitated by the move away from the gold standard, which in turn has given rise to rapidly rising levels of inflation. Our governmental functions, of which there are far too many, are financed by way of taxation and debt. Wealth does not materialize from thin air, and the "government paying" for something needs to be expounded upon for those that don't understand the paper bills they carry around.So how are you paying? When it is determined that your income bracket should be taxed at a higher rate, that's obvious. But what about when the Treasury Department sells $32 billion in 4-week bills at a yield of 0% to China? Your dollars are weakened, and you have just paid taxes. Or if your employer is subject to a new 8% payroll tax because they cannot afford to provide you with health insurance and your annual compensation is affected – you just paid taxes. When ExxonMobil gets hit with a windfall profits tax because, oops, they did too much business this year – you are rewarded with a higher price at the pump. That's right, you just paid taxes.Misleading measurements of personal economic well-being are not appropriate tools for justifying massive national expenditures. But hey, they get VOTES – and that's what Washington is all about these days. Meanwhile, our economic outlook under the jackboot of these rapid-fire trillion dollar spending campaigns is quite bleak.Government spending, sometimes completely necessary, inevitably causes economic strain.


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