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CBPP on the Surtax

By Matthew Yglesias  

"CBPP on the Surtax"

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Like me, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities hadn’t really been looking toward a surtax on high-income Americans as the way to finance health care expansion. But that’s what the House of Representatives legislation would do, and CPBB deems it “a reasonable approach”. For one thing, this is a measure that would leave the vast majority of Americans completely unscathed. The richest 1.2 percent of the population would be the ones bearing the burden. That’s something opponents are going to try to obscure, but it’s the reality.

The other point is the one I was making here, the richest Americans have managed to acquire a much larger share of overall income than they used to have. Under the circumstances, ratcheting-up their taxes is a way of ensuring that the GDP growth of the past 25 years redounds to the benefit of everyone. And in particular redounds the benefit of people who could really use some help:

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All things considered, I think there’s a reasonably compelling logic behind the idea that it makes more sense to finance health reform through health-related tax measures like curbing the exclusion or taxes on alcohol and other public health hazards. But taxing the incomes of high earners is a reasonable alternative.

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