So far all the Democrats who have declared their candidacy for the 2020 nomination, as well old hats like Bernie Sanders and young Party members like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez all agree on is we need to tax billionaires (some saying to point of nonexistence) and use that money to fund all the trillions of dollars of additional spending they want, notably Medicare-for-All.
The problem that no one wants to talk about is that for all their wealth, the billionaires simply don’t have that much money, not on the order of what these Democrats want to spend. So here’s some math:
Medicare-for-All is estimated to cost 32 trillion dollars over 10 years, that averages to 3.2 trillion per year (it would actually be higher in the first few years as the program ramps up, but 3.2 trillion is fine for our purposes) Every billionaire in the country, when combined, have a total net worth of about 2.8 trillion dollars. That’s not all liquid assets, or even liquidable, so there’s no way you could get the full 2.8 trillion out of them, ever, but again 2,8 trillion is fine for our purposes
So we need 3.2 trillion per year, and we can get as much as 2,8 trillion but putting every billionaire in the poor house. That doesn’t even get us to December of the first year of Medicare-for-All, let alone all the other programs
Obviously we can go after the rest of the so-called “1%” (anyone with a net worth over about 10 million dollars) to keep the train rolling a little more. Now its much harder to find figures for a total net worth of the top 1% but its estimated to be about 40% of the total wealth of the country, that total is just under 100 trillion for all households and nonprofit organizations. So 40% of 100 trillion, minus the 2.8 trillion we already spent, leaves 37.2 trillion. Again these are not all liquidable assets, but we can still use this figure. It will at least get us over the next 10 years of Medicare-for-All, with about 8 trillion left, so liberally 3 more years of Medicare for a total of 13 years,
Similarly by going after the rest of the millionaires (the top 10%) we can collect about another 20 trillion, which we are going to need because we’ve only funded Medicare for the last 13 years, not any other government program. But at current spending levels 20 trillion will only last 5 years, not 13. Sure we also collect income taxes from people with less than 1 million net worth, but the portion is much smaller (the bottom 90% pays about 30% of the total income tax)
Basically the only conclusion is that if we want Medicare-for-All we need to not only raise taxes on the ultra-wealthy, but also the regular wealthy, the middle class, and maybe even the working class. Effective tax rates will need to be at least doubled across the board. If you don’t believe me look at the European states that we want to emulate with universal healthcare, their middle and working classes are taxed at about double what we pay here
All that just to fund Medicare, a program that no one who is forced to use even likes, and anyone with an option immediately abandons. Maybe we should force government employees to use Medicare first, then see if they want that everyone