Obamacare’s working and tax plans from alternative universes

October 12th, 2016 at 7:13 am

A couple of recent WaPo pieces for your entertainment and hopefully edification.

This one’s from a talk I just gave on how Obamacare is providing health coverage to a lot more people, holding down budgetary costs, and not, I repeat not, killing any jobs (see nice pictures, compliments of Ben Spielberg). Yes, it needs some recalibration–there are some thin markets and some insurers are seeing a sicker population than they initially priced for. A public option would help a lot, btw, in these regards.

Then there’s this tax analysis of Trump and Clinton’s tax plans based on a) new work by the Tax Policy Center and b) Clinton’s new idea to expand the Child Tax Credit. No, of course neither candidate will get what they’re asking for here. But they’ll likely get something. So I try to think about what that might look like.

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2 comments in reply to "Obamacare’s working and tax plans from alternative universes"

  1. Smith says:

    Again, the same deficiencies about Child Tax Credit that Earned Income Tax Credit warrants.
    – A small increase in minimum wage totally surpasses any benefit from increased tax credits.
    – Credits are funded by taxpayers and increase deficit vs. wage increases are funded by private enterprise
    – Credits contain an element of wage subsidies which depresses everyone’s wage
    – Credits are year end dependent and often aren’t claimed without tax preparation assistance (interesting study would be percentage eligible claiming and percent of benefit going to tax preparation professionals)
    – A lot of money is flowing to middle class or those above poverty at the expense of aid to those most in need.
    Anti poverty, safety net, and need based programs do not alleviate poverty. They alleviate symptoms, which is important, but the goal should always be to reduce their cost and need.

    Clinton’s tax plans head in the right direction but may be easily swamped (by a recession or Republican obstruction) due to limited goals. A continuation of Obama’s center left, and often center right approach is what gives rise to Trump. Clinton lacks rhetorical skills to move the country with her. Obama had those skills but clearly never used them to anywhere near his full potential.

    Also the below explanation seems to indicate the most needy get zero (they already pay no tax)

    #################### From Link at Bottom####################

    What if the credit exceeds my tax liability?

    The Child Tax Credit is nonrefundable; if your credit exceeds your tax liability, your tax bill is reduced to zero and any remaining unused credit is lost. However, you may be able to claim a refundable Additional Child Tax Credit for the unused balance. You can find out if you’re eligible for this refundable credit by completing the worksheet in IRS Form 8812.

    Remember, when you file your taxes with TurboTax, we’ll ask simple questions about you and your kids and figure out exactly how much of the Child Tax credit you’re eligible to receive.


  2. Person says:

    I feel really bad for Jared. This is a man with the utmost integrity and positive intentions. He worked for a man with similar qualities, Joe Biden. His job requires him to be almost unimaginably positive in his outlook despite politics. I’m certain the Buddhism helps with that, and I consider myself somewhat Buddhist at this time.

    I am strongly in favor of a single-payer medical system in the US. Jared is stuck defending the indefensible monstrosity that Obamacare is. The Minnesota governor has declared that the “Affordable Care Act” is not affordable anymore. Well then, it is just the “Care Act”, which means if you run a business in health ‘care’, this is your act.

    I’m so disgusted to see the potential for a real movement in the US behind Sanders turned into a freak show under Hillary. I’m sorry Jared, but I can’t hold my tongue. She’s a scourge on the United States. We deserve better. Unfortunately, we haven’t been given that choice.

    The US political system is officially in total collapse in my opinion.

    Jared is the most ethical and moral economist I’ve ever read. I do wish Biden had run for President. I’m sorry I didn’t try harder to encourage it. None of us are perfect, but we can try to get better as we become wiser of our own faults.