President Obama will hold a press conference tonight to answer questions about his health care reform proposal. This is what I would ask him:
Mr. President, during your campaign, you said, “I can make a firm pledge…Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.” You also said that “no one will pay higher tax rates than they paid in the 1990s.”
Your National Economic Council chairman, Larry Summers, has written that employer mandates “are like public programs financed by benefit taxes.” Under the House health reform bill, an uninsured worker earning $50,000 per year, with no offer of coverage from her employer, would face a 15.3-percent federal payroll tax, a 25-percent federal marginal income tax rate, an 8-percent reduction in her wages (to pay the employer penalty), plus a 2.5 percent uninsured tax. In total, her effective marginal federal tax rate would reach 50.8 percent.
Do you stand by those pledges, and would you therefore veto any employer mandate or individual mandate as a tax on the middle class?