No bet­ter than pay­ing taxes

The Saline Courier - - OPINION -

Agood friend of mine was go­ing about his daily life when sud­denly he had chest pains. He went to the emer­gency room and the ER doc­tor sent him to a car­di­ol­o­gist.

The car­di­ol­o­gist’s con­clu­sion was that my friend had some veins and ar­ter­ies in his heart that were clogged.

The rem­edy was that he needed some stents put in his heart.

“Do you want the op­er­a­tion this af­ter­noon or in the morn­ing?” The car­di­ol­o­gist asked him.

I’m happy to say he got the needed op­er­a­tion and is still alive today. For­tu­nately, he had a job that has a great health­care in­sur­ance plan.

Most of the Democrats run­ning for pres­i­dent want to aban­don our cur­rent health­care in­sur­ance sys­tem for one where the govern­ment is the sole provider of health care in­sur­ance.

They are in such a hurry to let every­body have the same in­sur­ance paid for by the govern­ment that they don’t stop to con­sider why the cur­rent sys­tem ex­ists.

Dur­ing World War II, the Amer­i­can mil­i­tary was tak­ing up many re­sources. This caused a short­age here in the United States of many goods and ser­vices that had been plen­ti­ful be­fore the war.

Pres­i­dent Franklin D. Roo­sevelt de­cided the coun­try needed a freeze on the cost of goods and ser­vices to pre­vent wartime in­fla­tion.

He signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der that froze prices and costs — in­clud­ing a wage freeze.

Businesses needed a way to at­tract and keep good em­ploy­ees. Since

FDR’S or­der pre­vented them from of­fer­ing more money, busi­ness own­ers looked for other ways to com­pen­sate em­ploy­ees.

While the fed­eral govern­ment con­trolled the price of ev­ery­thing you buy, where you worked, and how much you made, businesses dis­cov­ered the or­der did not cover health care in­sur­ance.

To at­tract and keep their best work­ers, businesses of­fered to pro­vide health in­sur­ance to em­ploy­ees.

Af­ter the war, Congress passed a law that ex­empted health care in­sur­ance from be­ing con­sid­ered part of an em­ployee’s tax­able wages. Em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees did not like the idea of pay­ing more in taxes so it be­come pop­u­lar to of­fer bet­ter in­sur­ance ben­e­fits than to raise tax­able wages.

That is how the cur­rent sys­tem of in­sur­ance pro­vided by the em­ployer evolved.

The pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates want­ing some form of govern­ment funded health in­sur­ance such as Medi­care for All, un­der­stand that such pro­grams will cost a lot more money — money that is paid for by the tax­pay­ers.

It is pop­u­lar to say any fed­eral govern­ment pro­gram will be paid for by tax­ing the rich. The truth is that tax­ing the rich — which most peo­ple con­sider them­selves not to be — is a great idea.

Rais­ing taxes on the “rich” is like one of those “if-it-tastes-good spit it out” di­ets. It is a great idea — for some­one else.

As this coun­try saw when Barack Obama needed to pay for Oba­macare, the def­i­ni­tion of “rich” de­pends on who de­fines it.

At first, peo­ple who made more than a mil­lion dol­lars a year were go­ing to pay. That didn’t raise enough money so that fig­ure was re­vised down­ward un­til the def­i­ni­tion rich ba­si­cally in­cluded any­body with a job.

Lib­eral politi­cians try to sell the idea that the right­eous­ness of fed­eral spend­ing makes you de­sire to pay more be­cause of the ben­e­fits you will re­ceive from new govern­ment pro­grams.

In other words, the govern­ment can spend your hard-earned money bet­ter than you can. There is a word for what this is that I can’t print in a fam­ily news­pa­per. Let’s just say the ad­jec­tive most of­ten used with that word is “bull.”

While some may feel that they don’t pay enough taxes, most peo­ple think they pay too much in taxes and will go to great lengths to avoid pay­ing more taxes. Peo­ple pay CPAS and tax lawyers to find ev­ery pos­si­ble rea­son not to pay more in taxes.

Politi­cians who want the govern­ment to tax peo­ple more in­stead of al­low­ing pri­vate in­sur­ance com­pa­nies to do their job fail to re­al­ize two things.

First, the govern­ment never does any­thing bet­ter than a pri­vate busi­ness.

Sec­ond, the peo­ple who have great work-pro­vided plans loose com­pen­sa­tion when they go from a great in­sur­ance plan to a bare-bones govern­ment plan.

Peo­ple don’t like that any bet­ter than pay­ing more taxes.

JIM HARRIS Con­ser­va­tive Cor­ner

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