WASHINGTON -- Democratic congressional leaders, intensifying the health-care drive in marathon White House talks yesterday, are considering a new strategy to help finance their plan -- applying the Medicare payroll tax for the first time not just to wages but to capital gains, dividends and other forms of unearned income.
The move could placate labor leaders who bitterly oppose President Barack Obama's plan to tax high-end insurance policies that cover many union members. It could help shore up Medicare's own shaky finances. And the new tax would fall primarily on affluent Americans, not the beleaguered middle class.
The concept also carries political risks: Many older Americans, one of the nation's most potent voting blocs, could see their tax bills rise because they often rely on savings and investment income in retirement.
House and Senate Democratic leaders worked throughout the day and into the night yesterday in talks with Obama and his top lieutenants.
Late yesterday, the president joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a written statement after daylong talks among senior Democratic leaders at the White House, saying that they have made "significant progress" toward reaching a final health-care deal.
The White House wants Obama to sign a bill in time for his State of the Union address next month....
The Republicans will complain that an additional Medicare tax on capital gains, dividends and other unearned income will hurt business.
It is unjust to have ONLY the working class of the USA pay a tax for Medicare. How many Americans didn't know those that worked for a living were the only ones paying for Medicare through payroll tax? I am sure there are plenty.
Income is income and there is no reason why anyone with income should not be paying taxes to support Medicare spending.
And most of all I don't want to hear 'word one' complaining from Wall Street. I heard it all yesterday and they deserve no respect.
One of the 'gems' of Wall Street called the fiscal disaster of 2008 an equivalent to an act of God, namely a hurricane.
I don't think so.
The the other gem stated, JP Morgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said, "using tax policy to punish people is a bad idea. All businesses tend to pass their costs onto customers."
Customers? Like the small business loan customers you all service so eagerly? You mean those customers?
Or the homeowners you eagerly refinanced after the bailout? Or the house buyers receiving mortgages today that your furnish in abundance. You mean those customers?
Ask me what I care if the federal government taxes all of you 'out the #%*@*%$*# !!!!!!
Maybe after the nation has reasonable health care costs and there is a Treasury Surplus and our children will have a good quality of life with quality employment, THEN, there can be complaints about taxes,...
...NOT A DAY BEFORE !!!!!!!!!!!
Banks were provided with a service that should not be counted simply in terms of protection schemes
The Obama administration seems to be roughly where the UK government was about three months ago. It sees the public anger about bankers' bonuses and it recognises that the banks have had an enormous leg-up from taxpayers. Even the White House grumbles about banks "not getting it" sound like Alistair Darling's. Yet the administration is struggling to find the right policy response. The latest version – offered in vague terms, it should be said – envisages a fee on financial institutions to recoup the cost of the bailout.
The obvious difficulty here is that banks might try to pass on the cost of the fee to customers or investors, who in various guises tend to be taxpayers themselves. That's a real danger, of course, but the notion of a fee deserves to be applauded....
By the way. For all those objections regarding the Windfall Tax?
Thanks for bringing it up.