Ezra Klein makes the “not biggest tax in history” argument on The Rachel Maddow Show

Normally I wouldn’t mention this here, but this is the first time, to my knowledge, that this blog has been mentioned on a major TV program. The segment starts with a series of clips of Republicans making the evidence-free claim, which ought to satisfy anyone who thinks I was making a straw man argument. I also didn’t realize that some had claimed Obamacare was the biggest tax increase in the history of the world or the universe. Do we have data on taxes levied in other planetary systems? One cannot be evidence-based on that one even if one wanted to.

Anyway, Ezra Klein did a good job. Check it out.

Also, in the comments, please try to resist making the same counterarguments repeatedly. I’ve already given several reasons why it doesn’t make sense to include premiums as a tax, etc. Go see the comments to the prior post for those.

My recommendation to folks who want to oppose Obamacare on redistribution grounds: Be satisfied that it does include some new taxes, though they’re levied on the wealthy and, in time, those with high-premium plans, plus a small penalty for lack of compliance with the mandate, which will affect 2% of the population. That’s the price for taking large strides toward universal coverage, as well as beginning to undo the tax exclusion of employer-sponsored plans. I wish we could do that for free, but we can’t. It’s perfectly fine to argue that they are not worth the price, but here you won’t be able to do it by distorting the facts.


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