We have been engulfed by a myriad of programs and platforms from the boatload of candidates for the Democratic nomination for President. Every single one of them is EXPENSIVE. While most of them are not about to explain how they think they will pay for such programs, common sense tells us that the only way to cover these costs are to significantly increase taxes.
What would these incredible tax hikes do to career fields that are already known for not paying well – namely, the emergency responder community?
For the record, the vast majority in that community do what they do because they have a heart to serve, not because they are looking to make a financial windfall. But what would happen to the current work force if everyone’s pay was cut in half? What would the impact be on recruiting efforts?
For the sake of this argument, we will use the national average annual salary for a cop in the US, $48,739.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) has done voters a favor by spelling out what kinds of new taxes it would take to come up with that much money. The following calculations and percentages are all part of a breakdown on Democratic campaign promise costs done by the CRFB.
Using Medicare for All as the primary example, this huge, single-payer government health plan backed by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and several other Democratic presidential candidates, say it’s time to think big and move to a health plan that covers everyone.
Getting there is a bit tricky, however. A variety of analyses estimate that Medicare for All would require at least $3 trillion in new spending. That’s about as much revenue as the government currently generates. So, if paid for through new taxes, federal rates would have to theoretically double.
Warren justifies many of her programs by saying all it would take is “two cents” from the wealthy. That’s a reference to her 2% wealth tax on ultra-millionaires.
But Medicare for All would be so expensive that if you taxed top earners at 100%, yes, take every penny, of people earning more than $408,000 per year—you’d still fall far short. And everybody getting taxed at 100% would obviously stop working.
But that scenario would not only not be possible, it would also eliminate most law enforcement officers from the conversation.
Moving on to methods that have been discussed, the CRFB outlined a variety of options.
A 42% national sales tax (known as a valued-added tax) would generate about $3 trillion in revenue. It would also destroy the consumer spending that’s the backbone of the U.S. economy. A tax of that magnitude would be like 42% inflation, wrecking consumer budgets and the many companies that depend on them, from Walmart and Amazon to your local car dealer.
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And what would this number do to cops take home? Nothing at first – until the massive impact of inflation begins to trickle down.
Until then, that new truck you wanted with a sticker price of $62K, ($65,875 after taxes in Texas) is now $88,040 no matter where you live. That new pistol you wanted for $900 would cost you $1,278.
This would obviously drive spending down, thus leaving us in a situation where the government has promised millions healthcare that they cannot pay for.
Other options include a 32% payroll tax split between employers and workers or a 25% income surtax on everybody.
Looking at each of these, splitting the difference with your municipality would cost you an additional $4,142.82. The surtax would do exactly what you think it would do. Your annual take home would decrease from $41,428.15 to $32,898.83.
The government could cut 80% of spending on everything but health care, which would include highways, airports and the Pentagon. That would also cut the funding that departments across the country rely on to operate.
We could also just borrow the money and quadruple Washington’s annual deficits.
The CFRB said that the best idea might be charging every enrollee in the new program $7,500 per year, so they’d be paying directly for the coverage they’re getting. Some people pay more than that now for health care, by purchasing insurance outright or sacrificing pay raises in exchange for employer coverage. It would still be a nifty trick to propose that to voters.
What would any of these ideas do to the existing level of resources that departments across the country are dealing with? Many departments are understaffed. They are dealing with decreased recruiting pools, increased retirement, and a revolving door when it comes to retention.
Overtime and off-duty opportunities would be at a premium for many officers, deputies and agents to be able to make up the difference in lost wages.
In 2008, departments in west Texas lost numerous officers to the oil field boom that doubled and tripled many of their annual salaries. Many of those agencies have struggled to return to a fully staffed department.
Parts of our current societal climate is discouraging younger people from considering a career in law-enforcement. If you add a decrease in salary, longer working hours that create more difficult working environments, and constant scrutiny from certain sections of our country that want to see cops disarmed and departments completely disbanded.
God help us all if one of these money-grubbing Socialist candidates change their address to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.