For that to work, everyone needs to be paying the premiums.
Which is why our current system cannot work forever, because as more people withdraw from the system because of the high premiums, the premiums continue to get higher. I too find the individual mandate objectionable - but one thing it will
do is ensure that costs are brought down by righting the ship on this particular issue.
Rates were higher, but tax revenues were no higher, I presume in part due to tax breaks. Look it up - Whether with high tax rates or low tax rates, the total tax load has never been above 20% for any length of time. It proves the Laffer curve right - raise tax rates and government revenue does NOT rise with it. You just chase money overseas or under mattresses.
There were fewer loopholes, deductions, and ways to offshore in the 1950's, when the marginal tax rate on the highest income levels was over 90%.
Second, revenue absolutely does rise - tax increases helped balance the budget in the 90's and left the Bush administration with a surplus. We spent that money on the Bush tax cuts, that money and far more. It's gone now and there's no choice left but to raise revenue.
But rather than raising revenue outright, I'd propose simply eliminating alot of tax loopholes and deductions. A simplified tax code would be far more effective and far more fair than simply hiking taxes but leaving the structure in place.
No, you might have missed earlier where I said that the contributions created an obligation, but we needed to find a way to phase it out, probably though a phased reduction of both contributions and benefits, based on age.
You said "they should be eliminated" with reference to these two programs.
But alright, say we fulfill the obligation to those who have paid into the system and sunset the system that way. Alright, fine.
But what do you do then with the elderly and impoverish who come after that? Again, the question I'm asking here is: "Does the greatest democracy and the largest and most prosperous nation in the world leave it's elderly and impoverished to die because some people don't want to pay taxes?"
What I don't want is for that money to be wasted. You know what I call allowing tax dollars to be wasted without objecting?
Do you believe that caring for impoverished elderly people in our society is a waste of money? Because that is the implication. I'm happy to be wrong.
Yes, some get more than others. Some states also spend more than others in unfunded federal mandates. Of course one way to reduce the federal money going into the states is to reduce federal involvement at the state level.
Except that you couldn't. Without that federal money, state taxes would have to skyrocket, because states could not pay for the services they offer. And here is where the rubber meets the road. Less federal spending and aid will equate to higher local taxes or a vast reduction in services, and you simply cannot cut everything unless you'd like to go back to some agrarian society without things like public schools and trash collection.
I live in a state now without an income tax, but would pay one if we had it, and don't object to the very high sales tax and other fees in this state. Previously, I lived in a state with some of the highest levels of taxation in the nation - always paid, never objected. But without federal dollars for local things like, say, a nuclear waste cleanup, the state would go bankrupt. The state is almost bankrupt now
and still receives federal assistance.
Not sure what your beef is with Alaska, but yes, it does get quite a bit of federal money.
I have no beef with Alaska, which is a good neighbor and a great state. But you said that it was not okay for some Americans to have to subsidize other Americans, but that already happens - and that's my point. Your tax dollars do not necessarily go to you and things that directly pertain to you, but which are still important.
The campaign of Joe Miller in Alaska really worried me - because he would have done away with many of Alaska's subsidies. Good for non-Alaskan taxpayers, but bad for Alaskans themselves and bad for Alaska's production of things like fish and oil - things which other economies depend on. That knock-on effect, and the fact that he wanted to eliminate unemployment insurance in Alaska which might have sent a WAVE of unemployed Alaskans to Washington state, worried me a great deal. He had the right impulse with regards to cutting spending, but the wrong tactics. It surprised and concerned me that he nearly won that election.
but it has no basis in reality
Of course it does. Taxes pay for the structure of society - the structure that allows you and I to go out and work and earn. Now, that's a very macro view of things - there are certainly ways to reduce taxes and reduce spending and not all taxes and programs are created equal or necessarily good or bad in and of themselves. But paying taxes is like purchasing a movie ticket. The movie is the business of our lives, the ticket is the taxes we pay to be in the theater.