Letter: Absolutely no to Amendment 69
Most self-employed individuals and small business owners living in Garfield, Pitkin, Eagle and Summit counties would agree that the Affordable Care Act has been anything but affordable. While I’m among those actively seeking a better solution, Amendment 69 isn’t the answer and would make a bad situation considerably worse for many individuals, employers and to the state economy as a whole by increasing taxes, discouraging investments and increasing labor costs.
For anyone with an IRA (Roth or Traditional), a 401(k), or any other tax-deferred retirement account, consider a 10 percent decline in its value based upon the new proposed tax consequences of Amendment 69. If you have other investments such as real estate, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CDs and other such investments, the proposed amendment would add 10 percent in addition to the 15 percent or more capital gains taxes that these investments are already subject to.
That’s a 67 percent increase, creating an unfair and disproportionate burden on those who have worked hard to provide for themselves so that the government doesn’t have to. But it doesn’t end there. Even pension and Social Security wages, wages that belong to the employees who lent them to the government, would be subject to taxes on the return of our own money. Keep your hands off my stack, Jack.
If there is any silver lining to the health-care cost debacle, it’s that costs have become so onerous as to gain greater attention and scrutiny, which I believe will continue to evolve including the unjustified increases (gouging) in pharmaceuticals and inflated costs from local service providers, which need much greater transparency and comparison to other areas.
The results might surprise you. Most of all, what’s needed is a united effort among those affected by these exorbitant costs to demand change. But no amount of increased taxes will ever support uncontrolled costs. Neither will a system based on inequitable funding among beneficiaries such as that proposed by Amendment 69. We need to solve the health-care cost problem, but this proposal only makes it worse.
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