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EDITORIAL: California moves to drive more people out of the state

Nevada spends millions on economic diversification efforts, but its most potent weapon may be the political lunacy that dominates Sacramento.

This week, California’s legislative Democrats revived their single-payer health care plan, which will essentially eliminate private health insurance in the state to create a government-run program “that promises access to any doctor, regardless of network, and a wide variety of medical services,” the Los Angeles Times reports. The plan would cover those who are in the country illegally.

Socialized medicine has long been a goal of the progressives running the Golden State, but fiscal reality has proved a tall hurdle. A proposal died in 2017 because it would run taxpayers $400 billion a year. Other blue states have run up against similar concerns.

In 2014, Vermont was forced to abandon its effort at government-run care after it became clear that the costs would necessitate punitive taxes on individuals and businesses.

Colorado voters overwhelmingly (79-21) rejected a similar plan in 2016, in part due to the astronomical cost estimates.

But Gov. Gavin Newsom and California lawmakers are now sitting on billions in federal virus stimulus money that they hope to direct to the single-payer scheme.

And once the seed money evaporates, they’ve got a plan to tax everything that moves to cover the astronomical financial commitment such a government takeover will require.

The Times reports that the funding mechanism includes a constitutional amendment imposing “a new excise tax on businesses equal to 2.3 percent of any annual gross receipts in excess of $2 million.” Then there’s a new payroll tax of 1.25 percent on the annual wages of California businesses with at least 50 employers that would include an additional levy on jobs that pay more than $50,000 annually.

And that’s only the beginning. “Free” health care, after all, doesn’t come cheap.

“All but the lowest-earning Californians would also be required to pay more in taxes,” the Times notes. Personal income taxes would increase for those earning $150,000 a year, the state would impose a new surcharge on certain high earners, while raising the state’s top marginal rate on wage income to a whopping 18.05 percent.

No doubt, some Californians are eager to allow the government to make their personal health care choices.

But many others likely are not so enamored of the prospect — nor of the massive taxes they’ll be forced to endure.

Watch for some of the latter along with beleaguered business owners to ramp up their exodus from the progressive paradise. Nevada welcomes them with open arms.

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