You know the expression about taking something with a grain of salt? When it comes to advocates of new government health programs making estimates of how much their dreams will cost, you might want to find the Sam’s Club-sized version.

Mitch Pearlstein, president of the Center of the American Experiment, dusted off an Op-Ed he wrote during the days of debates over HillaryCare, the the insights are still instructive.

Well, it’s only three years past 1990, and the combined Medicare portion of payroll taxes today totals 2.9 percent, not 1 percent. This is a disparity of 290 percent over Medicare’s original payroll tax. It’s more than 1,100 percent increase over the one-quarter of one percent combined payroll tax presumed in Newsweek in 1962.

That was 1993, and the numbers have become even worse since then. That’s sobering, considering that so many people think that Medicare is a model to follow.

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(Cross-posted from State House Call.)

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