With Health Bill, Obama Ends the 'Age of Reagan'
Marks biggest assault on wealth inequality since the '80s
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2010 6:56 AM CDT
FPresident Ronald Reagan makes a point during the first State of the Union speech of his presidency before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – The health care reform bill was the government’s biggest attack on economic inequality in more than 30 years, a period of time that’s seen government policy and market forces consistently push the opposite direction. That’s why Barack Obama fought so hard for it, writes David Leonhardt for the New York Times. “Beyond the health reform’s effect on the medical system, it is the centerpiece of his deliberate effort to end the age of Reagan.”

Since the late '70s, the wealthy have seen their incomes soar as their tax rates fell faster than everyone else’s. But nearly every aspect of the health care bill pushes the other way; it’s largely funded by increased payroll taxes on those making more than $250,000, while primarily benefiting families making less than $88,200. For the first time since 1965, the government has passed a major, historic piece of social legislation, and it may, as Obama said when he signed it, “mark a new season in America.”
 

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