In the New York Times, Bob Herbert has a column criticizing the health care bill passed by the Senate for including what he calls "a confiscatory 40 percent excise tax on so-called Cadillac health plans, which are popularly viewed as over-the-top plans held only by the very wealthy. In fact, it's a tax that in a few years will hammer millions of middle-class policyholders, forcing them to scale back their access to medical care." If 40% is "confiscatory," how about 49%, which is where the Wall Street Journal editorial page says the top federal income tax rate is headed if the Democrats have their way? Add state and local taxes to the tab and the burden on the top taxpayers who pay a big share of the taxes starts looking staggering. As the Journal also points out, Democrats are hoping to avoid the political fallout of this tax increase by means of a bipartisan "deficit reduction commission." At least the 49% level is still short of the 50% recommended by David Brooks.