Sunday, March 15, 2009

Barack Obama and Administration "Open" To Taxing Health Benefits

Remember back to the October 8th Presidential debate. The one where Barack Obama chided John McCain's health care plan by saying what John McCain "doesn't tell you he's going to tax your employer-based health-care benefits for the first time ever." Obama argued that this would lead to "“the largest middle-class tax increase in history.”

Today, March 15th, four months after Barack Obama won the election and almost two months after taking the oath of office, the administration seems to be considering that idea themselves.

Jackie Calmes and Robert Pear of the NY Times tells us,

"At a recent Congressional hearing, Senator Ron Wyden [that's the pretentious looking fellow pictured in the upper left], an Oregon Democrat whose own health plan would make benefits taxable, asked Peter R. Orszag, the president’s budget director, about the issue. Mr. Orszag replied that it “most firmly should remain on the table.”

Mr. Orszag, an economist who has served as director of the Congressional Budget Office, has written favorably of taxing some employer-provided health benefits and using the revenue savings for other health-related incentives. So has another Obama adviser, Jason Furman, the deputy director of the White House National Economic Council."...

...When Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, advocated taxing benefits at a recent hearing of the Finance Committee, which he leads, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner assured him that the administration was open to all ideas from Congress. Mr. Geithner did, however, allude to the position that Mr. Obama had taken as a candidate.

The Congressional Budget Office says that including health benefits in taxable income could mean $246 billion in additional revenue for a single year. Stopping short of full taxation, as Mr. Baucus and others suggest, would mean less new revenue.

At this point I am at a lose for words as to what we can expect next from our lawmakers and this new administration. The "change" that was promised to us, the 'change" that many were so skeptical that would actually come, is just rearing its head as more of the same. More double speak and rhetoric from a shady administration with nothing more important to them than paying back the special interest groups that helped elect them. Change my "A".

1 comment:

  1. Yikes.

    Good post, I linked to it at my blog.