Health tax flip-flop

Health tax flip-flop

June 18th, 2009 in Opinion Free Press

It was unwise when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., proposed during last year's presidential campaign to tax Americans' health care benefits (even though he promised credits to offset those taxes). We opposed the idea at that time. So did even liberal Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., then. He said the idea of taxing health benefits was outrageous.

Here is what he said in New Hampshire last September about Sen. McCain's plan: "For the first time in American history, he wants to tax your health benefits. Apparently, Sen. McCain doesn't think it's enough that your health premiums have doubled; he thinks you should have to pay taxes on them, too."

But now, it seems, the Obama administration is warming to the idea of taxing health benefits. Vice President Joe Biden said recently it is an idea that should be considered. And two Democrat U.S. senators told The Associated Press that when they presented the president with the notion of taxing benefits, he had no objection or even seemed open to the plan.

In other words, Mr. Obama can now fairly be accused of what he accused Sen. McCain of last year. Apparently, it is President Obama who "doesn't think it's enough that your health premiums have doubled; he thinks you should have to pay taxes on them, too."

That's a flip-flop of the first order. Unfortunately, we don't see much evidence that the president is opposed to other tax increases, either.