President Obama’s “Multitrillion-dollar Tax Hike”

How does Barack Obama increase your taxes without obviously increasing your taxes? He taxes the lucky Americans who have health care, that’s how. He also makes veterans pay for their own care (more here, here, here and here). What I want to concentrate on today, though, is how the vast majority of Americans will be taxed. The Washington Times reports:

Neither Christina Romer, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, nor Lawrence H. Summers, chairman of the National Economic Council, ruled out a plan to tax employee health care benefits to help pay for the president’s overhaul of the system. They said Mr. Obama is open to all ideas on his health care plan, so long as they fall within the principles outlined in his budget.

And yet, this is what President Obama campaigned on, “”On health care reform — two extremes. On one end, government-run health care, higher taxes. On the other, insurance companies without rules, denying coverage. Barack Obama says both extremes are wrong.”

Suddenly, government-run health care and higher taxes are looking better–unless you’re a vet and you pay for your own health care. President Obama’s plan seems to be the same as it always has been: take from those who produce and/or serve and create a health care system that’s mediocre for all:

Like Ms. Romer, though, he did not directly answer an invitation to take taxes on health care benefits off the table.

During the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama took a much harsher tack, running a spate of ads denouncing Republican opponent John McCain’s health care plan on precisely those grounds – that it was partially financed by taxes from counting the value of medical insurance as taxable income. He called the McCain proposal a “multitrillion-dollar tax hike.”

When asked about a report in Sunday’s New York Times that the president was considering such a move, Austan Goolsbee, also of the Council of Economic Advisers, said, “The president has laid out a series of clear principles on the health plan that we will do whatever it takes to get affordable quality coverage to all Americans.”

Well, it’s not a tax hike if he does it. It’s a “health care for all” on the backs of the few.

Cross-posted at

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