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Obama open to taxing health care benefits

Health Care Taxing benefits 2009

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#1 Captain Jack

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 12:06 AM

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29703278/

Quote

Administration open to taxing health benefits
Proposal problematic for Obama as he denounced similar one in campaign

By Jackie Calmes and Robert Pear

updated 7:31 a.m. PT, Sun., March. 15, 2009
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system.

The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as “the largest middle-class tax increase in history.” Most Americans with insurance get it from their employers, and taxing workers for the benefit is opposed by union leaders and some businesses.

In television advertisements last fall, Mr. Obama criticized his Republican rival for the presidency, Senator John McCain of Arizona, for proposing to tax all employer-provided health benefits. The benefits have long been tax-free, regardless of how generous they are or how much an employee earns. The advertisements did not point out that Mr. McCain, in exchange, wanted to give all families a tax credit to subsidize the purchase of coverage.

I think folks need to keep an eye on Obama's considerations more than jumping on Glen Beck or any other conservative commentator.  the mighty President may just screw us all over when you're not looking.
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#2 Shalamar

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 12:11 AM

I wonder what all of those who are so enamored of Obama will say to this?

I think if any of them say that it's not the same thing as he denounced in his campaigne, we need to advise them to take off their rose colored glasses and admit that he has no halo. None.
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#3 Captain Jack

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 12:30 AM

View PostShalamar, on Mar 15 2009, 10:11 PM, said:

I wonder what all of those who are so enamored of Obama will say to this?

I'm sure they'll think of something.  Nothing must tarnish the new "Mr. Terrific's" name you know.  I have no doubt someone will have something to say about this as well, lol.

Quote

I think if any of them say that it's not the same thing as he denounced in his campaigne, we need to advise them to take off their rose colored glasses and admit that he has no halo. None.

I doubt many of them will, unfortunately.  No one seems to mind him spending our nation into oblivian because it is in the name of "stimulating the economy". :rolleyes:

Edited by Captain Jack, 16 March 2009 - 12:31 AM.

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#4 Bad Wolf

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 02:17 AM

View PostShalamar, on Mar 15 2009, 10:11 PM, said:

I wonder what all of those who are so enamored of Obama will say to this?

I think if any of them say that it's not the same thing as he denounced in his campaigne, we need to advise them to take off their rose colored glasses and admit that he has no halo. None.

Well as someone NOT enamored with Obama, this one is probably the worst one yet.  

*shakes head*

Just wow.
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#5 scherzo

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 03:50 AM

Quote

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system.
The strategy is to increase the burden on our existing health care benefits, to help grease the wheels for the inevitable socialist healthcare overhaul the left have always dreamed of. The mentality here is similar to the one that will cause Democrats to deliberately drive up the cost of energy.(wait for it) Sounds like a team taking great interest in growing our economy not.
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#6 RobL

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 04:51 AM

View Postscherzo, on Mar 16 2009, 01:50 AM, said:

Quote

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system.
The strategy is to increase the burden on our existing health care benefits, to help grease the wheels for the inevitable socialist healthcare overhaul the left have always dreamed of. The mentality here is similar to the one that will cause Democrats to deliberately drive up the cost of energy.(wait for it) Sounds like a team taking great interest in growing our economy not.

Well, look on the bright side you guys - Obama is setting himself up for an epic fail the likes of which will make Jimmy Carter look tame. Which will in turn lead to a Reagan-type leader that will usher in 20 years of Conservatives in power.

A little bit of pain now will do us a hell of a lot of good later.

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#7 Spectacles

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 06:57 AM

This is definitely a political problem:

Quote

The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as “the largest middle-class tax increase in history.” ...

In television advertisements last fall, Mr. Obama criticized his Republican rival for the presidency, Senator John McCain of Arizona, for proposing to tax all employer-provided health benefits.

Obama may be hoist by his own petard on this one.


As far as being outraged about the plan, though, I'll need to see more of it. I don't mind paying more taxes if I get more in return. For example, if the increased taxes result in overall lower health care costs, then we may actually benefit--in which case I don't mind. If we're taxed and for our money we get the same old rapidly-pricing-itself-out-of-reach system, then that makes no sense. I really want them to present a cost-benefit analysis on this to taxpayers and employers. If this is a good idea, they should be willing to do that.

Quote

The advertisements did not point out that Mr. McCain, in exchange, wanted to give all families a tax credit to subsidize the purchase of coverage

I'd like to know, too, if an Obama plan would do the same as a McCain plan would have....Too many unanswered questions right now, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
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#8 Hibblette

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 07:38 AM

Okay-is there a direct quote here?

Key word is "could" which means this is an article that has nothing solid to it.

And let me say I'm not enamored by Obama-he is a human.

But gee if you want to send people into a panic just put a little fear to nothing and then you've got fear right?
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#9 Rov Judicata

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 07:40 AM

McCain was right from the start, as I argued before the election.

Healthcare benefits are a non-cash portion of salary.  Salaries are taxed.  Therefore, healthcare benefits should be taxed. This will also tend to be progressive, as the employees with the most generous health benefits tend to be those who earn the most.
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#10 Themis

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 07:49 AM

View PostSpectacles, on Mar 16 2009, 11:57 AM, said:

As far as being outraged about the plan, though, I'll need to see more of it. I don't mind paying more taxes if I get more in return. For example, if the increased taxes result in overall lower health care costs, then we may actually benefit--in which case I don't mind. If we're taxed and for our money we get the same old rapidly-pricing-itself-out-of-reach system, then that makes no sense. I really want them to present a cost-benefit analysis on this to taxpayers and employers. If this is a good idea, they should be willing to do that.

Quote

The advertisements did not point out that Mr. McCain, in exchange, wanted to give all families a tax credit to subsidize the purchase of coverage

I'd like to know, too, if an Obama plan would do the same as a McCain plan would have....Too many unanswered questions right now, but it's worth keeping an eye on.

Agreed.  Most of the western world finances universal health care through taxes.  Which, frankly, would be fine with me if it led to using our emergency rooms for real emergencies instead of basic health care and knowing that health care expenses wouldn't lead to personal bankruptcy, as they are for me and many others.  Rov also makes a fair point.  But right now there's a lot of "what if" floating around in the ether.  I wonder if they can keep the "no new taxes if you make under $225K" with this - although even adding a tax on health benefits would keep me under that figure.
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#11 Dev F

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 08:21 AM

View PostSpectacles, on Mar 16 2009, 06:57 AM, said:

This is definitely a political problem:

Quote

The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as "the largest middle-class tax increase in history." ...

In television advertisements last fall, Mr. Obama criticized his Republican rival for the presidency, Senator John McCain of Arizona, for proposing to tax all employer-provided health benefits.

Obama may be hoist by his own petard on this one.
(shrug) It seems like a dumb idea to me, primarily because it sounds like it would be particularly disruptive for people who already have decent health coverage, but it's not an idea that Obama is actually lobbying for. He's just indicated that he's willing to consider the possibility should Congress go in that direction. And it's not like the Republicans can convincingly make a big stink over it, since it was their candidate's preferred idea to begin with.

Though it's interesting that when the president sticks to his guns he's accused of being a jerk whose interest in bipartisanship is disingenuous, but when he merely entertains a possible compromise he's accused of going back on his word. Damned if you do . . .

#12 Drew

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 08:41 AM

Quote

The strategy is to increase the burden on our existing health care benefits, to help grease the wheels for the inevitable socialist healthcare overhaul the left have always dreamed of. The mentality here is similar to the one that will cause Democrats to deliberately drive up the cost of energy.(wait for it) Sounds like a team taking great interest in growing our economy not.

Got it in one, Mr. Scherzo.

Quote

Though it's interesting that when the president sticks to his guns he's accused of being a jerk whose interest in bipartisanship is disingenuous, but when he merely entertains a possible compromise he's accused of going back on his word. Damned if you do . . .

What you call a "compromise" the rest of us call a blatant lie.

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Edited by Drew, 16 March 2009 - 08:48 AM.

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#13 Balderdash

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:10 AM

What President Obama really needs to do is shut up and stop being so transparent.  If he says he'll think about something the scardie cats get all up in arms (heh heh)  that he's going to take away their guns or he's really going to tax the 95% of Americans who are fixin' to start receiving their tax cut or he's going to use Katrina trailors to house conservatives when he takes over the world or goes communist.  It really is starting to get completely rediculous and for me a lot of the folks posting on this board have lost all credibilty.  It's like frickin' "Chicken Little" over here.

I'm not all for President Obama although I am all for a Democrat in office.  Y'all need to reign in the damn fear mongering.

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#14 Paul

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:18 AM

Yeah, according to some folks you'd think Obama has a "SECRET SOCIALIST TAKEOVER PLAN". OMG, he is going to tax health benefits (well, or so the article claims which wouldn't even name a source). Well, hello, people, welcome to the rest of the world.
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~~~~~~
Cameron: "His wife arranged it for an anniversary present. And if you ask me, if two people really trust each other, a threesome once every seven years might actually help a marriage."
House: "Okay, I say we stop the DDX and discuss that comment."
~~~~~~
"Somebody came along and said 'liberal' means 'soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.' And instead of saying, 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave-it-to-Beaver trip back to the '50s,' we cowered in the corner and said, 'Please don't hurt me.' No more." - Bruno Gianelli

#15 Drew

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:24 AM

View PostPaul, on Mar 16 2009, 09:18 AM, said:

Yeah, according to some folks you'd think Obama has a "SECRET SOCIALIST TAKEOVER PLAN". OMG, he is going to tax health benefits (well, or so the article claims which wouldn't even name a source). Well, hello, people, welcome to the rest of the world.

Some of us don't want to be the rest of the world, thanks.
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#16 Paul

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:27 AM

View PostDrew, on Mar 16 2009, 03:24 PM, said:

View PostPaul, on Mar 16 2009, 09:18 AM, said:

Yeah, according to some folks you'd think Obama has a "SECRET SOCIALIST TAKEOVER PLAN". OMG, he is going to tax health benefits (well, or so the article claims which wouldn't even name a source). Well, hello, people, welcome to the rest of the world.

Some of us don't want to be the rest of the world, thanks.


You missed my point. I wasn't debating the ridiculous notion of america being something "special", I was making the point that in every country that has taxes on those things, socialism has not cropped up in...oh, say, 70 years.
"All Religions are equal and good, if only the people that practice them are honest people; and if Turks and heathens came and wanted to live here in this country, we would build them mosques and churches."
- Frederick II, King of Prussia, evil liberal™
~~~~~~
Cameron: "His wife arranged it for an anniversary present. And if you ask me, if two people really trust each other, a threesome once every seven years might actually help a marriage."
House: "Okay, I say we stop the DDX and discuss that comment."
~~~~~~
"Somebody came along and said 'liberal' means 'soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.' And instead of saying, 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave-it-to-Beaver trip back to the '50s,' we cowered in the corner and said, 'Please don't hurt me.' No more." - Bruno Gianelli

#17 scherzo

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:32 AM

View PostPaul, on Mar 16 2009, 10:27 AM, said:

View PostDrew, on Mar 16 2009, 03:24 PM, said:

View PostPaul, on Mar 16 2009, 09:18 AM, said:

Yeah, according to some folks you'd think Obama has a "SECRET SOCIALIST TAKEOVER PLAN". OMG, he is going to tax health benefits (well, or so the article claims which wouldn't even name a source). Well, hello, people, welcome to the rest of the world.

Some of us don't want to be the rest of the world, thanks.


You missed my point. I wasn't debating the ridiculous notion of america being something "special", I was making the point that in every country that has taxes on those things, socialism has not cropped up in...oh, say, 70 years.
America is clearly something "special". Just the astonishing number of euro wind-bags, endlessly pontificating on every aspect of our lives...is enough to tell us that much.
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#18 Paul

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:38 AM

View Postscherzo, on Mar 16 2009, 03:32 PM, said:

America is clearly something "special". Just the astonishing number of euro wind-bags, endlessly pontificating on every aspect of our lives...is enough to tell us that much.


No, that just makes the USA a powerful nation.

What, you don't think the astonishing army of ami wind-bags does not endlessly pontificate on every aspect of the rest of the world, to use that language?

It is natural for people to comment on others. That's all.

Edited by Paul, 16 March 2009 - 09:38 AM.

"All Religions are equal and good, if only the people that practice them are honest people; and if Turks and heathens came and wanted to live here in this country, we would build them mosques and churches."
- Frederick II, King of Prussia, evil liberal™
~~~~~~
Cameron: "His wife arranged it for an anniversary present. And if you ask me, if two people really trust each other, a threesome once every seven years might actually help a marriage."
House: "Okay, I say we stop the DDX and discuss that comment."
~~~~~~
"Somebody came along and said 'liberal' means 'soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.' And instead of saying, 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave-it-to-Beaver trip back to the '50s,' we cowered in the corner and said, 'Please don't hurt me.' No more." - Bruno Gianelli

#19 SparkyCola

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:42 AM

Easy people, let's not get personal or snarky here. Besides, any country with EIers in it is special :p

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#20 Balderdash

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 10:02 AM

Paul is just interfering in the American windbaggery and fake fear that Socialism or Communism are taking over the US.  :suspect:


Edited for a grammar problem.  :p

Edited by Balderdash, 16 March 2009 - 10:09 AM.

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