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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Taxing Health Benefits

Campaign rhetoric has a way of coming back at inconvenient moments. The New York Times reports:
When millions of blue-collar workers were leaning toward JohnMcCain during the 2008 campaign, labor unions moved many of them into Barack Obama’s column by repeatedly hammering one theme: Mr. McCain wanted to tax their health benefits. An A.F.L.-C.I.O. ad warned union members that it believed voting for Senator John McCain in 2008 would be a mistake. But now labor leaders are fuming that President Obama has endorsed a tax on high-priced, employer-sponsored health insurance policies as a way to help cover the cost of health care reform.
And the unions can cite what the president himself said during the campaign:

September 12, 2008:
Apparently, Senator McCain 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 $3.6 trillion tax increase on middle class families. That will eventually leave tens of millions of you paying higher taxes. That's his idea of change.
October 4, 2008:
John McCain calls these plans "Cadillac plans." In some cases, it may be that a corporate CEO is getting too good a deal. But what if you're a line worker making a good American car like Cadillac who's given up wage increases in exchange for better health care? Well, Senator McCain believes you should pay higher taxes too. The bottom line: the better your health care plan - the harder you've fought for good benefits - the higher the taxes you'll pay under John McCain's plan.