Reading this article, Administration open to taxing health benefits, we see that yet another campaign pledge by Obama has gone by the wayside. I don't know if anyone is keeping track on how many campaign promises he has reversed himself on but they are mounting.
Obama said during the campaign that he did not agree with taxing employer paid health care benefits. After making a big show of being against the idea during the campaign and gaining political capitol out of it, he is now quietly signaling through his staff that he would be willing to consider taxing the benefits.
The word from his staff is that Obama would not oppose the tax if Congress passed the legislation. This is sleazy. You can write the script now. Congress will attach the tax to a budget bill, they'll throw in some scraps for vets or something to make it hard for the GOP to vote against it, and Obama will hold a ceremony saying he does not agree with the tax and is upset that Congress did not follow through with his campaign pledge but he must sign it anyways "to keep the government running"
Sound familiar? You heard the same routine last week on his opposition to earmarks. Funny thing about the earmark farce is that he was able to blame it on Bush even though it was written by a Democratic controlled Congress and Bush had nothing to do with it. Luckily the whores in the media will believe anything he says and run with it.
The not so funny part of this issue is that he attacked McCain for doing the same thing. During the campaign McCain proposed taxing employer paid health care benefits and Obama criticized the idea (one of them few Obama stances I agreed with). In fact, his exact words were that it would be “the largest middle-class tax increase in history.”
Keeping with his style of attack ads during the campaign, Obama did not tell the whole truth on McCain's plan, leaving out the fact that McCain wanted to give everyone a tax credit to pay for health coverage.
Now, I thought that McCain's plan was stupid but give him credit for being upfront about it. I guess the moral to the story here is that Obama has shown that dishonesty in a campaign pays.
So the recap, McCain says during the campaign that he wanted to tax employer paid health care, Obama (who promised to cut middle class taxes) criticized it as a tax on the middle class. Now Obama wants to tax employee paid health care.
We haven't seen this level of audacity since, yesterday.
I assume everyone remembers during the campaign that McCain said the fundamentals of the economy were strong. Obama and his people howled. What a ridiculous statement. There is some speculation that this statement along with Obama's attack, as much as anything else, cost McCain the election.
Now back to the present. Yesterday on Meet The Press Obama economic advisor Christina Romer said, you guessed it, the fundamentals of the economy are strong.
But on Sunday, that optimistic message came from economic adviser Christina Romer. When asked during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" if the fundamentals of the economy were sound, she replied: "Of course they are sound."
"The fundamentals are sound in the sense that the American workers are sound, we have a good capital stock, we have good technology," she said. "We know that - that temporarily we're in a mess, right? We've seen huge job loss, we've seen very large falls in GDP. So certainly in the short run we're in a - in a bad situation."
Do not let anyone tell you differently or try to explain this away, this is exactly what McCain was saying. One can only assume that Obama will go on the attack against his advisor and run a commercial ridiculing her statement.
So, for any aspiring politicians reading this post, the lesson today is; say what you want during the campaign, once you get elected you can change it all. Change, that is definitely one campaign promise Obama has kept.