March 13, 2009
Democrat Senator Max Baucus wants to start taxing employee benefits. For now, only health benefits are being considered for taxation. The estimated average earnings of health benefits are $9,000 per year. Baucus is joined by 13 other Senators, both Democrats and Republicans, in pushing through this tax legislation. You may remember that John McCain made this part of his campaign for the presidency, although he tried to minimize it.
Peter Orszag, White House budget director, has confirmed that taxing health care benefits was being considered, but the president hasn’t mentioned it as of yet.
Our total tax burden is already up to 54%. So why not get some more. That’s what our government does best. When Obama said he would lower taxes for the middle class I guess that was just a slight of hand.
I find it ironic that so many still think capital gains and dividends should not be taxed, but it’s ok to tax anything the working class gets, even though there are enough tax loop holes for the wealthy many of them pay hardly anything at all. Especially with their Swiss bank accounts. There are no tax loop holes for the working class. (Even Warren Buffett says his tax burden is less.) And if we think for one moment that taxing only health benefits will end there, we have another think coming. The government’s way is to slip it in slow and easy. The next thing we will see is an income tax for the portion of Social Security paid by the employer, then state & federal unemployment insurance and/or contributions paid by the employer, Medicare paid by the employer, followed by taxing employer retirement contributions. Then when we run out of everything the working person has to offer, we can start taxing Medicare and Medicaid benefits of those over 65. And I’m sure there are many more opportunities if we just look hard enough.
Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs [with] facts.
Economist Henry Rosovsky