The Corner

If President Obama Isn’t Careful . . .

He’s going to make cynics out of all of us who believe so completely in political truth in advertising.

Back during the fall campaign, one of Obama’s most-effective ads targeted McCain’s plan for health-care reform. Entitled “Unravel” and featuring a memorable graphic of a ball of string unwinding, the ad warned that McCain would tax employer-provided medical benefits for the first time and thus potentially cause companies to reduce or drop longstanding health-care arrangements.

Right after the election, I wrote in NRODT that the ad “was grossly misleading: McCain sought to replace income and payroll-tax exclusions at the workplace with tax credits for households — a swap that would reduce taxes for virtually everyone and give families more choice and ownership in their health plans.” Still, it was a powerful political attack.

So I’m reading the Journal today and come across this bit of news:

The administration also is opening the door to another revenue source to help cover the cost of its health-care plan — a cap on the tax break that the government gives to employees for their employer-provided health care. In its budget documents, the White House said it was open to serious ideas for covering the cost of health-care overhaul, including a cap on the current break, perhaps for higher earners.

I feel my faith in honest politics beginning to unravel.


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