Come on, Mr. President — at least try to uphold some of your campaign promises. Last year, whenever Arizona Sen. John McCain would bring up his plans for health care, Barack Obama chided him for being open to taxing health benefits. Obama even went so far as to call McCain’s health care plan the “ultimate Bridge to Nowhere.”
Oh, but what news came from the administration’s budget flunkie yesterday? That’s right — the White House may support taxing health care benefits to help pay for health care reform. In fact, from what the president said during this past weekend’s commencement address at Arizona State University, it looks as though he’s already setting up the mechanism by which to rationalize it — why else would he argue against his own policies and say that this nation’s debt is unsustainable? He’s setting up the need to find the money somewhere.
Every single Republican official from Capitol Hill on down to your local municipal building should be informing everybody they know about this recent 180-degree shift from President Obama. Every concerned American citizen should be doing so as well; it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican, Democrat or Independent — if you want your elected representatives held accountable for the promises they make, this should be at the top of your list of things to talk about.
Am I surprised that this president would go back on his word? Of course not. Being surprised would insinuate that his word means something extraordinary, and given the discrepancy between what he’s said and done in terms of transparency, tax policy and more, the word “worthless” comes to mind.
Being unable to take a position and stick with it is a telltale sign of a serious dearth of principle. Former President George W. Bush, for all of his faults, at least made real decisions and stuck with them. No waffling. No hoping the press won’t notice.
And speaking of the press, it will be interesting to watch just how deep they cover this reversal. The video is there for anyone who wants it (and this certainly wasn’t the only example). My guess is that they’ll rationalize the change in heart and the tax, all in one, just because the president would have liked it that way.