Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is Stress Taxing Your Health

Talk about a snowball effect. Stress is one of the things that causes many health-related problems in people and there is an abundance of it these days, what with the economy running downhill like a spring melt in the Rockies and the democrats using a flame thrower on the snow at the summit. Many people are thankful for the health benefits their employers provide, albeit at a still-substantial cost to the individual. Now, however, the Obama administration and congress are preparing to heap more stress on the people in the form of taxation, once again. Yes, change is in the air.

Despite his campaign rhetoric last fall, Obama is now signaling that he will be "receptive" to a plan being prepared by congress to begin taxing employer-provided health care benefits as income. The first thing that comes to mind, at least to me, is that this is a precursor to socialized medicine or, for the more politically correct thinker, "universal health care". It is a way to smoothly transition the American people into the mindset that government is now providing your health care plans through taxation. Once everyone settles in and gets used to the notion, government can formally seize the reins and we'll be socialized once and for all.

There is a side note to this possibility, however. When John McCain floated this idea during the presidential campaign, the Obama camp trounced it soundly. Obama called McCain's idea “the largest middle-class tax increase in history.” And we all know that Obama is going to cut taxes for ninety-five percent of all working Americans, right? As we're now learning, that was simply the sales pitch for the magic elixir, that which was designed to land Obama in the White House. Mission accomplished, but now we know what snake oil tastes like and that is has none of the benefits and all of the side effects.

It is peculiar how all of the broken campaign promises from this young neophyte - and in such a truncated time frame - have gone all but unnoticed by the press that were once such vociferous watchdogs for the country. Whether they share the same ideology as the president - something which seems a rhetorical point - or not, one would at least expect them to do their jobs and point out the obvious. Whether well meaning or not, a lie is still a lie, a broken promise just that.

Without a strong voice of opposition from that other party in congress, we may as well resign ourselves to the fact that stress will increase and continue to tax our health. Now Government is going to tax it as well.

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