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Adminstration considering elimination of tax free healthcare benefits and elimination of interest expense on homes for couples making over $100,000

Original post made by Lisa, Castlewood, on May 13, 2009

In order to help fund the cost of healthcare for the uninsured the Obama administration and congress are considering eliminating the tax free status of employer provided healthcare benefits and treating it as taxable income thereby generating an additional $250 billion per year in tax revenue. In addition, also under consideration and discussion is elimination of a tax deduction for interest expense on home loans for couples making over $100,000 per year.

Comments (32)

Posted by Potential striker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 13, 2009 at 11:25 am

So, again, the people who work for a living are being forced to work for themselves and their families and everyone who doesn't want to be bothered to work.

Maybe there will come a day when the people who are working to hold this society together will just quit. Then who will support the moochers?

Posted by Bob
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm

What is your source?

Posted by Lisa
a resident of Castlewood
on May 13, 2009 at 12:24 pm


Related to the taxation of income exclusion on the employer paid health benefits it came from and press conference today by Nancy Pelosi"s group including Dick Durbin. Just google it or look on yahoo under todays news. The other issue related to interest expense on home loans came from yesterdays senate budget subcommittee minutes as discussion threads to raise revenue. Additionally, the interest expense exclusion for couples making over $100,000 per year is also part of President Obama's direction to simplify the tax code.

Posted by Mary
a resident of Country Fair
on May 13, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Here is part of the AP story:

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that her chamber would have a sweeping health care bill on the floor by the end of July, an announcement that President Barack Obama hailed.

"That's the kind of urgency and determination that we need to achieve what I believe will be historic legislation," the president said at the White House, standing on the south driveway with Pelosi and Democratic leaders of the relevant House committees.

"Our health care system is broken," Obama said. "We are not going to rest until we've delivered the kind of health care reform that's going to bring down costs for families, improve quality, affordability, accessibility for all Americans."

Pelosi, D-Calif., and other House Democrats had met with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office just before going outside to make their announcement. No Republicans were present, and neither were any senators.

"We promised him that we will have this important legislation on the floor of the House before the August break," Pelosi announced. "Our goal is to have a healthier America."

Neither the speaker nor the president offered details of how the legislation will look, the subject of ongoing debate on Capitol Hill. The White House is remaining mostly quiet as proposals emerge for discussion among lawmakers, preferring to let Congress come up with a plan and engage more on the specifics later on.

Obama's plan to provide coverage to some 50 million uninsured Americans is the cornerstone of his promise to enact a larger overhaul of the health care system. Independent experts put the costs at about $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

But turning that vision into reality remains the biggest challenge for the president and his backers, because hard cash — not just ideas — is required to cover upfront costs of expanding coverage.

The final financing package is likely to include a mix of tax increases and spending cuts in federal health programs. Among the possibilities are tax increases on alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and sugary soft drinks, and restrictions on other health care-related tax breaks, such as flexible spending accounts.

Senators also are considering eliminating the tax-free status of employer-provided health benefits.

Employer-provided health insurance technically is considered part of workers' compensation, but unlike wages, it is not taxed. The forgone revenue to the federal government amounts to about $250 billion a year.

So even if they're lucky enough to avoid going to the doctor or hospital, and never use their job-based health insurance, some Americans may find themselves paying taxes on at least part of its value.

Some taxes don't seem to be on the table, such as a federal sales levy to pay for health care or a new payroll tax.

Posted by Mom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 13, 2009 at 1:08 pm

This is disturbing. Obama is a nightmare.

Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on May 13, 2009 at 1:33 pm

I'm sure that there will be an exemption somewhere in the bill to exclude the benefits of govenrment workers. Good going UNIONS, I'll bet you're glad you donated all that money to the Obama Demos.
The great experiment in socialism continues.

Posted by Source for $100,000?
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 13, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Is there a source for the $100,000 number? Wasn't there a campaign promise with a number like $200,000?

Posted by The Browser
a resident of Del Prado
on May 13, 2009 at 1:45 pm

This is not surprising news, it has been talked about for months now. But it actually should be good news to the Republicans, because if the great middle-class that supported Obama gets hit with a "hidden" tax increase, then his support will erode quickly and in the off-year election the Dems. will probably lose Congress. Obama is looking like a one termer to me. All the Dems. seem to be good at is taxing the middle class and driving them away.

Posted by Cindy
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 13, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I just heard about this on the radio and it seems the $100,000 number comes from the fact that in most states this is considered wealthy. $100,000 in California is not considered wealthy in my book and say your house payment is $3,000 per month then about $1,000 is interest write off which goes away........give me a break we do not live in Montana.

Posted by Duped
a resident of Danbury Park
on May 13, 2009 at 2:00 pm

"Change you can believe in", boy do I feel used now. So why would anybody keep their employers health care and get taxed when they can get the governments for free? If enough people drop their employee benefits, then where is the government going to get the tax dollars to fund the grand plan?

Posted by Hold on to your wallet
a resident of Danbury Park
on May 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Sorry Cindy, but the government knows how to spend your money more wisely than you do. Don't worry, they will take good care of you. And as far as they are concerned....and in order to fund these will need to be "wealthy" with an income of $100k even in California. Hey, somebody's gotta pay!

Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on May 13, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.

The only surprising thing about the move towards socialized medicine is that people are actually surprised about it.

If you elect a socialist, and give him a socialist Congress, YOU'RE GONNA GET SOCIALISM!

Posted by Bob
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 13, 2009 at 3:47 pm

How does a senate subcommittee discussing possibilities on ways on increase revenues suddenly change into "OH NOES! OBAMA BE STEALIN MAH MONEY!!!!" ? Calm yourselves, people.

Posted by Bobby
a resident of Del Prado
on May 13, 2009 at 3:50 pm


read the AP story "hailed by Obama"

Posted by Chris
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 13, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Guess who campaigned on this plan and came up with the original idea - McCain, the Republican Presidential Candidate.

Any idea is worth discussing, especially one that may have bi-partisan support.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Del Prado
on May 13, 2009 at 6:58 pm


McCain did bring up the taxing of the health benefits and guess who jumped on it as a terrible idea? Yep, that is right Obama said "it is a terrible idea and just shows how out of touch he is!" So we elect the guy and he is going to do the same thing that he complained about............change we can believe in.

Posted by Michael
a resident of Livermore
on May 13, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Why can't these politicans just abide be the constitution and just defend us and stay out of our way? They are continually trying to live our lives and form the way we think and what we spend our money on by taking it. If I wanted to give my hard earned money to someone who does not work I would do so. I do not need the government taking or stealing my money and then disbursing it.

Posted by Ray
a resident of Downtown
on May 14, 2009 at 11:09 am

You greedy, selfish Republicans keep singing the same old tired tune about taxes. There is more to life than low taxes, but your single minded fixation on not paying taxes is why you can't win an election outside the deep south. The country has moved on, you should too. I love all the bitter Republicans here who can't get over the fact Obama won and can't spare one dime for the common good. Keep up the whining Republicans, and have fun being powerless and irrelevant!

Posted by Tera
a resident of Del Prado
on May 14, 2009 at 11:12 am

Typical angry white redneck Republican on this post : "I ain't paying no taxes boy!"

I guess they have plenty of time to get fat, drive huge SUVs, and whine about taxes when they hold no real power. Pathetic! Maybe Jesus and Sarah Palin can save them!

Posted by Dan
a resident of Happy Valley
on May 14, 2009 at 11:19 am

Right on Tera!

Republicans on this post: "Boy, if I keep calling Obama a 'socialist'like Rush Limbaugh told me, we can get Joe the Plumber elected!"

Posted by Michael
a resident of Livermore
on May 14, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Sounds like Ray, Tera, and Dan are the same person and maybe they are or at least all write the same way.

Anyway, the issue is not about taxes anyway but rather changing the rules but it is not going to work this time because in reading today's releases many democrats are going to be opposed to it because they are up for re election and already behind significantly in the polls in their district and must try to show some level of fiscal restraint. Additionally, the ACLU is threatening a lawsuit for infringement of fundamental rights so maybe this is one issue that they might be on the right side of this time.

Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on May 14, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.


I noticed the same thing...

I'm not "calling" Obama a socialist, I'm identifying him as one. He is using government resources to take over private enterprises. I expected most of it, since his meager history already painted him as an anti-business, pro-government kind of socialist.

It's just astonishing how completely ignorant voters were about his "background". Nobody should be surprised that he is taking this path, at least nobody that was paying attention (and not just following the liberal mainstream media lapdogs).

Posted by Michael
a resident of Livermore
on May 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Parent of two,

yes I agree with you completely. He is more of a Marxist rather than a socialist but at the end of the day the result will be the same. I lived in Canada for awhile and they were so envious of our government and thought it so sad that all competition had been taken out of Canada and now some of my friends up there have written me and said watching CNN about what is going on down here is like watching the demise of a great empire and guiding light.

On the other issue, no one should be surprised as he has always been extremely liberal on all issues and is actually doing everything he said he was going to do when he was running for office. I do find some of the lack of complaining by the media interesting. As an example he is revolted by the fact we pour water down the throats of 3 terrorists to get information but at the same time authored language to crush the skull of a newborn baby and does not view this at all as torture.

What I find the most disturbing is the hated by the left of the right and the blindness it is creating in terms of them seeing what is happening to our country by the election of this guy. I have never seen half of a ship sink and the other half continue on. We are all in this together.

Posted by Go ahead and pay
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Hey RayTeraDan,

On April 15th do you pay the minimum amount of tax due or are you paying extra? Nothing prevents you from paying extra and you seem to think the government knows how to spend your money better than you do.

Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown
on May 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm

It's nice to know so many Rush Limbaugh loving, Tea Party going retards have found a home at the Pleasanton Weekly. Go ahead, keep crying about taxes and "socialism" while we Democrats dominate your life and win all the elections. Remember Republicans, you don't matter anymore! Go cry to your mommy!

Posted by Mary
a resident of Del Prado
on May 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm


After reading your posting and seeing the extremely poor grammar, spelling, and expression I finally realize that being democrats now means it is the party of the poorly educated, hate, and unfulfilled expectations. I do not know how old you are but based on your writings I suspect you are going to have quite the difficult time in life. It would be refreshing to hear your perspectives on the current situation if you can express yourself in an informed method without the hate and rude demeanor.

Posted by Why are Republicans so fat?
a resident of Del Prado
on May 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm

I hope these conservatives do throw another Tea Party. That way we can go to the park and throw a huge net over these fat rednecks and ship them out of town. It would make Pleasanton a much better place since there wouldn't be as many huge SUVs taking up 5 parking spaces and obesity in this town would fall dramatically.

Posted by Einstein
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

I guess the larger issue here is what is next? If the government is allowed to tax our health benefits then I guess this fits in line with forcing everyone to use government healthcare and is a hammer to get us to fall in line. On the other issue of disallowment of interest expense write off on home loans for households making in excess of $100,000 dollars per year I believe that this would adversely impact buying power and drive down the value of property as if this transpires what would be the incentive to purchase a home unless you planned on the keeping it for 30 years. Very hard to figure out how this is good viable long term thinking on our governments part.

Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on May 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.

This is another step away from personal self-sufficience and towards a government-run lifestyle. I was always taught that you work to earn money and take care of your family. A good job is a way to get insurance. If you work hard, you get better job with better benefits, and so on.

The current administration is passing out taxpayer money like perfume salespeople, spraying it towards people who aren't working. Now they want to penalize those of us with good jobs and benefits by forcing us to subsidize a universal health care boondoggle (and perpetuate the indentured electorate).

There is less and less incentive for lazy deadbeats to actually go out and get a job. Why should they? They'll get money, housing, and healthcare from the government, without ever leaving the comfort of their couch... paid for by the working class.

Posted by Einstein
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

parent of two,

you are correct but actually it is worse than you state as not only does it create less of an incentive for the deadbeat to get a job it actually create an incentive for the producers to lay down and take it easy afterall why work so hard when they just take more. It is the union mentality. Meaning pay everyone the same and do not reward excellence and eventually even your high performers will level down their performance afterall why work so hard as the slackers get the same reward. My feeling is that we need to stop electing politicans to offices but rather elect business people who know how to run a business and reward excellence rather than penalize it.

Posted by West Side Observer
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm

West Side Observer is a registered user.

Dear Why are Repub…of Del Prado
Ve have vays of making you talk. You vill take this bitter medicine and you vill like it. Now slip on the brown shirts ve haf provided and go out to the re-education camp ver Mr. Del Prado vill tell you how to think. It vill be easy, no vorries.

Posted by Einstein
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

People should study this issue and study in depth as it will impact everyone of all economic levels. Listen deeply, reflect geniunely, and then speak loudly.

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