Saturday, June 27, 2009

Letters to the editor are usually not representative of the general population's views.

I noticed a strange letter to the editor today in the New York Times. It was from a woman named Barbara McFadden from Oakland. She wrote to urge Congress to eliminate the tax exemption for employer-provided health care (presently, employees pay no tax on the health insurance that they receive from their employer). Whenever someone suggests that we raise taxes, I always look up their name on Google because it is rather rare for an average, run-of-the-mill person to say, "Raise my taxes." In 2008, this woman gave $750 to Barack Obama's campaign for president and $250 for Hillary. Further, while her occupation stated that in February that she was a teacher, by October she listed her occupation as retired. Meanwhile, she writes: "I have employer-provided health insurance. What is more, I am ready to give up the current exemption and pay taxes on the insurance so that other Americans can have decent coverage." In October of 2008, she listed her occupation as retired. How can she have employer-provided health insurance? Is this retirement-based health insurance? Or did she change jobs? Further, this is equally disingenuous because Congress is debating the idea of taxing every employee's health insurance benefits except for those received by union members! This woman is very likely a member of California's teacher's union, which means that she would be exempt from this tax increase. It's always easy to call for a tax increase when someone else is paying the bills!

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