Sunday, January 21, 2007

George Bush to propose a new tax plan for health insurance

In his State of the Union speech, the president is going to propose a new plan to change the way health insurance is taxed. Right now, health insurance acquired through employers is regarded as a fringe benefit and is not taxed. Individually purchased health insurance is taxed by taxing the income used to pay the insurance. Bush's plan would allow both types of individuals to take a $15,000 (for families, $7,500 for individuals) deduction and anything beyond that will be taxed. Bush claims that it is designed not to affect tax revenues in any way.

I support this because it will even the subsidy and make it available to everyone, not just people who can get insurance through their employer. I was very surprised to see Bush come out with a plan that, at least, seems economically sound.

People seem to be complaining that it will spell then end of employer provided health insurance, but I can't figure out why that system appeals to so many people.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

New respect for Al Gore

On Martin Luther King Jr. day, Al Gore gave a speech railing against the Bush Administration for the huge executive power expansions it has made. Text of the speech is available here. I saw a few highlights from the speech, and he seemed stiff as ever, but the actual speech is quite good. Finally a politician talks about something I care about. Because of this speech, and his semi free-market environmentalist views, I would actually seriously consider voting for him if he ran for the presidency (or anything really). I have not heard any other politicians really discuss this extremely important topic.