That's what he called John McCain's proposal to tax health benefits anyway. And given all the other things he has done or proposed that he criticized vociferously during the campaign, maybe we should simply start calling him "President Two-Faced:
In television advertisements last fall, Mr. Obama criticized his Republican rival for the presidency, Senator John McCain of Arizona, for proposing to tax all employer-provided health benefits. The benefits have long been tax-free, regardless of how generous they are or how much an employee earns. The advertisements did not point out that Mr. McCain, in exchange, wanted to give all families a tax credit to subsidize the purchase of coverage.
At the time, even some Obama supporters said privately that he might come to regret his position if he won the election; in effect, they said, he was potentially giving up an important option to help finance his ambitious health care agenda to reduce medical costs and to expand coverage to the 46 million uninsured Americans. Now that Mr. Obama has begun the health debate, several advisers say that while he will not propose changing the tax-free status of employee health benefits, neither will he oppose it if Congress does so.
At a recent Congressional hearing, Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat whose own health plan would make benefits taxable, asked Peter R. Orszag, the president’s budget director, about the issue. Mr. Orszag replied that it “most firmly should remain on the table.”
Mr. Orszag, an economist who has served as director of the Congressional Budget Office, has written favorably of taxing some employer-provided health benefits and using the revenue savings for other health-related incentives. So has another Obama adviser, Jason Furman, the deputy director of the White House National Economic Council.
An interesting time for the New York Times to point out that Obama's ads were unfair and amounted to little less than lying about his opponent's position, 5 months after the election was over.
But the idea of taxing some employer health benefits didn't start with McCain or Obama and has long been seen as a method of financing changes in health insurance, either through tax credit or direct subsidy.
Obama's plans are much more ambitious and expensive than McCain's, however, and would eventually lead to a take over of the health care system in America by the federal government. Reason enough to resist any tax on benefits the Obama administration comes up with.