Obama Attacks Tax Havens to Save Health Care: Reich

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2009 4:05 PM CDT
Robert Reich, Labor Secretary during the Clinton administration, gives his commencement speech during graduation ceremonies at California State University-Fullerton in this file photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Offshore tax havens may not be fair, but they’ve been around for decades. So why is President Obama taking them on now, Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich asks in Salon. It’s not to try to keep jobs here, as the White House claims; the move might even drive jobs away. It’s far more likely this is a sly strategic move in the universal health-care fight.

Obama will need a lot of corporate muscle on his side to push through health-care cost reform. Many companies want to help, but fear angering major providers. Obama can use the offshore tax havens as a bargaining chip, leaving them alone in exchange for cooperation. Alternatively, he can go ahead with his plan, and use newfound revenues—an estimated $295 billion—to pay for care.