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was re­gres­sive — he would have turned the sav­ings into tax cred­its for pur­chas­ing health care — but he was right about where the rev­enues should come from. I worr ied that Obama would come to re­gret the po­si­tion he took,” said Mr. Re­ich, who served as la­bor sec­re­tary in the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“Half a year later, it ap­pears that the pres­i­dent will need to tax em­ployer pro­vided health ben­e­fits in or­der to fi­nance uni­ver­sal health care. Or at least the tax-free ben­e­fits now en­joyed by higher-in­come em­ploy­ees. Many in Congress and in the White House are con­vinced it’s the only good op­tion. Max Bau­cus, chair of Se­nate Fi­nance, ex­plic­itly put it on the ta­ble [two weeks ago]. Peter Orszag, the pres­i­dent’s bud­get di­rec­tor, has told Congress the op­tion should re­main on the ta­ble.

“The White House is in a rev­enue bind. The pres­i­dent had in­tended to raise money for health care by lim­it­ing the in­come tax de­duc­tions that wealthy tax­pay­ers can claim. This would have gen­er­ated some $318 bil­lion over 10 years, about half of Obama’s pro­posed ‘health care re­serve fund.’ But the pro­posal ran into a buzz saw of op­po­si­tion from con­gres­sional Democrats. Not only did Bau­cus balk but so did Charles Ran­gel, chair­man of the House Ways and Means Com­mit­tee.

“With deficit vul­tures al­ready cir­cling, Obama has to come up with a far more re­li­able way to fund health care. That’s where em­ployee health ben­e­fits come in.” sig­nif­i­cant and wise, but it is by no means the en­tirely new ap­proach that he led ev­ery­body to ex­pect.

“Mr. Obama is in the right, in my view, but he owes his sup­port­ers an apol­ogy for mis­lead­ing them. He also owes Ge­orge W. Bush an apol­ogy for say­ing that the last ad­min­is­tra­tion’s think­ing was an af­front to U.S. val­ues, whereas his own poli­cies would be en­tirely con­so­nant with them. In of­fice, he has found that the is­sue is more com­pli­cated. If he was surpr ised, he should not have been.” “The In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change (IPCC) is widely re­garded in the me­dia as the ul­ti­mate au­thor­ity on cli­mate change,” Mark W. Hen­drick­son writes at www.townhall.com.

“Cre­ated by two di­vi­sions of the United Na­tions, and re­cip­i­ent of the 2007 No­bel Peace Prize, its pro­nounce­ments are re­ceived as if they come down from Mount Olym­pus or Mount Si­nai. The com­mon pre­sump­tion is that the IPCC has as­sem­bled the best sci­en­tific knowl­edge. Let’s take a closer look at this or­ga­ni­za­tion to see whether it mer­its such un­crit­i­cal def­er­ence,” Mr. Hen­drick­son said.

“The IPCC’s Fe­bru­ary 2007 re­port stated: It is ‘very likely’ that hu­man ac­tiv­ity is caus­ing global warm­ing. Why then, just two months later, did the vice chair of the IPCC, Yuri Izrael, write, ‘the panic over global warm­ing is to­tally un­jus­ti­fied’; ‘there is no se­ri­ous threat to the cli­mate’; and hu­man­ity is ‘hy­po­thet­i­cally . . . more threat­ened by cold than by global warm­ing’?

“IPCC press re­leases have warned about in­creased con­cen­tra­tions of green­house gases in Earth’s at­mos­phere, yet Dr. Vin­cent Gray, a mem­ber of the IPCC’s ex­pert re­view­ers’ panel as­serts, ‘There is no re­la­tion­ship be­tween warm­ing and [the] level of gases in the at­mos­phere.’

“A 2001 IPCC re­port pre­sented 245 po­ten­tial sce­nar­ios. The me­dia pub­lic­ity that fol­lowed fo­cused on the most ex­treme sce­nario, prompt­ing the re­port’s lead au­thor, at­mo­spheric sci­en­tist Dr. John Christy, to re­buke me­dia sen­sa­tion­al­ism and af­firm, ‘The world is in much bet­ter shape than this dooms­day sce­nario paints . . . the worst-case sce­nario [is] not go­ing to hap­pen.’

“Clearly, the IPCC does not speak as one voice when lead­ing sci­en­tists on its panel con­tra­dict its of­fi­cial po­si­tion. The so­lu­tion to this ap­par­ent rid­dle lies in the struc­ture of the IPCC it­self. What the me­dia re­port are the pol­i­cy­mak­ers’ sum­maries, not the far length­ier re­ports pre­pared by sci­en­tists. The pol­i­cy­mak­ers’ sum­maries are pro­duced by a com­mit­tee of 51 gov­ern­ment ap­pointees, many of whom are not sci­en­tists.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

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