If you were upset with the government’s bailout (with your tax dollars) of the UAW in the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, you may not want to read what follows. GM and Chrysler will be a “drop in the bucket” compared to what Senator Bob Casey (D. Pa.) is now proposing. Read more
Does anyone remember the president’s State of the Union Address this past January…the one where he blasted the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case? In case you’ve forgotten, you can review it here.
Basically, the Supreme Court held that the government couldn’t place restraints on the rights of people to express their opinion in, shall we say, “campaign infomercials”, as such restraints violated the First Amendment’s right of freedom of speech. The president, however, “took issue with the decision” (a nice way of saying that the president was flat out wrong in his explanation). The president called the decision,
…a major victory for Big Oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and other powerful interests.
And, he exhorted Congress to do something about it.
It now appears that Congress is complying. Senator Schumer (D. N.Y.), and Representative Van Hollen (D. Md.) have introduced bills, seemingly drafted by the White House, that, among other things,
…would prevent government contractors and corporate beneficiaries of the Troubled Asset Relief Program from spending money on U.S. elections.
Forgetting for the moment that such a ban is clearly unconstitutional, let’s first focus on the part of the proposal banning government contractors from spending money on elections.
If, as proponents claim, their worry is that a company will use campaign contributions to win government contracts (pay-to-play), why does their bill not show equal concern that labor unions will support candidates with the goal of getting government contracts driven to union companies?
Anyone care to guess which political party is generally supported by oil companies, banks and insurance companies; and, which political party is generally supported by labor? I suppose, then, that it should come as no surprise that between the House and the Senate, only two Republicans are supporting this blatant attempt to stifle the free speech of those thought to disagree with the current administration.
This my friends, is astroturfing. Just look at all the coordinated signs and T-shirts. Busloads of government union employees gathered in the Illinois state capital to demand lawmakers increase the income tax by 33 percent.
Nope … not tea party folks … it’s organized labor. Hmmmmm, who are the wild eyed extremist mobs? From Connecticut News Junkie:
Carrying pitchforks and torches a group of labor unions and health care groups marched down Church Street in Hartford Tuesday night to let the state’s largest business lobby know that they want health care reform.
John Murphy of the Connecticut Citizens Action Group said the Connecticut Business and Industry Association symbolizes what the group is up against in its fight for quality, affordable health care.
CBIA makes most of its revenue from selling insurance to small businesses, Murphy said. He said it is blocking reform efforts because under a government run system health care system it would lose money.
Actually I understand it’s just street theater, but imagine if it were tea party folks. Oh the humanity.
One other thing to note: The CBIA provides low cost group health insurance to small business (like mine), without whom small business likely couldn’t find affordable health care. Just saying is all.
Here’s the video:
File this under the heading “Big Cashews”. The state unions joined with their favorite liberal Democrat (I know, redundant these days) … not just asking Connecticut taxpayers but taxpayers nationwide, to cough up more cash for state workers … all in the name of economic stimulus. They even released a report with a title that says it all. God help us. Read more
It’s a bit difficult to deconstruct health care legislation when the “most open, honest and ethical Congress” (per Nancy Pelosi (D. Ca.) in 2007) is negotiating that legislation behind closed doors, but, every now and then something slips out to the public.
Last Thursday, we learned of yet another “deal” that has been struck, this time involving the unions. Congress has decided that we are spending too much money on health care in this country, and one component of that expenditure is health insurance premiums. Using very perverse logic, Congress wants to impose a 40% tax on so called “Cadillac” insurance plans in order to reduce the amount of money we spend in that area. Here is the way that would work. If your employer provides you with a health plan with premiums exceeding $8900 for an individual plan, or $24,000 for a family plan, a tax would be paid by the insurer. But, in reality, as most large employers are self insured, the tax would be paid by your employer. This, in turn, would cause your employer/insurer to reduce your benefits to a plan below those thresholds, and thus avoid the tax. And, voila, according to Congress, at the end of the day we will spend less on health care than we do now.
It should come as no surprise that unions, whose members are the beneficiaries of most of the Cadillac plans, weren’t happy about either a tax, or reduced benefits. So, our open, honest ethical Congress negotiated a deal with them. While you can expect lower benefits beginning in 2013 so your employer can avoid the tax, your next door neighbor, who just happens to be a union member, won’t have to see any reduction in benefits at least until 2018.
But, it gets better. Exempting the unions from this tax will lower tax revenues by an estimated $60 billion.
To make up for the lost revenue—and to increase subsidies for lower earners to buy health insurance—negotiators are considering increasing the financial hit on drug makers, nursing homes and medical-device makers, according to people familiar with the discussions. [emphasis supplied]
Nursing homes? Are you kidding me? To placate the unions, Congress is actually considering making the cost of nursing home care more expensive. Silly me…and I thought the tax on Cadillac plans was perverse. This goes that idea one better.
When I read the headline of the Washington Times piece, I was surprised, but certain I must be missing something. I read the full article and the truth comes out within one paragraph in the middle of the story.