Crush Liberalism

Liberalism: Why think when you can “feel”?

Dems to American business: Hey, could you please shut up about how ObamaCare is costing you a fortune

Caterpillar.  John Deere.  Verizon.  Valero.  3M.  The list of companies who will be socked with $100+ million tax bills grows every day, thanks to the passage of ObamaCare.  These businesses are letting everyone know about the tax hits.

How are the Dems reacting?  Why, by trotting these companies before Congress, of course!  Details:

Here’s the story:  one of the provisions in the new health care law forces companies to treat the current subsidies for retiree health benefits as taxable income.  This strikes me as dumb policy; there’s not much point in giving someone a subsidy, and then taxing it back, unless you just like doing extra paperwork.  And since the total cost of the subsidy, and any implied tax subsidy, is still less than we pay for an average Medicare Part D beneficiary, we may simply be encouraging companies to dump their retiree benefits and put everyone into Part D, costing us taxpayers extra money.
But this is neither here nor there, because Congress already did it.  And now a bunch of companies with generous retiree drug benefits have announced that they are taking large charges to reflect the cost of the change in the tax law.
Henry Waxman thinks that’s mean, and he’s summoning the heads of those companies to Washington to explain themselves.  It’s not clear what they’re supposed to explain.  What they did is required by GAAP.  And I’ve watched congressional hearings.  There’s no chance that four CEO’s are going to explain the accounting code to the fine folks in Congress; explaining how to boil water would challenge the format.
Obviously, Waxman is incensed because this seems to put the lie to the promise that if you like your current plan, nothing will change.  But this was never true.  Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are basically going to see their generous benefits slashed, retiree drug benefits suddenly cost more and may now be discontinued, and ultimately, more than a few employers will almost certainly find it cheaper to shut down their plans.  If Congress didn’t want those things to happen, it should have passed a different law.
 
If Congress thinks that it made the right tradeoffs–or at least, justiiable choices–then our Congressmen should step up and accept responsibility for what they’ve done.  At the very least, I think we can ask that they refrain from trying to force companies to join them in denying reality by threatening congressional investigation of any company who dares to notify investors that this thing is going to cost them money.

“Shut up”, he explained.

Los Grandes Nostrils has a lot of gall.  American businesses have to use real-world accounting practices, whereas Congress does not.  When these businesses inform us as to the actual results of socialized medicine, they are told to keep their cakeholes shut.

Ace thinks the same way I do:

In fact, Waxman doesn’t want an answer to that; what he wants is for companies to hide these new, embarrassing costs illegally, so that Democrats don’t have to answer questions about them. And he figures harassment and the threat of punitive legislative action should be enough to give other companies the hint.

Memo to the Dems: No!  They do not have to keep the bad news to themselves!  And come November, there are two things that the Dems can do about this: jack and squat.

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March 30, 2010 - Posted by | big government, economic ignorance, health care, shameful, socialism

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