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Friday, January 15, 2010

A rotten deal

If you see someone kick a dog, that's pretty much all you need to know about him. That one little snapshot speaks volumes.

Likewise, with this health care bill, all you need to know about is the most recent backroom deal: the unions, which were heavy contributors to the Obama campaign, have been exempted from the so-called "Cadillac tax," which taxed health care plans worth more than $8900 for an individual or $24,000 for a family. Big Labor, of course, objected when they saw that they might actually be taxed on their lavish health care plans. Taxation is for other people. Especially when their guy is in the White House. So they voiced their displeasure to Obama, and Obama crumpled.

This "Cadillac tax" had been one of the main ways the bill was supposedly going to pay for itself.

But now, only non-union employees have to pay taxes on such benefits.

Of course, there were also special provisions (otherwise known as "bribes") to bring other parties on board. To get Senator Ben Nelson's approval, they had to offer a special $300 million Medicare package for Nebraska that other states did not get. To get Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu's vote, the Democratic leadership in the Senate had to offer her $100 million in special aid to her state. The AARP was bought off with an increase of $20 million in federal grants. (The organization also benefits from the cutting of Medicare Advantage, which means that seniors will be forced to turn to Medigap, which AARP happens to sell -- and which provides 60% of their revenues.)

There are countless other bribes helping propel this bill forward.

But knowing about all these other bribes are the equivalent of seeing the nasty person mentioned in the first paragraph go on to berate a waiter, then steal money from a blind man's cup, then key a car.

All you needed to see was the kicking of the dog, and you already knew he was someone you wanted nothing to do with.


Anonymous said...

I'm one of the dogs. Maybe Scott Brown will stop them kicking me.
PS I hope the Mad Dogs bite back.

John Craig said...

Here's hoping Brown gets elected. What a fresh wind that would be, especially from Massachusetts.

Anonymous said...

It really is outrageous. I wonder if the union tax exemption applies to say the Baseball Players Union and NFL players union.

They will probably pass an exemption for plans provided to government employees next.


John Craig said...

Michael --
You're prescient. I forgot to mention it in the post, but government employees are also exempt, that was part of the deal.

Anonymous said...

It's a real wonder to me that they didn't just apply the exemption to people who vote Democrat. Wouldn't that be simpler?

John Craig said...

Guy -- Perfect.

Anonymous said...

Great Post !!!! Beautifully written, and the comments were outstanding. Most people see what is going on here. If your not part of the "special interest" then your paying for everyone else who is. Being a "dog" I can tell you first hand...the ones that are barking the loudest are not the ones to pay attention to. Look for the one who is silent, laying off to the side, uninterested. This is the dog that is carefully planning his response.
If you think your attack is going really well, then its probably an ambush !
Mad dog

John Craig said...

Thank you Tom.

I'm a dog as well, but one whose bark is worse than his bite, which I guess is why I write a blog rather than actually do anything.

A regular Chihuahua among men.