Pro-Abortion Democrat Bart Stupak joined Henry Waxman in chiding AT&T, Caterpillar, and several other large corporations who have adjusted their balance sheets in response to some of the first changes of the Health Care Socialization bill to take affect.
These large corporations have been enjoying a substantial tax deduction in return for their paying for their retirees prescription drugs. Because they had built their budgets around the savings this program gave them, as this program ends, they have to report the loss of this expected revenue.
And it’s significant amounts we’re talking here. After all, several hundred million here, a billion there, and pretty soon we’re talking real cash.
So Henry Waxman, from California (“sorry folks” says this former Californian)…
…sent AT&T, Caterpillar and Deere a sharp letter, questioning the charges and saying he wanted top officials from those companies to testify at an April 21 hearing he has scheduled on the issue.
What, he didn’t get enough validation of his supposed superiority after grilling Mr Toyoda of Toyota motors?
Congress is on a power trip the likes of which I haven’t seen before.
Bart Stupak joined in sending the letter which, among other things presumably, said:
The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern.
Ah, the ugly head of good intentions.
Some studies (which no doubt the Congress-people held to savagely in order to assuage their own consciences for this dastardly deed) projects savings of $3000/employee for employers under this bill.
Unlike the government, though, businesses have to abide by what are called Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP (pronounced “gap”) which requires, among other things, that expenses be reported in the financial quarter in which they are incurred. A significant loss of revenue cannot be offset, on the books, with a hoped for or expected long term savings. The company can report that expected savings in their reports to shareholders in order to rally them up and encourage them to keep their investments. But to use a hoped-for (not even really expected) long term savings to offset a current expense is a serious No-No. And if the government were held accountable for it’s accounting, it might actually know that.
So AT&T and these other companies did what they were supposed to do.
Even the AFL-CIO isn’t very enthusiastic about this particular provision:
Gerry Shea, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s chief strategist on health care, stopped short of calling for a repeal of the provision. “We’re very concerned about the disruption that could be caused because of this, with people being pushed out of employer plans,” he said. “With all the changes we’re looking at because of the new health legislation, we feel you don’t need this.”
And the President’s response?
White House officials said the provision would not affect job creation because it does not take effect for three years and any charge for a given year would not be large.
They’re reflecting the reality of the situation reflected, in turn, badly on those who jammed this travesty of a Health Care bill through. And one thing we can be sure about, people on power kicks don’t like being shown to be liars and cheats. And since their on a power kick, in all likelihood they’ll use that power kick to try and arm-twist until they get what they please.
So, word of advice to AT&T and Caterpillar and all those other companies writing down significant losses: Don’t go to Washington. They’re out for your head and they’ll stage a show and the MSM will go along because they don’t like you either. You’ll not get a fair shake.
Instead, take your message to the masses. Use that advertising budget to do PSAs on TV, radio, newspapers, and internet. Go viral with your message on Youtube and the like. I’ll even post it here if you do it.
Show the hollow nature of these good intentions. Show how blinded the Congress was by their own ambition and greed that they crafted this nightmare. Show that it’s not just a nightmare for you and others with large pocketbooks, show that it’ll be a nightmare for us as you have to cut benefits and trim payroll.
Good intentions have once again reared their ugly head. Lets cut it off this time.