Monday, April 5, 2010

Government Thuggery and Healthcare

Congressman Henry Waxman is one of the most odious statists in a town dominated by people who love big government. From his perch as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, this career politician played a big role in concocting Obamacare - including the costly provisions that will burden the business community and undermine job creation. So it is the height of chutpah that Waxman is now holding who hearings to browbeat companies that have acknowledged - as required by law - some of the burdens in the legislation that will affect their bottom line. Investor's Business Daily savages Waxman for this unseemly thuggery:

In legally mandated filings, AT&T reported that ObamaCare will cost it $1 billion. Deere & Co. reported $150 million in new costs. Caterpillar must cough up $100 million. 3M must pay another $90 million. AK Steel gets to fork over $31 million. Valero Energy will pay $30 million. There'll be more as other companies report anticipated costs to fulfill their requirements to inform shareholders. What it shows is a huge wave of costs rolling over the private sector to pay for this bill. It's the real cost of ObamaCare, a bill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had touted daily as "paid for" in her pitch for Congressional votes. ...As a result of ObamaCare's changes, companies now can either pay for those costs — and lay off workers, hold off expansion or move abroad — or scrap their prescription drug programs altogether, dumping their retirees onto the federal government. Either way, the costs are "paid for" — but they've also just skyrocketed, thanks to ObamaCare. Instead of admitting the economic reality voters and companies have been warning Congress about, and maybe offering to read the bill next time, Waxman seeks to blame the very businesses the Democrats have just victimized. ...Now it's time to pay the piper, and Waxman doesn't want to pay. He has decided to haul the executives into yet another round of star chamber hearings to explain just why two and two make four. This is an implied threat to companies either to cook their books or face legal or political sanctions for embarrassing Congress by revealing the true impact of its health care bill on the private sector. It has its place with what Stalin did in Soviet Russia, denouncing farmers as hoarders after setting artificially low prices for crops, and what Hugo Chavez is doing today in Venezuela, dictating prices on raw goods and limiting access to money while penalizing companies for passing on those costs to customers.

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