March 2010

As previously reported by Florida Pundit more and more publicly-traded companies are announcing that they have to take large charges against earnings as a result of Obamacare. Boeing is the latest company to announce a $150 billion charge.

Congress is furious about the announcements that publicly-traded companies are legally obligated to make about the adverse impacts of Obamacare. John Fund writes in the Wall Street Journal about what he call’s the “first death panel:”

Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, is furious that large companies such as AT&T, Caterpillar and Deere are obeying SEC disclosure laws that Congress passed in the wake of the Enron scandal.

But Mr. Waxman will have none of it. He wrote to the heads of the three companies summoning them to testify at an April 21 hearing: “The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern.” The letter reminded one business reporter of Darth Vader’s famous line in “Star Wars” that he found an underling’s actions “disturbing” — just before he strangled him. The Waxman letter was accompanied by a lengthy request for documents that he demanded be produced for the star-chamber hearing.

Michelle Malkin writes about the witch hunt of Henry Waxman and proposes what she calls a “Spartacus revolt” of business owners when Waxman’s committee convenes on April 21:

You remember the famous scene in the Kirk Douglas epic — when recaptured slaves are asked to rat on Spartacus in exchange for leniency, and instead stand up and proclaim themselves to be Spartacus at risk of their own lives:

What if countless business owners large and small from across the country showed up on Capitol Hill to stand in solidarity with the CEOs of AT&T, Deere, Caterpillar and Verizon? What if the business each came with a sign publicizing their write downs — and ennumerating all the other costs (jobs lost, benefits cut, expansion plans canceled) that Demcare will impose on them?

Here is the scene from the movie Spartacus:

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Government employees are creating increasing pressures that squeeze out the private economy. Look at what happened to public and private employment during the recession:

Reason TV discusses how government employees drain resources from the private sector. In addition, public sector employees can’t easily be eliminated and they create a permanent lobby for expanding government and higher taxes:

Transcript of key portion (via Hot Air):

1. They cost too much. As USA Today recently noted, federal employees make on average almost $8,000 more than their private-sector counterparts. When you add in benefits, the gap spreads to about $30,000. State and local government workers make around the same as private-sector counterparts, but their health and retirement packages mean they make significantly more in the end.

2. We can’t fire them. The private sector has shed positions in response to slackening demand and the economic downturn. That sort of adjustment is painful but necessary, as it allows the economy to adjust to changing circumstances and workers and employers to move into new activities. Because it is guaranteed certain amounts of tax revenue and has a non-market mind-set, the public sector is largely insulated from such forces and keeps or even adds workers despite changed conditions. The result? We keep paying for things that we don’t use, need, or want.

3. They create a permanent lobby for expanded government and higher taxes. Look at California, where teacher unions have spent over $211 million dollars on elections in the past decade. One result is that 40 percent of California’s budget must be spent on education, regardless of the number and needs of students. Over the last 10 years, taxpayer contributions to public-sector pension funds has increased by 2000 percent!

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Charles Krauthammer comments on two important consequences of Obamacare. The enormous costs will require additional taxes unless Obamacare is repealed. This may well lead to a national value-added tax.

Second, the insurance will become little more than extensions of the federal government. They will be utilities directed by the government rather than private enterprises competing for your services.

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Ever since Obamacare was signed into law, the left has been hysterical about threats that various politicians have received. Politicians and their lackeys in the media are accusing people opposing their ideas of inciting violence. That is nonsense.

There will always be some people on the fringe that engage in or threaten to engage in unacceptable and criminal behavior. Interestingly, the most substantive recent threat came from an Obama supporter against House Republican Whip Eric Cantor.

The real reason for the Left’s hysteria is that it allows them to divert attention from the real issues of increased government interferences into Americans’ personal lives, increased taxation and exorbitant level of spending and debt that will bankrupt America.

Dennis Prager sums it up best in the video below: “There is a cancer afflicting the country and you focus on athlete’s foot.”

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Why We Need A Flat Tax

March 30, 2010

Hot Air presents a video from the Cato Institute about why a flat tax is preferable to our current complex tax code:

Fairness and growth are big reasons to eliminate the Byzantine tax code we have now, but the most resonant argument could be civil liberties. The IRS, Mitchell points out, has enormous authority to invade the privacy of taxpayers, and those accused of tax evasion have to prove their innocence rather than the government proving guilt. Since tax deductions mainly favor the wealthy, the benefits from the elimination of tax breaks would redound more to the middle class, Mitchell argues — and would make compliance so easy that even a third-grader or a politician could handle it:

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