The Next Big Stick

As difficult as it was, passing the health care bill is only “a critical first step” in overhauling the system so that it “works for all Americans,” President Obama told NBC’s Today show.”It is not going to be the only thing,” Obama told Matt Lauer. “We are still going to have adjustments that have to be made to further reduce costs.”

Further reduce??

Reduce???

What universe is he living in?

Well, that’s done. So it’s on to the next big stick.

Several companies have come out with their  100’s of millions in new cost estimates for ObamaCare.

The Democrats are mad about it.

And they want someone to pay politically for it, just not them.

So it’s time to take some CEO’s to the woodshed.

Rep. Henry Waxman vowed to haul CEOs into hearings after they revealed just how much ObamaCare will cost their firms. It’s an absurd war on bookkeeping, from a Congress desperate to avoid heat for this fiasco.

In the wake of President Obama’s presidential signature on the gargantuan Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last Thursday, big companies have crunched their numbers and come up with an ugly picture.

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.

Well, yes, as a matter of fact, it’s paid for because everything is paid for. The question is by whom.

The coming costs are the result of a little-scrutinized ObamaCare provision ending a tax credit for prescription drugs. The credit had been there to encourage firms to carry those costs for retirees.

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.

It’s a sorry spectacle because Congress paid no attention at all to anyone who raised a yellow flag about how badly the cost-shifting would hit the private sector.

The Chamber of Commerce’s assessments of the impact on companies were dismissed in favor of MoveOn.org’s hysterical “analysis” howling for socialized health care. And the bill passed.

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.

If Waxman gets away with this, it will be just as corrosive on the private sector here. It’s only happening because companies operating in market conditions dared to embarrass Congress with reality.(IBD)

Add to this the Chris Dodd bill on Financial Reform where the Treasury Secretary will have the power to seize a business if he believes it will fail.

Believes.

The bill would establish a liquidation fund financed by the industry and authorize the appointment of FDIC as receiver for insolvent companies, with SIPC acting as trustee for broker-dealers. All that sounds reasonable. You don’t notice the danger until you’re deep into the 1,336 page bill.

The government is to take over not only defaulting financial companies but those “in danger of default”. Five conditions are listed to define default and in-danger-of-default. Two are straightforward—the company will be filing for bankruptcy shortly or its board or shareholders agree to a government takeover.

The other three conditions allow the government to take over even when a company is not filing for bankruptcy and its board/shareholders do not consent. What it means is that the secretary of the Treasury can decide that a company is about to collapse even if it does not look that way to other people.

So you want to embarrass the President with your economic forecasts do you, Mr CEO?

Well, maybe we just need to take your company way from you.

So you want to give money to the GOP to defeat us in November or 2012?

Well, maybe we just need to take your company way from you.

When you operate on  “the end Justifies the means” that the Democrats are, and they got the drug high from winning the Health Care battle why wouldn’t they go there?

They absolutely would.

It’s the Chicago Way.

And the Mafia.

And the Soviets.

And Hugo Chavez.

And Castro.

So why wouldn’t they.

Moreover, consider that if there is any public suspicion of what’s going on, the company is dead. Once the Treasury decides a company is doing down, this decision will become self-fulfilling. That company will go down. The way the bill is written, it vastly expands government power to make arbitrary choices—like liquidate bank x but let bank y stand. A preview of this happened in 2008, when the Treasury and Fed decided to backstop Bear Stearns but not Lehman Brothers.

Perish the thought, but suppose a secretary of the Treasury has a crony who really wants to buy an investment bank on the cheap—and will provide some future quid pro quo. Pick a time when equities are down and you could make a case that a financial company is wobbly. Voila, it gets liquidated in a fire sale.

Maybe this sounds far fetched—a politician would not do something just for his own interest, would he?(CSM)

To allow the government to make a determination of what could or might happen is to create a whole new arena for political corruption.

But “The end justifies the means”.

The end being, of course, absolute power corrupting absolutely.

And Free Speech? Well,  FREEDOM IS SLAVERY…and you wouldn’t want to say anything bad about Big Brother now would you…

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