You’ve got to be amazed at the Democrats’ arrogance, incompetence, and ignorance.
They are apparently having their version of Casablanca’s Captain Renault moment: “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”
Only, in this Democrat-retelling, Captain Renault instead says, “Gambling? There’s no gambling going on here! It’s just gaming, not GAMBLING! Why, it’s nothing more than two parties engaging in a predictive enterprise, in which the accurate prediction is rewarded in a monetary transaction. But gambling? You’re a violent racist to call that ‘gambling’!!!
Oh, my goodness. I think you just spat on me! It’s just the kind of thing you haters who attack us as “gamblers” would do!”
MARCH 27, 2010
The ObamaCare Writedowns
The corporate damage rolls in, and Democrats are shocked!
It’s been a banner week for Democrats: ObamaCare passed Congress in its final form on Thursday night, and the returns are already rolling in. Yesterday AT&T announced that it will be forced to make a $1 billion writedown due solely to the health bill, in what has become a wave of such corporate losses.
This wholesale destruction of wealth and capital came with more than ample warning. Turning over every couch cushion to make their new entitlement look affordable under Beltway accounting rules, Democrats decided to raise taxes on companies that do the public service of offering prescription drug benefits to their retirees instead of dumping them into Medicare. We and others warned this would lead to AT&T-like results, but like so many other ObamaCare objections Democrats waved them off as self-serving or “political.”
Perhaps that explains why the Administration is now so touchy. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took to the White House blog to write that while ObamaCare is great for business, “In the last few days, though, we have seen a couple of companies imply that reform will raise costs for them.” In a Thursday interview on CNBC, Mr. Locke said “for them to come out, I think is premature and irresponsible.”
Meanwhile, Henry Waxman and House Democrats announced yesterday that they will haul these companies in for an April 21 hearing because their judgment “appears to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs.”
In other words, shoot the messenger. Black-letter financial accounting rules require that corporations immediately restate their earnings to reflect the present value of their long-term health liabilities, including a higher tax burden. Should these companies have played chicken with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid this politically inconvenient reality? Democrats don’t like what their bill is doing in the real world, so they now want to intimidate CEOs into keeping quiet.
On top of AT&T’s $1 billion, the writedown wave so far includes Deere & Co., $150 million; Caterpillar, $100 million; AK Steel, $31 million; 3M, $90 million; and Valero Energy, up to $20 million. Verizon has also warned its employees about its new higher health-care costs, and there will be many more in the coming days and weeks.
As Joe Biden might put it, this is a big, er, deal for shareholders and the economy. The consulting firm Towers Watson estimates that the total hit this year will reach nearly $14 billion, unless corporations cut retiree drug benefits when their labor contracts let them.
Meanwhile, John DiStaso of the New Hampshire Union Leader reported this week that ObamaCare could cost the Granite State’s major ski resorts as much as $1 million in fines, because they hire large numbers of seasonal workers without offering health benefits. “The choices are pretty clear, either increase prices or cut costs, which could mean hiring fewer workers next winter,” he wrote.
The Democratic political calculation with ObamaCare is the proverbial boiling frog: Gradually introduce a health-care entitlement by hiding the true costs, hook the middle class on new subsidies until they become unrepealable, but try to delay the adverse consequences and major new tax hikes so voters don’t make the connection between their policy and the economic wreckage. But their bill was such a shoddy, jerry-rigged piece of work that the damage is coming sooner than even some critics expected.
The Democrats passed their totally partisan bill (the only bipartisanship was in the “Hell no!” vote, with 34 Democrats joining every single Republican).
The New York Times reported that Obama’s core promise was his pledge that he would transcend the starkly red-and-blue politics of the last 15 years, end the partisan and ideological wars, move beyond the divisive politics of Washington, and build a new governing majority that brought Democrats, independents and Republicans together. And now we know that his fundamental, core promise was just a total lie, a massive lie of the devil. Not only did he not try to become a unifying figure, as he cynically and deceitfully promised, but he became the most polarizing president in the history of the nation. And that broken promise is now erupting into open rage like we have never seen in this country.
Obama is trying to demonize Republicans for the anger, but HE WAS THE ONE WHO PROMISED TO BE A TRANSCENDENT FIGURE. HE WAS THE ONE WHO LIED.
Democrats have obfuscated every fact with spin and lies, and every single truth teller they could not bribe or intimidate they have tried to destroy.
Democrats can pass a pile of stinking lies on a 100% partisan ideological vote, but what they can’t do is make that pile of stinking lies that comprise ObamaCare actually work. The Democrats health care law is already an open disaster, and it will continue to grow into a bigger and bigger disaster no matter how many congressional kangaroo courts they hold to demonize businesses who reported that their costs will skyrocket under this evil bill.
Obama said if you liked your health care you could keep it. ABC was reporting that that promise was questionable back in July of last year. Now it is a proven lie. It was just another whopping lie of the devil all along. Businesses are taking hits in the millions and even in the billions of dollars. And one of them after another is going to start dumping their retirees into Medicare as the cost of offering private insurance plans soar under ObamaCare.
Obama’s reckeless spending is simply staggering. The CBO is reporting that it is a gigantic $1.2 TRILLION more than Obama said it would be. And they are reporting the terrifying news that the federal debt will soar to 90% of Gross Domestic Product.
Business costs are soaring. AT & T will take a billion dollar hit because of ObamaCare.
As bad as that is in dollars, the bigger hit may well be the one taken by Caterpillar, because it shows the abject hypocrisy and fraud of ObamaCare. Last year Obama said that “you can measure America’s bottom line by looking at Caterpillar’s bottom line.” And now that same Caterpillar is taking a $100 million hit due to ObamaCare. Now that same Caterpillar is saying, “From our point of view, a tax increase like this cannot come at a worse time.”
That means fewer jobs for Americans. A LOT fewer jobs. And no denials by our Democrat version of Captain Renault can change that with his sputtering denials.
And there are other hidden provisions that are starting to leap out of this bill that Democrats passed, but apparently never bothered to read.
“The damage is coming sooner than expected.”
That’s the nutshell summary of ObamaCare.
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