On Health Care, Small Business is Every Politician’s Favourite Whore

“Small Business! We have to protect Small Business!!! They’re the Engine That Drives Our Economy! Won’t someone please think of the children Small Businesses?”

Ok, /snark. But to listen to politicians talk for the last six years or so, you’d think we all bunked in the same bed as our employers. And I don’t want to discount the value of small businesses, either. Heavens, no! But the fact is that the “Small Business” thing is a proxy for “how do we as politicians give ourselves the biggest benefit from this bill?” Because many small businesses are owned by investors who don’t even know what they are.. like rich politicians. Does anyone remember the “you want some wood?” comment?

An interesting aside came while Kerry was rebutting Bush’s assertion that the Kerry tax plan would put a tax burden on small businesses. To drive home his point that there were too many loopholes in tax law, Kerry said that both Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney, qualified as small businesses. ‘President Bush owns a timber business,’ Kerry said.

Bush blew it. “I own a timber business? You want some wood, Charlie?” he chuckled.

…”President Bush himself would have qualified as a “small business owner” under the Republican definition, based on his 2001 federal income tax returns. He reported $ 84 of business income from his part ownership of a timber-growing enterprise. However, 99.99% of Bush’s total income came from other sources that year…

This is not a Republican issue. Dems do it too, I’m sure. And Independents and Anti-Masonic Party members, if any still exist. This is about rich investors, not political parties.

But once again, this discussion of small businesses is a red herring – however legitimate an authentic discussion of the issue might be. Once again, we are removing the discussion from its epicenter: the issue of what is best for patients and consumers in our country. It’s not about health insurance companies and it’s not about your employer. Its about your health. Whatever your position on the issue, let’s at least agree on that.


News Updates for Wednesday

We finally figure out the obvious and start buying banks, Gene Simmons buys a record company, and masturbation becomes a healthy ((not to mention natural and zesty)) enterprise in this latest of news roundups for DFE. Lets whip out some stories, shall we?

  • Buying jets with bailout money is for pussies. How about this: take bailout money, then host a conference call filled with influential business leaders and lobbyists to try to break the back of the Employee Free Choice Act. Why not take taxpayer money and then use it to spend on lobbying politicians? And so you can break the bank of the unions that fight for the taxpayers you just bilked?
  • The Obama Administration sees the banking industry sliding farther and farther into trouble and it’s beginning to look more and more obvious that some “nationalization,” or the government buying a controlling interest in distressed banks, may be necessary. As a side note, see Dean Baker for why shareholders of bankrupt banks actually make out quite well in such a scenario. Hint: a few bucks for paper worth nothing is a good thing.
  • Corning expects that of the 3,500 jobs they’re cutting back across the enterprise, 650 of them will be local jobs. Bad news, people. I feel for ya.
  • Peanut butter recalls continue. It was reported last night no less than twelve incidents at the offending company where testing revealed traces of salmonella and they sent the stuff to market anyway.
  • Gene Simmons announced on his website that he’s starting up a new Universal Records company in Canada, eh? Can’t wait to see Gene in full KISS regalia on the Canadian $5!
  • It’s been a long couple months for Toyota. In addition to posting it’s first annual loss in its history, now they need to recall a million vehicles for defective seat belts.
  • Calling all mad hatters! If you thought the salmonella outbreak in peanut butter was fun, get ready for the long-term effects of corn syrup laced with mercury. Yessiree, Bob! Bad news: you may go insane or this may have something to do with the increase in Autism. Good news: you’ll more easily be able to find your way home after you’re diagnosed with mercury poisoning.
  • People are flocking to small business ownership as a way to avoid the layoffs going around right now. Why you would think that selling pizza would be a way to save yourself is beyond me, but interesting, nonetheless.
  • Finally, mixed news for the porn industry: studies show that masturbation among teenagers increases the risk of prostate cancer, yet masturbation among the 50-something set actually decreases it. I guess based on the bell curve, I’m free to whack it whenever I want.