Friday, March 03, 2006
Where in the World is Sen.George 'Tin-Ear' Allen?
A quick look at news articles during the last few days shows George 'Tin-Ear' Allen, as usual, not doing much. Unless you consider his wife throwing a tea party this coming Sunday at The Bull Run Republican Women's Club in Gainesville as a feather in his cap.
But before we get to what he's been doing, let's first talk about his coming schedule. In his latest stupid move, Allen plans to celebrate his 54th birthday with his bestest buds in the lobbying business. Robert Novak of the Chicago-Sun Times writes:
Hmmm...I wonder who will be picking up the bar tab?!?
Although members of Congress are keeping an arm's length from lobbyists, Sen. George Allen -- a possible Republican presidential hopeful -- will be celebrating his 54th birthday the evening of March 8 at a Capitol Hill fund- raising party hosted by Washington lobbyists.
Scott Corley, a registered lobbyist for Microsoft, and Frank Cavaliere, Vonage's vice president for federal regulatory affairs, sent out a letter to fellow lobbyists asking $1,000 per political action committee or individual. Also listed as hosts were lobbyists for Clear Channel Communications, BWX Technologies, AT&T, VeriSign, the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Association of Broadcasters and the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association.
Sponsors and hosts are expected to produce more than $50,000 for ''Friends
of George Allen,'' and other guests would provide more. This money could be used
for either Allen's 2006 re-election effort in Virginia or a presidential
campaign in 2008.
Lest his fellow Virginians think Allen is all party and no work, there is a little gem of an op-ed in the Washington Post, where he defends Bush's latest tax-give-away in the form of tax breaks for the "uninsured."
Critics who claim that rich people gain most from HSA tax breaks should look at the data: Of the 3 million Americans enrolled in such plans, more than 30 percent were previously uninsured. [...] The tax benefits associated with HSAs do reduce government revenue in the short term, but this money, when used by tax-paying citizens for personal health care, will save the government money in the long run.Without calling Señor Allen a fat-out dissembler, the logic of his argument makes little sense. Especially since people who benefit the most from tax breaks are those making the largest income.
What good is a tax credit for someone without income?!? Or for the lowly-paid uninsured worker? Does Allen think a $700 monthly tax break is going to offset the unavailable disposable income of $700 plus the cost of the high-deductible insurance premium?!?
I rather doubt it; and besides, the senator is likely including the recent wave of uninsured seniors who signed up for HSA as part of their new Medicare program in his deceptive bait-and-switch demagoguery.
As someone who intimately knows the insurance industry, any health savings account will not, REPEAT WILL NOT help anyone except corporate conglomorates like insurance companies, who can then lower their over-all health care cost by shifting first dollar expenses to their hapless employees.
And for the poor sap who has a preexisting condition, good luck trying to find a company who will insure him at a reasonable cost; what's more, if he has the misfortune of ravaging cancer or some other terminal disease, no deductible will be high enough to lure a carrier. Period.
Oh yea, and before I forget; today Allen made his way to the Senate floor and voted for the Patriot Act.
Anyway... I'm linked there too. And I'm with ya. Love the blog's title, btw.