Thursday, January 28, 2010

Job Losses?

Mike Rogers' response to President Obama's State of the Union address?
"While Michigan families can certainly appreciate the President focusing on getting America back to work, he unfortunately continues to advance policies that will cost more jobs. His plans to create a massive new energy tax and have the government run America's health care system from Washington, D.C., are both job killers." -- Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton.
Job killers? Seriously? Has Mike Rogers not noticed that his state has been hemorrhaging jobs since he was first elected a decade ago?

It's hard to see how Mr. Rogers' takeaway from the speech focused on an "energy tax" and a purported "government-run" health care system. If he had been paying attention to the President, instead of sitting on his hands and looking for John Boehner's approval, Mr. Rogers might have heard some serious bipartisan points:
Let me repeat: we cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95% of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas, and food, and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven't raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime. [skip]

So tonight, I'm proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. I am also proposing a new small business tax credit – one that will go to over one million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages. While we're at it, let's also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment; and provide a tax incentive for all businesses, large and small, to invest in new plants and equipment.[skip]
President Obama also spoke plainly to the Republicans.
From some on the right, I expect we'll hear a different argument – that if we just make fewer investments in our people, extend tax cuts for wealthier Americans, eliminate more regulations, and maintain the status quo on health care, our deficits will go away. The problem is, that's what we did for eight years. That's what helped lead us into this crisis. It's what helped lead to these deficits. And we cannot do it again. [skip]

if the Republican leadership is going to insist that sixty votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it's not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions.
So how about it, Mr. Rogers? Step up and work for your country -- not just for your party.

If you can't put your politics aside for the good of the nation, then the only job loss that should make local headlines in 2010 is you own.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hot 'n' Bothered

Today's Press & Argus led with a drama-filled header: "Rogers rips health-care measures"

Oh, my.

We know that Mr. Rogers doesn't trust evidence-based medicine. He's had his fact-free rant against health care reform on Teh YooToob, while at the same time enjoying comprehensive -- not to mention convenient -- health care coverage at taxpayer's expense.

A closer look shows that Mr. Rogers has managed to have his health care tab picked up by taxpayers for most of his adult life, thanks to the U.S. Army, the FBI, the Michigan Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. His one foray into the private sector came via his family's business, so it's unlikely that he was getting squeezed on his premiums.

Compare Mr. Rogers' situation with that of a Michigan family purchasing the cheapest available Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan. (Seriously. click that link and read the details.)

Today, Mr. Rogers continued his oogy-boogy hand-waving about the dangers of health care reform.
"I said 'Oh, my gosh, they just sentenced to death 36,000 American women,'" he said.
Rogers also said that the legislation wouldn't go into effect until 2013 -- but outlines some of the specific changes that will occur within the next year.
Some of the most significant changes would extend existing programs and rules in order to immediately reduce the number of uninsured Americans. Others would end unpopular practices in the private insurance industry.
Adding to the pile of silly, Rogers trotted out his "ideas" for reforming health care that we've all heard before. He also wailed about the terrible impact on businesses, an argument neatly refuted this summer by that radical magazine, BusinessWeek.

With all due respect to the Livingston Press & Argus, it would be great if their reporters fact-checked a few items before publishing Mr. Rogers' rants verbatim.