I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oh, Lenny...

I've been picking on Leonard Lance a bit - why stop now?
To help small businesses thrive Lance advocates the "Small Business Assistance and Relief Act" -- proposed tax relief legislation to encourage job growth within small business, outsourcing (to save corporations money which would allow them to spend more locally), greater small businesses loans, an expansion of the Bush tax cuts, and a call for health care companies to nationalize as an alternative to universal health care, which he believes most small businesses can’t afford. 
At the press conference Congressman Lance was joined by Jack Kasich, one of the owners of Robert Treat 
Kasich and his family have been running the deli since 1972. 
"Of all the recessions we’ve been through, this is the worst," Kasich said at the press conference. "It would have been hard to survive parts of it without saved money from when business was good."
Here's Lenny's economic plan. Apparently his big idea is to let this deli owner take a one-year tax expense on a new meat slicer as opposed to amortizing it over a few years. Oh, and use repaid TARP funds to pay off the deficit. Yeah, that'll spike up sales of pastrami.

The problem is DEMAND. We have a lot of people out of work leading to huge economic uncertainty, in addition to massive income inequity, soaring health care costs, and fast-declining retirement benefits.

Briefly: people ain't got the dough to buy sandwiches.

Put people to work by rebuilding our infrastructure, and finance it by stopping the 30-year tax holiday we've given to the rich. That's a plan.

Why don't we do this? Well...
Kasich spoke out against health care reform proposed in current draft legislation which would require all businesses, big and small, to provide health care to their employees. 
"We don’t even provide health insurance through the company, not even for ourselves," Kasich said. "If a bill was passed requiring me to provide health insurance to employees I would go out of business."
Maybe Lance could have mentioned this to his host:
Companies with fewer than 50 workers won't face penalties if they don't offer insurance. If you have 25 or fewer employees and a work force with an average pay of up to $40,000, you can get tax credits to help buy insurance: up to 35 percent of the cost of the premiums this year, rising to 50 percent in 2014. [Emphasis mine]
I'd be amazed if this deli had more than 50 employees.

I feel for Kasich: he's being used by a right-wing shill and he doesn't know it. You'd think his congressman would clue him in to the facts about the health care bill, but apparently Lance doesn't think that's part of his job.


Mr. A said...

I barely pay attention and I knew about the minimum employee limit for health care.

Maybe the deli market needs to make a correction for stupid owners.

Duke said...

Well, I don't really blame the deli owner. Guy's just trying to push some hoagies; he got this wrong.

But his congressman, who's RIGHT THERE, stands by while he says this and lets it pass. And Lance should know better - it's his job to know better, and it's his job to make sure his constituents are well-informed about the issues.

So either Lance is the stupid one, or he deliberately misleads his constituents so he can gain their support: take your pick.

Anonymous said...

infrastructure work isn't going to employ everyone, nor is it going to be a permanent creator of jobs - your continued use silly hyperbolic devices to attack a rather mainstream republican, someone who often crosses party lines, be it in congress or elsewhere, really tars your critiques.

your main argument, which revolves around allowing the bush tax cuts to expire on the rich, is flawed - you insinuate it isn't going to happen because people are concerned about healthcare costs? thats a non sequitur, boss - again, let's be fair, democrats just as well as republicans are opposed to allowing the tax cuts to expire. And a lot of democrats use the same talking point Lance does - S corporations would be caught in the crossfire. offering an amendment to rework the federal tax system to omit S corporations from being subject to the increased tax rates would take away the only ammunition that proponents of the bush tax cuts have

you also are off the mark on attacking Lance re: healthcare - Kasich himself said "if a law" not "the healthcare law is going to". While you cite Lance as being "stupid" for "deliberately mislead[ing] his constituents" you yourself mislead your readers. Mr. A was on the money, and Lance was correct in not speaking up - Kasich, not once, said the new healthcare law will - you honed in on one sentence and twisted it to use it as a barb.

Duke said...

First, thanks for being my first contrary poster - I really do mean that.

I didn't insinuate anything about health care and the Bush taxes. And I'm not an apologist for "centrist" Democrats. So I really don't see your point about my "main argument." I have many flaws as a writer, but this post is pretty clear about where I stand - you don't have to "insinuate" anything.

We have huge income inequity in this country and the very wealthy have been given a tax holiday for the past 30 years. I have no patience for those who spout the same tired nonsense about small business and cap gains - it's all garbage. True small businesses have been getting screwed while the wealthy work the tax laws to get a nearly free ride while playing games with pieces of paper and pretending they're creating wealth.

Lance is yet another Rep who claims the mantle of protectorate of small business when what he's really proposing is a system that favors Wall Street. Eliminating cap gains isn't going to do much for this deli owner, but it's sure going to be a big gift to the boys down in TriBeCa.

I'm not a tax expert by any means, but I do know S corps are often dodges to claim losses or avoid FICA. True small businesses need an increase in DEMAND, not more tax dodging games that mostly serve to enrich CPAs.

And let's get real about the health care issue. "If a law"? Yeah, "if a law" banning cole slaw were passed, that'd probably hurt the deli business too.

Lance and his crew have been pushing garbage about the health care law for some time. This deli guy has, like so many people, clearly been the victim of deliberate misinformation about what's in the health law. Why would he even bring this up if it's clearly not part of the plan? No one has ever - EVER - suggested a true small business should have to pay for its employees health care.

Lance, for all of his vaunted "bipartisanship," is happy to ride the Tea Party express of mistruth when it suits him. He should feel some obligation to inform his constituents about the truth - he feels no such compunction. Play all the semantic games you want: his host is clearly misinformed, and Lance apparently has no problem with that.

Anonymous said...

FYI... the deli owner isn't a constituent. His business is in the district, but his home isn't. So, he can't even vote for Lance anyway. Interesting that Lance couldn't find one of his own voters to host him.