And Bullies Bully

Dr. Clouthier recently reminded us that legislators are prone to legislating.:  They see all problems as solvable via legislation, just as surgeons see all health problems as correctable through surgery.:  But over the last century or so, there’s something else that legislators have also done with increasing regularity: they’ve bullied.

Reacting to the recently passed health care legislation, a number of companies have assessed the increasing costs they are likely to face.:  Companies such as Verizon, Caterpillar, AK Steel, John Deere and AT&T are writing down hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to the passage of Obamacare. Although the tax changes causing this action don’t take effect until 2013, SEC rules require companies to make the write downs in the quarter the tax changes take place.

In response to following government rules, Congressional Democrats are attempting to bully these companies rather than admit that their legislation is resulting in higher costs.:  Henry Waxman is hauling the CEO’s of these companies before Congress to explain why they aren’t buying the “independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs.”:  In other words, he wants them to sit down, shut up and not talk about the costs of Obamacare.

This kind of bullying is nothing new.:  When William Frey, President of Greenwich Financial Services, publicly opposed certain Democrat proposals, he was sent a letter which not only “invited” him to testify before Congress, but issued veiled threats against his industry if his “posture of obstruction” was maintained.

Similar threats were lobbed at ABC over the airing of The Path to 9/11. Upset with the content of the miniseries, Senate Democrats threatened ABC’s broadcast license.

Unfortunately, this kind of bullying from members of Congress, and even the White House, has become all too common.:  As the size and scope of government power has increased, so has the tendency of politicians to exploit it.:  Modern day legislators seems to have more in common with mob bosses than statesmen.

Brian Garst blogs at Conservative Compendium.

Brian Garst

Brian Garst is the Director of Government Affairs for the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a non-profit think tank dedicated to preserving tax competition and free markets. He also blogs at BrianGarst.com.

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