In a curious happenstance of timing, right when we are watching our supposedly progressive President and his limp-wristed spineless minions in the Senate hand the health insurance industry a huge win at a cost to those very constituents that they supposedly represent, another bill will soon be was recently voted on in the House.

It is called the H.R. 4145 — Permanent Estate Tax Relief for Families, Farmers, and Small Businesses Act of 2009". It permanently enshrines Bush's estate tax cuts for the wealthy, from Blue Dog Earl Pomeroy.

Did your media inform you of this?

Ayes: 225 (Democrat: 225; Republican: 0)
Nays: 200 (Democrat: 26; Republican: 174)

You know, those tax cuts Bush passed with the Republicans through the budget reconciliation process back in 2001? Which many of the same Republican senators (along with the media, Karl Rove, and the usual Faux News crew) have conveniently forgotten? And the Senate looks to go beyond even Pomeroy's bill in enabling the rich while preventing health care for the self-employed and under-employed.

You really going to bother to vote anymore? Why?

This is the perfect example of how we the masses are ignored except when they need our votes. Of how we are repeatedly manipulated, both by our elected leaders and by the majority of the media.

Yet, the rich and powerful get theirs:

Members of a handful of super-wealthy families have quietly helped finance and coordinate a massive campaign to repeal the estate tax. These families – the members of which own the first and third largest privately held companies in the United States and hold about a 40 percent share in the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart – stand to save a whopping $71.6 billion if their bid succeeds.

They have relied on their fortunes, the resources of their companies and their business connections to marshal a massive anti-estate tax juggernaut that has reported nearly a half-billion dollars in lobbying expenditures ($490.3 million) since 1998.

Health care is watered down so far that I don't really see how I get any other option from the one I have right now: choose from several plans from one of two insurance companies in the new Utah exchange. I might be wrong--there might be a third now. It's been a few months since I looked at it.

I would love to give my hard-earned money to something like Medicare For All, where I know that 90%+ of those funds will actually be used for patient care.

But we've seen that and any other public option circle the drain and die. All the while getting yet another email for Organizing For America to donate or make phone calls.

Fuck it, Barack, I don't see you making any fucking phone calls support what you said you would support when I worked turning the precinct I chaired in Deschutes County, Oregon blue for you. All I see is capitulation after capitulation. All I see is a half-ass effort that we all know is much less than you are capable of on the most important policy matter affecting the greatest number of your constituents.

All I see is bait and switch. With a little backwash to choke it down with.

And then there is this: H.R. 4145 — Permanent Estate Tax Relief for Families, Farmers, and Small Businesses Act of 2009. It is going to cost over a fourth of what real health care reform would cost, affecting less than 20,000 Americans while our so-called health care reform leaves tens of millions still uninsured.

Even better:

Pomeroy’s bill to make permanent Bush’s lower 45% rate and higher exemption level is estimated to cost the federal government $234 billion over the next ten years. Unlike most bills in the House that would increase the deficit, the bill would not have to be offset with new revenue under pay/go rules. That’s because the statutory pay/go bill that the House passed this summer included, at the behest of the Blue Dogs, a special exemption for lowering the estate tax...The Pomeroy estate tax bill is expected to pass this week, but the Senate, which is tied down with health care form for the foreseeable future, will still have to take it up before it becomes law. When it does move to the Senate, the tax could become even weaker. In April, the Senate voted favorably on an amendment to the budget resolution from Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D, AR] that proposes raising the estate tax exemption to $5 million for individuals and lowering the rate down to 35%.

And the list of Rep. Pomeroy's co-sponsors is filled with fellow Democrats:

         o Rep. Robert Berry [D, AR-1]
         o Rep. Leonard Boswell [D, IA-3]
         o Rep. Jim Cooper [D, TN-5]
         o Rep. Kathleen Dahlkemper [D, PA-3]
         o Rep. Bob Etheridge [D, NC-2]
         o Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin [D, SD-0]
         o Rep. Baron Hill [D, IN-9]
         o Rep. Charles Melancon [D, LA-3]
         o Rep. Michael Michaud [D, ME-2]
         o Rep. Dennis Moore [D, KS-3]
         o Rep. John Tanner [D, TN-8]

And you really thought they cared enough about the 99.9% of their constituents that are not affected by the estate tax? The tens of millions uninsured or underinsured?

If so, I have a secret plan I'll sell you for $79 a month showing you how to make millions on Google without ever taking your pajamas off.

Trust me, Mr. President, the masses know who you really care about. It isn't us. This week has been a stunning wake-up call for many of us. Often after denying it all summer and fall.

And that is going to hurt Democrats in the elections ahead. You personally, Mr. President, have done more to make me apathetic about politics than any single person in my entire 51 years in this nation we call America.

For I believed in your call for change. Silly me.

Originally posted to bewert on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:25 PM PST.


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