Remember a few weeks ago when the news broke that the health-insurance reform bill included a "Bo-Tax," a levy on cosmetic surgical procedures? Well, in the current version of the Senate bill, that proposed tax has been eliminated, thanks to lobbying by the American Medical Association, which objected to the provision. (Goddam doctors might lose some income!)
Well, ever devoted to protecting government revenues, the good doctors suggested that a better idea would be to add a 10 percent tax tax on tanning services. The president of the Indoor Tanning Association noted: "We do have a lobbying presence in Washington, but not to the extent of the medical industry." Ha. That's for sure.
So, if this passes, all my narcissistic students who regularly hie themselves off to tanning salons will be contributing more to the public treasury. Who says this isn't a wonderful world?
An article in the NY Times points out with stark evidence what everyone already knows — our politicians are bought and paid for by large corporations and their lobbyists. More than a dozen lawmakers — both Democrats and Republicans — gave speeches that were written (sometimes wholly) by lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world’s largest biotech companies and a subsidiary of Swiss drug giant Roche. Genentech even went as far as to provide customized talking points for each party, and 22 Republicans and 20 Democrats obediently repeated them into the Congressional Record.
But that’s not what’s ironic. I’m sure these politicians feel that if they don’t take money from large corporations and do their bidding, then their opponents will. And the same thing is true of the corporations. Corporations are loathe to spend money if they don’t have to, so I’m sure that they feel like they have to funnel money into the campaign chests of politicians and lobbyists, because if they don’t their competitors will.
It is the end result that is truly ironic. By being “pro-business” for narrow corporate interests, the government actually makes the economy worse, hurting business. And by accepting money from corporations, politicians who desire to govern this country squander their ability to do so.
It is a death spiral we have gotten ourselves into. Will we be able to get out of it before it is too late? Don’t look to the mainstream media to help — they too are bought and paid for by large corporations who care only about the bottom line, which ironically is also killing them.
As I noted below (spurred on by the NYT article to which he refers), I despise the lobbyists and the legislators.
Along with yesterday's news about Wyeth's gross deception (see below) comes this story about the coal industry sending fake letters to members of Congress, purporting to be from nonprofit groups opposed to climate-change legislation.
Good lord. This country is going to hell in a handbasket.