Morning Action: What Politicians Can Accomplish With Political Courage

LOSING.  With the Affordable Care Act, many individuals and businesses are losing profits and feel singled out because they must pay several new taxes, pay financial penalties, and comply with IRS rule changes:

Johnny Drake’s business is losing 2.3 percent of everything it makes because of the Affordable Care Act.

He’s the president of Pathfinder Technologies, a small company in Nashville with fewer than 20 employees, that got hit with an excise tax this year because it makes medical devices.

Medical device manufacturers are among the federal health law losers, those that will have to pay up to cover the cost of implementing it. Others include high-wage earners, tanning salons and, in some cases, working parents and folks with big medical bills. The law generates revenue through a hodgepodge of new taxes, financial penalties and IRS rule changes.

Individuals won’t be able to pass along taxes so easily. People making more than $200,000 annually and couples making more than $250,000 will have to pay a 3.8 percent tax on net investment income when they file next year — and that’s not their only new tax.

OBAMA. President Obama will meet with financial regulators Monday (sub. req’d):

Mr. Obama will use the meeting “to discuss the progress that has been made in strengthening the financial system, including the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” the White House said Sunday evening. The meeting will be held at 2:15pm ET in the Roosevelt Room.

According to the White House, participants will include: the comptroller of the currency, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the chairmen of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

POLITICAL COURAGE. Heritage Action communications director Dan Holler explains that Republicans have no excuse not to try to fight on Obamacare:

A reporter with deep ties to House Republican leaders characterized the ongoing debate over Obamacare as “a wink-wink kabuki dance of the highest order.” According to this reporter, an anonymous leadership aide promised Republicans “want to protect the American people from Obamacare.” Instead of putting forward a strategy – you know, leading – this leadership aide simply offered, “no one seems to [be] able to explain how we win a shutdown fight.”

If the unnamed leadership aide was actually speaking for Republican leaders – and there is no way to verify because we don’t know the name of the aide or the aide’s boss – it does not appear there is any real desire to negotiate on the forthcoming year-end spending bill.

They’ll fight Obamacare later. Promise. Maybe.

Once Americans start enrolling in the Obamacare exchanges on October 1 with the expectation of receiving Obamacare subsidies in 2014, it could be too late. If we want to protect the American people from Obamacare, we have to act now. The outcome will depend on how well we make the case between now and September 30. But one thing is certain: There are no excuses for not trying.

REGULATORY STATE. The Hill reports on President Obama’s vast expansion of the regulatory state, which will have long lasting implications even after his time in office:

The reach of the executive branch has advanced steadily on his watch, further solidifying the power of bureaucrats who churn out regulations that touch nearly every aspect of American life and business.

Experts debate whether federal rulemaking has accelerated under Obama, but few dispute that Washington — for better or worse — is reaching deeper than ever before into the workings of society.

Meanwhile, new federal rules are accumulating faster than outdated ones are removed, resulting in a steady increase in the number of federal mandates.   Data collected by researchers at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center shows that the Code of Federal Regulations, where all rules and regulations are detailed, has ballooned from 71,224 pages in 1975 to 174,545 pages last year.


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