WASHINGTON. D.C. – Today, Congressman Guinta introduced H.R. 879 - Ax the Tax on Middle Class Americans’ Health Plans Act - to repeal a harmful provision of the President’s healthcare law, known as a ‘Cadillac tax,’ which will inflict a 40% tax on middle class Americans’ health plans. The Cadillac tax will officially go into effect in 2018; however, employers, labor unions, and municipalities are anticipating this massive tax by looking at increasing deductibles, reducing benefits and shifting costs to consumers and property tax payers alike.
“I’ve heard from countless municipalities back home who are absolutely terrified of this unavoidable and impending tax hike. Even worse, the non-partisan think tank American Health Policy Institute found that over 12 million middle-class American workers would see an average increase of $1,050 in higher payroll and income taxes per year. My legislation will protect workers from facing this devastating tax increase, employers from reducing workers’ benefits and municipal taxpayers who – if enacted – would experience skyrocketing property taxes. The repeal of this onerous tax has received widespread support from republicans, democrats, national unions and more.”
The Ax the Tax on Middle Class Americans’ Health Plans Act is the first piece of stand-alone legislation to repeal the Cadillac Tax in the House of Representatives.
To read the text of Ax the Tax on Middle Class Americans’ Health Plans Act, please click here.
Dear Monetary Policy Observer,
The financial media has been overjoyed by the dollar’s strong run over the past several weeks. APIA senior economics adviser Ralph Benko points out that while cheapening the dollar is bad for the economy, the “King Dollar” status as a reserve currency may have cost the US economy 6 million jobs, according to Dr. Jared Bernstein, the chief economist to Vice President Biden.
Benko calls for a return from “King Dollar” to a “high integrity, meticulously defined, dollar” pegged to gold as a way to sustain middle class growth.
We hope you find this material of interest.
American Principles In Action
The reserve currency status of the dollar, particularly as a potential factor in wage stagnation, has profound political implications. Dispirited voters yearn for leadership that actually understands how to get the economic tide to lift all boats again. Notwithstanding his promotion of some marked policy differences with this columnist, this columnist says three cheers for Dr. Bernstein for squarely pushing the reserve currency question into play.
[...]A dollar at the mercy of a freelancing Fed, subject to being whipsawed in value, up or down, is a barrier to commerce. Money, by definition, is a medium of exchange, a store of value and — not be overlooked — a unit of account. There are many empirical data tending to show that only by meticulously maintaining the definition of the unit — for example, by defining the dollar by grains of gold and making it legally convertible thereunto — can good job creation, and equitable prosperity, consistently be achieved.
Read the full article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2014/09/29/the-rise-and-fall-and-rise-and-fall-of-king-dollar-part-1/
Study Explains why Granite Staters are Waking Up in a Cold Sweat to More ObamaCare Nightmares
MANCHESTER – According to a new study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, ObamaCare will reduce the nationwide weekly employment rate “by slightly more than 3 percent, or about 4 million full-time-equivalent workers.” Women specifically will bear the brunt of this reduction in the workforce.
The study claims that ObamaCare creates strong disincentives to work, and the law’s tax penalties creates an unintended consequence where working part-time will yield more disposable income than working full-time.
ObamaCare will also “push more women than men into part-time work,” according to Casey Mulligan, study author and professor of economics at the University of Chicago. “Because a greater percentage of women work just above 30 hours per week, it is women who will be more likely to drop to part-time work” – which the law defines as less than 29 hours per week.
Frank Guinta released the following statement:
“Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s blind support for ObamaCare continues to create nightmares for Granite Staters. The disastrous health care law has already devastated the middle-class and has played a central role in creating a climate where fewer Americans are working than at any time since 1978. Granite Staters want a health care system that works for the middle-class and reduces costs while increasing access to good quality, health care. The Congresswoman’s partisan, knee-jerk support for ObamaCare is hurting the very people she purports to support. I will work to replace ObamaCare with market based solutions that puts you in charge, not a bureaucrat in Washington.”
18-State Tour to Underscore Clear Choice Voters Face in November:
Democrats’ Middle-Out Approach to Building an Economy That Works for Everyone vs. Scott Brown and Frank Guinta’s Top-Down Approach That Works Only for the Wealthy Few & Big Corporations
[Left, Manchester stop; Right, Nashua stop]
More Pictures from Today’s Events in NH: http://www.middleclassfirst.com/tagged/pictures
Video: Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s remarks: http://youtu.be/QUAW4fD5CiQ
Video: Pastor Gail Kinney’s remarks: http://youtu.be/nGVL8OXdTyE
Video from Nashua: http://youtu.be/_3eK2k-ehFI
Washington DC – Americans United for Change has hit the road with the national “Put the Middle Class First” bus tour to help drive home the clear choice before voters on November 4 between having a Democratic Congress that works for them or a Tea Party Congress that works for corporate special interests like the Koch brothers. With the backdrop of a 45’ long ‘fair shot advocate on wheels’ and with invaluable support from the NH Democratic Party and Alliance for Retired Americans, the tour kicked off in Manchester and Nashua, NH today and was joined by Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, as well as local faith leaders, safety net advocates, and seniors who agree that a strong economy can only be built to last from the middle out. The alternative? : the top-down Tea Party approach espoused by Frank Guinta and Scott Brown (R-MA) of giving more tax breaks to millionaires that never manage to create jobs but always manage to undermine middle class priorities like education and Medicare.
Highlights from Remarks Made at Manchester Stop:
U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-1st): "Something has gone terribly wrong for New Hampshire families, for our young people and our old people, and we know what it is that happened: D.C. Republican politicians have stopped working to support the middle class and bring the next generation forward. New Hampshire Democrats know how to jumpstart the middle class: we need to ensure that families earn a livable wage, that young people can afford their education, and that our seniors can count on their earned benefits in retirement. That's why the middle class needs to practice self-defense and vote on November 4th."
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley: “Up here in New Hampshire we’re all too familiar with the stakes this November. We’re up against Republican opponents backed by the Koch brothers, Wall Street and big oil interests who want to roll back decades of progress that democrats have made for Granite Staters, seniors, small businesses, students, women and middle class families. This year we’re taking on Scott Brown. Over the last several months since he moved up here from Massachusetts, we’ve gotten to know that Scott Brown only works for Scott Brown. Just last week Scott Brown said that women’s health and equal are not “issues that people care about” here in New Hampshire. And how can we forget the time that Scott Brown hid in a bathroom to avoid reporters’ questions about the Hobby Lobby decision that allows bosses to come between women and their health care decisions. He even voted to give tax breaks to protect big oil companies, yet he doesn’t support giving 110,000 hardworking Granite Staters a needed raise by increasing the minimum wage. Frank Guinta too is only interested in moving the Tea Party agenda forward and America backwards. Guinta’s record in the two short years he was in Congress was abominable. He voted against New Hampshire one-hundred percent of the time. In fact during those two short years, he managed to be voted one of the ‘Most Corrupt Members of Congress’.”
President of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans, Lucy Edwards: “New Hampshire senior citizens and their families and neighbors should do their homework this year and vote in self-defense on November 4th. One in five New Hampshire residents got social security benefits in 2013. Over 231,000 in New Hampshire received Medicare benefits allowing us to remain healthy and contribute to our communities. These earned benefits mean that families and communities to not have to worry about carrying the full cost of housing, food and health care for those who are retired and disabled. The incomes from these benefits are spent in our communities. And healthy and secure seniors provide many hours of volunteer time in the community, the unpaid work that New Hampshire depends on for many of our town governments among many other projects.”
United Church of Christ Pastor, Gail Kinney: “I want to say a few words about ‘Beloved Community’, because that is what’s at stake in this election in 2014. Beloved Community means that no person who works full time should be relegated to a life of poverty. Beloved Community means that no senior citizen who has worked hard and played by the rules should end up living in economic insecurity and health insecurity. Beloved Community means that women and men who perform the same work, should be treated equally at work. We should strive to be prophetic witness on November 4th, 2014.”
Highlights from Remarks Made at Nashua Stop:
Nashua State Senator Bette Lasky: “There’s been a lot of talk lately by a former Senator from Massachusetts about the issues he thinks are important, or aren’t important to the citizens of New Hampshire. What Brown doesn’t is realize that not only are women disproportionately affected by the minimum wage, many are mothers trying support families and feed their kids. So encourage everyone to get out there and vote for the people that will keep New Hampshire moving forward, not backwards.”
Alderman, and Candidate for Executive Council Diane Sheehan: “It’s important that we remember what’s at stake in this coming election. And what’s at stake is us, in the middle class, and those trying to get into the middle class. My opponent has defunded Planned Parenthood. I’ll tell you that I lost my mother to breast cancer which was discovered at stage four, and I understand the importance of early detection for cervical and breast cancer and the important role that Planned Parenthood plays. My opponent also called Medicare and Medicaid “welfare”. We need to remind people that good early access to healthcare costs everyone less and leads to better outcomes. I’ve been getting things in the mail saying “right to work”. If my mother was not a member of a union when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she would have lost her job and lost her healthcare and I would still 14 years later be paying off her medical bills. There is a reason we have unions. We need to remind people of the stakes so that they show up on November 4th.”
United Steelworkers District 4 Director, John Shinn: “We’re tired of corporate greed. The Koch brothers have enough money, I think we can all agree on that. CEO’s are more concerned about Wall Street, but this about Main Street. This is about hard working people getting their fair share.”
Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “A healthy economy depends on having a strong and growing middle class. And while we’ve seen the economy pick up speed the last 5 years, many American families still feel like they’re spinning their wheels. And it’s no wonder why: incomes have been stagnant or even shrinking for more than a decade at the same time the cost of food, child care, college, housing, retirement security, and basic necessities has soared. The good news is it’s a problem we know how to fix: by making critical investments in education and infrastructure that will create more jobs, opportunity, and an economy that works for everyone. But instead, Tea Party Republicans have stood in the way of every reasonable proposal made by President Obama and Democrats to move the country forward and instead have made sure this Congress has been the least productive and most beholden to the special interests in U.S. history. This election is about a choice between having Democratic Congress working to level the playing field for the middle class versus a Tea Party Congress willing to shut down the government and hurt the economy to keep the game rigged for the wealthy special interests.”
Four years in a row, House Republicans passed a budget plan that voucherizes Medicare, slashes Medicaid, Pell grants and child care services, and shortchanges badly needed repairs to America’s crumbling bridges and roads. At the same time the Ryan budget, which Frank Guinta voted repeatedly for, protects Big Oil subsides and gives away $5 trillion in new tax breaks for millionaires and corporations that outsource U.S. jobs. Not to be outdone, Republican Governors are enacting their own Robin Hood in Reverse policies, from tax breaks geared towards the super-wealthy, to gutting public education, to refusing to accept available Medicaid resources to cover thousands of vulnerable citizens including Veterans who living one health emergency away from bankruptcy. The Koch brothers, Big Insurance and Wall Street are clearly satisfied customers judging by the millions of dollars they continue to funnel into Republican campaigns like that of Guinta and Scott Brown.
In contrast, Democrats in Congress have a detailed set of proposals that put the middle class first, giving more Americans a fair shot at getting into the middle class and achieving the American Dream, including: Ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work; Making college affordable; Raising the Minimum Wage; Creating jobs by investing in infrastructure; and Protecting Social Security and Medicare from benefit cuts, voucherization or privatization schemes.