If the issues were not so important, the rants of Senator NO (Jon Kyl) might be viewed as merely irritating partisan blather. However, since he is a ranking member of the Republican minority, I, as an independent (a lapsed member of both the Republican and Democratic Parties), feel I must take him much more seriously.
In his latest Guest Comment in the Roundup, he attacks the new health reform law based on cost and, in particular, the one-time front-ended tax charges announced by large corporations. What he fails to mention is that these charges reflect repeal of a Bush Administration corporate tax giveaway to sweeten the 2006 Medicare drug benefit program. Corporations not only got subsidies covering 28 percent of eligible costs, they also were allowed to deduct the entire amount of their costs, including the subsidies — one of those blatant loopholes that endeared corporations to President Bush.
More importantly, Senator NO screams about purported costs of health insurance reform, which in fact is projected to do the following:
• Bring $2.5 billion of new Medicare funding to Arizona;
• Make other health insurance options available to the 400,000 Arizonans (including 40,000 children) who are being cut off by the Arizona Legislature’s decision to slash funding for Medicaid and KidsCare programs in the state.
Having provided essentially no positive suggestions or programs during the full year of health care deliberations, the senator now echoes the fact-free “repeal and replace” mantra of the Republican Party.
Further, when he and his party were in power, he expressed no concerns about the $800 billion of costs (and 3,000 lives) associated with the Bush family vendetta in Iraq. Also, his new-found fiscal responsibility didn’t stop him from supporting two Bush tax cuts that have added over $2 trillion to our nation’s budget deficit.
Now, amazingly, Senator NO is threatening to filibuster President Barack Obama’s next appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, even though there is as yet no vacancy on the Court and the president has not nominated anyone!
Senator, when does “loyal opposition” cross the line and become “destructive obstructionism”?