Late last year, President Bush promised retirees that "if there's a Medicare reform bill signed by me, corporations have no intention to dump retire [from their existing drug coverage]...What we're talking about is trust." The White House and its congressional allies backed up Bush's assertion by claiming the bill included a special tax subsidy to "encourage employers' to retain prescription-drug coverage" for their retirees' and not to cut them off.
But just three months after Bush's pledge, the Wall Street Journal now reports that the White House quietly added "a little-noticed provision" to the bill that allows companies to severely reduce - or almost completely terminate - their retirees' drug coverage "without losing out on the new subsidy." In other words, the president did not just break his promise to sign a bill that prevents seniors from losing their existing drug coverage. He actually acted to reward companies who cut off their retirees with a lavish new tax break.
The provision was no mere oversight by the president. The major backers of the provision were Lucent Technologies, General Motors, Dow Chemical and SBC Communications - all major campaign contributors to the president. According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, executives from those companies have donated almost $140,000 in hard money and $2.5 million in soft money to Bush and his party since 2000.
Thursday, January 08, 2004
From the Daily Misleader:
by Atrios at 14:45