Another Campaign Non-Issue Explodes in Democrats’ Faces

Source: Twitter via David Axelrod

First it was the hyperbolic “War on Women.” Now it’s the “War on Dogs.” The fundamental problem is that the Democratic Party cannot invent enough non-issues to distract voters’ attention from the reality of an anemic economic recovery. Moreover, they seem remarkably flat-footed when Republicans point out their hypocrisy or respond with equally absurd attacks.

I guess what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Two weeks ago, it was Hilary Rosen’s barely veiled contempt for stay-at-home moms. This past week, Republicans pointed out that President Obama ate dog during his youth in the wake of criticism on Romney’s transport choices for his family dog several decades ago.

At some point one would think that the Democratic Party would stop engaging in these ridiculous lines of attack. Instead, they defend them even further until the logic of their arguments no longer makes any coherent sense.

In the world of cruelty to dogs, most rational people would agree that eating dogs is more morally objectionable (in the American culture) than putting a dog in a crate for transportation. In fact, if you want to travel with your pet on any modern airliner, you are required to put your beloved pet in a crate and stow him in the stifling bowels of an airliner’s cargo hold. According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of animals who died on airplanes in 2010 “jumped 70% to 39 from 23, injuries doubled, and five animals were lost, compared to three in 2009.” And there’s more:

“But death reports on animals filed by airlines with the Department of Transportation show a host of dangers. The stress of the experience can cause dogs and cats to injure themselves by trying to claw or chew through plastic containers and metal bars. Improper handling by airlines can leave a pet sitting too long on an airport tarmac or in a poorly ventilated space. And escapes – sometimes when a well-meaning worker is just try to open a container door to help the animal – can lead to tragic loss.”

Why has President Obama allowed this animal oppression to rise on his watch? It seems a bit picayune then to criticize Mitt Romney for long ago putting his dog in much more comfortable conditions than those mandated by modern airliners. So why is it an issue, particularly when the president himself has feasted upon dog flesh? In hindsight, Mr. Axelrod’s tweeted picture above seems downright creepy.

As such, the best strategy for the Democrats would simply be to ignore this stupid non-issue and focus on more consequential ones like jobs and the economy.

Oh wait, they can’t.

Instead, they double down on their inane attack, arguing in effect that President Obama was only six years old, while Romney was an adult.

Are they listening to themselves?

Their argument is that feeding a dog to your six-year old is less morally objectionable than transporting that same dog in a crate on the top of your car. Never mind that your pet has an infinitely higher chance of surviving a road trip than being eaten.

This campaign has officially entered the surreal phase. Can’t we just focus on what’s actually important?

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About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Conservative clean energy crusader, national security hawk, financial analyst, engineer, and former military officer.
This entry was posted in Finance and Economics, Humor, Policy, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Another Campaign Non-Issue Explodes in Democrats’ Faces

  1. Scott Erb says:

    I think you’re being a bit too sensitive to a funny tweet from Axelrod. Do a search and you don’t find many Democrats talking about it. The efforts by Romney’s campaign to bring up eating dog in Indonesia seem to be a kind of over-reaction. It’s as if the right — and perhaps you — thinks this will hurt Romney and you’re trying to somehow find a way to push it aside. It won’t hurt Romney if it gets ignored. Keeping it in the discourse by trying to hit back at Obama in rather peculiar ways (really – blaming Obama that 39 animals died on flights rather than 23?) actually keeps the issue in the discourse and that probably is not good for Romney.

    • I’m not blaming Obama for the death’s of 39 pets. I was being intentionally sarcastic.

      I’m more amused by the fact that the Democrats attacked Romney on something so meaningless, and that the Republicans found something arguably worse to throw back at them.

      However, while all of this is very entertaining stuff, it is sad that it is distracting the nation from far more serious issues like the economy.

  2. pino says:

    Posted on Sunday, April 22, 2012 by Sean Patrick Hazlett

    Was worried that you hadn’t posted in a bit.

    How loving owners transport their dogs.

    In a limo.

    • Yeah, I’ve been working on fiction writing stuff at the moment. I’ve written about 5 solid short stories in the last 6 months, and submitted 3 of them so far. I still haven’t been rejected from that contest, so there’s hope there.

  3. efishal says:

    There is silliness on both sides. At least the Democrats don’t have two unfunded wars and Terry Schiavo on their tab. Ya really want to talk about silliness? Lets talk about the rhetoric surrounding Obama care! Lets talk about the death panels! Oh yeah, lets not forget all the outrage over Catholics that all use birth control screamin about the imposition of the federal government on Catholic institutions. ! Could anything be more hypocritical…..or silly? Catholics blatantly disregard the churches rules on birth control…..but anything to take a shot at Obama! Yep, there is nothing more silly that the Republicans using social issues to avoid the truth that Obam hasn’t really done that bad cleaning up their mess. The truth is we are creeping out of the darkness and things are far better than they were when Bush left office. That won’t stop Mitt from insisting that we are worse off…..no matter what the Stock market, CBO or the Bureau of labor statistics says.
    That is silly! So cling to that crumb my friend, if it makes ya feel better!

    • You do realize that the unemployment rate is higher now, 3.5 years after Bush left office right?

      I’m sure you also realize that those Catholics you seem to decry are mostly Democrats.

      Moreover, you are conflating a legitimate argument over First Amendment rights with an evil plot to deny women contraception. The Catholic church has every right to object to the government requiring its institutions to provide its employees with contraceptives. This is a classic case of government encroaching on religion. It is clearly not a case of conservatives somehow trying to ban contraception. It’s making a mountain out of a moll hill, and frankly it’s silly.

      • Scott Erb says:

        You can’t really blame Obama for the economy he inherited. While it is a legitimate concern for the Catholic church, they are not being required to give contraception to their employees, they simply have to pay for a plan that covers contraception. I think this issue is a winner for Obama if the GOP tries to make a big deal out of it. It’s one of those issues where Obama would take some flake from Catholics and if the GOP stayed quiet it wouldn’t touch them. Once they speak up, well, they’ve made it a partisan issue.

        • Scott,

          While it is true that Obama inherited a tough economy, he hasn’t done much to improve it. Moreover, his response to it has served to make millions more Americans dependent on a government that increasingly cannot afford to support them. He’s been in office for over three years. It’s time he accepted some responsibility for an anemic economic recovery.

          I also wouldn’t discount this issue among Catholics. Apparently, the Council of American Bishops is planning on nationwide protests against Obama’s “war on religion.” Moreover, forcing these institutions to pay for services that violate their religion is a clear first amendment violation, no matter how the president tries to rationalize it.

          This issue is a loser for Obama, especially since most Catholics vote Democrat.

  4. Eric Hielema says:

    1. Sean you are absolutely wrong about it being an example of government creeping in on religion. The specific requirement government was targeting were businesses that happen to be owned by Churches. You want to talk about government creeping in on religion? How about we start treating religious organizations like ALL other non-profits? Half of them would probably collapse under the weight of administrative fatigue. Please stop repeating rhetoric. I keep waiting for you to post rational appeals and yet you consistently post rhetoric. I have to admit I have not been visiting because most of the posts here have been rather one-sided. My expectation by the introductions to your blog made me think otherwise. So far I am unconvinced this is a blog for rational thinking.
    2. When visiting a foreign country, it is expected that one respects that country’s traditions or expected societal behaviors. There are many countries where it common that dog is part of the menu. How could that possibly be worse than strapping the kennel on the roof of a car? I am not positing that eating dog is less so. But it most certainly is not worse given the context.
    3. Can you honestly name a President that took over at the start of a recession/depression who in his first term was able to turn the economy around. You can’t. So I don’t understand how you can honestly expect that in 3.5 years anyone could turn our economy around. Again, isn’t this supposed to be about rational reflections instead of rhetoric?

    • “1. Sean you are absolutely wrong about it being an example of government creeping in on religion. The specific requirement government was targeting were businesses that happen to be owned by Churches.”

      How is it wrong? The government is requiring a business owned by a religious institution to provide contraceptives for employees when contraceptives are forbidden by the Catholic religion? An even bigger question is why should insurance companies be forced to pay for contraceptives at all? I have nothing against contraceptives, but I do have a huge problem with government requiring religious institutions to spend money on things that violate their core beliefs. Surely you can see the conflict with the First Amendment here, right?

      “2. When visiting a foreign country, it is expected that one respects that country’s traditions or expected societal behaviors. There are many countries where it common that dog is part of the menu. How could that possibly be worse than strapping the kennel on the roof of a car? I am not positing that eating dog is less so. But it most certainly is not worse given the context.”

      By your argument, the soldiers who urinated on Afghan corpses did nothing wrong since it is common in that part of the world to mutilate the bodies of one’s dead enemies. Same with torture. It is worse than strapping a crate containing a dog on a car, because the dog in the crate is still alive. The other one was butchered for food. I can’t believe I’m even arguing this point. It boils down to this:

      Discomfort < Death

      "3. Can you honestly name a President that took over at the start of a recession/depression who in his first term was able to turn the economy around."

      Ronald Reagan

      • Eric Hielema says:

        When I started my reply, I actually wrote, “Sean, please don’t be dogmatic and respond with Ronald Reagan.” I deleted it because I thought you wouldn’t be so naive as to say the name of the Republican Holy Father. But indeed you did. Wow, I am always amazed at the audacity of Republicans.Like the automatic response in church, “And so with you,” Republicans respond with, “Ronald Reagan.” I am surprised that one with your credentials uses the same line when it is so untrue. I don’t think I will be reading your posts anymore. Thanks for the discussions Sean, but I have not found myself to be enlightened with perspectives different than what receive when I tune into any number of conservative media sources. – disappointed in Olympia

        • Don’t take my word for it, just look at the unemployment numbers going into the 1984 election and how they improved.

          You are dismissing my argument without a counterargument. The data clearly supports my view. It may not be what you want to hear, but it’s true.

          • Eric Hielema says:

            Unemployment figures are not the sole measure of the economy. Let’s see, the national deficit went from $250B to almost $2T (please don’t claim the deficit doesn’t matter). His policies may have provided temporary relief, but they paved the way for the recession of the early 90’s. Much of the deregulation that conservatives love were cocked and loaded when he took office. The size of government ballooned under Reagan. I am not trying to demonize him. But please don’t make him more of a hero than he was.

            • I won’t deny that the deficit ballooned under Reagan. It did.

            • Tevyeh says:

              Eric,

              It’s true that “unemployment figures are not the sole measure of the economy,” but the federal deficit isn’t really considered a measure of the “economy” at all. It is believed to significantly *influence* the economy, but it’s not a macroeconomic indicator like GDP, unemployment rate, or CPI. (By the way, your deficit figures are off.)

              “Can you honestly name a President that took over at the start of a recession/depression who in his first term was able to turn the economy around. You can’t.”

              Well, technically that’s true. We can point to the robust GDP growth, falling unemployment, and dramatic decline of inflation during Reagan’s first term, but it’s impossible to conclusively attribute all of these improvements to the Reagan Administration’s policies. Nor can you prove that Reagan’s policies “paved the way for the recession of the early 90′s.” We can construct an endless array of duelling narratives attempting to explain macroeconomic developments past and present, but beware of anybody who presents an analyisis of macroeconimic causality as “fact.”

              Sure, you’ll find plenty of Reaganites on the right who adore Reagan while having no grasp of the economic theories that informed his policies. However, their position is no weaker than the dismissive scoffing and eye-rolling that is frequently the left-wing response.

              “I am surprised that one with your credentials uses the same line when it is so untrue.”

              “It” (the proposition that Reagan Administration economic policies were economically beneficial to the nation) is neither demonstrably “true” nor “untrue.” It is, however, easily defensible. If you want to have that debate, I can elaborate.

        • Scott Erb says:

          Reagan looks very bad if you look at what he did to get the economy growing. He hyperstimulated by massively increasing debt from 30% of GDP to nearly 60% of GDP. He didn’t need to, oil price declines in late 1981-82 had already turned the economy of every country in the industrialized west around. Reagan inherited low overall debt and generally strong budgetary constraint. Volcker had nipped inflation in the bud (thereby dooming Carter’s re-election chances by driving up interest rates and igniting the recession), and Reagan inherited a fundamentally sound economy suffering a recession that would easily run its course, aided by falling oil prices. What Reagan did — with help from the Democrats — was start a long period of rising debt, current account deficits, and nearly 30 years of growing imbalances which caused this crisis. Obama is dealing with a crisis thirty years in the making, inheriting high debt, a fundamentally out of balance economy and a recession that is not going to simply run its course. The world economy is rebalancing from the last thirty years. Reagan didn’t screw it up alone, he had help from Democrats and Republicans. He certainly didn’t fix anything. If he hadn’t hyperstimulated the economy we wouldn’t have had as much debt-driven growth — but that would have actually been a good thing!

      • “The government is requiring a business owned by a religious institution to provide contraceptives for employees”

        Well, no. The government is requiring that insurers allow insured folks to choose a health plan that includes contraception. The employer doesn’t have to provide contraceptives, he has to provide insurance. This tends to be a cost-effective choice for insurers.

        This wasn’t controversial when the Bush administration implemented this rule a while back.

        In December 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their employees but didn’t provide birth control were in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex. That opinion, which the George W. Bush administration did nothing to alter or withdraw when it took office the next month, is still in effect today—and because it relies on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. Employers that don’t offer prescription coverage or don’t offer insurance at all are exempt, because they treat men and women equally—but under the EEOC’s interpretation of the law, you can’t offer other preventative care coverage without offering birth control coverage, too. “It was, we thought at the time, a fairly straightforward application of Title VII principles,” a top former EEOC official who was involved in the decision told Mother Jones.

        Just as with light bulb efficiency, it’s an innocuous rule ushered into controversy because some people enjoy feeling mad at the government, and other people derive political gain from the fake outrage.

        • It sounds like President Bush was wrong then, too.

          • Right, and it went on for a decade– and folks like Depaul University went along with it– without people flipping out, because it’s not actually a big deal.

            Insurance runs with employment, in this country, and we don’t want employers determining the health care that citizens get, so we have this kind of regulation. (Perhaps, to get around this, you favor a public option, in which case you’ve long since broken with the GOP).

            The GOP is entirely dedicated to “campaign non-issues”, as you put it, so today people are pretending this is a Super Serious Important First Amendment issue. But it’s just an excuse for people who like feeling mad to feel mad.

            Below, pino wrote, “The employer would like to provide insurance to their employees. But they don’t want the money they spend on insurance to cover contraceptives.”

            I don’t see the public policy reason for giving the employer control over the employee’s health insurance decisions.

        • pino says:

          Well, no. The government is requiring that insurers allow insured folks to choose a health plan that includes contraception. The employer doesn’t have to provide contraceptives, he has to provide insurance.

          The employer would like to provide insurance to their employees. But they don’t want the money they spend on insurance to cover contraceptives. The choice is either no insurance or an insurance policy that doesn’t include contraceptives.

          Perhaps a more technically accurate statement would be “The government is requiring employers to offer an insurance plan that includes contraception IF it wants to provide insurance to their employees.

          Hell of a choice.

      • Scott Erb says:

        If I were an insurance company I’d certainly want to pay for contraception. The alternative would likely cost the company much, much, more. Of course, most Catholics use or condone the use of contraception, so it’s really more about how out of touch the (predominately male) Catholic hierarchy is with their own members!

  5. lbwoodgate says:

    How big an issue is this really Sean? Axelrod sends a tweet out and you act as if its going across all of the network and cable channels around the nation. I’m sure it was on FOX but I’m pretty sure not many others found it worth the air time, though the National Journal did use it for one of their stories. I googled the term “war on dogs” and found three entries (the NJ was one of them) in the first ten pages. I seriously doubt many “Democrats” follow Axelrod’s tweet either. I wouldn’t have seen this had you not posted it here.

    “The fundamental problem is that the Democratic Party cannot invent enough non-issues to distract voters’ attention from the reality of an anemic economic recovery.”

    No, the fundamental problem is that Democrats are not doing enough to point that the “anemic economic recovery” under Obama is not as bad as the one we experienced under Bush about this time into his presidency. Bush inherited a slow economy and he went out with an economic disaster. You and other conservatives think this is something that can be put back like it was before early 2008 which simply shows a lack of understanding how deep this recession went, not to mention it’s primarily the result of conservatives efforts since Reagan to deregulate everything that moves. It doesn’t help either when conservatives are cutting spending on public sector jobs at a time when jobs are of critical importance, while trying to make the deficit a more critical issue than it is.

    “Their argument is that feeding a dog to your six-year old is less morally objectionable than transporting that same dog in a crate on the top of your car. Never mind that your pet has an infinitely higher chance of surviving a road trip than being eaten.”

    How disingenuous and dishonest of you Sean. I explained this in terms that most people could understand but clearly I need to reiterate what some of us were really talking about.

    When you’re a 6-year raised in more than one culture, where one of those cultures does not find eating dog “morally objectionable”, comparing them to an American child never having lived anywhere else with a culture that does find eating dog “morally objectionable”, is hardly an argument that carries much credibility.

    As explained by Obama in his book:

    “With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy). Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share.”

    Here’s a 6-year old NOT being terrified by adults about eating dog but having adults explain why it is acceptable. You would have people think that the whole world finds eating dog is “morally objectionable” when the reality is they don’t; no more so than the whole world finds eating cow are pig “morally objectionable”. A 6 year old boy may find eating dog “yecky” in any culture, but “morally objectionable”? I think not. They haven’t developed mentally to think in such terms and would only be repulsed in a “morally objectionable” way if influenced by the adults in their life.

    Let me give you another example of why your consideration of this is dishonest. If you were to see a 6-year old boy pull down his pants and pee in public you are more like to see this as the actions of an impulsive child that doesn’t fully understand the consequences of their acts because they are, well … only 6 years old. You wouldn’t think this however if you saw an adult male do it, would you?

    The “war on dogs” hyperbole and the view that the Democratic Party cannot “invent enough non-issues to distract voters’ attention from the reality of an anemic economic recovery” is itself a sort of distraction from the reality that the GOP has NO economic recovery plan of their own other than what was done under Bush, on steroids at that, and that their likely nominee has so much disappointing baggage, that beating up on Obama rather than lifting up their candidate is all that the Party of NO has going for them.

    • “No, the fundamental problem is that Democrats are not doing enough to point that the “anemic economic recovery” under Obama is not as bad as the one we experienced under Bush about this time into his presidency. Bush inherited a slow economy and he went out with an economic disaster. You and other conservatives think this is something that can be put back like it was before early 2008 which simply shows a lack of understanding how deep this recession went, not to mention it’s primarily the result of conservatives efforts since Reagan to deregulate everything that moves. It doesn’t help either when conservatives are cutting spending on public sector jobs at a time when jobs are of critical importance, while trying to make the deficit a more critical issue than it is.”

      This kind of logic drives me nuts. Bush is irrelevant. Obama is basically running on the premise that the economy under him is not as bad as that under Bush, yet every single month he’s been in office the unemployment rate has been higher than under any single month under Bush. The man’s been in office for 3.5 years and is still blaming his predecessor. Yes, he inherited a terrible economy, but what has he done with it? Are you better off today than you were 3.5 years ago? I sure as heck am not. I work 30% more for 30% less. I’m sick of it. What Obama’s doing is not working.

      And then you blame Reagan. You do know that the Glass-Steagull Act was repealed under Clinton, right. Moreover, deregulation can be a good thing. So can regulation. Just in the right proportion. Now there’s too much of it, which is why bank’s aren’t lending today.

      I agree with you that cutting government in this crisis is a bad idea in the short-term. In the intermediate term, it is necessary. Government spending as a percentage of GDP is at historical levels not seen since we fought World War II. 25% of GDP is unsustainable and irresponsible, especially when the GSA is throwing it away on lavish events in Las Vegas.

      “Here’s a 6-year old NOT being terrified by adults about eating dog but having adults explain why it is acceptable. You would have people think that the whole world finds eating dog is “morally objectionable” when the reality is they don’t; no more so than the whole world finds eating cow are pig “morally objectionable”.”

      No. He’s not running for President in India, he’s running for President in America. If his political operatives think putting a dog on a car is far game, then eat one should be fair game as well. It’s perfectly fine to mutilate a woman’s genitals or to stone an adultress in many Muslim countries. Would you register the same objection if Obama had participated in a stoning as a child. This moral relativism is frankly started to concern me. If the left argues that Romney did something wrong by taking an action that made a dog suffer, than the same logic should apply to someone who ate one, regardless of where he did so.

      “Let me give you another example of why your consideration of this is dishonest. If you were to see a 6-year old boy pull down his pants and pee in public you are more like to see this as the actions of an impulsive child that doesn’t fully understand the consequences of their acts because they are, well … only 6 years old. You wouldn’t think this however if you saw an adult male do it, would you?”

      I actually wouldn’t. A three year old, yes. A six year old, no.

      “The “war on dogs” hyperbole and the view that the Democratic Party cannot “invent enough non-issues to distract voters’ attention from the reality of an anemic economic recovery” is itself a sort of distraction from the reality that the GOP has NO economic recovery plan of their own other than what was done under Bush, on steroids at that, and that their likely nominee has so much disappointing baggage, that beating up on Obama rather than lifting up their candidate is all that the Party of NO has going for them.”

      Obama had no plan when he came into office except taxing the rich. He still has no plan and it shows. I’d rather risk a different direction than doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That is, after all, the definition of insanity.

  6. These must be the dog days of the campaign then – when nothing much happens so the hacks recycle old stories and non-news. Its all happened before, and if you are as old as me you might remember when President Johnson famously got into all sorts of hot water for holding a press conference on the White House lawn and picking up his pet beagle by the ears. The outrage rang around the world and damned the man forever at least as far as my mother was concerned!

  7. Alan Scott says:

    Eric,

    ” His policies may have provided temporary relief, but they paved the way for the recession of the early 90′s. ”

    Look at the historical record. Recessions periodically occur no matter who is in power. The early 90s recession was mild compared to most . It’s not about preventing all recessions, because you can’t do it. It’s about getting out of them quickly when they do occur. President Obama has shown that he knows nothing about economics . Any other President would have steered the country out of trouble by now . Reagan’s primary accomplishment was taming inflation. Lowering the unemployment rate was a bonus .

    Also Reagan had an opposition party dedicated to increasing spending. Reagan did not get everything he wanted . Obama has an opposition party dedicated to cutting spending and he is too stupid to work with it .

  8. pino says:

    I don’t see the public policy reason for giving the employer control over the employee’s health insurance decisions.

    Employers make decisions all the time regarding the insurance they provide as compensation for work. They make decisions like what the co-pay might be, what group of doctors someone can see, how high the deductible is, how long in-patient treatment is covered and if things like dental and/or vision is covered.

    For some reason it was decided long ago, I’m sure it was with the best intentions, that we should provide positive tax treatment for insurance ONLY IF it comes in the form of compensation. If we were to reverse this and tax corporate healthcare as income but give positive tax treatment to individual people who shop for their insurance, we would see massive savings.

    Just like we see in auto insurance and blueberries.

    • middleagedhousewife says:

      pino, I know it’s kind of a technicality, but employers do not directly make the descisions on co-pays, deductables, network doctors, and such. The insurance companies make those decisions then give employers a choice of which plans are the most cost effective for their kind of business.
      I’m not sure that treating employer sponsered health care as taxable compensation would really result in lower insurance costs. HR departments shop around for the most cost effective insurance plans for thier businesses. This fosters some competion between insurance companies. Most employees pay a portion of their premiums. If given a choice between paying taxes on the empoyer paid portion of the premium, or taking a tax deduction on insurance chosen and paid for by the individual, the employer sponsored plan would still be the better deal for the employee most of the time. That said, I think employers should have the right to choose what health care plans or any other employee benefits they pay for. Employees always have the right not to use those plans and seek out insurance on their own. If the government is forcing a company to purchase an insurance plan that includes contraception, then that company IS being forced to provide contraception to it’s employees that use the insurance. This issue is clearly meant to circumvent the First Amendment by disguising it as a women’s health issue.

      • pino says:

        pino, I know it’s kind of a technicality, but employers do not directly make the descisions on co-pays, deductables, network doctors, and such. The insurance companies make those decisions then give employers a choice of which plans are the most cost effective for their kind of business.

        I agree. However, this is similar to the way prices are set almost everywhere. When I go to buy blueberries the market sets the price, I choose to buy or not buy.

        I’m not sure that treating employer sponsered health care as taxable compensation would really result in lower insurance costs. HR departments shop around for the most cost effective insurance plans for thier businesses.

        Today, if I wanna buy my own insurance policy it might cost me, say $500.00 a month. That is AFTER tax money. So I would have to make about $666.00 in salary to be able to p ay for a policy after the tax man comes. With current tax law, my employer can say “I’ll give you that $500 policy as part of your compensation.” And we say, “Sure!”. The rub is that the employer now goes from paying me $666 cash to $500 in insurance. If you take away the tax advantage for corporations they would have no advantage. They’d fire the HR department that shops for my insurance and just compensate me in cash. I’d shop for my own insurance.

        That said, I think employers should have the right to choose what health care plans or any other employee benefits they pay for.

        Me too, they’re paying for it.

        If the government is forcing a company to purchase an insurance plan that includes contraception, then that company IS being forced to provide contraception to it’s employees that use the insurance. This issue is clearly meant to circumvent the First Amendment by disguising it as a women’s health issue.

        Well said!

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