President Obama, congressional Democrats and labor leaders cut a sweetheart deal last week. They agreed to create a loophole for a new 40 percent tax on "Cadillac" health care plans. In their holy bid to take care of their own, this new triumvirate agreed to exempt from the excise tax union-bargained health care plans and state and local government employees until 2018.This attitude is why Coakley lost. It's not a liberal vs conservative thing. We've simply reached the breaking point and every time the powers that be grant special favors to a select group another slice of the electorate peels away. Whether it's bailouts, government pensions or medical insurance plans, they just don't get it. Republicans found this out in 2006 and Democrats will find this out in 2010.
Republicans could really hammer Democrats in November if they made this the issue, but they won't. They're too stupid. Democrats are doomed in November by their own sword. Now if the Republicans were smart they'd come out with a national platform something along these lines:
- Immediate end to all Congressional pensions. They make a lot of cash and if they can't retire on Social Security they can save for it like the rest of us.
- Any loophole or provision created in nationalized medical insurance plans applies to all US citizens. Government officials get the same insurance plans we do.
- No more bailouts to state governments. Some states made pension deals with their employees that they could never afford, and it's not right for residents in other states to be forced to make them whole.
- Call for the Feds to immediately launch criminal investigations into the financial collapse, top-to-bottom, done by the best prosecutors we have. Leave no stone unturned, no matter if they have a (D) or an (R) after their name. All of us want heads to roll.