B12 Solipsism

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Caterpillar Lying about Health Care

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Caterpillar, that bastion of Republican largesse1, lying about health care? How could that be? Did John Boehner write the letter? or his staff?

Winch

Caterpillar Inc. of Peoria has jumped to the forefront of manufacturing companies complaining about the cost of the federal health care overhaul. On March 18 the company sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative John A. Boehner, the Republican leader, saying mandated changes would cost it “$100 million in the first year alone.”

According to a regulatory filing by the company last week, the $100 million figure is Caterpillar’s estimated total cost for as long as the newly enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act remains in effect. And the $100 million charge is an accounting change, a noncash cost that has no affect on the company’s operations.

In addition, the $100 million figure does not arise from changes to decades-long practices at Caterpillar. Rather, it comes about because the new law removes a tax break codified in 2003.

No company sneezes at the elimination of a $100 million tax break. But in 2008, Caterpillar had $51 billion in sales, and profits topped $3.5 billion for the third straight year. The projected profits for 2010 are a relatively weak $1.56 billion, and the $100 million tax charge would mean an additional 6 percent reduction.

[Click to continue reading Chicago News Cooperative – The Pulse – Scrutinizing the Numbers in Caterpillar’s Complaint – NYTimes.com]

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So really Caterpillar’s complaint boils down to whining about a removal of a tax break enacted when Republicans controlled the Congress and the White House. Cry me a river…

Footnotes:
  1. 2010 contributions- 24% to Democrats, 76% to Republicans, 2004 contributions -11% to Democrats, 89% to Republicans []

Written by Seth Anderson

March 28th, 2010 at 9:47 am

Posted in Business

Tagged with , , ,

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