Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Amtrak: Status Quo is Not Acceptable


By John Feehery

Amtrak - GE P42DC - Heritage Phase III Livery.JPG

“Amtrak – GE P42DC – Heritage Phase III Livery” by Braniff747SP – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Mike Simpson was right, of course.

The Idaho Republican told the Appropriations Committee Democrats that their efforts to politicize the Amtrak train crash were inappropriate and out of order.

We don’t know what caused the horrific crash. We don’t know if it was engineer error, sabotage, equipment malfunction or just system incompetence.

Unfortunately, Republicans made it easy for the Democrats to demagogue the issue. (more…)

The Path to Baltimore Paved With Good Intentions


By John Feehery

Flag of Baltimore, Maryland

“Flag of Baltimore, Maryland” by en:User:Dyfsunctional – en:Image:Flag_of_Baltimore_City.svg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

In many ways, I don’t blame the Baltimore protestors.

According to a Rasmussen survey, 62% of the American people believe that government has too much power.

I am surprised that that number is not higher.

Of course government is too powerful, too intrusive, too able to ruin lives in the pursuit of a “greater good.” (more…)

SGR Down. Corporate Tax Reform Next?


By John Feehery

John Boehner.jpg

“John Boehner” by Gage Skidmore – Flickr: John Boehner. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

(This originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank)

If Congress can solve a problem like Medicare’s “doc fix,” lawmakers should be able to address a corporate tax rate that kills economic growth and moves jobs overseas.

Medicare’s “Sustainable Growth Rate” mechanism was part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The idea was to tie the set rate at which Medicare doctors are compensated to economic growth. But health-care costs grew faster than the economy, and to avoid a physician exodus that could threaten the program, every year Congress would pass a temporary “doc fix” adding to the amount paid to the doctors.

Fixing the SGR gives peace of mind to doctors that they can continue to participate in Medicare. It’s good policy and good politics. (more…)

Don’t Look Now


By John Feehery


“ReneeEllmers113th” by United States Congress – Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Renee Elmers had the quote of the day.  She said, during a debate earlier today, “Don’t look now, but we’re governing.”

It’s not clear how much this week will matter in annals of Congressional history.

But it sure looks like the House is finally hitting its stride after a couple of rocky months.

Since 1997, the Congress has had to deal with the so-called “doc fix”, a promise to cut reimbursements to doctors that was made originally in the Balance Budget Act. (more…)

Corporate Taxes Are Too Damn High


By John Feehery

Jimmy McMillan Blue 3 2011 Shankbone.jpg

“Jimmy McMillan Blue 3 2011 Shankbone” by David Shankbone – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Our corporate tax rate reminds me of New York political figure Jimmy McMillan.

He famously founded the “Rent is Too Damn High” party and ran for Mayor on the platform that his rent was, well, too damn high.

I feel the same way about America’s corporate tax rate. (more…)


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