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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Lie for a lie?

Here is, in part, Vermont Republican Party Chairman Rob Roper's statement on President Obama's address last night:

"Before we put $900 billion of our hard-earned tax dollars on the table for this, we wanted to see exactly how this trick will work. We all agree the goal is nice, but without those details, I have little confidence that this is anything more than a lie convincingly delivered."

Here is, in part, Vermont Public Interest Research Group Executive Director Paul Burns' statement on Roper's statement:

"Rob Roper, the official head of Vermont’s Republican Party, actually followed Wilson’s repugnant lead by calling President Obama a liar based on his speech last night.


"There’s plenty of room for honest debate and divergent opinions about the president’s plan. But by claiming that President Obama lied in his remarks last night, Roper joined the ranks of the petulant peanut gallery of ill-tempered extremists. Sober Republicans in Vermont ought to demand that he apologize, just as his discredited compatriot from South Carolina had the good sense to do."

- Terri Hallenbeck

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Roper is simply a jerk!
How is Obama going to pay for this? I voted for him but I am very confused.
There is so much waste in the market driven insurance system that it isn't even funny.

The amazing thing is that most people haven't figured out that the Dems want to help the people, and the GOP want to help the insurance companies.
The Dems sure would like to help the people-out of their money.
"There is so much waste in the market driven insurance system that it isn't even funny."
This is funny in itself- have you ever heard of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AMTRAK, Post Office, US Congress, ACORN?? At least IF the insurance companies overcharge, they pay taxes on it.
Pelosi's private 757 every week to SF.- even Leaky Leahy to London
to avoid town halls while on recess! Did you mentioned WASTE!
Thank God the Republicans have Roper at the wheel. His ability to safely drive the vehicle through the hills and dales is about zilch. All the Democrats need to do is stay on the road as Roper heads over the bank.
Paul Burns - the un-elected member of the legislature
VPIRG: A good place to donate money if you want to fund attacks on Republicans without disclosing your name on campaign finance reports.

It would be nice if the Free Press could ask Senator Burns why his organization isn't a PAC, since every other thing out of their mouth is either "Jim Douglas is evil" or "Jim Douglas is a big bad mean Republican" or "Republicans are bad".
"Dems want to help the people, and the GOP want to help the insurance companies."

This is simply not true. In fact, the principle reform being pushed by Republicans is forcing insurance companies to compete across state lines, which will force insurance companies to lower prices to people in order to be competative. Insurance companies are not in favor of this at all.

All the democrats are for is larger government and consolidated power funded at the people's expense.
I'm sure that VPIRG expressed equal outrage when scores of Democrats booed Pres. Bush during the 2005 State of the Union Address. No party has a monopoly on bad behavior.
Wilson was a jerk to shout at Obama. But he has a point.

The lack of a specific verification mechanism in the health reform bill constitutes a loophole that would allow illegal immigrants to get benefits despite the legal prohibition. Republican Rep. Dean Heller of Nevada proposed an amendment to the bill that would have required the use of the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program to check the citizenship of anyone applying for federal coverage or affordability credits. SAVE is the program used by Medicaid and similar entitlement programs. That amendment was voted down along party lines by the House Ways and Means Committee.
It is true - no party has a monopoly on bad behavior. I really like Obama but no one really believes the government can cure its waste and fraud problem - no way. That is a laughable way to "fund" anything.
If you believe that insurance companies will actually compete with each other with consumers in mind then you must also believe that Oil companies compete with each other with the greater good in mind. Now that is laughable...

Also this gem from NEK:

"At least IF the insurance companies overcharge, they pay taxes on it."

Now that is truly laughable, you probably pay more taxes than they do.
Oil companies do not compete because they were allowed to merge and now they have little competition. There are apx 1300 Insurance companies/agencies in the US and their profit according to the Wall St Journal is between 3 and 3.5% and ranks 36th in industry profit. Not huge margins and if they do not pay enough taxes, change the tax code- don't blame filers. It is idiots like Charlie Rangel (chair of House Ways & Means) who hide millions in income that write the code so blame him.
Boy, isn't that the truth!
"Oil companies do not compete because they were allowed to merge and now they have little competition." We used to have laws that prevented that.We can thank Republicans for that situation and the resultant strangle-hold the oil companies have over us. The same will occur if insurance companies are allowed to sell across state borders--it's called de-regulation and its the primary cause of the financial morass the country is in.
"Change the tax code..." Is that a naive statement. The money spent by insurance companies to buy support in Washington pales by comparison to power of Big Oil.

Further, oil depletion allowances are a large part of the problem and have been fought for in very unscrupulous ways for many years by oil companies and their lobbyists.
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