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On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to VOTE NO on H.R. 4872, the Reconciliation Act of 2010. The reconciliation bill being debated in the Senate makes the terrible health care legislation recently enacted even worse with more job killing tax hikes, harsher penalties, and new government bureaucracies.
The reconciliation bill also builds a massive new student loan bureaucracy by taking over the private aspects of the student loan industry. This move will put tens of thousands of Americans out of work in the private sector and adds more government employees that the shrinking private sector must pay for. And, this shift is supposed to happen by next semester, so students and families can expect to feel the overbearing costs of bigger government almost immediately.
A look at the proposed “fix” to the special deal given to Nebraska to ensure the vote of Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) reveals a far worse outcome for taxpayers. True, Nelson’s state no longer gets its sweetheart deal, but the new formula used to allocate Medicaid funding leaves federal taxpayers responsible for covering 90 percent of the cost of the Medicaid expansion for every state. It also includes special Medicaid funding increases for 17 states and Washington D.C. It’s a sweetheart deal for everyone—except taxpayers, who will have to pick up the tab.
Also, when combined with the effects of the healthcare reform bill that has already been signed into law, the reconciliation bill would increase taxes by $569 billion. The worst of these tax hikes include a hike from 15 to 24 percent on capital gains and a hike from 15 to 43 percent on dividends. This is one of the most anti-job, anti-growth tax increases imaginable because it hits business owners who create jobs and it makes it harder for them to raise the extra money needed to expand. Taxing the reward those who risk their savings by investing may—or may not—get only discourages such growth-creating activities. Under the reconciliation bill, businesses will also be hit with harsher penalties for not abiding by the government enforced employee mandate. The bill raises the penalty on employers from $750 per uncovered employee to $2,000 per uncovered employee.
As bad as these individual aspects of the reconciliation bill is the fact that it is being used to elude the will of the American people. Senate Democratic leaders know the voters have taken away their 60 vote filibuster-proof majority, so they are using “reconciliation” to nullify voter intent—and obvious public opposition. Time and time again, the public has rejected these very proposals. This past summer, citizens packed into town hall meetings to speak out against such ideas. On September 12th, they flooded Pennsylvania Ave. to voice their opposition. On November 5th, they filled the halls of Congress, asking their Representatives to stop ignoring their concerns. On January 19th, the people of Massachusetts cast what was framed as the deciding vote against the healthcare reforms this bill helped pass. They have written letters, made phone calls, sent emails and organized protests to let lawmakers know: WE DON’T WANT THIS. Using the process of budget reconciliation to pass legislation that the public has rejected is unconscionable. It distorts the congressional process set up by our founding fathers and brings shame to the once honored position of U.S. Senator.
We will count your vote on H.R. 4872 as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2009. The Economic Freedom Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the Jefferson Award, which recognizes members of Congress with voting records that support economic freedom.
President and CEO
[Click here for a pdf version of this letter]