MaxTax Is a Plan to Use Our Taxes to Reward Wal-Mart for Keeping Its Workers in Poverty

I made this point in this post, but I’m going to repeat it over and over and over until it sinks MaxTax, the Baucus health care plan.

MaxTax is a plan that will use your and my tax dollars to reward companies like Wal-Mart for keeping its workers in poverty. Here’s why.

In most cases, the MaxTax fines employers up to $400 per employee if it doesn’t provide its employees with health care. The fine is absurdly small (less than half of what individuals, themselves, would be fined if they didn’t get insurance), but it could mean a company like Wal-Mart would have to pay up to $560 million if it refused to provide insurance to any of its employees.

The other option is to provide crap insurance for your employees. MaxTax gives very few requirements for this insurance (and it allows you to charge employees up to 13% of their income in premiums). But assume Wal-Mart decided to provide incredibly crappy insurance at a cost of $2,500 an employee. It would then pay $3.5 billion a year to meet its obligations under MaxTax. 

So Wal-Mart chooses between paying $560 million or $3.5 billion right?

There is another option.

The MaxTax offers this one, giant, out for corporations.

A Medicaid-eligible individual can always choose to leave the employer’s coverage and enroll in Medicaid. In this circumstance, the employer is not required to pay a fee.

In other words, the one way–just about the only way–a large employer can dodge responsibility for paying something for its employees is if its employees happen to qualify for Medicaid. Under MaxTax, Medicaid eligibility will be determined by one thing: whether a person makes less than 133% of the poverty rate. And who has the most control over how much a particular person makes? Their employer!

So if Wal-Mart wanted to avoid paying anything for its employees under MaxTax, it could simply make sure that none of them made more than $14,403 a year (they’d have to do this by ensuring their employees worked fewer than 40 hours a week, since this works out to be slightly less than minimum wage). Or, a single mom with two kids could make $24,352–a whopping $11.71 an hour, working full time. That’s more than the average Wal-Mart employee made last year. So long as Wal-Mart made sure its employees applied for Medicaid (something it already does in states where its employees are eligible), it would pay nothing. Nada, zip. Nothing. 

It would pay nothing while struggling middle class families would be forced to pay up to 31% of their incomes for health care.

Now obviously, it’s got to employ at least a few people who make more than poverty wages. But hundreds of thousands of Wal-Mart employees would qualify for and be provided for by Medicaid. Assuming that just 500,000 qualified, it would save Wal-Mart $1.25 billon of that $3.5 billion. 

A $1.25 billion reward to Wal-Mart–a competitive advantage it would have–for paying shit wages.

And who will be paying that reward to encourage Wal-Mart to continue to pay shit wages? Why, that’d be our taxes, yours and mine. 

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

88 replies
  1. Hmmm says:

    Kudos for spotting this. And of course if Medicade outlays spike, that’ll necessitate a tax increase, and the Rs will nail the Ds for that too. A right twofer, that.

    • hector1234 says:

      I agree. Awesome catch. Perhpas that’s why walmart supported an employer mandate, they had this out all the time. And it is easy to miss. Good work.

    • Hmmm says:

      The no-ID thing, in addition to being stupid, unworkable, and chintzy to a degree unbecoming the world’s sole remaining superpower (I kid the US), is a backdoor national ID mechanism. You can bet it’ll be electronic by the 5th year, if not in the first (to bring the topic back around to warrantless citizen surveillance). Gotta get an organized pushback on that.

  2. rosalind says:

    ot: interesting article with author jon krakauer on his new Pat Tillman book, with some excerpts from Tillman’s diaries, including his thoughts on the Iraq War:

    Tillman shared his feelings in a journal entry dated March 13, 2003. “My hope is that decisions are being made with the same good faith that Kevin and I aim to display. … I hope [this war is about] more than oil, money & power. … I doubt that it is.”

    story

    • tjbs says:

      Pat’s ghost, like Joe Hill’s, will never die just grow larger, as it should.
      His assassination and subsequent state secret cover-up by the coward bush/cheney gang are quite the juxtaposition on this 911, now aren’t they ?
      Add to the Heroic 343 Fire fighters whom I admire with my whole heart,including Rescue 1, Mr. Tillman a superman taken as a whole.

      bush/cheney are unworthy to pick up PAT TILLMAN’S jock strap.
      May Pat Tillman’s Ghost be the last vestige that george sees,at the foot of his bed, before he begins his nightly nightmares.

  3. Hmmm says:

    Apropos of Wal-Mart and minimum wage, from American Prospect via Boingboing:

    Around the time that the young Sam Walton opened his first stores, John Kennedy redeemed a presidential campaign promise by persuading Congress to extend the minimum wage to retail workers, who had until then not been covered by the law. Congress granted an exclusion, however, to small businesses with annual sales beneath $1 million — a figure that in 1965 it lowered to $250,000.

    Walton was furious. The mechanization of agriculture had finally reached the backwaters of the Ozark Plateau, where he was opening one store after another. The men and women who had formerly worked on small farms suddenly found themselves redundant, and he could scoop them up for a song, as little as 50 cents an hour. Now the goddamn federal government was telling him he had to pay his workers the $1.15 hourly minimum. Walton’s response was to divide up his stores into individual companies whose revenues did not exceed the $250,000 threshold. Eventually, though, a federal court ruled that this was simply a scheme to avoid paying the minimum wage, and he was ordered to pay his workers the accumulated sums he owed them, plus a double-time penalty thrown in for good measure.

    Wal-Mart cut the checks, but Walton also summoned the employees at a major cluster of his stores to a meeting. “I’ll fire anyone who cashes the check,” he told them.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Does Mr. Baucus hail from Arkansas or is he just beholden to the largest employer in America because he likes the cookin’ and the blue light specials?

    The employer contributions-in-lieu of medical coverage in MaxTax’s plan aren’t much to bother about. They should go up considerably. They are no incentive at all, and not much contribution to the kitty after admin costs on both sides. This is a revenue measure after all, as well as an incentive to get employers to help cover tens of millions of more Americans.

    Obviously, the maximum amount an employer can collect from an employee should be under ten percent or a dollar cap, whichever is lower. How about 5% for those below 3x the poverty limit and 8% for those above it? Low wage workers don’t have enough for a dinner at McDonald’s at the end of the month, let alone 10% or 13%. And bankruptcy courts are already full, thank you, of those whose medical costs have injured them more financially than their illnesses did medically.

    A better bet would be to scrap these, “Let’s kill the consumer in order to save capitalism” plans that continue to focus on employer based coverage. They’re fine as an interim step, but only when they lead to something entirely different: credible, portable insurance that travels with individuals as they navigate ever less stable employment arrangements. This focus on who provides the plan is fighting the last war.

    Among other things, those portable policies would have to be cancellable only by the individual, and not subject to rescision, exclusions or needlessly onerous procedures. How odd that Obama’s discussions to date exclude discussion of what kind of insurance he would consider an adequate improvement over the present insurer model.

  5. PriscillaQOB says:

    Perhaps I’m being too cynical but instead of calling this Baucus’s plan I think it should be called the White House plan. Is there any reason not to believe that much of the crap in this plan is the direct result of the secret White House meetings and back room deals? Is there any credible evidence that this plan is not the direct result of letting Max’s “Gang of Six” have the media spotlight for the entire August recess?

    Aravosis has a link up to the NYT quoting the White House’s response to Wilson’s “You lie!” charge and the rhetoric echoes Baucus and Conrad to a “T.” I hope I’m wrong. I hope that this is all just part of the kabuki. But somehow I doubt it.

  6. libbyliberal says:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/po….._and_wrong

    Taibbi on Walmart:

    This grandfather clause has potentially wide-ranging consequences. One of the biggest health care problems we have in this country is the technique used by large employers — Walmart is the most notorious example — of offering dogshit, bare-bones health insurance that forces employees to take on steep co-pays and other massive charges. Low-wage workers currently offered these plans often reject them and join Medicaid, effectively shifting the health care burden for Walmart employees on to the taxpayer. If the HELP committee’s grandfather clause survives to the final bill, those workers who did the sensible thing in rejecting Walmart’s crap employer plan and taking the comparatively awesome insurance offered via Medicaid will now be rebuffed by the state and forced to take the dogshit Walmart offering.

    This works out well for the states, who will get to purge all those Walmart workers from their Medicaid rolls. It also works great for Walmart, since any new competitors who appear on the horizon will be forced to offer genuine and more expensive health insurance — giving Walmart a clear competitive advantage. This little “glitch” is the essence of the health care reform effort: It changes things in a way that works for everyone except actual sick people.

    ps. A little help if ya got the time and inclination?

    http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/8026

  7. Teddy Partridge says:

    How do these things end up in the bill, anyway? Does that WellPoint lady on Max’s staff talk regularly to WalMart about what they want in the bill?

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Does anyone recall that Hillary Clinton had a seat on the Board of WalMart for years?

      And I seem to recall the Clinton health care reform plan fizzled,also.

      Hillary did and has done little to nothing to elevate the lot of WalMart workers,now OR then.

      She remained DEAF,DUMB,and BLIND at those union busting board meetings-and remained mute into her failed campaign for President.

      Seems she is MIA as SOS,too.

  8. arcadesproject says:

    This plan, so-called, is purely evil. Max needs to be called out in public and made to wear the text around his neck. (At least figuratively if not literally.) It is a disgrace. And I by god do not want to hear any treacle about ‘honest disagreements’ from the Administration with respect to this atrocity.

    • bobschacht says:

      If this is what you want, then SPOTLIGHT this diary to ten journalists who need to see it. The button is right there at the end of EW’s diary, above the comments.

      Bob in AZ

      • KarenM says:

        Okay, that was my first time using “spotlight” and it was not as difficult as I had feared. The one problem I had was limiting myself to only 10 people. I included duplicates at some papers, hoping they might speak to one another, and I even included a foreign correspondent, given our relatively low ranking internationally ;~) …as well as the coming surge of medical tourism.

        Why is McClatchy not included? Is it because they already do a decent job of reporting?

        • bobschacht says:

          Okay, that was my first time using “spotlight” and it was not as difficult as I had feared. The one problem I had was limiting myself to only 10 people.

          Good! I’ve never tried it, but I don’t know that there’s any prohibition on using Spotlight more than once to spotlight the same diary…

          There’s good reason to make it difficult to send to more journalists at once. I have a political friend in Honolulu from whom I get hundreds of emails, and I’m not the only one on her mailing list.

          Bob in AZ

  9. reader says:

    rosalind @ 7: that’s a money quote, huh.

    That’s why I logged in to drop an OT about this … Jon Krakauer is on Nightline tonight with this story … I didn’t realize it was a new book!

    Krakauer is the guy who wrote the first big book on that dreadful season (in the ’90s) on Mt. Everest when a bunch of people including 2 world class guides died. He was on the mountain.

    So, he’s a good researcher, a good storyteller, and he’s authentic and honest enough to make a bunch of people in the Everst community angry. I know a lot of people here have followed the Tillman story for a long time.

    And ew: Thank you for digging all this stuff up. I am beyond disgusted with the way the 1,000-page bills can be rigged to benefit the corporate elites every which way to hell and back. Sam Donaldson told Randi Rhodes yesterday on her radio show that we are losing the country. Indeed.

    • rosalind says:

      no sh*t. my heart is still pounding. i knew the shuttle was landing at edwards, but still the sonic booms took me by surprise. i was standing next to my large sliding glass doors and it was like a bomb going off. ack.

      • PJEvans says:

        I hadn’t heard it was coming in at Edwards until it announced its arrival. Didn’t take much time to realize what it was – I’ve heard it before.

  10. KarenM says:

    Linda R @ 12

    There was an interesting segment on DemocracyNow this week, featuring Kevin Bales (?), who has just written a book about slavery in the U.S. A lot more than I realized.

  11. reader says:

    People here would LOVE a book salon on a Tillman book!!!! Even the “simple” version of the story is explosive and then there are layers of military lies and perhaps worse.

    I guess we need Pre-O/Ts for the shuttle landings … I was going to say something but I had already interrupted and I said to myself: “it’s not news anymore” but if you hear the booms that would be news!!!”

    Do you know you can see the Space Station and/or the Shuttle pass overhead, even in the city?

  12. reader says:

    thanks, tjbs … that’s just the ‘interest’ I was talking about. It’s terrible: I always think of his mother and brother testifying on Capital Hill and they STILL can’t get the truth about what happened and how Pat’s memory was exploited by the Bushies.

  13. lambertstrether says:

    Emptywheel writes:

    And who will be paying that reward to encourage Wal-Mart to continue to pay shit wages? Why, that’d be our taxes, yours and mine.

    OK, that’s the feature part. Where’s the bug?

  14. Gitcheegumee says:

    Wal”Let the American taxpayer fund our expenses” … They are a version of the Pullman Company, but much more dangerous. … A Look At Wal-Mart’s Costs. Wal-Mart does $260 billion in annual sales, and $180 billion of it is the cost of …
    judicial-inc.biz/wal_mart_health_care.htm – Cached – Similar

    Obama’s Top Economic Aide Sings The Praises Of The ‘Wal-Mart Economy’Mar 9, 2009 … The Harvard Ph.D. notes that Wal-Mart…. As a corporation, it does not fundamentally care about whether this cost is in the form … costs to American taxpayers of government spending on Wal-Mart workers. … “Implicit in much of the criticism of Wal-Mart is the belief …
    http://www.manufacturingnews.com/news/09/0309/furman.html – Cached – Similar

    • fatster says:

      Thnx so much, Gitcheegumee. I can’t believe I missed this one, as I do tend to follow these mindless sluts around, trying to document the damage they do.

  15. orionATL says:

    ew writes:

    “I’m going to repeat it over and over and over until it sinks MaxTax, the Baucus health care plan.”

    that’s the way to do it.

    i happened to learn this technique from bob somerby – take a simple, honest message and repeat and repeat and repeat,

    when appropriate, with variations.

    like baroque music.

  16. bobschacht says:

    This from High Court Urged to Reject White House Appeal to Keep Abuse Photos Secret. Friday 11 September 2009, by: Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | Report

    In June, the Senate unanimously passed the Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009, an amendment to the supplemental appropriations spending bill sponsored by Lieberman and Graham. The House of Representatives referred the amendment to two House committees on June 18 where it is pending.
    Additionally, on July 9, the Senate unanimously passed the amendment again as it was attached to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill.

    Who are the members of the House that we need to contact to block these efforts at censorship?

    Bob in AZ

    • powwow says:

      Who are the members of the House that we need to contact to block these efforts at censorship?

      Barney Frank and Louise Slaughter (who both helped stop this contemptible amendment during the war supplemental conference; Slaughter chairs the Rules Committee), and obviously, if we had any access or input to them, Pelosi and Hoyer.

      But especially – if any hope there lies – the invisible Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Bennie Thompson of Mississippi – and his Democratic colleagues, including Jane Harman – who will be up against the bottomless venom of Joe Lieberman, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and co-author of the amendment in question. Lieberman will be backed to the hilt by Harry Reid, who’s already snuck the amendment through the Senate at least twice by acclamation, without a voice or rollcall vote, and without benefit of committee debate or consideration.

      Lieberman’s Senate appropriations bill has the abuse photo-censorship provision, Thompson’s House appropriations bill does not. One or the other will prevail in the final conference report, after any other areas of conflict are ironed out – in secret, of course, where our federal “legislature” now does its undemocratic deals.

  17. RobinAkron says:

    I did the spotlite also for the first time. Told them they were killing the local hospitals and clinics who have to treat Wal-Mart’s workers at a cut rate or for free because they will not pay a living wage and offer real insurance.

  18. rdwdkw says:

    Marci, I believe that if slavery was still legal today it would cost Walmart more to own the workers than what they get now, you think?

  19. fatster says:

    More on the Pelosi gala.

    EXCLUSIVE: UnitedHealth Lobbyist Announces Pelosi Fundraiser As She Begins Backing Off Pub Option
    by: David Sirota
    Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 17:47

    “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the first time yesterday suggested she may be backing off her support of the public option. According to CNN, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “said they would support any provision that increases competition and accessibility for health insurance – whether or not it is the public option favored by most Democrats.” When “asked if inclusion of a public option was a non-negotiable demand – as her previous statements had indicated  Pelosi ruled out any non-negotiable positions,” according to CNN. This was also corroborated by the Associated Press, and by Pelosi’s own words, as quoted in those stories.

    “This announcement came just hours before Steve Elmendorf, a registered UnitedHealth lobbyist and the head of UnitedHealth’s lobbying firm Elmendorf Strategies, blasted this email invitation throughout Washington, D.C.”

    More.

  20. Gitcheegumee says:

    @40

    PDF] WAL-MART: HIGH PRICES FOR AMERICAN WORKERSFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – View
    The Wal-Mart plan itself shifts much of the health care costs onto employees. … subsidizing Wal-Mart on health care alone, the total costs to taxpayers for ….. Still, critics point out that the Wal-Mart does not regularly inspect …
    http://www.alarise.org/WALMARTREPORT.pdf – Similar
    by USHOF REPRESENTATIVES – Related articles

  21. Rayne says:

    A very important factor to keep in mind when evaluating Walmart’s position wrt health care reform:

    They are out to hurt their closest competitor, Target.

    They will get behind a program which benefits them preferentially.

    See this post from the libertarian think tank CATO’s blog; of course the poster doesn’t think there should be any reform, but he lays out the reason why Walmart is for an employer mandate, and it’s a purely predatory rationale. There is not one whit of human kindness involved, no ethic whatsoever save for increasing profit.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Ironic that WalMart was indoctrinating their managers last fall to vote AGAINST Obama…(for fear he would sign EFCA into law, and then unionizing would be easier for the workers.)

      Once healthcare reform is enacted, those “associates” can fuggedabout unions. WalMart will say, you don’t NEED a union now that you have health care.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think he’s right to read Wal-Mart’s involvement cynically, but I think he’s misreading how Wal-Mart intends to game this.

      We know Wal-Mart’s workers will, in huge numbers, qualify for Medicaid (500,000 may be low).

      But the way this is written, I’m guessing Wal-Mart will turn its employees into profit centers. It already is in the drug business, of course. But it’ll be in the position to demand its workers spend a huge amount on health care.

      • Rayne says:

        I suspect they already consider their employees profit centers, they’re merely looking at ways to keep more wages spent in house and not somewhere else in addition to looking at total employee costs.

        The distribution of Wal-Mart stores suggests that their workers are more likely than competitor Target’s employees to have access to public transportation, and therefore will spend more of their wages in their own store than at a competitors’ site to avoid spending money on personal transportation.

        Providing low-cost pharmaceuticals — at cost or as a loss leader — means that not only will the average shopper spend even more time in the store, so will Wal-Mart workers. They won’t have their scrips filled at Target or other pharma providers like Walgreen, Rite-Aid.

        [edit: oh yes, they are encouraging their workers to go to the four-buck generics; they cut in half this summer the branded drugs they offer through their employee health care benefit. And Wal-Mart’s pharma benefit manager? WellPoint. Ugh. (PDF here)]

  22. Gitcheegumee says:

    This Penn State study is definitely worth a look. Concludes that WalMart CREATES poverty:

    Big Box Impact Studies and Reports (including Wal-Mart)Oct 2004, Wal-Mart and County-Wide Poverty (16 pp. pdf) is a study produced by Penn State U. Aug 2004, The Hidden Cost of Wal-Mart Jobs (16 pp. pdf). …
    http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/walma…..eports.php – Cached – Similar

    [PDF] wrong about the rightFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – View
    18 Stephan J. Goetz and Hema Swaminathan, 2004, “Wal-Mart and County-Wide Poverty,” Pennsylvania State University Department of …
    http://www.tides.org/fileadmin/pdfs/G…..urce_2.pdf – Similar
    by TFC Change – Related articles

    Division of Labour: More on Wal-MartMay 30, 2005 … “We didn’t expect Wal-Mart would be able to affect poverty on a countywide basis, but lo and behold it did,” says Goetz.” …divisionoflabour.com/archives/001268.php – Cached – Similar

  23. Gitcheegumee says:

    Wal-Mart Subsidy Watch – brought to you by Good Jobs First
    This includes more than $1.2 billion in tax breaks, free land, … available information on both kinds of subsidies involved in Wal-Mart’s “double-dipping. …
    http://www.walmartsubsidywatch.org/ – Cached – Similar

    Resources – Wal-Mart Subsidy Watch – brought to you by Good Jobs FirstSelected organizations dealing with economic development subsidies and state tax issues. Center for Public Policy Priorities (Texas) · Center for Tax and …
    http://www.walmartsubsidywatch.org/resources.html – Cached – Similar

    Show more results from http://www.walmartsubsidywatch.org

  24. Hmmm says:

    Also I suppose the closer to poverty people are driven by increased health insurance premiums, the more they’re converted into likely Wal-Mart customers.

    Grrrrr.

    • skdadl says:

      Feudalism! You missed it the last time; now, with greeters!

      shell @ 56, I know it’s tempting to think that way, but I do believe that at some point it is going to hit people — “Wow, we really are poor.” After that, all bets are off.

    • bmaz says:

      It should be noted that Citizens United v. FEC is not particularly a case about corporate personage per se, it assumes corporations are persons for purposes of the case and instead focuses more on the properties of exercise of that corporate personage through the “speech” of campaign contributions and political activism.

  25. MarkH says:

    Do they pay the same taxes as individuals?
    Do they go to jail when they commit crimes?
    Do they serve in the military?
    Do they hold political office(s)?
    Do they have a passport for international travel?
    Do they have a driver’s license for all those vehicles they put on the road?

    What exactly makes them like a person? Is it the sociopathic behavior?

  26. Gitcheegumee says:

    @48

    I don’t know if you are familiar with a document entitled the Chambers’ Memo.

    It was written by Susan Chambers,a WalMart exec,with recommendations for cutting health care costs at WalMart. It was leaked to the media, and was quite revealing-unflatteringly so.

    I will provide two links,one the memo itself, and a second with a synopsis of the memo,from Kaiser. Well worth a read,it’s not long.

    [PDF] Supplemental Benefits Documentation Board of Directors Retreat …File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – View as HTML
    Memorandum to the Board of Directors from Susan Chambers. The purpose of this memorandum is to update you on our efforts to review and …
    http://www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/b…..almart.pdf – Similar

    Health Care Marketplace | Internal Memo Sent to Wal-Mart Board …Oct 26, 2005 … According to Chambers’ memo, 5% of Wal-Mart employees are enrolled in Medicaid, compared with about 4% for other national employers, …
    http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_re…..?DR… – Cached – Similar

  27. mwfolsom says:

    The only problem here is that Republicans and Republocrats will kill off or further reduce the Employer mandate so all that will be left is the individual mandate.

  28. shell says:

    This doesn’t really matter. America LOVES WalMart. They want their cheap goods at a cheap price, damn it! Nothing will change that. And to think that, way back in the mid-60s, we made fun of WalMart. (Yes, I was a teenager in Oklahoma, and we DID have a WalMart back then.) Fast forward 40 years and America loves WalMart. Is there any better way to show America’s decline?

    No, I don’t want to hear that Americans are SO POOR, they have to shop at WalMart. That’s bullshit, plain and simple. Americans, by and large, are selfish and greedy. It’s always, “I’ll do whatever I can for ME — F you.” And, of course, if THAT many Americans are SO poor, the Democrats would have 90 Senators, not 58.

    I think the 2 main problems with America are: stupidity and greed.

  29. BayStateLibrul says:

    OT

    One Card played, the Shill will be next…
    The boos are still ringing like a shotgun blast…
    Right fucking time…
    Move to Texas or Arizona… assholes!

    “Late last night, Card, the chief of staff to President George W. Bush and a leading possible Republican candidate, decided that “now is not the right time for me to enter a political race”

  30. Leen says:

    “their employees worked fewer than 40 hours a week, since this works out to be slightly less than minimum wage).”

    I thought Wal Mart was all ready doing this

  31. Leen says:

    ot
    Hey the teabaggers are going to be on C-span at 1 a.m est. These folks claim to be all concerned with the deficit…where the hell were they the last eight years. “fiscal conservatives” horseshit. Hope the Billionaires for wealth care not health care

    show up at this rally and throw these hypocrites shit right back in their two (multiple) faces.
    http://www.billionairesforwealthcare.com/

    Hope the MSM covers any pro health care reform rallies this fall as much as they cover the teabaggers. Still think the pro health care folks should hold their rallies in Iran so that they can get 24/7 coverage by our MSM

  32. Gitcheegumee says:

    WalMart bought hundreds of thousands of dead janitor life insurance policies from AIG and Hartford some years back.These are illegal in some states. WalMart lost a billion dollar judgment to AIG over this issue,in court. Now, it seems as though these policies are amking a comeback with Wells Fargo, and a few other major firms,as has recently been reported.

    Also, is the most recent invention from the Wall Street Warlocks,”Viaticals”, betting on the life expectancy of policy owners(life policies.)

    What a treasure trove of info for future speculation,methinks. And don’t forget Dossia,either.That makes this info particularly intriguing,imho.

    Wal-Mart Plans to Market Digital Health Records System …Executive Vice President of Wal-Mart’s U.S. Stores, Eduardo Castro-Wright has now also been named to the board of the Metropolitan Life …
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/…..all… – Cached – Similar

  33. Gitcheegumee says:

    A few more words about those $4 prescriptions,btw:

    Wake-Up Wal-Mart Blog: Ranbaxy’s CEO steps downMay 27, 2009 … Malvinder Singh, the CEO of Ranbaxy, a key to Wal Mart’s grip on the generic pharmaceutical business, resigned on May 24th after years of …
    blog.wakeupwalmart.com/ufcw/2009/…/ranbaxys_ceo_st.html – Cached – Similar

    Walmart and Ranbaxy The Untold Truth behind 4 Dollar PrescriptionsJun 28, 2009 … Walmart’s $4 Drugs Coming From Indian Company Whose Products Have Been Banned In US and Canada WakeupWalmart.com supports the use of generic …
    http://www.docstoc.com/…/Walmar…..scriptions – Cached – Similar

  34. Gitcheegumee says:

    @56

    Saving money and living better…than whom?

    Reality trumps perception in this court case:

    PDF] H-E-B gets a win vs. Wal-MartFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – View as HTML
    H-E-B gets a win vs. Wal-Mart. Ad pulled after S.A. firm objects. BY VICKI VAUGHAN [email protected]. H-E-B took on a titan —. Wal-Mart — and won. …
    http://www.rohderealty.com/_…/H…..alMart.pdf – Similar

    H-E-B beats Wal-Mart on advertised claim of big savings | Business …Jun 24, 2009 … Wal-Mart Stores has pulled a national advertisement that says consumers can save $700 a year shopping at its stores after H-E-B challenged …
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/6496210.html – Cached – Similar

  35. fatster says:

    Lordy knows, we’re tryin’!

    Obama appeals to public for help on health reform battle
    BY RAW STORY 

Published: September 12, 2009 
Updated 40 minutes ago

    More.

        • fatster says:

          Really. Why doesn’t Obama just hold a nice ceremony, say some pretty words, hang the Medal of Freedom around his next and let him pirouette outta there? (The Medal of Freedom means so much since Dubya’s use of it, anyway.)

          • Leen says:

            Somehow Rahm must be holding Obama’s family jewels in the palm of his hand? Just do not get it.

            Unless they wanted to watch what Rahm does up close. What an underminer

  36. fatster says:

    “Norma Rae” (Crystal Lee Sutton) has died.

    Her insurance would not allow early treatment

    ‘”I said I’ve always been different and I wouldn’t have this cancer thing be any other way. I accept it,” she said. “It has to follow my personality.”

    “She went two months without possible life-saving medications because her insurance wouldn’t cover it, another example of abusing the working poor, she said.

    ‘”How in the world can it take so long to find out (whether they would cover the medicine or not) when it could be a matter of life or death,” she said. “It is almost like, in a way, committing murder.”‘

    • skdadl says:

      There was a woman. She just knew in her bones that every human being deserves respect — to our ruling classes, the most subversive thought ever let loose among the masses, but to the rest of us, the most liberating.

  37. Gitcheegumee says:

    Somewhat offtopic, but germane:

    James Hirni | TPMMuckrakerNov 24, 2008 … Wal-Mart Cans GOP Lobbyist After He’s Charged in Abramoff Scheme … Hirni had worked as Wal-Mart’s “director of Republican outreach”. ... and that he’s expected to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. …
    tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/james_hirni/ – Cached – Similar

    Show more results from tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com
    TheHill.com – Ex-GOP aide with Abramoff ties pleads guiltyDec 12, 2008 … James Hirni, a former congressional aide-turned-lobbyist with ties to Jack Abramoff, … The plea came just three weeks after Hirni was fired by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., where he worked as a director of Republican outreach.
    thehill.com/…/ex-gop-aide-with-abramoff-ties-pleads-guilty-2008-12-12.html – Cached – Similar____________________________________________

    Now, I have not seen anyone post the story regarding the trial of Kevin Ring,another Abramoff associate ,that began yesterday .It has been QUITE the anticipated event,for it promises to potentially be quite explosive in its revelations.

    Quite ironic,it being 911,AND the day the invites were sent out for a gala Pelosi fundraiser by Steve Elmendorf- a lobbyist for United Health Care,imho.

  38. fatster says:

    Talk about yr death panels!

    Case Puts Texas Futile-Treatment Law Under a Microscope
    Statute Allows for Deadline on Care

    By Sylvia Moreno
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    AUSTIN, April 10 — “A 17-month-old deaf, blind and terminally ill child on life support is the latest focus in an emotional fight against a Texas law that allows hospitals to withdraw care when a patient’s ongoing treatment is declared “medically futile”

    More.

  39. timbo says:

    I guess Max’s sell out is becoming even more obvious by the minute. Hope his poor constituents notice. Or is it because they’ve cut back on education funding for his constituents that Max can get away with this?

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