trent lott & Nickles to disabled: drop dead! re: OUCH #19 (fwd)

rosaphil (
Fri, 26 Mar 1999 18:03:19 -0500 (EST)

anyone wanna write them and let these two rubes know we don't like being
told to hurry up and die and be cheap about it already?

and thank them for making sure the oil companies continue to keep their
tax-write-off off of our enforced poverty?

+********** Snail me yer rosehips if you liked this post! ************
*Better Living Thru Better Living!* *

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 14:32:28 -0500
From: Steve Breyman <>
Subject: OUCH #19

          OUCH! A Regular Bulletin on How Money in Politics Hurts You

      #19                       Public Campaign             March 19, 1999
     It's almost enough to make you wish they were still stuck on
     impeachment. But when congressional leaders said they were going to
     get back to business, they must have meant it.

     * On March 5, the two most powerful men in the Senate, Trent Lott and
     Don Nickles, voted in committee against a bipartisan bill that will
     make it possible for millions of people with severe disabilities to
     return to the workforce and not lose critical medical benefits. Only a
     tiny fraction of the almost 8 million people that receive disability
     payments from Social Security re-enter the workforce, even though most
     of them want to. The reason: current law forces them to become poor in
     order to qualify for Medicaid (to pay for specialized services that
     most insurers don't even sell policies for), and takes away that
     coverage if they make more than $500 a month.

     But Senator Nickles objected to how the bill would be paid for,
     singling out a plan to raise $1.2 billion by reducing the amount
     American companies can take off on the U.S. taxes for taxes they pay
     on their overseas operations. The bill's sponsors are not sure how it
     will clear Nickles and Lott's opposition. It just so happens that the
     oil and gas industry has a big interest in maintaining this loophole,
     known as the foreign tax credit. According to the Center for
     Responsive Politics, individuals and PACs connected to the oil and gas
     industry have given Senator Nickles $295,347 since 1993, making the
     industry his #1 donor.

     * Then on March 10, the House Banking Committee adopted an amendment
     that will force banks to disclose their automated teller machine fees
     or risk not being able to charge for those transactions. Banks make
     almost $2 billion a year from ATM fees, which average $1.27 even
     though it costs banks only about 25 cents per transaction. So it must
     have been with a sigh of relief that the banking community saw the
     proposal from Rep. Marge Roukema (R-NJ) and Rep. John LaFalce (D-NY)
     sail through the committee by a 48-1 vote. After all, it replaced a
     far tougher proposal by Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to abolish ATM
     surcharges entirely, which states like Connecticut and Iowa have done
     with no harm to consumers.

     Of course, commercial banks give heavily to most members of the House
     Banking Committee. In fact, in 1997-98, individuals and PACs connected
     to the commercial banking industry were the #1 contributors to both
     Roukema ($86,144) and LaFalce ($111,500). By contrast, Sanders' top
     contributors were industrial and public sector unions. He raised no
     money from commercial banks.

     * And on March 15, the chickens came home to roost. Remember Reps.
     Newt Gingrich and Bud Shuster's summer 1998 gift to the airline
     industry, blocking the efforts of the Transportation Department to
     force more price competition into the flying business? [See OUCH#10]
     Well, the big airlines haven't forgotten. They just raised ticket
     prices a second time this year, by a total of 3 percent for business
     travelers and 7 percent for leisure fares. So much for the fight
     against inflation!
     OUCH! is a regular e-mail bulletin on how private money in politics
     hurts average citizens, published by Public Campaign, a non-partisan,
     non-profit organization devoted to comprehensive campaign finance
     reform. Every day, we pay more as consumers and taxpayers for special
     interest subsidies and boondoggles because of our system of privately
     financed elections. It's time for a change.

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