In his latest fund-raising email North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr apparently doesn't believe telling the truth will work, so he resorts to scare tactics and misinformation to raise money. He gives three reasons why we should send him our hard-earned money.
The U.S. Senate is in the midst of debate right now over healthcare reform. Hopefully, you have read about the plan I am co-sponsoring, "The Patients Choice Act," which I believe is a reasoned approach to this issue. I am sure you are aware that many in Congress support a government-run option for our health care. I do not believe this is the way to address healthcare reform, and I am pledged to continue the fight against that option.
First, I couldn't find one respected organization arguing for this plan. Here's a rundown from Think Progress and you can find a good initial summary of the failings of the Republican plan here.
On the whole, the Patients’ Choice Act fails to guarantee adequate, affordable and accessible coverage and it does does little, if anything, to control health care costs. Americans who can find coverage through a state-based health insurance Exchange would be guaranteed coverage — insurers would not be able to exclude individuals with pre-existing conditions — but it’s unclear that they would be able to afford it. While a summary of the bill includes European-style “non-profit independent board ” that “would penalize insurance companies that cherry pick healthy patients while rewarding companies that seek patients with pre-existing conditions,” the bill does nothing to prevent higher prices based on sex, age, occupation, or medical condition. To finance these higher prices, Americans can rely on the meager tax credits they’ve stashed away in a Health Savings Account.
Remember, it was the Republicans in Washington who proposed a budget that contained no numbers, only a few glossy pages of pretty pictures. They have now proposed a healthcare plan with no model for success. Are these the people we really want to trust? Better question: Are these the people you want to send your hard earned dollars to?
Back to Senator Burr's request for money...
Later this fall the Senate leadership intends to bring Cap and Trade legislation to the Senate floor. This dangerous legislation has already passed the House and must be stopped in the Senate. Should this pass, the average household will see an increase of more than $1000 a year in their utility bill.
More than $1000 per year? Really? Over what period of time? After Republicans took a beating for repeatedly quoting the fictional sum of $3100 per household, did Burr just figure he could lower that a bit to see if he could slide it by?
Maybe he's getting it from The Heritage Foundation that claimed energy costs would increase $1500 per household per year by 2035. Um...in 26 years we will see our energy costs rise by $1500 per year? Aren't we expecting that anyway? Maybe they mean $1500 per year above and beyond any increase we might normally expect. Still, 26 years to see an increase of $1500 is fantastic!
There are a lot of confusing figures out there surrounding the Cap and Trade proposal. FactCheck.org does a pretty good job of clarifying the different claims about costs. Here's a snippet:
Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support in March, Terry M. Dinan, a senior adviser for the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, conceded that price increases from a cap-and-trade system would increase energy costs for American households. According to Dinan’s testimony, a 15 percent cut in CO2 emissions could run the average household about $1,600 (in 2006 dollars). The range: $700 for the average household in the lowest one-fifth of all households, according to income, to nearly $2,200 for households in the highest quintile.
But the CBO’s estimate did not include "any benefits to households from lessening climate change." And the CBO also concluded that cost increases for some families, at least, could be offset if revenues from the allowances were returned to consumers. In his testimony, Dinan said that a 2000 CBO study "concluded that lower-income households could be better off as a result of the policy (even without including any benefits from reducing climate change) if the government chose to sell the allowances and use the revenue to pay an equal lump-sum rebate to every household in the United States."
Burr's Cap and Trade boogeyman is a lie. He not only needs to tell his constituents where he gets his numbers, but he needs to defend his numbers.
Finally, Burr does the typical Republican song and dance about out of control spending on "programs" without naming anything specific.
Too many in Washington are willing to borrow more and more, sending America deeper and deeper in debt. And why? To pay for out-of-control programs which we do not need. America cannot continue these trends of increased spending without serious negative consequences.
Name the programs, Richard. Where are we spending too much? What would you cut? Give us something substantive.
The Bush Administration destroyed a budget surplus through their out-of-control spending. Why did Richard Burr do nothing in his first five years to stop the excessive spending during a time when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House?
It's really sad to see a sitting U.S. Senator play games with his constituents.