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February 10, 2010

Dingy Harry: Hey, Let's Put the Budget-Busting Payoff the "DocFix" in the Jobs Bill So No One Notices The Additional $260 Billion Cost of our Health Care "Reform"

steve_in_hb had an animal analogy that I've been using a lot lately.

Hamsters are smarter than people -- in one way.

A hamster will always escape his cage. Always.

Because the hamster is "smarter" than you in this one respect: He has absolutely nothing but time on his hands and no thought in his tiny brain except for getting out. So he can spend every waking moment prodding and probing and chewing and gnawing until he makes a little hole for himself.

And you can't. Because you're not as singleminded as the hamster -- you cannot spend all day inspecting his cage. And you have other things on your mind besides a stupid hamster.

But that hamster -- with his tiny pea-sized brain -- will essentially defeat you, because he has only one thing in his mind and no limit to the time and energy he can dedicate to that purpose.

The Democratic Hamsters will gnaw holes in the budget forever.

Until you simply get rid of the useless hamsters.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who vowed last week to have a jobs bill on the floor by Monday, now says the Senate may need to work through the weekend to get it done.

Reid said negotiators are in “pretty good shape” but that there are still “a few I's that need to be dotted and T's that need to be crossed.”

To pass a bill before Congress is set to leave for the Presidents Day recess, Reid would need to begin taking procedural steps today. But between the slow pace of negotiations and the wicked weather, it’s not clear whether he’ll be close enough to a deal to begin the move toward a Friday vote.

“We may have to work into the weekend to get it done,” Reid said.

Heaven forfend.

Take your time, Harry.


Republican and Democratic aides said negotiations have been complicated by a push to include provisions reauthorizing the USA Patriot Act — set to expire at the end of February — and a debate over whether the bill should include the so-called doc fix, preventing an annual cut to Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors.

Other sticking points: Republicans want offshore drilling, more nuclear reactor permits, and some limitation on the death tax. Bush's cut of the death tax to zero is about to expire, and then it would shoot back up to 45% -- a "historic high," the article notes.

Meanwhile Democrats want to stuff more pork into a highway bill supplemental and want an extremely targeted tax cut -- a payroll tax cut for those who hire unemployed workers (presumably, just on that particular guy).

You do realize that this incentivizes a company to fire a current worker and hire an unemployed guy instead, right? And that doesn't really improve our situation, except, perhaps, to spread the misery around a little.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff.

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posted by Ace at 12:11 PM

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