Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Obamacare's first effect

We are starting to hear from companies about the first effect of Obamacare. Earnings are being dinged severely by the write-downs required for retiree pharmacy expenses. AT&T estimates $1 billion, Caterpillar $100 million, Deere & Co. $150 million, these are some of the largest. The Democrats cannot even legitimately claim they were unaware of this; Caterpillar published its expected $100 million write-down before the vote on the bill.

However, Henry Waxman is calling this a concerted effort on the part of Republican CEO's to make healthcare reform look bad. He is ordering these CEO's to testify before his committee so that he can preach at them about how irresponsible they are. I've always thought he was a total tool, but this proves it.

This is not an optional activity for these companies. They are required to do this by generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). If they do not make these write-downs they will be in violation of SEC rules. So here we have publicly traded companies complying with the rules they must abide be, and being called before Congress to explain why they are being so evil, and trying to make Obamacare look bad.

Just another Kafkaesque moment brought to you courtesy of the wonderful Democratic Party.

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