WSJ reports that Rep. Harry Waxman (D-Most Likely to Be Mistaken for a Child Molester) has called AT&T, Caterpillar, and Deere onto the carpet. Why?
The three companies were the first of many to take sizeable write-downs because the heath-care bill effectively poses a new tax on retiree drug-benefit plans. Benefit consultants say the new tax could reduce corporate profits by as much as $14 billion. But Mr. Waxman will have none of it. He wrote to the heads of the three companies summoning them to testify at an April 21 hearing: "The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern." The letter reminded one business reporter of Darth Vader's famous line in "Star Wars" that he found an underling's actions "disturbing" -- just before he strangled him. The Waxman letter was accompanied by a lengthy request for documents that he demanded be produced for the star-chamber hearing.Do not disagree with the government! We know your company's profitability better than you do! If you don't do what we want, we will hassle you to death.