Robert Reich writes about the Obama-Big Pharma deal ...
He points out -- ruefully -- that WE (the people) agree not to seek any discount on drug prices for the unbelievably huge quantity we'll be buying from them and in return, THEY back the Health Reform including putting out $150 million in advertising.
HE points out how effective their ads were in killing Health Care Reform in 1994, so that would be good, to have them on the side of a tiny advance in social progress (What's the lovely term politicians use? Have them INSIDE the tent pissing out rather than OUTSIDE the tent pissing in -- pissing, as always, in whatever direction pays the most) and he's PARTLY right when he says:
"Citizens end up paying for advertisements designed to persuade them that the legislation is in their interest. In this case, those payments come in the form of drug prices that will be higher than otherwise, stretching years into the future."
But, like most columnists -- he doesn't mention that we ALSO pay for the ads themselves, the ads being tax deductible, meaning ... hmm, SOMEONE has to make up the tax deficit. And it ain't gonna be elves.
EVERY TIME we see commercials running on TV (or to a lesser price tag, in print media or on radio)-- THEY'RE TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!!
Basic cable, prime-time network, Super Bowl, etc -- again, what I said above -- when the govt calculates how much they need to run their programs -- essential as well as those for political payoffs and plunder(e.g. Halliburton) -- we're all ponying up more out of our pockets than if those ads (intended to make more profits for the companies that run them) WEREN'T tax deductible -- if THEY were paying for those ads themselves.
But if you think the pigs are squealing at the idea of Universal Health Care, the prospect of causing advertisers to shovel less money to the media would make that hideous clatter of greedy noise seem like the soft murmur of gentle waves.
(Altho, granted, not as loud and venomous an outcry as would be heard if congress decided to actually uphold the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...") and eliminate the tax exemption that allows them to make up and spread whatever fantasy tales they have about the Creator and have us pay for the privilege of being harangued by them as they count their money and scold us about having proper spiritual values.