Monday, August 6, 2007

The type of legislation I like to see

Interesting new bill that was put forth in both the Senate the House recently. There are the kinds of things I would expect to see from a progressive party in Congress. It's sad that this type of bill doesn't get the express train treatment through Congress like the horrible domestic spying bill did. I'll be curious to see if this ever makes it to the floor of either chamber for a vote.

While a bill like this is a good start, it's really just a band aid measure. The real problems that the bill addresses are not going to change and aren't being addressed. One reason that companies are sending jobs overseas is because of the cost of healthcare in this country. It can cost a company the equivalent of a yearly salary for an employee to provide healthcare, whereas in other countries it may not be an issue at all. This article from 2005 about a new Toyota factory says it all.  Some US states were willing to offer hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to Toyota if a new plant was built in their area. But, in the end it was still cheaper for Toyota to go to Canada where there is a well-trained workforce that has healthcare coverage instead of build in the US where they found uninsured and illiterate workers. Two of the biggest issues that need to be fixed in this country are healthcare and education, and this is a perfect example of why. Offering an 11% tax break to companies who do the right thing is great (although I'd like to think that they'd do the right thing without tax breaks…I must be naïve), but the inherent problems still exist. That's where Congress needs to concentrate it's energies, and our dollars.  

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