Obama tax on medical devices, union dues, and immigrant agricultural workers
OBAMA MEDICAL DEVICE TAX - HENRY MILLER
Medical device manufacturing is one of the nation's most dynamic and vibrant industries. The United States is the global leader in medical technology innovation, and it is one of the few major industries with a net trade surplus. This industry is responsible for more than 400,000 American jobs—and is indirectly responsible for almost two million more that supply and support this highly skilled workforce. Most important, its products are essential elements of modern medical care. They include everything from CT scanners and pacemakers to blood pressure cuffs and robots used by surgeons.
Yet instead of protecting this paragon of American ingenuity and innovation, the Obama administration and Congress have viewed the industry as a cash cow from which they could milk profits to help pay for the president's health law. So they added to the Affordable Care Act a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices that will take effect at the beginning of 2013.
UNION DUES - MATT PATTERSON & TREY KOVACS
Labor bosses are fighting to keep people in unions against their will, forcibly collecting dues from unwilling members and using those dues to line their own pockets. In effect, labor leaders have imposed their own system of “involuntary servitude” on recalcitrant union members.
In California, for example, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) bosses in Fresno are engaged in a war to keep disgruntled members from defecting. > Read the full commentary at WashingtonTimes.com
Immigration Policy Analyst David Bier explains how the Labor Department’s byzantine restrictions on immigrant agricultural workers hurt immigrants and native-born Americans alike. Current immigration policy keeps many immigrants in dangerous black markets, raises food prices for consumers, makes it difficult for farmers to hire workers and create jobs, and reduces the government’s tax revenues.
European and American political and private institutions have made many non-sustainable retirement promises over the last 50 years. These promises cannot be kept and that reality is forcing reform. One primary reform is a shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans. Critics argue that would shift risks from the company or agency to the individual. But is this true?
While an individual may fail to set aside enough savings for retirement or invest poorly, that is also true for a firm or government entity.