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posted: 11/4/2013 6:00 AM

Durbin must explain position on new tax

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Our federal government has been neglecting or abusing constitutionally mandated activities, and our leaders are profoundly out of touch with reality. These facts can no longer be reasonably disputed. The White House typically claims that the president was clueless about a range of scandals and problems until he heard about them on the news. Then who's running the executive branch?

Meanwhile, Congress routinely forgoes passing budgets, kicking the nation's debt problem down the road for our grandchildren's grandchildren to handle. And even though Obamacare supporters insisted the individual mandate was not a tax, the Supreme Court called it a tax and declared the mandate constitutional.

For an example of this dysfunction, let's look at an Obamacare feature that hasn't been in the news much, but which has had a large negative impact on medical device manufacturers and patients. Obamacare imposes a 2.3 percent tax on device manufacturers' gross sales, not profits. To deal with this, manufacturers have laid off workers and are cutting back research and development.

Sen. Dick Durbin came out against the tax last December -- over 2 years after the law was signed. Since then, I have been trying, without success, to get Sen. Durbin to answer three simple questions: 1) Did you read and understand the Obamacare bill before you voted for it? 2) If so, why didn't you fight the medical device tax at that time? 3) What assurances will you give me that you will fight to have the tax removed?

In August, I called his offices and was amazed that his staff was unable to explain the lack of any town hall meetings during the summer recess.

One of the complaints against King George in 1776 was that he was "giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended legislation." Sound familiar?

John Greer

Arlington Heights

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