The old adage about old people sending off young people to fight their wars came to mind last night as I was reading over some of the proposed Senate Health Care Reform Bill.
The Cosmetic Surgeon lobby had the proposed 10% tax on Botox injections, meant to stem the cost of the bill, successfully purged from the bill. In it's place will be a 10% tax on all tanning services.
Botox injections are overwhelmingly performed on 40+ year-old clientele, but the median age over the last three years has been 53. Who goes to the tanning beds in America? Primarily 15-32 year olds, according to the Indoor Tanning Association, the industry's trade group.
This means the tax burden was shifted from a group of older, more established, obviously wealthier group that can more easily afford the cost, to a younger, less-affluent demographic, as when we think of tanning, our minds tend to conjure images of college-age kids who know no better.
The same can be said for the additional income tax proposed in the bill. The original version (and house version) of the Senate Bill called for a small increase on the income of individuals that made more than $500,000 annually, or couples that had a combined annual income in excess of $1,000,000. This would obviously be an older group of Americans, as even in the wild days of the Internet 1990's, the median age of millionaires never dropped below 40.
So, would these older, more-affluent, Americans take the new ax sitting down? No! A new method of closing the funding gap had to be resourced. The answer? Unbelievably, the Senate decided to shift the new tax to "Health benefits of unionized workers." This, once again, skewed the burden toward a younger and less-affluent portion of the population.
Lastly, the Health Care Bill, overall, was meant to target everyone. The President made universal health care a theme of his run, due to the tremendous amount of pressure his Primary foe Hillary Clinton put on him with the issue. President Obama, shifted the benefit of this Senate bill to helping only those above the age of 55, by lowering the qualifying age of Medicare, a provision that may not make the cut. Once again shafting the young electorate.
So let's recap: Young people are going to pay more for their elective services (such as tanning), get a tax increase thrown at them (on those flimsy benefits we all wanted reformed/ improved) and receive no new medical benefits from the new legislation.
Does that sound like a square deal?
The idea that President Obama could sweep into office on the backs of the youth vote, with so many giving their time, money, enthusiasm and ideas, then so abruptly turn his back on that core constituency is appalling. And telling. And unforgivable!
What he and other Democrats are counting on, hell, banking on, is that you will not dare vote for a Republican in upcoming elections. They are hoping that you "stop thinking of yourself" and start thinking of Dad and Grandma when the 2010 and 2012 elections roll around. Then perhaps at a later date, they will have something for you. Some "Change" at a later date.
Well in the President's "Closing Argument" speech, right before we went to the polls in November 2008, he said that "we could not wait" and we "had to take advantage of this opportunity." He talked about "the fierce urgency of now." We had to do "whatever it took" to get him into office and provide him with a Democratic majority. And WE DID!
Too bad his exhortations have had ZERO reciprocal value.