Chairman Grant on Raul Labrador

Rep. Raul Labrador’s self-praising Reader’s View published on Dec. 22 is proof that his new communications manager, who used to work for Herman Cain, can certainly spin a story. But the devil, as they say, is in the details.

Mr. Labrador claims that the House of Representatives, currently controlled by a Republican majority, “tackled entitlement reforms.” Unfortunately, he — or more accurately, his new communications manager — does not explain what that really means. That is no surprise because when people look at Mr. Labrador’s positions, most Idahoans disagree with them.

Mr. Labrador wants to put your Social Security savings into the stock market. Of course, if you had your Social Security in the stock market over the past few years, during the recession, you would have lost a big chunk of it. Then what would you retire on? I guess you would just have to keep working. If you can find a job, that is. Then, too, if everybody’s Social Security had been in the stock market, think about how much money the stockbrokers, bankers and investment advisers would have made from managing that money. You remember those guys: the ones whose greed and corruption triggered the recession, the ones who still collected their huge bonuses while your investment savings went down the drain.

Mr. Labrador voted to end Medicare as we know it. Instead of having Medicare simply pay the doctor of your choice directly, he wants the government to give you a voucher that you can give to an insurance company, which then decides whether or not to pay your doctor. You remember those guys, the ones who raised your premiums every year before you qualified for Medicare in order to continue to make a nice profit.

Mr. Labrador voted against extending the payroll tax reduction and extending unemployment benefits, both of which would have expired at the end of 2011, not because he was against them but because he didn’t want to pay for them by adding a small tax surcharge on millionaires and billionaires. He wanted to pay for them instead by freezing the salaries of government workers. It seems he believes we should balance the budget on the backs of the little guy in favor of the wealthy.

Mr. Labrador brags about voting against the president’s Affordable Health Care Act. What that means is that he would go back to allowing insurance companies to use preexisting conditions to deny coverage to those who need it; that he would allow insurance companies to kick your college-age children off your insurance; and that he would allow insurance companies to put lifetime caps on how much they have to spend on your medical bills. Also, it means he favors going back to having seniors pay more for prescription drugs.

Finally, Mr. Labrador co-sponsored a bill to end subsidies for alternative energy projects, including wind, solar and ethanol. Yet he says nothing about the tax breaks and favorable treatment given to oil companies. You remember those guys: They’re the ones who are charging more than $3 a gallon for gasoline and raking in their highest profits in history.

So Mr. Labrador votes in favor of stockbrokers, bankers, insurance companies, millionaires, billionaires and oil companies instead of ordinary Americans. Yet he claims to be doing the people’s bidding. Spin.

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