The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.
March 16-22 is Sunshine Week when we celebrate openess in government. The "Sunshine Laws" are the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act. These laws were passed in the administration of Lyndon Johnson!
Your webmaster has to admit she has been in LBJ country in Texas so has a number of LBJ tidbits at her disposal.
But that did not complete the League's work and our work is still not done today. Barriers to the ballot box might look different today, but threats to our democracy remain. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision which gutted a key component of the monumental Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, but last month members of Congress introduced legislation to update the VRA through common sense solutions: The Voting rights Amendment Act of 2014.
This bipartisan legislation was carefully crafted to protect the rights of all voters from discrimination and repair the damage to the VRA inflicted by the Supreme Court's decision. The updated legislation seeks to better protect all voters against discrimination and ensure Americans are guaranteed their right to vote.
Elisabeth MacNamara President LWVUS
When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed Congress declared it had to be self-supporting, so approximately 20 taxes on various segments of the health care universe were enacted. Everybody was going to share the pain. If the Medical Device Tax is repealed, why won't every other group being taxed demand that their tax be rescinded? It could be like a house of cards; if one tax goes they all do and there goes the Affordable Care Act. Is this the real goal?
Those who would like to see the tax repealed are playing the jobs card, as did Mr. Upton. If you want a more objective account of the whole Medical Device Tax issue go to factcheck.org. There you will learn that because medical device makers can deduct taxes from their IRS return, the tax rate is really about 1.5% rather than 2.3%, the number Mr. Upton used to calculate Stryker's tax burden. That the tax is on all devices SOLD in the U.S. so manufacturing them overseas won't make any difference. That the tax is not on consumer items such as glasses and hearing aids but on clinical medical devices like CAT scan machines, defibrillators, stents and artificial joints. That Stryker did lay off 1,000 people worldwide as it announced it would in 2011, but that the new tax was only one factor of many in their reorganization plan. As of December 2011 Stryker had 21,241 employees and now it has 24,000 employees (from Stryker spokeswoman Jo Johnson), an increase of 2,759.
It would be really nice if we could count on our elected officials to give us accurate information, not blatant misinformation.
League members are intelligent, clever, serious and dedicated. They also know how to have fun! On December 7 LWVBCC had its annual Holiday Open House, this year at the home of former president Liz Ennis and Annette Van Dusen.
A great time was had by all, as you can see from the picture above of, left to right, Darlene Heemstra, Bonnie Pollack, Margarita Doerschner, Donna Dutton and guest Bette Pierman.