Recently, the Arizona-based Super PAC, National Horizon ran a television ad in support of U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long. The ad hammers Kirsten Gillibrand for her support of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act which contains numerous hidden taxes, including a medical device tax which has eliminated hundreds of jobs already in New York.
Rather than countering the facts contained in the ad, Team Gillibrand has decided to focus on the text of statements in the ad, which to them resemble newspaper headlines.
As a result, attorneys representing Ms. Gillibrand have sent letters to TV station executives demanding that the ads be pulled for being ‘misleading and deceptive’.
Oddly enough, when Long asked Gillibrand to denounce an Obama Super PAC ad a couple of months ago which portrayed Mitt Romney as being responsible for the death of a man’s wife, she was nowhere to be found.
What Gillibrand gains from trying to censor an ad because it portrays her in a negative light is questionable. If every political ad were pulled based on being ‘misleading and deceptive’ there’d be no political ads on either side of the aisle. Anywhere. Ever.
More curious is the fact that Gillibrand is not disputing the facts put forth in the ad – that her support of the Affordable Care Act contributed to the loss of jobs in New York State. The truth is, denying that reality would be difficult.
Welch Allyn, a company that manufactures medical diagnostic equipment in central New York, announced in September that they would be laying off 275 employees, or roughly 10% of their workforce. One of the major reasons discussed for the layoffs was a proactive response to the Medical Device Tax mandated by the new healthcare law.
The Medical Device Tax is a 2.3% excise tax levied on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices, and is scheduled to begin wreaking havoc on the medical industry, hospitals, doctors and patients, in 2013.
In an interview with the Syracuse Post-Standard, Steve Meyer, President and CEO at Welch Allyn, called the tax “onerous and impactful”.
Meyer provided a basic mathematical model to highlight his point:
For example, a company that has $100 million in sales would pay $2.3 million in tax, Meyer explained. If that same company earns $10 million in profit that tax now represents a 23 percent dip in the bottom line, he said.
When bottom lines are effected, companies will necessarily adjust profit margins through other means – in this case, a staff restructuring.
Gillibrand and the Affordable Care Act is indeed costing jobs in New York, there is no doubt. Isn’t trying to take the focus off of that, and placing it on frivolous censorship attempts, in itself a ‘misleading and deceptive’ act?