Monday, November 12, 2012

Mandatory Refunds

If you can't win at the ballot box, at least you can demand a refund.

The anti-regulatory fever that has gripped the Republican caucus the past 4 years may finally be breaking.  Now that the election has ended, there is a strong movement afoot in the House to impose anti-capitalistic regulatory controls on SuperPAC spending in order to protect vulnerable contributors.  And in a twist of irony, the GOP is proposing rules that sounds eerily like those within Obamacare, the law that “destroyed freedom”, according to Internet bloggers and Fox News paid contributors. 

The main thrust of the proposed new regulation would mandate that SuperPACs spend 80% of their contribution dollars on providing candidate support or give a refund to clients of the difference.  The goal is to insure that candidates benefit from the contributions, and not just SuperPAC employees. 

The law is a direct response to the electoral drubbing suffered by Republican candidates across the country, most supposedly supported by free spending SuperPACs that promised landslide victories.  Instead, consultants and pollsters got wealthy while the GOP candidates lost.

The proposed legislation has been modeled after the portion of the Obamacare law that requires health insurers to spend at least 80% of their customers' premiums on health services, leaving no more than 20% for administrative costs and advertising. That means if an insurance company spends 78% of the money it collects on health benefits for customers, it has to send rebate checks for the additional 2%.  In short, after November 6th, some in the Republican Party want their money back.

In August, health insurance companies refunded $1.1 billion in premiums to about 12.8 million customers, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.  Irate Republicans now see political consultants like Karl Rove getting rich while their candidates suffered and died at the polls on Election Day.  The rebate law would guarantee that contributions helped candidates win or were returned to the contributors.

"The 80/20 rule in the Affordable Care Act is intended to ensure that consumers get value for their health care dollars.  All we are saying is that consumers of political candidates deserve value for their dollars.  When our candidates lose and consultants like Rove get rich, there is something wrong with our system,” said Eric Cantor at a hastily arranged news conference.  Cantor says he has the support of 48% of the population that voted for Mitt Romney and feels cheated.

According to reliable Internet rumors, in 2012, SuperPACs created to help the Romney/Ryan campaign spent an astonishing 70% of contributions on overhead expenses, such as consultant salaries, ad buys in non-swing states, and lavish travel to Fox News studios for on air interviews.  While most of the SuperPAC-backed candidates on the Right were defeated last week, the consultants who solicited the funds profited handsomely. 

If the proposed new law would have been in place in this campaign cycle, groups such as CrossRoads GPS and Freedom Works would have been forced to refund upwards of $45 million to their clients, money that Cantor claims would go right back to the “job creators” and help to “ignite our economy”.

High profile SuperPAC contributors were in lock step with the proposed law, and were looking forward to refund checks just like those liberal victims received courtesy of the ACA in August.

“Reasonable regulations do not mean the end of capitalism,” said David Koch from his underground bunker in Wisconsin.  “All we are asking is that 80% of the premiums we pay to these shadowy groups go directly towards the care of the candidates.  We need the candidates to be healthy and well cared for with our dollars.  They can’t win and thrive if the money we contribute is wasted.  I don’t think it’s un-American to demand private industry to return stolen money to wealthy investors.”

Other big donors agree.  Sheldon Adelson released a statement from his undisclosed location in support of the measure.  “Our money shouldn’t support non-profit industry junkets and lavish advertising that frankly, doesn’t help candidates or buy the necessary votes.”

Adelson added, “When it comes to identifying qualified candidates for federal office, the fat cat consultants that promised donors the world need to remember one thing.  The SuperPACS didn’t build them.  We did.”

A grassroots rally to support the proposed law, complete with complimentary pitchforks and torches, is planned outside Karl Rove’s compound in Texas this weekend.  Attendees are encouraged to wear flag pins. 

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