Perriello’s priority: Unions or constituents?

Column by Laurence Verga

Today special-interest politics seems just as American as baseball or apple pie. It has become so commonplace that it takes a real stinker to shock anyone anymore. The latest is perhaps the most ethically egregious and economically damaging to Virginia I’ve ever witnessed; a proposed five-year exemption for unions from the 40 percent tax on “cadillac” or expensive health-insurance policies.

The direct effect of this exemption is that a non-union worker in Virginia with “cadillac” health insurance will be taxed while a union-worker in Michigan with the same insurance will not be taxed.

And unfortunately the above example will be quite frequent. Virginia, with its Right to Work law, has very few union workers, especially compared to Northern states. 

This reality has traditionally been an advantage to the state, allowing companies to hire employees at a lower cost and allowing for more flexibility in the workplace. Surely this advantage is a fundamental reason why Virginia has been named the best place to do business four years in a row by Forbes magazine.

In a strange turn of events, Virginia will now be disadvantaged for its support of freedom in the workplace.

The practical effect of the cadillac tax on Virginia companies with generous health care plans is that
A) Employers will have to drastically cut the benefits in employee’s plan
B) Employers will drop their employee’s health care coverage completely
C) Employers will either let go employees or cut their salaries, or
D) Employers bear the brunt of the tax and not pass it on to their employees.

At the end of the day, all of these results are simply another egregious tax from the federal government on Virginia employers and employees that make the state a less attractive place to do business and raise a family.

Given this reality, will Congressman Perriello vote for a bill that helps his union buddies at the expense of his constituents?

Unions are Perriello’s fifth biggest donor, giving him $143,500 in his short career. So how do you expect him to vote? Unfortunately like every other politician.


Laurence Verga is a candidate for the Republican Party congressional nomination in the Fifth District.



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