What do John Deere, 3M, Caterpillar, AK Steel and AT&T have in common? Yes, they are all in business. Yes, they are driven by the market and the need to make profits. But, that's not what links this group today.
Remember last week, in the last days of the period which shall become known as BH or Before Healthcare, when I posted the announcement that Caterpillar had analyzed the impact of the healthcare reform bill and noted that it would cost them $100,000,000.00 in the first year of implementation? That wasn't idle talk apparently.
Billion Dollar Chargeback for AT&T
These are real companies with real accountants. They are looking at reality not political rhetoric. They can add the numbers and what they conclude is that expansion, rehires, new jobs, product research and dividends for shareholders are not in play any more.
Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat who co-chairs a subcommittee on oversight and investigations, said he'll convene a hearing next month to question company executives about their moves.
If the concept of a chairman of a congressional committee on investigations doesn't scare you already, consider the very idea of Waxman who has never been in business or industry for a single day of his life "investigating" major corporation business decisions in response to Congressional mandates. He knows not one whit about payrolls or profits or expenses of operation. He knows about socialism and pandering and pay-offs.
This is going to reverberate for a long time.