Sunday, August 26, 2012


You all know my position on “E-Speak”; it is an insult to the English language. There is another type of language that the General Public does not come in contact with on a regular basis. This is the proprietary language of Big Business. I will refer to this language as “Bizz-Speak” (more aptly contracted to: B.S.) Having recently been in the possession of a document that epitomizes “Bizz-Speak”, I would like to share some of the more mind-boggling, tongue twisting terms that are considered as normal communication between “B.S.”ers. I can usually wade through and have somewhat of an understanding when it come to reading “B.S.”, but here are a few that forced me to hit a brick wall.

“swaps” and “security-based swaps”; swap dealers and major participants [1]

[1] Remember that card game, “GO FISH!”? Damn, if this doesn’t sound familiar.
 “The draft Form W-8IMY requires its users to identify the type of entity reporting and their status (from a list of more than 20 possibilities under FATCA. The possible status choices include participating, nonparticipating, and deemed-compliant foreign financial institutions.In choosing a status, the reporting entity must also certify its obligations.
The obligations vary with the status chosen. In some cases, the reporting entity would have to certify whether it has agreed to take on primary withholding responsibility, or if it has agreed to transmit withholding certificates.” [2]

[2] Over the years, I have had the opportunity to acquaintance politicians on almost every level. I have to say that, with all due respect, the politicians I have met probably do not possess the time, nor the verbiage, to produce language such as this. These two facts, alone, lead me to believe that someone else actually “wrote” the legislation. Uhmm…let me guess! Perhaps one of those slippery, ambulance chasing Lobbyists?

“The Bill Would Impose Cost-Benefit Rules on Independent Agencies:
On August 1, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), and
Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced S. 3468, a bill to impose regulatory cost-benefit
rules on independent agencies. Currently, such independent agencies as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC) are exempt from the Obama Administration’s January 2011 Executive Order No. 13,563 directing non-independent agencies to propose or finalize rules only after a “reasoned determination” that their benefits justify their costs. The Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act would “fill the gap by authorizing the President to bring independent agencies into the same analysis and review process that governs other regulators,” according to the bill’s sponsors.The legislation “affirms the authority of the President to extend to independent agencies the same requirements for cost-benefit analysis that apply to other government agencies.” The legislation would require independent agencies to
use the same burden-reducing principles that apply to regulations issued by non-independent agencies.
These rules include:
1.      A requirement to evaluate the cost and benefits of new rules, resulting in the adoption of the least
 burdensome approach;
2.      A requirement that the agencies examine whether existing regulations have contributed to the problem the agency seeks to address with a proposed rule;
3.      A requirement that regulations be based on the best available economic and scientific analysis; and,
4.      A requirement that the agencies consider alternatives to direct regulation, including incentives and public disclosure.
Additional, more stringent requirements would apply for proposed regulations that would have aneconomic impact of $100 million or more. S. 3468 would authorize the President to require agencies to produce a “regulatory impact analysis” that quantifies the costs and benefits of proposed regulations and cite less costly alternatives. The cost-benefit analysis would then be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs OIRA) for review.” [3]

[3] Really? Are we all playing “Mumbley-Peg”, now? This oral diarrhea could only spew from the pen of a lawyer bent on dazzling his/her client, the politician, and justifying all those “billable Hours”. I just love it when they go nuts and invent words that further confuse us.

                        The House Tax Writer Introduces LTC Bill

On August 2, Representative Charles Boustany (R-LA-7) introduced H.R. 6300, a bill that would require reports from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on a number of policies designed to improve access, at reduced taxpayer cost, to long-term care service. Among the policies to be studied are CLASS program repeal, enhanced tax rules
for long-term care insurance (LTCi), and improved technical assistance and other support to State long-term care partnership programs.
The bill would:
Enact a “sense of Congress” that states that:
·        Congress should repeal the CLASS program, the federal long-term care/disability income program enacted in health reform Federal and state governments should work together to reduce the number of middle- income people who will rely on Medicaid to finance their long-term care needs.
·       Require Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide technical assistance to states on the implementation and administration of qualified state long-term care insurance partnerships, including assistance in recovering relevant costs from estates, an annual information-sharing conference, and coordinated educational efforts.
·      A required HHS report, due by January 1, 2014, would also evaluate methods to expand LTCi for middle-income individuals through the long- term care partnership program “for the purpose of improving retirement security and long-term care options.” HHS would be required to solicit input from stakeholders, including insurance industry trade associations. The study would also look at Medicaid eligibility requirements, Medicaid look-back rules, and estate recovery.
 ·    Require the Congressional Budget Office to report to Congress’ Budget Committees, by January 1, 2014, on:
        1) The projected number of middle-income people who will rely on Medicaid for long-term care services,
           and the cost of that reliance
       2)  An evaluation of policies to improve LTCi coverage and non-Medicaid financed long term care options -
           - the evaluation would include:
                a] The potential for repealing the CLASS program Inclusion of LTCi in cafeteria plans 
             b] Incentives for states to increase purchases of LTCi.
                c] A reduction in current law’s home equity exemption from Medicaid’s spend-down rules.
                d] An extension of the Medicaid spend-down look-back period to 10 years  
Federal incentives for states to require the use of liens for estate recovery purposes.
             f] Cost estimates of policies being evaluated.
The reports would have to include recommendations for Congressional action, including on “which options would be most effective at reducing projected State and Federal long-term care expenditures under the Medicaid program while providing an adequate safety net for low-income individuals.” [4]
[4] I rest my case, sort of. Would it be possible, and more efficient, to make a list of what you can and cannot do. Let’s take banks, for instance; left side of the ledger = a list of what certain types of banks cannot do; right side of the ledger = a list of what certain types of banks can do. Simply go right on down the line listing the “do’s” and the “donnot’s” for every type of business located in the U.S., foreign and domestic. Job done. Next!

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