Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Charles Rangel-"Pharmaceutical Companies Are Stealing"

{{w|Charles B. Rangel}}, member of the United ...Image via Wikipedia

You just have to love the holier than thou attitude of a great many of our illustrious leaders in the political world. Today, I heard a story on the radio that Congressman Charlie Rangel (Dem-NY) has accused the pharmaceutical industry of "stealing." His comments came in response to the pharmaceutical companies stating that they are willing to work with the government to help control costs. The implication being that since they are now willing to accept less money that they were for the previously charging for the same products then they must have been stealing or acting immorally.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not a big fan of paying a lot for my prescriptions. Each member of my household has three or four prescriptions each. They are expensive, even with insurance. However, the last I checked, the pharmaceutical industry is a "for profit" entity. So how does the pharmaceutical industry justify their pricing?

  1. First off the pharmaceuticals invest a lot of money and manpower in research and development. For every successful drug they bring to market, I am sure there are a number that fail. In order to make a profit, they must recoup those R&D costs.
  2. Once a drug comes to market, the manufacturer only has the ability to market that drug for a finite amount of time before they face competition from generics.
  3. Many of these same pharmaceutical companies have programs to help patients that do not have enough money to afford lifesaving drugs.
So, we have businesses engaging in lawful activities, making a profit. How awful! When did we get to the point in this country where making a profit is a bad thing. Plus, let's take a look at the man who is accusing these companies of stealing.

  1. As chairman of the House committee that writes the tax code, Rangel failed to report and pay taxes on $75000 of rental income for a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic.
  2. Rangel rented four rent controlled apartments in Harlem and used one as his campaign office which was in violation of the New York City law that requires rent controlled apartments to be used as a primary residence.
  3. Rangel used Congressional stationary to solicity funds for his charitable foundation from companies that had business before the House Ways and Means Committee he chairs.
  4. Rangel used a House parking garage as a storage unit for an old Mercedes, a violation of Congressional rules.
It amazes me that a man who is involved in so many questionable activities himself can accuse companies engaged in legal activities of stealing. That he can do it with a straight face is even more mind boggling.
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