SOME “TAXES” ARE INVISIBLE, hidden in the higher prices of things we buy. One such “tax” is huge, costing the average American family of four at least $2,884 every year in the higher price tags of everything from hamburger to health care.
This government-imposed burden is higher in America than in any other industrialized nation on Earth. Call it the “Lawsuit Tax,” the huge cost that lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits adds to everything.
One member of Congress has done more to increase this secret tax on Americans than has any other lawmaker. John Edwards is a Democratic U.S. Senator from North Carolina, elected to his first and only term in 1998 with massive financial backing from his fellow trial lawyers.
.......During 20 years playing doctor as a trial lawyer, Edwards was involved in 63 cases and secured more than $152 million in verdicts and settlements, pocketing a third or more of that money himself and amassing a fortune of as much as $70 million. Edwards was welcomed into the Inner Circle of Advocates, a society of 100 personal injury lawyers who had won cases of over $1 million. Most call themselves advocates for the poor, injured and powerless. Critics call them ambulance chasers who use their injured clients to persuade empathetic juries to render million-dollar judgments against doctors and companies, up to half the money from which goes not to the injured but to these lawyers
.....By then even First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s brother was among the trial lawyers colluding with government and billing up to $7,000 per hour in lawsuits against the tobacco industry. Such private-public collaboration had become a huge source of trial lawyer wealth and government revenue in an era where tax increases were unpopular. “With tax hikes harder to pass,” editorialized the <I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Wall Street Journal last July 7, “Democrats have seized upon lawsuits as the best way to redistribute income.”
.....The billions pocketed by trial lawyers and shared with their Democratic Party, tort-reform-opposing political allies get paid for in the end by you at an average cost of $2,884 for every family of four every year. God help America if candidates owned by trial lawyers, now greedy for power as well as money, are able to take control the White House and to remove the last checks-and-balances that restrain trial lawyer ambitions.
.....John Edwards, trial lawyer, has spoken out in the behalf of the unborn. This is from a profile piece found in today's New York Times:
In 1985, a 31-year-old North Carolina lawyer named John Edwards stood before a jury and channeled the words of an unborn baby girl.
Referring to an hour-by-hour record of a fetal heartbeat monitor, Mr. Edwards told the jury: "She said at 3, `I'm fine.' She said at 4, `I'm having a little trouble, but I'm doing O.K.' Five, she said, `I'm having problems.' At 5:30, she said, `I need out.' "
But the obstetrician, he argued in an artful blend of science and passion, failed to heed the call. By waiting 90 more minutes to perform a breech delivery, rather than immediately performing a Caesarean section, Mr. Edwards said, the doctor permanently damaged the girl's brain.
"She speaks to you through me," the lawyer went on in his closing argument. "And I have to tell you right now — I didn't plan to talk about this — right now I feel her. I feel her presence. She's inside me, and she's talking to you."
The jury came back with a $6.5 million verdict in the cerebral palsy case, and Mr. Edwards established his reputation as the state's most feared plaintiff's lawyer.
What would you do with your extra $2,884?