Saturday, October 20, 2007



When it comes to the Republicans, at least lately, it seems to take a police force to separate the men from the boys. With the Democrats, all you need is a piece of legislation that big donors care about. And when it comes to greed and selfishness-- often irrational greed and selfishness, I might add-- nothing gets big donors caring like their dream to permanently abolish the estate tax. Well, they would also like to permanently abolish Social Security, equal rights, women's emancipation... and all social progress that's been made since the 1800s. But first things first and last week it was the dreaded estate tax that came to the table.

An innocent enough bill, H.R. 3056, Tax Collection Responsibility Act, seeking to repeal the authority of the IRS to use private debt collection companies, was an excuse for the GOP to attempt to permanently abolish the estate tax, even though it only applies to people with estates over $2,000,000 ($4,000,000 for couples) and exempts family-owned farms. The Republicans' toxic amendment failed 196-212. Every single Republican voted to abolish. And almost all the Democrats voted to keep it. There were 10 exceptions, all familiar names for people who follow Congress and keep an eye on which Democrats are most likely to vote with the GOP on important issues. The list of traitors:
Jason Altmire (PA)
John Barrow (GA)
Brad Ellsworth (IN)
Garbrielle Giffords
Steve Kagen (WI)
Nick Lampson (TX)
Tim Mahoney (FL)
Jim Matheson (UT)
Jerry McNerney (CA)
Zach Space (OH)

Reactionary Democrats who have favored abolishing the estate tax in the past but decided to duck this week's vote included Melissa Bean (IL) and Dan Boren (OK).

What's to be done with Democrats like these? Do you live in any of their districts? You do it. (Note: Steve Kagen's name on this list is a kind of anomaly. He has a very good overall voting record and this vote seems out of character for him. Unlike the others, I'd give him a pass, but start watching him more closely.)

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At 7:25 AM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Why did Kagen and Giffords vote for it? McNerney too?

At 7:38 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Local political calculations. They are all targeted freshmen with tough races and I suppose each thought they would gain politically by abandoning a basic Democratic commitment to fair taxation in order to curry favor with wealthy local interests (and donors). I'm terribly disappointed, especially in McNerney.


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