Thursday, September 30, 2010

Steny Hoyer Leads House Democrats Down The Toilet-- Blocks Bid To Vote On Middle Class Tax Cuts


With polls showing overwhelming support for extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class, while ending them for the wealthy, progressive Members of the House were eager to go into the election with a vote on the issue. Ironically, so were Republicans, who wanted to once again show their fealty to the rich in the Class War they are waging against ordinary American families. The Senate's vote on Tuesday showing which senators support outsourcing and off-shoring American jobs and which senators oppose it was helpful. That conservatives filibustered that bill to death will prove helpful to Democratic incumbents as well as Democratic challengers. Both Kentucky GOP senators, retiring Jim Bunning and Miss McConnell (who was just pushed aside by Jim DeMint as de facto leader of the Republican caucus), voted to continue the filibuster, which is also strongly supported by the Republican extremist running for Bunning's open seat, Rand Paul. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democrat running for that seat, has made ending off-shoring U.S. jobs a major part of his election platform, immediately came out swinging on behalf of the thousands of Kentucky workers who have lost good jobs to outsourcing schemes. "Rand Paul," he told us right after the vote, "wants tax breaks for companies that ship jobs from Kentucky overseas. I believe that's wrong, and I'll work to create jobs in Kentucky, not overseas."

North Carolina's Secretary of State, Elaine Marshall, a candidate for the seat currently occupied by reactionary corporate shill Richard Burr, had the same reaction as Conway. "Richard Burr is still confused," she told us an hour after he voted in favor of outsourcing. "The jobs bill he supports creates jobs in China. He consistently opposes efforts to put Americans back to work."

[This might be a good time to remind anyone interested that Blue America has a special page for the best Senate challengers this year and, needless to say, both Jack Conway and Elaine Marshall are on that page. If you'd like to contribute to either of their campaigns, you can do so right here.]

It was smart of Reid to schedule the vote that helps Americans understand the difference between conservatives and progressives, between senators who are working for Big Business and senators who are working for the well-being of ordinary families, workers and consumers. Steny Hoyer, is no one's dummy, but he's very conflicted because his rise to power was underwritten by the same Special Interests who have helped corrupt Republicans like Boehner, Cantor, Ryan and Pence. And that explains why the House did not vote on the legislation to give tax breaks to the middle class, a vote that was sure to help most Democrats, though could hurt a handful of Blue Dog incumbents who take their cues from Boehner and would have voted against middle class tax cuts.
The White House wants Congress to make the tax cuts permanent for individuals earning less than $200,000 annually and married couples with incomes below $250,000. But Republicans and many centrist Democrats want to extend the cuts for all income groups at least for a year or two.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner , R-Ohio, said Wednesday, “I believe there’s a bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate, who want to extend all of the current tax rates. If the Democrat leaders leave town, without stopping these tax increases, they are turning their backs on the American people.”

Boehner brushed aside questions about why Republicans don’t try to force a floor vote through a discharge petition, saying that rarely used procedure would take too long. “As you know, a discharge petition has to sit around for 30 legislative days. And I don’t think the American people want to wait that long. The reason they are not bringing this up is because we have the votes in the House and Senate to extend all of the current tax rates,” Boehner said.

He added, “It’s irresponsible for them to leave town without giving us a fair up or down vote... This is no way to run the people’s House.”

Hoyer and his faction managed to play right into Republican hands, taking away the Democrats' best issue for the midterms while somehow making the Republicans look vaguely plausible. Sometimes I wonder if Hoyer isn't doing this more than design and not just because of incompetence. It's a shame Rahm can't take his former junior partner with him to Chicago when he oozes his way out of Washington.

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At 4:37 PM, Anonymous me said...

For once, I'm in agreement with something Congress did: Nothing.

Let the tax cuts expire. For everyone. Tax cut mania is destroying our economy. What did that "tax cut" save me, $300/year? BFD!! I'd be better off paying ten times that, if we could go back to the economy we had before Bush fucked it up. My income has fallen way, way more than $3000/year since 2000.

For the most productive economy, there is an optimal level of taxation and government spending. Too high and production is stifled and the economy drags. Too low and the rich get richer and hoard their gains. Right now, taxes are too low.

(Spending on non-productive projects, for instance our bloated military, the Iraq war, the drug war, etc. etc. are way too high, and also degrade the economy. But that's another story.)

Conservatives just love to claim that taxes on business are bad for the economy. They are LYING.

Look at Denmark. Not the highest taxes in the world, but not far from it. Income equality across the country is also the most equal. Education, health care, the whole shebang are free for all.

Guess which country has been reported as having the happiest population? Denmark!

Guess which country was rated (by that right-wing rag Forbes, of all things) the best for doing business? Denmark!


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