Archive for the ‘Al Franken’ Category
In a stunning, disappointing development, Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar voted against restarting the White House tours:
Democrats objected, saying it was a show vote that was not going to accomplish what Mr. Coburn said it would. They also said canceling park service heritage money would hurt their home states.
They defeated Mr. Coburn’s amendment on a 54-45 vote, with nearly every Republican voting to reopen the White House and with almost all Democrats voting to back Mr. Obama’s decision.
It’s appalling that Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar voted against opening the People’s House (that’s Michelle Obama’s term for the White House) to public tours. It’s disgusting that Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar hid behind their ‘leadership’ in saying that Sen. Coburn’s amendment was a gimmick.
If anyone in the Senate has shown themselves to having solutions to DC’s spending addiction, it’s been Sen. Coburn. He’s literally found hundreds of billions of dollars of wasteful spending in the last 6 months. He’s put together charts showing duplicative federal programs worth $364.5 billion of spending. Some of the spending is justified. Most of it isn’t.
This is just another vote that shows Sen. Klobuchar is Ms. Bipartisanship. She’s a popular political partisan hack. People didn’t think that Sen. Franken was Mr. Bipartisanship. Still, Minnesotans had the right to expect him to protect them against this arrogant administration’s mishandling of sequestration.
This video shows how partisan Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar are:
Rather than fighting for saving hundreds of millions of dollars, Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar fought to keep White House tours closed. Why would they do that if they genuinely cared about the middle class? Some of these families that aren’t being permitted to take a White House tour might be on their first trip to DC. Perhaps some of them won’t have another opportunity to tour the White House.
That’s what Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar voted against. They voted with the elitists in the White House. They voted against the working families who wanted to take a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the White House.
Based on Wednesday’s vote and their votes for the middle class tax increases in the PPACA, why shouldn’t people think that these senators don’t care about the middle class the way they say they do?
Rep. Keith Ellison has fought a ‘valiant’ fight to protect wasteful government spending:
“If we can’t find a solution before these cuts hit, we should eliminate it altogether,” said Jeremy Slevin, a spokesman for Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a co-chair of the progressive caucus.
“Our preference is to have a balanced approach to get [a] one-to-one” ratio of program cuts to revenue raising, Slevin went on. “But short of that we don’t think under any circumstances that the American people should lose their jobs because of Congress.”
The Goverment Accountability Office, aka the GAO, has identified 1,362 duplicative programs in the federal budget. According to GAO, $364.5 billion are spent on these duplicative programs. I transcribed part of Sen. Coburn’s “Sequester This” speech for this Examiner article. Here’s the key paragraph from that article:
SEN. COBURN: Next one, housing assistance. We have 160 programs, separate programs. Nobody knows if they’re working. Nobody in the administration knows all the programs. I’m probably the only person in Congress that does because nobody else has looked at it. Twenty different agencies. We’re spending $170 billion. If we’re really interested in housing assistance, why would we have 20 sets of overhead, 20 sets of administration? And what would it cost to accomplish the same thing?
That’s insane. It’s impossible to justify 160 duplicate programs. It’s totally impossible to justify intentionally establishing “20 sets of overhead, 20 sets of administration.”
Despite this stunning fact, Rep. Ellison’s spokesman insists on raising taxes or repealing the sequester.
Sen. Franken isn’t exactly a profile in courage when it comes to putting a budget together or cutting spending without gimmicks. Here’s part of Sen. Franken’s letter to Sen. Patty Murray:
Meaningful deficit reduction is critical and necessary, and our budget resolution must reflect tough choices and tough cuts. Deficit reduction must be achieved in a commonsense way that doesn’t just shift costs to our seniors, or parents raising children with disabilities. That’s why deficit reduction efforts should maintain a balance between targeted spending cuts and new revenues from closing tax loopholes that benefit corporations and wealthy individuals.
Sen. Franken, like Rep. Ellison, voted to raise taxes when he voted for the PPACA. That dynamic duo voted for raising tax rates on small businesses when they voted for the Obama ‘Fiscal Cliff’ tax increases. The payroll tax holiday tax increase went into effect the same day the PPACA tax increases went into effect. Now they’re demanding another (fourth) tax increase to hit the American people in less than 3 months.
Nowhere do they mention the duplicate programs and wasteful spending from the GAO report. That’s the definition of being MIA during the sequestration fight. Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising for either ‘public servant’. Neither has voted in committee for a budget since early in President Obama’s first term.
What’s most disappointing is the fact that Twin Cities media outlets haven’t asked why Sen. Franken and Rep. Ellison have fought tirelessly to protect government bureaucrats while they waste taxpayers’ money.
By comparison, Sen. Coburn has been persistent in highlighting the ways government wastes money:
I wish we could trade in Sen. Franken and Rep. Ellison for a real public servant like Sen. Coburn.
Tags: Deficit Reduction, Tax Increases, Payroll Tax Holiday, Fiscal Cliff, PPACA, Al Franken, Keith Ellison, DFL, Tom Coburn, GAO Report, Government Bureaucrats, Duplication Nation, Public Servant, GOP
In less than a week, the federal government will start cutting defense spending across the board rather than setting intelligent priorities.
Sequestration is the Obama administration’s faux solution to the Obama administration’s reckless spending. Cutting the Pentagon’s budget is a major part of sequestration. Senate Democrats have helped paint the administration into this corner.
On top of the $500 billion Defense Department that’s already been cut, sequestration would cut another $500 billion from the Pentagon’s budget. The F-35 program offers the perfect illustration of the foolishness of sequestration. Under sequestration, the Defense Department budget would be automatically cut across the board by 10% every year for 10 years. That’s on top of the $487 billion that’s already been cut from the Defense Department budget.
If the full sequestration were to take effect, “we’re going to have to look completely at the [F-35] programme,” US Air Force chief of staff Gen Mark Welsh told the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 12. “It’s going to be impossible to modernize.” Under sequestration, it’s likely that our young pilots will fly fighters older than they are while our potential enemies continued to build their 5th generation capabilities.
The bottom line is simple. Sequestration will hurt the military. If sequestration is implemented, the US Air Force will be more vulnerable than it should be.
Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar have been invisible in this fight. Similarly, the US Senate has been completely absent in the budget debate. Real people are about to get hurt by these indiscriminate cuts. True American patriots will needlessly be put in harms way if these are fully implemented.
Cutting the F-35 program would cost Minnesota high paying jobs at a time when creating high paying jobs should be Sen. Franken’s and Sen. Klobuchar’s highest priority. Minnesota suppliers would be directly affected. Suppliers aren’t the only Minnesota companies that would be affected, either.
It’s important that people remember that these cuts come on top of other cuts to the military. Those cuts affect both jobs and the military’s ability to protect our nation.
It’s time for Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar to fight for Minnesota jobs. It’s time for Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar to demand the Senate do its job and put together budget cuts that don’t kill Minnesota jobs or weaken military readiness. It’s time that Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar actually made decisions based on doing what’s right for America.
According to private polling done for the Bills campaign, Sen. Klobuchar’s support is sinking while Kurt Bills’ support is surging:
In June Public Policy Polling showed Klobuchar up by 26 points. Bills argued that as voters became more familiar with his campaign the numbers would close.
Close they have. In a new poll conducted this week, Bills closed the distance between the candidates by nearly half. Instead of a 26 point spread, the new poll shows a 14 point difference between the candidates. Bills has moved up by 12 points, and Klobuchar has dropped by 2.
DFL political hacks will dismiss this polling, saying it’s self-serving spin. They said the same thing when Chip Cravaack’s campaign published a private poll that showed a tight race between Chip and Jim Oberstar.
Wednesday night, people in St. Cloud saw a conservative candidate with a positive message and an air of confidence. Kurt Bills has a positive message of getting spending under control, reviving an economy that, on its best day, is best described as lackluster and getting regulations under control.
Compare that with Sen. Klobuchar’s record of twice voting to raise taxes on Boston Scientific and Medtronic, her doing nothing to lower gas prices or electric bills and her silence on making PolyMet a reality.
That’s a history of a) raising taxes on two of Minnesota’s biggest private sector employers, b) turning a blind eye towards families having difficulty making ends meet and c) doing nothing about growing jobs in northern Minnesota.
If Mr. Bills gets his message out, at mininum, he’ll give Sen. Klobuchar’s campaign manager a nasty case of heartburn. A month ago, it would’ve been seen as pure foolishness to think that Kurt Bills had a shot at defeating Sen. Klobuchar.
Thanks to Sen. Klobuchar’s stellar record of participating in photo ops and her dismal record on job growth and economic development, coupled with Bills’ appealing pro-growth economic message, that’s at least a possibility this November.
The Twin Cities media won’t hesitate in doing their utmost to hide St. Amy’s vulnerabilities and shortcomings. That’s what they tried doing with Jim Oberstar, too. Their efforts worked so well that Oberstar’s a “visiting scholar at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.”
Based on the speeches I’ve seen Kurt Bills give the past week, it’s a mistake to think he doesn’t have a shot at making Democrats squirm this November.
We’ve dealt with two economically challenged senators representing us in the Senate. Now it’s time to send the senior senator packing so we can get the economy going again.
Tags: Kurt Bills, Private Polling, Chip Cravaack, Economy, Regulations, Pro-Growth Policies, GOP, Amy Klobuchar, Photo Ops, Tax Increases, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Jim Oberstar, DFL, Election 2012
Iron Range mayors and city council members have had it with the EPA and with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. This article explains why they’re upset:
There was a lot of venting done in Hoyt Lakes on Friday and it was all aimed at federal and state agencies that local officials said are putting handcuffs on current resource-based businesses while putting a boot of delay on new ones just waiting to go.
Mayors, city council and school board members, mining and Minnesota Power officials all voiced the same frustrations over what they called “excessive” and often “unwarranted” federal and state regulations.
This isn’t the way to grow Minnesota’s economy. So-called environmentalist organizations are trumpeting their ‘successes’ while blue collar workers suffer.
Something I included in this post convinces me that environmentalist organizations like Conservation Minnesota have nothing to do with the environment. I don’t believe Arne Carlson, Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, Jim Ramstad, Dee Long and Tom Horner know a thing about the environment.
They’re political celebrities. They aren’t environmental experts. They’re the people applauding the regulations being levied by the EPA and PUC.
This information is vitally important. Former state legislator Frank Moe planned to travel 350-mile via sled dog to deliver a reported 12,500 to 13,000 signed petitions to Gov. Mark Dayton to block copper/nickel/precious metals mining in Northeastern Minnesota. Here’s what you need to know:
70 percent of the signatures are from the seven-county metropolitan area (4,498 or 45 percent) and out of state (2,612 or 25 percent) combined.
Twin Cities activists are, by far, the biggest advocates who want the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects to happen.
This information is troubling, too:
And Hoyt Lakes Mayor Marlene Pospeck said she is equally concerned about the state Public Utilities Commission’s threat to close Minnesota Power’s Laskin Energy Center in Hoyt Lakes and Taconite Harbor Energy Center by 2016.
The closing would affect 40 jobs in Hoyt Lakes. And Pospeck said it would have a devastating effect on the city’s property taxes. “Laskin is about 70 percent of Hoyt Lakes’ tax base,” she said.
PUC apparently thinks it’s ok to strip a city of 70% of their property tax base, which would be disastrous for Hoyt Lakes or any other city.
This is why elected officials are upset with the EPA:
Officials said delays to getting the PolyMet copper/nickel/precious metals project near Hoyt Lakes, which would create 360 permanent jobs, hundreds more spin-off positions and 1.5 million hours of construction work, up and running after about eight years of environmental review, is preventing a resurgence of the East Range economy.
Another nonferrous project, Twin Metals near Ely and Babbitt, is not as far along as PolyMet but holds greater job potential.
The EPA is demanding PolyMet and Twin Metals jump through ever-changing hoops because they keep writing new regulations to change the rules of the game. The EPA is killing the Iron Range just like it’s killing coal mining communities.
Nolan, Klobuchar, Franken and Dayton haven’t lifted a finger to make life better for these communities. They’ve ignored PUC’s decisions. They haven’t done a thing to rein in the EPA. In a fight between the people of Hoyt Lakes and the EPA or the PUC, these politicians didn’t pick the people of Hoyt Lake.
While the editorial staff at the Mesabi Daily News didn’t specifically criticize Rick Nolan, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken in this editorial, they certainly implied it.
Something they did was effusively praise Chip Cravaack’s work on economic development issues:
Once again 8th District U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack was on hand to not just voice support, but to show his support and advocacy for copper/nickel/precious metals projects on the Range and all other resource-based economic ventures.
Cravaack’s words of support in these areas have been matched by his actions in Congress. He has had successes in pushing through an amendment attached to a strategic minerals bill that would streamline the permitting process and remove some duplication for nonferrous mining. That bill is currently waiting on Senate action. Whether it will even be brought to the floor by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is highly uncertain.
Cravaack also has gotten a Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness land transfer bill out of committee to the House floor, where it is waiting on a vote. It would then need Senate approval. The measure, which would pave the way for more School Trust Fund dollars to be generated, gives the needed federal blessing to a bill already passed by the state Legislature.
The Mesabi Daily News rightly highlights the fact that Chip Cravaack isn’t just about saying things people want to hear. They highlight the fact that Chip actually tries to solve significant problems.
I wrote here about the median household incomes in St. Louis County vs. the median household incomes in Sherburne County. The median household income in St. Louis County is $44,941 vs. $71,704 in Sherburne County.
Are Sens. Franken and Klobuchar doing anything to make it possible for Iron Range families to make bigger incomes? These are hard-working people. They shouldn’t have to listen to politicians like Rick Nolan, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken pay lip service to them, then do nothing after they’ve met with these miners.
Chip Cravaack is actually putting in the effort to improve these Rangers’ lives. That can’t be said about Sen. Klobuchar, Rick Nolan or Al Franken. That didn’t go unnoticed by the Mesabi Daily News:
Local officials, represented by mayors, school board members, city councilors and mining and Minnesota Power personnel, say they want a face-to-face meeting with elected officials from Gov. Mark Dayton to U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken on Iron Range economic development issues.
We couldn’t agree more. We are sick and tired of too many comments about support of economic development and jobs for the Range without those words being backed up by true advocacy.
People that work hard and play by the rules should be rewarded. When Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar sit silently while the EPA and the Minnesota Department of Commerce stand in the way of progress, they’re contributing to the problem. They definitely aren’t part of the solution.
Sen. Klobuchar likes to highlight her bipartisan do-nothing bills. Isn’t it time for Sen. Klobuchar to take a leadership role in solving the important problems facing Minnesotans?
People on the Iron Range are hurting financially. They don’t need her to be submitting new do-nothing bills every other week. They need her submitting bills that tells the EPA not to harass companies just because they “have the authority to request information.”
Sen. Klobuchar leads the Senate in doing nothing while real problems fester in Minnesota. It’s time Sen. Klobuchar became a leader on the things that Minnesotans care most about.
Sponsoring legislation that touts tourism won’t drop the price of a gallon of gasoline. Sponsoring legislation that amends “the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999″ doesn’t do a thing to create jobs on the Iron Range.
Compare that with Chip’s record of fighting for important things that his constituents tell him about. Chip’s fought against the EPA when they’ve harassed companies like PolyMet and Mesabi Nugget.
That’s what leadership looks like.
Yesterday’s ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court is a major step in the right direction to restoring election integrity in Minnesota. Unfortunately, it’s the first step. Unfortunately, it isn’t the silver bullet solution.
Glenn Reynolds’ op-ed highlights what’s needed for a truly world class election system:
An ideal voting system would:
- Make it easy for voters to register.
- Positively ensure that voters were who they said they were.
- Make certain that no one could vote more than once.
- And guarantee that votes properly cast would be properly recorded, while making the recording of fraudulent votes impossible.
Unfortunately, no such system exists, and the ones we have are far from the best available.Reynolds then highlighted another problem that needs addressing:
In Minnesota’s 2008 disputed US Senate election, won by Al Franken, who proceeded to cast the deciding vote in favor of ObamaCare, the margin of victory was 312, but it turned out that 1,099 votes were cast by felons who were ineligible to vote. Many of them have gone to jail, but Franken has remained in the Senate.
Secretary Ritchie’s office failed Minnesotans because they didn’t enforce key provisions in HAVA. Specifically, Ritchie’s office didn’t meet HAVA’s requirements:
The Help America Vote Act also lists strict standards for each state in maintaining its Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS). HAVA mandates that each elections official at the State and local level MUST perform list maintenance on their SVRS with respect to the computerized list on a regular basis as HAVA mandates when a state does SVRS list maintenance that if an individual is to be removed from the SVRS from their respective state, that this maintenance must be done in the compliance of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg et seq.) which lists what is legal and illegal for reasons for a state to legally purge their voting rolls what is illegal to remove voters from the SVRS.
When a state removes a ineligible voter from the official list of eligible voters states mandated as follows that: Under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 that each respective state’s election authority must coordinate with their Department of Corrections the computerized list with State agency records on felony status of convicted felons if they are eligible to vote under each state’s voting laws of allowing convicted felons to vote under probation/parole or released from prison If a registered voter dies that the registered voter under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 each state’s election authority MUST coordinate with the respective agency handling birth and death statistics (i.e. Department of Health and Human Services) in removing these voters as soon as possible from the voting rolls when the death is reported. Also, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) puts in strict requirements and oversight to make sure that each state is following their own laws on enforcement of maintenance of their respective Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS).
In other words, HAVA requires timely updating of the SVRS to prevent ineligible felons and dead people from voting. The fact that Ritchie didn’t enforce this key provision in HAVA indicates his disinterest in enforcing election laws. It doesn’t appear as though county workers are that interested in preventing voter fraud either:
The county workers’ attitude is pretty arrogant:
INVESTIGATOR: In theory, I could just, you know, say I have some illness or disability and just be at home and there’s no way that the state would know otherwise. WORKER: You are signing a statement, a form, that the information you’re providing is true and correct. INVESTIGATOR: So that’s it? It’s just kind of the honor system? WORKER: Yes, I guess, it’s, I mean, it’s been that way for many, many years, that, you know, Minnesota’s been an after-the-fact type of state. And, now, we do catch people, that do things, and they’re investigated and charged. But it is, you know, after-the-fact. My election judges have a difficult time with that. It’s like “Change the law. Change the law.”
These county workers admitted that voting fraud happens but that the fraudulent votes get counted.
There’s a national movement to restore election integrity, a tide that the Democratic Party is fighting against. It’s time that that tide swept these
Corruptocrats Democrats out of office. Photo ID will clean up most of this voter fraud.
Still, a white hot spotlight should be shined on
Corruptocrats Democrats like Ritchie. If he won’t enforce Minnesota’s election laws, then he must be thrown out of office, whether that’s through impeachment or whether it’s through defeating him in November, 2014.
This past Wednesday, Sen. Franken, (D-MN) and Sen. Klobuchar, (D-MN), voted to raise Minnesotans’ electricity bills. They did it by voting to extend the filibuster of a resolution that would’ve nullified the EPA’s Utility MACT rules.
The Heritage Foundation’s Foundry blog sounds an alarming note:
The EPA estimates the rule will cost $9.6 billion annually, to be paid by utilities and customers alike for new equipment, monitoring and reporting, loss of generating capacity, and higher electricity rates. Industry insiders consider the agency figures to be a lowball estimate.
That’s just the tip of the regulatory iceberg. This important information shouldn’t be overlooked:
Prima facie evidence of the non-credibility of EPA’s co-benefits estimates exists in EPA’s baseline estimates of risk in this RIA: deaths that were “due to” ambient PM2.5 exposures exceeded 20% in areas of the US in 2005. These cobenefits assumptions also imply that over 40% of deaths were due to PM2.5 in parts of the US during the period 1979-1983 when PM2.5 concentrations were approximately double those for 2005. These surprisingly high assumptions about baseline risk, which in my opinion stretch the bounds of plausibility, are the result of a single assumption change in 2009 in EPA’s RIAs to extrapolate risks below the ambient PM2.5 levels that have been studied, to as low as background (i.e., nearly zero).
RIAs are not subject to peer review by EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) or to a public comment period.
Nothing says untrustworthy louder than rules that aren’t “subject to peer review” or that ignores public comments before implementing the rule.
That means Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar based their votes, which will increase Minnesotans’ electric bills, on fiction and ideology. Some coal-fired power plants in the southeast will be forced to shut down entirely, hitting that region especially hard in terms of unemployment.
A strong case can be made that Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar, along with others voting to maintain the filibuster, voted for higher unemployment and lower family incomes by voting to continue this filibuster.
What sick person would make that vote while the economy is struggling and families are hurting?
The political party that Hubert Humphrey formed back in the late 1940′s doesn’t exist anymore. Back then, Humphrey convinced farmers and unions that his fledgling party was their home.
For some time, the DFL really did represent those interests pretty well. Then came the 1970′s. That’s when the DFL started drifting away from its founding principles.
Nationally, the anti-war movement caused it to drift away from its belief that America is the greatest force for good in the world. Significant-sized parts of the Democratic Party, both nationally and in Minnesota, got the title of being the ‘blame America first’ crowd that former UN ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick talked about.
The Sierra Club and other environmentalist organizations caused the DFL to become more of a metrocentric party. That’s when the biggest drift from supporting miners and farmers happened.
These days, the DFL is essentially a metrocentric party. Miners’ input isn’t welcomed in the party. In fact, they’ve lost their seat at the table to the environmentalists.
Proof of that is supplied by Gov. Dayton’s delaying the mineral rights auction for a year. When the Executive Council finally approved the mineral rights auction, an organization tied to Gov. Dayton’s first ex-wife announced that they’d do everything possible to prevent PolyMet Mining from becoming reality:
Conservation Minnesota, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy are targeting the proposed PolyMet mine near Hoyt Lakes and the proposed Twin Metals mine near Ely.
The campaign includes the web site MiningTruth.org, a 40-page report examining mining in detail, a Facebook community, and four billboards along Interstate 35 between the Twin Cities and Duluth to reach summer travelers.
Environmental groups call it sulfide mining because the copper, nickel, gold and other metals are locked up in minerals that contain sulfur and can produce sulfuric acid and other contaminants when exposed to the elements. They fear toxic runoff would threaten Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. And they say the environmental record of such mining elsewhere is poor.
“These are not our grandfather’s iron ore mines,” said Molly Pederson, government affairs director for Conservation Minnesota. “This is a completely different kind of mining.”
The unmistakable message to mining unions is that their industry isn’t welcome in the DFL anymore.
Environmentalists 1, unions 0.
Sens. Franken and Klobuchar told the unions that they weren’t welcome when they voted to keep construction unions unemployed. That happened when they voted to prevent the Keystone XL Pipeline from becoming reality. That’s unforgivable considering the fact that unemployment in the construction industry is 14.7% nationally.
Environmentalists 2, unions still nothing.
When Hubert Humphrey started the DFL, public employee unions didn’t exist. Today, they’ve achieved sacred cow status. Whatever Tom Dooher, Javier Morillo-Alicea and Eliot Seide says they want, Gov. Dayton and the legislature do without question or hesitation.
The DFL is so endebted to these unions that Gov. Dayton signed an unconstitutional executive order in an attempt to unionize child care small businesses.
It’s time that the DFL admitted that it isn’t interested in supporting the Steelworkers Union or the United Mineworkers. Jim Oberstar’s vote for Cap and Trade was seen by the mineworkers rank-and-file as a vote to destroy the mining industry in Minnesota.
Similarly, Collin Peterson’s vote for Cap and Trade was potentially damaging to farmers. Throughout that fight, Rep. Peterson insisted that he wouldn’t hold hearings on Cap and Trade. Then Queen Nancy came calling for his vote, at which point his vote flipped. That’s when Rep. Peterson threw farmers under the bus.
Today, the Democrat-Farmer-Laborer Party doesn’t exist. It’s transitioned into the Democrat-Public Employee Unions-Environmentalist Party.
Whatever else is said about the Buffett Rule, one thing’s certain: Sen. Franken won’t let it die:
Sen. Franken, who co-sponsored the defeated Buffett Rule provision, said voters will invariably need to compare the Democrats’ approach with that put forward by House Republicans, who passed a budget that couples lowered tax rates across the board with deep cuts to federal spending. Franken said he preferred to raise revenue through taxes on high-income earners to prevent deeper cuts from coming elsewhere.
“Anybody who’s been on the ground looking at what the economy has been doing knows that we have to make investments in education and infrastructure and innovation,” Franken said. “If you don’t have some more revenue coming in you can’t do that without increasing the deficit.”
First, if Sen. Franken thinks that the Buffett Rule will give Democrats a boost nationally, he isn’t too bright. With a trillion dollar a year annual deficit and with major scandals arising from the pork dished out by the stimulus, people are interested in cutting spending.
They don’t want spending trimmed a little bit. They want to keep the safety net intact but they want to cut alot from discretionary spending.
Next, Franken isn’t the brightest bulb in the DFL’s chandelier on economic policy. The way to grow revenues is to grow the economy, not raising marginal tax rates.
Third, Franken isn’t factoring in the possibility that high gas prices, a stagnant economy and the total repeal of Obamacare won’t be higher priorities than the Buffett Rule. In fact, there’s a strong possibility that extending President Bush’s tax policies will be a higher priority than the Buffett Rule.
If Democrats run on the issue of tax fairness, they’ll get clobbered in the House and Senate. People are infinitely more interested in creating 250,000+ jobs a month because the GDP is soaring than they’re interested in tax fairness.
To be sure, the Buffett Rule, or some form of it, could resurface in the intervening months between the Nov. 6 election and the swearing in of a new Congress next January. Congress will have to confront the fate of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts that expire on Dec. 31.
Klobuchar said that between rolling back those tax cuts (for people making more than $250,000), closing of tax loopholes, ending subsidies to oil companies and revisiting the Buffett Rule, Congress could put together a solid deficit-reduction package. All told, that adds up to about $800 billion in new revenue over 10 years, she said, coupled with the $2.2 trillion in cuts Congress has already approved.
“The issue here is, you have to do this in a balanced way,” she said. “I think Minnesotans understand that you have to look at both spending cuts and revenue.”
Hearing Sen. Klobuchar say that there has to be a mix of spending cuts and tax increases rings exceptionally hollow. When she twice voted for the PPACA, she voted for a huge spending increase and major tax increases. Her history of leadership of cutting spending is next to nonexistent.
Small businesses will take a disproportionate share of the hit if the marginal tax rate is increased on individuals making $250,000 or more. Is Sen. Klobuchar insisting on punishing these companies? That’s typical since she’s always praising the innovative spirit of small businesses.
Praising their innovative spirit in public while quietly increasing their tax burden to the IRS sounds exactly like Sen. Klobuchar.
According to this article, GDP since Sen. Klobuchar and the Democrats took control of the House and Senate has fluctuated between mediocre and miserable. Meanwhile, the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in 1,086 days. That’s exactly 10 days short of 3 years.
In short, since Sen. Klobuchar was elected, the economy has stunk and the Senate has refused to do its job of passing a budget.
That isn’t leadership. It certainly isn’t about providing solutions to the problems that are hurting Minnesota families and small businesses the most.
Most importantly, what Sen. Klobuchar has done is significantly less than what I thought was the bare minimum requirement for being a senator.
Please note that I don’t have high expectations for Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar. They’re quite low, actually. Miraculously, they’ve ‘exceeded’ all expectations.