Tag Archives: Kevin McCarthy

Fiscal Cliff deal: The good, bad, and ugly

Last night, Jan. 1, 2013, at 10:45 pm, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, by a final vote of 257 to 167.

The House vote came less than 24 hours after the Senate had overwhelmingly approved the bill 89 to 8, with both parties’ support. The bill now goes to the POS for his signature. Instead of signing the bill, he’s already left D.C. to resume his vacation in Honolulu which was so rudely interrupted by the fiscal cliff negotiations. [snark]

The Fiscal Cliff deal:

  • The top tax rate increases from 35% to 40% on annual income over $450,000 for married couples and $400,000 for single people. This is the first time in more than two decades that a broad tax increase has been approved with GOP support.
  • “Temporary” Bush tax cuts for couples making less than $450,000 and individuals making less than $400,000 per year are made “permanent” (which means “until Congress changes their mind”).
  • More than 100 million “middle class” families (those earning less than $250,000 a year) will be protected from significant income tax increases set to take effect this month, but their payroll taxes will rise with the expiration of a temporary tax cut adopted two years ago.
  • No estate taxes on inheritance of $5 million, or $10 million for married couples.
  • Federal dairy policies will be extended through September, averting a threatened doubling of milk prices.
  • Extension of unemployment benefits to 2 million people for another year.
  • Automatic cuts to the Pentagon and other agencies that had been set to take effect today will be delayed for two months.
  • Pay raise for members of Congress, which was effectuated by Obama’s executive order, is nixed.
  • Automatic spending cuts (sequestration) from last year’s debt ceiling deal are postponed until March 2013, which means — oh joy — there’ll be a Fiscal Cliff II next month!

The Bad:

Buried in the fine print of the 150-page deal are some New Year’s gifts to some of Washington’s favorite cronies. Under the plan, the federal government would eat nearly $100 billion in forgone tax revenue over the next two years by extending special tax credits for select businesses that had been set to expire:

  • $430 million for Hollywood through “special expensing rules” to encourage TV and film production in the United States. Producers can “expense” up to $15 million of costs for their projects. All this for a film industry that enjoyed a record box office last year.
  • $331 million for railroads by allowing short-line and regional operators to claim a tax credit up to 50% of the cost to maintain tracks that they own or lease.
  • $222 million for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through returned excise taxes collected by the federal government on rum produced in the islands and imported to the mainland.
  • $70 million for NASCAR by extending a “7-year cost recovery period for certain motorsports racing track facilities.”
  • $59 million for algae growers through tax credits to encourage production of “cellulosic biofuel” at up to $1.01 per gallon.
  • $4 million for electric motorcycle makers by expanding an existing green-energy tax credit for buyers of plug-in vehicles to include electric motorbikes.

The Absurd:

  • This is how farcical the fiscal cliff brouhaha was: Members of the U.S. Senate had only 3 minutes to read the 154-page fiscal cliff bill and budget score, before they voted 89-8 to approve the bill. Senators received the bill at approximately 1:36 AM on Jan. 1, 2013 – a mere three minutes before they voted to approve it at 1:39 AM. I’ve taken longer to read the instructions for my new cell phone.
  • House Republicans also violated their pledge to allow three days for the public to read the legislation before they would vote on a bill. This was a promise the GOP made to voters before the 2010 elections.

The Ugly:

151 Republicans in the House voted “no,” which meant the GOP tally fell far short of a majority of the GOP caucus. That broke a long-standing preference by House Speaker John Boehner to advance only bills that could draw the support of a majority of his Republican members. So Boehner himself cast a rare vote: He supported the bill. So did Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the GOP’s vice-presidential candidate last year.

40 House Republicans voted for the bill, including such GOP leaders on tax-and-spending policy as Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.) and Ronald H. Johnson (Wis.), a tea party star.

The Good:

  • Senate Republicans who voted against the bill include tea party favorites Rand Paul (Ky.) and Mike Lee (Utah), as well as Marco Rubio (Fla).
  • House Republicans who voted no include Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.).

The Really Bad:

Regardless of one’s political affiliation or beliefs, from an economic and fiscal perspective, the cliff deal has accomplished nothing. Here’s why:

  • The bill’s proposed spending cuts of $15 billion are less than 2% of the federal government’s deficit.
  • The bill’s tax increases will raise $620 billion over the next ten years — roughly $62 billion in new tax revenue per year.
  • $62 billion in new tax revenue per year is less than 6% of the $1+ trillion deficit the Obama regime has incurred every year for the past four years.
  • According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the fiscal cliff bill will cause the national debt to be $4 trillion higher by 2022 than if all of the cliff’s tax increases and spending cuts had been allowed to take effect.

Sources: CNN, Washington Post, ABC News, CNS News.

~Eowyn

Betrayal: House GOP leaders refuse to defund Obamacare

Ever since the midterm 2010 elections voted in a Republican majority to the U.S. House of Representatives, the House has voted 30 times to repeal Obamacare — the misnamed “Affordable” Patient Care Act that is anything but affordable. Nearly 75% of Obamacare costs will fall on the backs of the middle class — Americans who make less than $120,000 a year.

It turns out those votes were just symbolic sap thrown to pacify Conservatives because the GOP leaders knew their repeals had NO chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate and, even if the Senate approved it, the measure would be vetoed by the POS in the White House.

But the Constitution does give the House the “purse strings,” i.e., control over spending. And federal funding of Obamacare is due to expire in two months, on September 30th. One would think this should be the perfect opportunity for the House to kill Obamacare by cutting off its blood supply funding.

The Three Eunuchs (from l to r): Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy

Doug Book reports for the Western Center for Journalism that the Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives — Speaker John Boehner, Majority leader Eric Cantor and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy — have decided that the Party will do NOTHING to defund ObamaCare:

Yet weak knees on the part of Republican leadership should come as no surprise to interested conservatives as we were warned by Iowa Congressman Peter King last year that “…the decision was made by leadership to avoid the prospect of a showdown with the president or Harry Reid that could result in a potential shutdown of government.” (1)

And it was in February that John Boehner nearly suffered whiplash, ducking a reporter’s question about the congressman’s ObamaCare funding intentions in an upcoming budget resolution. Boehner’s non-answer answer: “We are opposed to Obamacare. We have voted to repeal it. That also included $700 million in tax hikes, about $2.6 trillion in new spending. We’re going to continue to take all the actions that we can to make sure that we do not ruin the best health care delivery system in the world, bankrupt our nation and, most importantly, get in the way of job creation in America.”

But apparently the Speaker and his colleagues are NOT so opposed to ObamaCare or worried about job creation that they are willing to rescind the $80 billion or so earmarked for the “healthcare” law by the last congress, or the $115 billion already authorized for “additional appropriation.” (2)

One hundred and twenty seven House Republicans signed a letter addressed to Boehner and Cantor by Michelle Bachman and Jim Jordan. In it they wrote, “…we urge you not to bring to the House floor in the 112th Congress any legislation that provides or allows funds to implement ObamaCare…” “We also urge you to take legislative steps necessary to immediately rescind all ObamaCare implementation funds.” (3)

House leadership has the authority to legislatively package ObamaCare funding in any manner it wishes. Were they to place it with truly necessary “must pass” funding legislation, it would force Senate Democrats to make a very dodgy political decision before the election. As Congressman King puts it, Democrats would have… to “…defend Obamacare as more important than all of the rest of the functions of government combined.” (1)

But once again, John Boehner and the other shining pillars of Republican resolve are intent upon snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. For although the American public is solidly in favor of Republicans defunding ObamaCare, political caution MUST take precedence over the Constitution or a congressional oath of office!

Should Obama win in November, expect Speaker Boehner to be provided round-the-clock, Secret Service protection. Barack couldn’t afford anything happening to one of his most valued supporters.

H/t FOTM’s beloved moxielouise, tina, and my friend Robert Wilcox.

~Eowyn

GOP Aide Calls 59 House Conservatives “Hanoi Jane”

ConservativeHQ.com Special Alert

GOP Congressional Aide Compares 59 Principled Conservatives to “Hanoi Jane”
April 14, 2011

RINO California Congressman Kevin McCarthy

Earlier today, the Republican establishment showed their true colors towards conservative dissenters when an internal email sent from a top aide to House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) became public. According to the National Journal, McCarthy’s aide, Pete Meachum, forwarded a message to GOP chiefs of staff complaining about GOP opposition to the budget deal.

“For the handwringers out there, buck up,” Meachum wrote. “For those seeking other office please campaign at home, not on the backs of your colleagues.” Meachum embedded a link in the last four words of his statement to this website featuring photos of “Jane Fonda A.K.A. Hanoi Jane.”

Meachum’s actions were not only despicable, they show the fear the establishment has of the conservative uprising in the GOP.

Speaker Boehner was able to pass his phony budget “deal” through the House today, but not with the dissent of 59 conservative Republicans – the kind of Republicans Meachum compared to “Hanoi Jane.”

The bill passed with 179 Republicans and 81 Democrats voting in favor, and 108 Democrats joining the 59 Republicans against. Three Republicans and three Democrats did not vote.

The Tea Party and grassroots conservatives sent a clear message in the 2010 elections – the Old Bulls in the GOP should expect some surprises in the 2012 primaries.

Here are the 59 Republicans that stood up for conservative Americans and voted ‘No’ on the budget deal today. They deserve your thanks.

Adams (FL)
Amash (MI)
Bachmann (MN)
Bartlett (MD)
Barton (TX)
Blackburn (TN)
Broun (GA)
Chabot (OH)
Chaffetz (UT)
Cravaack (MN)
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Flake (AZ)
Fleming (LA)
Forbes (TX)
Franks (AZ)
Gardner (CO)
Garrett (NJ)
Gingrey (GA)
Gowdy (SC)
Graves (GA)
Griffith (VA)
Harris (MD)
Heller (NV)
Huelskamp (KS)
Huizenga (MI)
Hurt (VA)
Johnson (IL)
Jordan (OH)
King (IA)
Kingston (GA)
Labrador (ID)
Lamborn (CO)
Long (MO)
Mack (FL)
McClintock (CA)
McCotter (MI)
McHenry (NC)
Miller (MI)
Mulvaney (SC)
Neugebauer (TX)
Paul (TX)
Pearce (NM)
Pence (IN)
Poe (TX)
Quayle (AZ)
Rehberg (MT)
Rigell (VA)
Ross (FL)
Schmidt (OH)
Schweikert (AZ)
Scott (SC)
Southerland (FL)
Stutzman (IN)
Tipton (CO)
Walsh (IL)
West (FL)
Wilson (SC)
Yoder (KS)

~Eowyn

GOP Bosses Revert to True Nature; Boehner Calls Laura Ingraham

For the record, your humble blogger tried to advise her conservative friends last year that John Boehner and Eric Cantor would be disasters as Republican leaders in the House.

It didn’t take long for them to revert to their true beltway character. Fellow Tom reported earlier on the recent CBO deconstructing the budget cut bill and realizing the American people had essentially been lied to.

Meanwhile, the National Journal reported on a leaked email from a Kevin McCarthy (R – CA) office staffer  that revealed a grisly fight among the ranks of House Republicans. Those who did not want to pass the budget deal were literally compared to traitors… by the leadership in their own party.

Sensing outrage on the horizon, Speaker Boehner personally called Laura Ingraham’s radio show to defend himself. Sadly, however, it didn’t go very well for him, and Ingraham exposed him as a phony politician:

2012 is make or break, folks. Tea party enthusiasm is the only reason Boehner became Speaker last year, and this is the thanks we get for it. And if this debacle shows us Boehner’s version of leadership, the debt ceiling will get raised with ease any day now.

Maybe more Republicans will start to realize that voting for the least of two evils gets us here.

-Candance