House Dems demand end of tax deal for debt-ceiling hike

posted at 10:05 am on June 10, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Democrats in the House have little relevance in the 112th Session of Congress.  The Republicans have a large enough majority to pass any bill they desire, as long as it passes muster within their caucus.  Other than using a discharge petition, Democrats can’t even get a bill to the floor without GOP cooperation, and once there, can’t get one passed without significant Republican support.  Boehner has allowed Democrats to bring a few bills to the floor already just to make a point about their irrelevance by seeing their proposals go down in flames in full floor votes.

However, there is functional irrelevance, with which every minority party caucus has to contend, and political irrelevance — which Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) apparently wants to perpetuate (via Instapundit):

A group of House Democrats is calling for any deal to raise the debt ceiling to bring about the end of the Bush tax rates for the wealthy.

The lawmakers, led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), also say that, following last week’s weak job report, they are concerned that certain decreases in federal spending could hurt the economy’s recovery.

“At this point, both government and private-sector economists agree that sharp immediate cuts in government spending risk plunging our economy into a double-dip recession that will cost further jobs and ultimately worsen our fiscal situation,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter obtained by The Hill.

They added that allowing the Bush tax rates for the wealthiest to expire at the end of next year would by itself “stop the growth of the deficit over the next decade.”

Not only do Blumenauer and his cohorts demonstrate their political irrelevance, they’re also displaying astonishingly bad math skills as well.  The projected revenue from hiking the top tax rate to its pre-Bush rate, even using static tax analysis, is around $700 billion over a decade.  A $700 billion infusion would not eliminate the “growth of the deficit” over a decade, not at current rates of spending and growth in entitlement spending projected over that period; in fact, it wouldn’t even cut this year’s deficit in half.

Clearly, though, voters are even less interested in tax hikes than they are in raising the debt ceiling.  The latter is wildly unpopular with voters, who want spending cuts to resolve the deficit problem.  In April, a CBS poll showed 63% opposed to a debt-ceiling hike, a finding confirmed by one poll after another.  Telling voters that they can only get a debt ceiling hike if a tax increased is attached is somewhat akin to having someone say he’ll only steal your wife if you let him clear out your bank account, too.

Besides, Barack Obama took this issue off the table until the end of 2012 for a reason.  Voters had just clobbered the Democrats in the midterms over spending and possible tax hikes.  Not only do these Democrats want to renege on the bargain that Obama cut with Republicans at the same time that the White House is trying to wheedle Republicans to give on budget talks by claiming their trustworthiness on spending reductions, they will end up hanging the label of tax-hikers back on the Democratic Party  for the 2012 election, too.

Blumenauer and his gang of math-challenged spenders are mainly irrelevant in terms of shaping policy, but he’s a great reason why voters need to keep Blumenauer irrelevant after 2012, too.

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HEADLINE: of course they do…

Khun Joe on June 10, 2011 at 10:07 AM

They don’t seem to get that they have no power here, do they?

I can demand that I get a date with Christina Hendricks, too, but the chances of that are about the same as the House GOP agreeing to ending the Bush tax cuts.

teke184 on June 10, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Like weiner, few of these Dem Reps have probably not worked in the private sector, let alone operated a business. Their ignorance of how the private sector functions is constantly on display.

WashJeff on June 10, 2011 at 10:12 AM

“At this point, both government and private-sector economists agree that sharp immediate cuts in government spending risk plunging our economy into a double-dip recession that will cost further jobs and ultimately worsen our fiscal situation,”

So our plan is to take more money away from the citizens, which has the added effect of removing from the economy, and send it to Greece.

Federal Spending: Too Big to Fail

BobMbx on June 10, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Liars..

golfmann on June 10, 2011 at 10:13 AM

I can demand that I get a date with Christina Hendricks, …
teke184 on June 10, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Did you try contacting her via twitter yet?

WashJeff on June 10, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Telling voters that they can only get a debt ceiling hike if a tax increased is attached is somewhat akin to having someone say he’ll only steal your wife if you let him clear out your bank account, too.

Take my wife, please.
Seriously, I have a friend who is dead broke and his wife nags him constantly about it. He would consider the offer.

SKYFOX on June 10, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Dems: We still want to collapse the economy and destroy the country.

Dusty on June 10, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Clueless.

iurockhead on June 10, 2011 at 10:14 AM

they (the Dems) are concerned that certain decreases in federal spending could hurt the economy’s recovery.

There is plenty of demonstrable evidence that federal spending has already hurt the economy. It certainly has had a negative impact on the economy’s recovery.

How stupid are these people?

onlineanalyst on June 10, 2011 at 10:14 AM

You are in a position to demand nothing, sir. I, on the other hand, am in a position to grant, nothing.

Khan Noonian Singh

BDavis on June 10, 2011 at 10:14 AM

The mega rich in the Democrat congress hardest hit.

docflash on June 10, 2011 at 10:15 AM

One of the things about being irrelevant is you can play to your batshirt crazy base without having to worry about the consequences … which is actually better than 2009-10, when the same people controlled the House and still played to their batshirt crazy base, in that case with major consequences.

They’re doing this just to keep fundraising going and because they know with no power in the House, they can get away with it.

jon1979 on June 10, 2011 at 10:15 AM

They don’t seem to get that they have no power here, do they?…..teke184 on June 10, 2011 at 10:10 AM

After four years of “Speaker Pelosi”, they probably get it. I have to believe its a PR move, and a bone-headed one at that.

tgharris on June 10, 2011 at 10:16 AM

$700 billion over a decade. A $700 billion infusion would not eliminate the “growth of the deficit” over a decade, not at current rates of spending and growth in entitlement spending projected over that period; in fact, it wouldn’t even cut this year’s deficit in half.

$700 billion over a decade is $70 billion a year. And let’s be generous and say the annual deficit is $1.4 trillion. Which is at best 5%. And that’s not taking into account raising taxes doesn’t necessarily increase tax revenues.

rbj on June 10, 2011 at 10:16 AM

What angers me more than anything is that they think we’re stupid, that the voters’ opinion is less important than that of their fellow insiders and that we will believe any old crap they come up with, no matter how many times it’s been disproved.

n0doz on June 10, 2011 at 10:17 AM

“Telling voters that they can only get a debt ceiling hike if a tax increased is attached is somewhat akin to having someone say he’ll only steal your wife if you let him clear out your bank account, too.”…….Ed Morrissey

Classic Ed! I’m stealing it. (with credits, of course)

Rovin on June 10, 2011 at 10:18 AM

How about requiring a minimum tax of 5% so that everyone has skin in the game?

It is a conflict of interest to receive a welfare check from the Federal Government and then vote for people who will keep that check coming. Go on welfare, give up your right to vote!

.
Public Employees labor unions have the same conflict of interest. Prohibit public employees labor unions from engaging in political action PERIOD! Do this by limiting union dues and prohibiting them from donating in kind or in cash to any campaign.

Yea, I want my taxes to increase.
And every one I ever worked for was poor as well.

The Rock on June 10, 2011 at 10:20 AM

A progressive income tax is a plank from the Communist Manifesto. The Republicans should remind their Commie friends that we aren’t a communist country … yet.

darwin on June 10, 2011 at 10:21 AM

I can demand that I get a date with Christina Hendricks, …
teke184 on June 10, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Did you try contacting her via twitter yet?

WashJeff on June 10, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Yeah. Her response was that she loves the doof from Super Troopers she married too much to do so.

teke184 on June 10, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Liars.

golfmann on June 10, 2011 at 10:13 AM

I’m going with “idiots” on this one. I don’t think they are smart enough to know that they are wrong — they’re just economic nitwits who got these talking points from other economic nitwits.

Jaibones on June 10, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Not only do Blumenauer and his cohorts demonstrate their political irrelevance, they’re also displaying astonishingly bad math skills as well

Senate Democrats have gone 769 days without producing a budget. It’s a vast-Democrat-wing irrelevance.

TN Mom on June 10, 2011 at 10:25 AM

The Rock on June 10, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Yes, we need an absolute minimum rate of income tax on gross income that no one can avoid. We need to end the Earned Income Credit giveaways.

We need a reporting program to report welfare and food stamp fraud for rewards much like the IRS has.

slickwillie2001 on June 10, 2011 at 10:26 AM

(D) Oregon. Says it all.

GarandFan on June 10, 2011 at 10:27 AM

the Bush tax rates

Shouldn’t those be called “the Obama tax rates” (or at least “the Bush/Obama tax rates”) since Obama signed off on the deal to extend them?

cool breeze on June 10, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Just ask them how many voted against the tax cheats in Obama’s inner circle and hard core Democratic Party. Start with Bill Clinton’s loan to his Momma that he conveniently forgot about? How many will expose their own hypocrisy by turning in their salaries if they make more than….?
How many more will disassociate themselves from playing around with athe Hollywood rich and using perks like the Martha’s Vineyard estates of their rich friends for vacattion homes of those same rich?

They seek to do little more than manipulate man’s lowest urges (envy) to gain votes. True pond scum.

Don L on June 10, 2011 at 10:28 AM

They don’t have to be relevant; they need only be attractive to the media.

SKYFOX on June 10, 2011 at 10:28 AM

What kind of math skills do you expect from a guy named Blumenidiot?

beatcanvas on June 10, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Shouldn’t those be called “the Obama tax rates” (or at least “the Bush/Obama tax rates”) since Obama signed off on the deal to extend them?

cool breeze on June 10, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Remember that the GOP held the President hostage and he had to agree to those tax rates.

WashJeff on June 10, 2011 at 10:32 AM

jon1979 on June 10, 2011 at 10:15 AM

That’s exactly right and it is working. Last night there was an article on another blog about spending and a troll was arguing the cutting spending would result in a double dip. These libs can’t lose with this line (they think) because the double dip is here and the spending will be cut by the Republicans.
Logic need not apply they are about their base and gaining power again.

ORconservative on June 10, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Every time the right starts using logic, sound fiscal economic arguments etc. The left wins -laughing all the way to the next election. The crowd they seek to manipulate has no idea about economics -doesn’t give one hoot about the risk of poor fiscal policy, as long as they can hate the rich (envy) be unproductive victims (sloth)and steal other folks hard earned money by staying with the free lunch Party.

Until the right starts using emotion to move the mindless masses in the proper direction it will not change.

But the left’s PC weapon works because the right fears their silly personal attacks. The right is far too cowardly -hard unwilling to engage in the real battle for our nation and risk losing their own power in Washington.
Second place in DC is very lucrative, financially and socially – their own egos are their worst enemies.

Arguing economics is a loser -the Dems knew that a long time ago.

Don L on June 10, 2011 at 10:37 AM

“stop the growth of the deficit over the next decade.”
Which planet of which star of which galaxy is this guy from? They are obviously very technically skilled to send this commedian to earth. He is very funny.

burt on June 10, 2011 at 10:38 AM

The Republicans have a large enough majority to pass any bill they desire, as long as it passes muster within their caucus.

Which begs the question as to why they are hammering bills and votes every f-ing day that are aimed at reducing spending, reigning in the Executive branch, hampering all of the tyrannical aspirations and actions of various bureacracies, increasing our domestic energy supplies, reducing regulations so business can thrive, ‘starving the beast’ in general and ObamaCare specifically, etc.

WHERE ARE YOU, GOP HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES?

Take a clue from the Dems in the last House – get focused, steamroll those bastards in the opposition, simply act as though they’re not there, and GET THE JOB DONE in furthering conservatism and saving this country.

Midas on June 10, 2011 at 10:42 AM

allowing the Bush tax rates for the wealthiest to expire at the end of next year would by itself “stop the growth of the deficit over the next decade.”

That is hilarious. Because they believe it.

It’s about $70 billion a year. With a $1.5 trillion deficit each year. Okay, it may help slow the growth of the deficit but to say it would stop it is risible.

What’s even more funny is that if they got that money they’d spend it. They wouldn’t use it to reduce the deficit.

SteveMG on June 10, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Via Drudge: China says US already defaulting on debt
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/china-ratings-house-says-us-defaulting-report-054309883.html

itsnotaboutme on June 10, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Which begs the question as to why they are aren’t

Dangit.

Midas on June 10, 2011 at 10:43 AM

At one time I was convinced the just about anybody could learn something new if it presented in an understandable and reasonable way, now I realize liberals are immune to reason and understanding, they never learn.

We can only defeat them.

Speakup on June 10, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Blumenauer and his gang of math-challenged spenders

At first I read that as “meth-challenged.”

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on June 10, 2011 at 10:55 AM

more from this genius.

Les in NC on June 10, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Midas on June 10, 2011 at 10:42 AM

There’s a minor problem with the Senate.

slickwillie2001 on June 10, 2011 at 11:00 AM

However, there is functional irrelevance, with which every minority party caucus has to contend, and political irrelevance — which Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) apparently wants to perpetuate

It’s all for the folks back in Oregon who vote for him. Oh look at the lone crusader it’s the bad wealthy people not the bloated federal government that’s the cause of all America’s ills, we should get rid of all the rich people…..wait a minute.

Dr Evil on June 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Dow’s down 150 and on its longest losing streak since that awful summer of 2002.

Hey, let’s raise taxes on investments!

Chuck Schick on June 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Midas on June 10, 2011 at 10:42 AM
There’s a minor problem with the Senate.

slickwillie2001 on June 10, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Don’t care – make them own it – the House’s job is get *their* business done, and they can have an impact by making the Senate choose to either stand in the way and *own* it or cooperate in doing the right things.

If they simply don’t do it because they believe the Senate will stand in the way, then the House is simply handing the Dems win after win by simply acquiescing their desires without a hint of a fight.

Midas on June 10, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Not only do Blumenauer and his cohorts demonstrate their political irrelevance, they’re also displaying astonishingly bad math skills [profound economic stupidity] as well.

See the Laffer Curve at http://www.vistech.net/users/rsturge/laffercu.html.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on June 10, 2011 at 11:17 AM

So, if it’s 700 billion over a decade, that means about 70 billion per year. With an annual deficit of 1.6 trillion, that brings the anual deficit down to around 1.5 trillion. A drop in the bucket. Purely symbolic. Once again demonstrating that Democrats are completely unserious about governing.

WarEagle01 on June 10, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Put it to a roll call vote!

See how many Democrats want to be tarred with this.

LarryD on June 10, 2011 at 11:41 AM

At first I thought this was either written wrong or I was understanding it wrong. It seemed like the Dems were saying “we will only do this thing that you don’t want us to do, if we are allowed remove this thing that you fought tooth and nail for . . .” Then I got to this part:

Telling voters that they can only get a debt ceiling hike if a tax increased is attached is somewhat akin to having someone say he’ll only steal your wife if you let him clear out your bank account, too.

How stupid do these Dems think we are? (Better question: How stupid are they?)

DuctTapeMyBrain on June 10, 2011 at 12:07 PM

I am very worried that the Dems will offer nothing, leading to a dangerous impasse. The Dems are not going to fold on this – they are in such bad shape politically now they have nothing to lose from a world wide depression which would occur if we default on our debt. No doubt their plan is to let the world collapse, blame Republicans, take back the House and keep control of the Senate and W.H. They don’t actually give a damn about how their policies impact anyone – they care about power and they’ll get it by any means necessary. It’s like Cloward Piven to the nth degree.

Buy Danish on June 10, 2011 at 12:40 PM

A progressive income tax is a plank from the Communist Manifesto. The Republicans should remind their Commie friends that we aren’t a communist country … yet.

darwin on June 10, 2011 at 10:21 AM

You are not entirely right, Darwin. The idea of the progressive tax comes from the ancient Roman Republic. It may come from earlier than that. Marx proposed from ech according to his abilities, to each according to their needs.

The Roman tax system included the vote, where you voted, your service in the defense of the Republic, and how good of weapons you could furnish yourself or others. The Roman idea was that the rich could afford better weapons, armor, and horses. The poorest, if they wanted to participate, could show up with a spatha, gladius, or bow. The poor, if they participated, had similar civic rights as the rich. Also included in this reasoning was the rich had more to lose if Rome fell, so they should contribute more.

Where the Roman system differed from ours, was that the poor that did not defend the republic, were also excluded from other civic priviledges and responsibility. The empire changed all that where the poor did have a vote, did nothing, and were rewarded with food and entertainment for supporting their favorite politician. However, shortly before the empire, the Consul Sulla told the poor that if they didn’t work, they wouldn’t eat. That didn’t last very long, and Sulla’s name has been villified by the liberal academics every since.

Old Country Boy on June 10, 2011 at 12:46 PM

A group of House Democrats is calling for any deal to raise the debt ceiling to bring about the end of the Bush tax rates for the wealthy.

Next to a trade/tariff war the only stone left needed to finalized our second great depression would be the end of the Bush tax rates for the wealthy.

Not that we wouldn’t hit the wall anyway

Of course the Dems know the House won’t respond, but they can use the speeches in the coming election. Further, because taxes won’t be raised, we might not hit the wall before the election, something Obama needs

Funny part of all of this are both sides working to manipulate the economy to win the prize. Disgusting really, for all the good working stiffs who built this nation and had it stolen out from under them by their so called friends

I give the grand prize to the Dems, who not only rigged the housing market which was going to implode anyway on baby boomer demographics, but they taxed and regulated this country to the point corporations had to outsource to satisfy their international stockholders, and where locally restricted businesses, like ag and construction, imported illegals to blow out the competition – both self defeating strategies, in terms of being able to have a nation you call your own

Meanwhile soldiers are getting limbs blown off while the Prez golfs, his wife tells folk to go on diets, and Congress plays rope a dope

entagor on June 10, 2011 at 1:06 PM

I am very worried that the Dems will offer nothing, leading to a dangerous impasse. The Dems are not going to fold on this – they are in such bad shape politically now they have nothing to lose from a world wide depression which would occur if we default on our debt. No doubt their plan is to let the world collapse, blame Republicans, take back the House and keep control of the Senate and W.H. They don’t actually give a damn about how their policies impact anyone – they care about power and they’ll get it by any means necessary. It’s like Cloward Piven to the nth degree.

Buy Danish on June 10, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Such a worldwide collapse would help make a great argument for martial law, suspension of elections, emergency powers etc, would it not?

Maybe it’s part of the plan.

Midas on June 10, 2011 at 1:08 PM

n0doz on June 10, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Do you blame them for thinking we are stupid after all voters have been buying what they were selling for going on a century now.

chemman on June 10, 2011 at 1:09 PM

We all know that government economists are idiots. That’s why we continue to hear about “unexpected” bad news. My question is, “Who are the private sector economists”? Are they the newspaper economists like Paul Krugman? Are they the government recipients like GE, GM and Google? Aren’t these the same idiots that give us rosy projections about the economy, only to be continually wrong about their “growth projections”?

djaymick on June 10, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) apparently is not that bright!
Congressman Launches Inquiry into Cost of Sarah Palin’s Tour

“I opened my paper this morning to hear about cutbacks in state parks around this country,” Blumenauer told ABC News.

You had to find that in a newspaper?
Congressman, do you know what your job is?
Control the peoples money. Congress controls the money.

Don’t you, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), know what you are spending money on?

Shouldn’t you, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), already know what has been cutback?, before reading in the newspaper?

DSchoen on June 10, 2011 at 3:27 PM

The GOP should help these clowns retire by changing Congress’s market/economy insensitive defined benefit retirement plans to defined contribution plans that are very market and economy sensitive. Then do the same for all Federal employees except military. Followed by requiring no defined benefit plans for any other government entity (State, City, schools, etc) as a condition for getting Federal dollars.

The reality of our nation’s huge debts and deficits is no one in government has any skin in the game as far as their retirement goes. They can mess things up as much as possible, they still get the golden parachute at retirement… Make the politician’s and bureaucrat’s retirement plans sensitive to market forces and we’ll quickly see a turnaround in regulations, spending and excessive taxation.

drfredc on June 10, 2011 at 7:01 PM