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Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Cornhusker Kickbacks and Louisiana Purchases

The original compromise tax bill was a mixed bag, at best.  I understood the benefits, as well as the conservative arguments against.  At least we were arguing over the merits of the bill.

Now the tax deal is becoming an insult to the Republican and independent voters who just over a month ago expressed their disgust with the ways of Washington.  Instead of arguing over the merits, we're buying votes mostly (but not exclusively) of Democrats.

As reported by AP:
In the spirit of the holiday season, President Barack Obama's tax-cut deal with Republicans is becoming a Christmas tree tinseled with gifts for lobbyists and lawmakers....

Almost $5 billion in subsidies for corn-based ethanol and a continuing tariff to protect against ethanol imports were wrapped up and placed on the tree Thursday night for farm-state lawmakers and agribusiness lobbyists. Environmentalists won more grants for developers of renewable energy, like wind and solar.

For urban lawmakers, there's a continuation of about-to-expire tax breaks that couldsave commuters who use mass transit about $1,000 a year. Other popular tax provisions aimed at increasing production of hybrid automobiles, biodiesel fuel, coal and energy-efficient household appliances would be extended through the end of 2011 under the new add-ons.

The package also includes an extension of two Gulf Coast tax incentive programs enacted after Hurricane Katrina to spur economic development in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.
So, once again we get a Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Purchase in order to pass legislation which apparently cannot stand on its own merits.

Except this time it's worse, because Republicans are a party to the payoffs, not standing in opposition as they were with Obamacare.

If there aren't enough Democratic votes to pass the tax deal without payoffs, then let it fail.  Elections matter, and the nation is sick and tired of passing unpopular bills by paying off Senators. 

If the original tax deal was good enough, then there will be plenty of opportunity in January to pass a bill without these payoffs.  Or perhaps an even better bill.

I've changed the concluding sentence to this post several times, in successive acts of increasing discretion.  I think you understand what I'm talking about.  After all, there could be children reading.

Related Posts:
I Have A Sinking Feeling That We Wuz Had
Campaign Slogan 2012:  "Barack Obama, Tax Cutter"

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  1. The original deal was not that great (how is the increase in the death tax a tax cut???) but it is getting worst all the time. Just Say NO. I'll hate my rate to go up, but I'll love to see them explain how when the middle rate goes from 10% to 15% that the Bush tax cut was only for the rich.

    The FICA cut should be for the employer, not the employee. How does this make it easier to hire someone?

    For the first time in my life, I'm proud of Bernie Sanders. A Real Filibuster.

  2. The more I see, the less I like. The sooner the new Congress takes over, the better. And THEY better toe the mark.

  3. Is anyone surprised? The electees haven't yet been seated. In particular, Boehner has been disappointing. The beat goes on, its just politics as usual in DC.

  4. I am a former Democrat but not a nascent Republican, and this illustrates why. I think Angelo Cordevilla nailed it--the problem is not Democrats or Republicans but the ruling class against the rest of us.

    The newly elected may offer some hope but I'm not holding my breath.

  5. Side-note which has a bearing:

    Rasmussen reports that the "political class" favors "deficit reduction" while real Americans favor LESS SPENDING.

    IOW, the "political class" is playing the usual bait-and-switch game. Fuggedabout those elections.

    IN about 3 weeks, we'll see if we sent actual men to Congress. Maybe there will have to be some adjustments!

  6. The original deal was bad, and its only getting worse. Republicans need to scuttle it and revisit the matter after the new congress is seated. As they'll be holding all the cards, I can't fathom why that wasn't the plan all along. (Well, unless the Christmas-pork spending was what they wanted all along. Which might very well be the case.)

  7. I could drive right to DC and kick Boehner and McConnell to the curb. I knew they would do this...they are too entrenched in the ruling class to carry out the November 2nd mandate.

    Jeez this is infuriating! I need to get on Twitter and blast them both. Maybe some lackey will get the message through.

  8. There is only one way to get rid of the ruling class. We need election reform. Now. Nationwide.

    What would be your first step in reforming the election process?

    Mine would be requiring everyone to re-register.

  9. This bill represents a return to the same GOP that we started booting out in 2006 after the horrendously obnoxious Bush/Kennedy/McCain Scamnesty debacle. This compromise is nothing more than a monstrous spending bill (bigger than porkulus) attached to a meaningless and temporary tax cut extension. Democrats claim to be dedicated to reducing debt through additional taxation and balancing the budget while the Republicans claim to be dedicated to reducing debt by cutting spending and balancing the budget. Yet this compromise accomplishes none of the above while exacerbating all of the problems. What a deal!!!

    Right out of the gate, the GOP leadership has proven to us that they have no intention of doing nothing more than re-assuming their role in destroying democracy and freedom in this country. GOP-RIP

  10. BTW, when King Solomon offered his "cut the baby in half" compromise, the baby survived intact. There is no Solomonic wisdom in this Obama/GOP compromise. In this case, both mothers walk off with their half of the baby. Problem solved but which problem?

  11. Though grateful to people like WAJ for their scrupulousness, I'm not paying much attention to this battle. Until I hear talk about budget cuts, I presume the furor is just the usual...keeping in mind our host's admonition that children may be reading...blather.

  12. More great news. It looks like the Assistant Democrats, as pasadenaphil refers to the RINOs in the GOP, may have already successfully co-opted one of the presumed rising conservative stars of the 112th Congress. Representative-elect Kristi Noem gave the Republican weekly address today and she kinda sorta endorsed this tax deal because it provides certainty by stopping the tax hikes. But she doesn't mention all the pork that's been added on to try to get it passed, which strikes me as not being entirely honest.


  13. "Cornhusker Kickback" has a nice alliterative ring to it, but I'd guess that Iowa and Illinois will benefit more. Although I live in Iowa, I deplore this, and this sort of thing in general.

  14. These incumbent Republicans as hostage takers? They'd negotiate a ransom of $1000 for Bill Gates and then seal the deal on a handshake with James Frey.

    We should send them a word or two about what we think of them.

  15. I think it is clear that the Establishment Republicans are nearly as anxious as the Democrats to pass Porkulus 2 before the new, more conservative freshmen join and make these kind of earmark laden spending bills far more difficult to do. It's clear the amoral Political Establishment is doing its damnedest to keep "business as usual" humming along. McConnell in particular is disgusting, but Boehner is not much better - witness the Committee Chairman positions that went to the same old big government RINO-s in the House. This thing needs to die. Small government conservatives need to run out the clock. Let the taxes go up. Let the new "hardcore" freshmen drive the agenda and let the new Republican majority in the house take the time to put a tax reform and spending reduction bill that *REALLY* makes liberals cry.

  16. Rep-elect Noem, who claimed to be a tea-party type, also backed the $5 billion ethanol subsidy as necessary for North Dakota farmers. if this is the best the GOP has, its time for a third party!!

  17. "If the Bush-era tax cuts are going to be extended beyond Dec. 31, someone is going to have to blink.

    Most political insiders believe it will be Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her House Democrats. Liberals who believe Obama caved to Republicans say there is no chance that Pelosi will bend."