Democrats Still Divided

Posted by Brian Patrick on

FYI – 

Today, due to a lack of support from their own members, leaders of the Democrat-controlled Senate were forced to modify the President’s jobs bill and added a surtax as the pay for the $447 billion price tag. However, Democrats haven’t solved their problem, because many in their party agree with Republicans that you shouldn’t raise taxes during tough economic times.

  • Senator Ben Nelson: There’re Too Much Talk About Raising Taxes and Not Enough Focus On Cutting Spending. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a key moderate who’s up for reelection next year, didn’t mince words: “There’s too much discussion about raising taxes right now, not enough focus on cutting spending.” (Politico 9/19/11) 
  • Senator Hagan: The Focus Should Be On Tax Reform, Not Raising Specific Taxes. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) said she would prefer raising new revenues through comprehensive tax reform instead of zeroing in immediately on specific tax increases. “I think we’ve got to have comprehensive tax reform,” she said. “I’m always interested in looking at what we can do from a comprehensive standpoint.” (The Hill, 10/4/11) 
  • Senator Webb: We Shouldn’t Be Increasing Taxes On Ordinary Income. “Terrible,” Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) told POLITICO when asked about the president’s ideas for how to pay for the $450 billion price tag. “We shouldn’t increase taxes on ordinary income. … There are other ways to get there.” (Politico, 9/14/11)
  • Sen. Lieberman: I Wouldn’t Do Anything That Raises Taxes. “I wouldn't do anything to raise taxes in the foreseeable future because that'll stifle the recovery.” (Sean Hannity Radio Show, 9/20/11)

Flashback: Back In 2009, 22 House Democrats Warned Then Speaker Pelosi About The Negative Economic Impact Of A Surtax

  • House Dems: We Are Concerned A Surtax Will Discourage Entrepreneurial Activity and Job Growth. “Especially in a recession, we need to make sure not to kill the goose that will lay the golden eggs of our recovery. By concentrating the cost of health care reform in one area, and in one that will negatively affect small businesses, we are concerned that this will discourage entrepre¬neurial activity and job growth.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 7/16/09)
  • The Proposed Surcharge Will Have A Direct Negative Impact On Manufacturers An Industry Essential To Our Recovery. “This proposed surcharge will also have a direct negative impact on manufacturers, another industry essential for our recovery. As manufacturers are capital intensive businesses, their taxable income is often higher… Manufacturing machinery can cost over $1 million and many owners have to save for years to expand and buy new equipment. Yet those profits saved each year would be hit by this proposed surcharge, which could lead to reduced investment.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 7/16/09)


GOP Health Care Reforms