published Friday, December 16th, 2011

Fleischmann, DesJarlais, Graves rightly back tax relief

It is frustrating that Democrats have been holding payroll tax relief for 160 million Americans hostage to the desire to impose higher taxes on upper-income Americans — some of whom are the very people who operate businesses that employ a lot of workers.

Democrats have at last dropped the demand that tax relief be linked to a “surcharge” on wealthier Americans. But they have still been holding up the tax relief in opposition to the construction of an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas that would create tens of thousands of desperately needed jobs across several states.

It is some comfort to us in this part of Tennessee and North Georgia that our region’s U.S. representatives supported legislation this week to extend payroll tax relief without raising taxes on others — and to pave the way for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. That tax relief would sensibly be paid for by cutting other federal spending.

Tennessee’s 3rd District Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and 4th District Rep. Scott DesJarlais joined with fellow Republican Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia’s 9th District in voting for a measure that would protect millions of Americans from a tax increase — while also creating jobs. With mostly Republican but also a little Democrat support, the bill passed in the House by a vote of 234-193.

“If they are serious about wanting tax relief for the middle class and lowering unemployment in this country, it’s time for the Senate and president to act,” Fleischmann said.

Alas, that is unlikely. The president, to appease environmental activists, said he will postpone for more than a year a decision on the construction of the pipeline. And Democrats in the Senate pronounced the House legislation “dead on arrival.”

So the pipeline and the jobs it would bring will be delayed. And we’ll all have to stay tuned to find out whether payroll tax relief will be renewed.

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dfclapp said...

If the writer of this editorial had any intention of being fair or honest, he might have asked how holding an expensive tax relief hostage to an earmark spending bill for an oil pipeline fit within Republican core values of NOT attaching earmarks to bills and not spending more without having a way to pay for it.

Honesty would have forced him to admit the Democratic plan was offering a way to pay for the lost funds. Unfortunately, even though the writer is not in Congress, he prefers to uphold polarization and gridlock as a private citizen, wholly against the interest of his country. The truth is that both proposals were designed to embarrass and anger by forcing something unpleasant down the other's throat, not to act with compromise to get things done, something we would expect from any true patriot. The only ethical voices in this arena were those rightly questioning the fallout from endorsing any plan maintaining cuts to the payroll tax.

In this next election, the question before concerned voters will be how to obtain a congressional representative who will put solving the country's problems ahead of factional squabbling, a patriot rather than a traitor. To my mind, when faced with one person saying my way or the highway and another not doing so, I will pick the latter rather than the Benedict Arnold who would rather ruin the country than set his ego aside.

December 16, 2011 at 5:29 a.m.
328Kwebsite said...

Representative DesJarlais sold his seat to stealthpacs for over $960,000 in order to get elected. No one takes him seriously. We all know he is a corporate toadie for wealthy people. I am shocked that your editorial staff confused him with a political leader to the point that you mentioned him in a headline.

How twisted can your perspective be? It's obvious that the Republican party, both locally and nationally, has turned itself into the jailhouse _ for the wealthy. We don't have Republicans confused with people who have standards.

Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were Republicans. These little suck-ups you've cited in this editorial are some small shadows of weasels compared to the men their party once had. The difference? That Reagan and Nixon both had standards. Many of us disagreed with them, but they were men enough to have standards.

Try to find a man to run for office in the Republican party. We haven't seen a genuine, effective political leader in this area since Gene Roberts.

December 16, 2011 at 5:57 a.m.
conservative said...

There is no doubt in my mind had a Republican president proposed this payroll tax cut he would have been berated by Demoncrats, the AARP, the unions and the mess media for depleting the sacrosanct Socialism Security Trust Fund. He would have been accused of starving and even killing senior citizens. Yet there is near total silence by Demoncrats and other Obamination supporters. Amazing!

December 16, 2011 at 9:45 a.m.
EaTn said...

It's obvious that some folks are gullible enough to believe the spin of these bunk right-wing politicians, otherwise they wouldn't be in office. Sad thing is, most of those believers are also the ones being shafted by their rich supporter tax breaks.

December 16, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.
tipper said...

Seriously? Democrats hold tax cuts hostage? Up is down, down is up. The concept of the "Big Lie" repeated often enough comes true is a specialty of today's Republicans and conservatives. They insult Americans' intelligence.

December 16, 2011 at 12:05 p.m.
Plato said...

There should have been a warning to put on your galoshes before reading this op ed piece.

Only 20% of the group of tax payers that the surtax would have applied to receive half or more of their income from a business. Notwithstanding that small number of business owners actually effected by this, taxes have little if anything to do with employment. Employment and job creation is demand driven for the most part. This argument about "taxing the job creators" is bogus and is used only as a means to leverage public opinion on the side of the wealthy that is receiving the tax breaks and filling up the campaign coffers of their stooges, two of which were mentioned in the piece.

I'm not a big fan of the payroll tax holiday extension but it deserved an up or down vote on it's own merit including the method of payment, not larded up with pork form the opposition party. Also it is the Republican governor of Nebraska and a Republcian Senator that are two of strongest voices of letting the environmental impact studies be completed prior to going full bore on the Keystone pipeline.

This op ed is one of the most disgraceful pieces of misinformation I have read in quite a while

December 17, 2011 at 12:08 a.m.
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