Saturday, July 29, 2006

Why Do We Pay These People?

Rice plays piano whle the Middle East burns and the rest of the GOP equates the minimum wage with cutting the estate tax for people who don't need any more help. For a party that prides itself on people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, those rich people seem to need more help than the average American. - Minimum wage increase passes House - Jul 28, 2006:The Senate is expected to take up the legislation next week.

Still, Republican leaders saw combining the wage and tax issues as their best chance for getting permanent cuts to the estate tax, a top Republican priority fueled by intense lobbying by farmers, small business owners and super-wealthy families such as the Waltons, heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune.

'This is the best shot we've got; we're going to take it,' said House Majority Leader John Boehner, a Republican. The unusual packaging also soothed conservatives angry about raising the minimum wage over opposition by Republican business allies.

The House passed the bill 230-180 before leaving for a five-week recess.
The New York Times has more on the backroom haggling behind this issue.
“Unlike some of my colleagues, I see this tax relief and minimum wage bill as complementary,” said Representative Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, one of the Republicans who has joined Democrats in pressing for a wage increase. “The sustaining of small businesses by keeping their vital assets will allow those making the minimum wage to continue working. This is a jobs bill.”

Representative Zach Wamp, Republican of Tennessee, said Democrats were upset with the legislation because Republicans had found a clever way to link the two. “You have seen us outfox you on this issue tonight,” Mr. Wamp told Democrats in the floor debate.
Ooh! Such adults we have running the country. Like a kindergarten sandbox. Playground rules seems to be the behavior of the day. It makes me wonder how much time they spend comparing themselves in the men's room, before they go out and stab each other in the back.
Some House Republican moderates hailed the legislation as a smart compromise that would preserve an estate tax that Republican leaders have been trying to eliminate since they came to power more than a decade ago. Once fully phased in, the cost of that compromise, however, would reach $62 billion a year, three-quarters the cost of full estate tax repeal.

To sweeten the deal for balking Democrats, especially in the Senate, GOP leaders larded the tax bill with special-interest breaks. Over the strenuous objections of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), they stripped a package of popular business tax extensions from the pension bill and added them to the estate tax cut.
Aah yes, the ever popular shell game continues. At no time is this about helping the people who needed the minimum wage increase, this is about getting legislation through on the backs of poor people. And getting elected. No actual governing in sight.
Against the wishes of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), they included a measure that would shift costs of health care and environmental reclamation from coal companies to the federal government at a cost of nearly $4 billion over the next decade. Another measure, aimed at Washington state's two Democratic senators, would give timber companies a tax break worth $428 million over five years.

In total, the tax package would cost the Treasury nearly $310 billion through 2016.

The marrying of the minimum-wage boost with the estate tax cut and other tax breaks, engineered by House Republican leaders and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.), stemmed from a highly unusual move that came at Grassley's and Enzi's expense. The two had been leading difficult negotiations over the pension bill over the past eight months.

But the final sticking point came over Grassley's insistence that the pension bill contain a package of tax cut extensions such as the research-and-development tax credit, a credit for hiring workers off welfare, and a credit to promote wind energy. Frist and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) wanted to use those tax credits to entice Senate Democrats to vote for their permanent estate tax cut. Grassley tried to force a showdown Thursday night, calling a public meeting of negotiators and daring House Republicans to vote to strip out the tax measures.

Instead, House Republicans boycotted the meeting. Then GOP leaders effectively shut down negotiations and took the pension bill to the House floor without the tax measures, infuriating Grassley.

"When my credibility is abused and used, I resent it," Grassley shouted Thursday night, saying he had been "stabbed in the back."
Just like the rest of us. It must hurt to find out that their is no honor among thieves. So, I ask again. Why do we pay these people?

No comments:

Post a Comment