June 17, 2007

The Freshman Who Doesn't Know His Place

It's not easy being a freshman Congressman in any circumstances, but especially in the session after your party loses its majority. Tim Walberg, one of only 13 Republican freshmen in the House this year, has plenty of reason to act like a backbencher and spend the session learning from his colleagues. Instead, he has decided to take action against those who want to rescind the Bush tax cuts and effectively deliver the largest tax increase in American history -- and he's calling out those Blue Dog Democrats who won in Republican districts last year to stand up and be counted:

Democrats in Congress are discounting advancements made possible by the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts passed by Congress and are trying to slap U.S. taxpayers with a $400 billion tax increase that will slow our economy's current progress.

If Democrats follow through on their budget promises, the American people will face the following:

• A $500 per child tax increase.
• A 55 percent Death Tax.
• A 13 percent tax increase for many small businesses.
• A 33 percent tax increase on capital gains.
• A 164 percent tax increase on dividends.

I believe Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats in Congress must join together to ensure the American economy is not crippled by a massive tax increase. I recently introduced the Tax Increase Prevention Act, legislation that would make permanent tax relief passed in 2001 and 2003.

I interviewed Walberg on Friday, who squeezed in the appearance on CQ Radio just before he left DC for the weekend. We talked about the efforts he's making on behalf of sane tax policy, and Walberg noted how difficult this fight would be. So far he has 82 co-sponsors, but none of them Democrats -- and without some bipartisan support, he won't get the bill to the floor.

The aim is to make the new Blue Dog caucus responsible for their position on taxes. Most of them represent former Republican districts and ran as conservatives on issues like taxes and spending. They won because Republicans lost credibility on fiscal responsibility during the previous six years, but not because their constituents want to see taxes increased. Walberg wants to put them on the spot between now and the next election, forcing them either to support the tax cuts or to support massive tax increases, the latter of which will likely make them ripe for Republican challengers in 2008.

Walberg notes that the Heritage Foundation estimates that the rescinding of the tax cuts will cost the average family in his district $3,019 dollars a year. It will also kill 2,272 jobs in his Michigan district and dent its economy to the tune of $207 million. I challenged Rep. Walberg in our interview to build a Java applet for people to calculate their own losses with the Democratic plan, and he said he'd start working on that right away. As soon as he has it, I'll be sure to post it here.

Some people just don't know their place. Thankfully, Tim Walberg is one of those people.


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Comments (13)

Posted by Angry Dumbo | June 17, 2007 11:12 AM

Thank you, Captain. It is good to hear some good news. Rep. Walberg sounds fantastic, I also like Rep. Ryan from Wisconsin. I live in Illinois, I only wish that my state would get on the small government bandwagon along with Michigan and Wisconsin (cutting services or adjusting bloated pensions is never an option, raising sales and property taxes is). I live in Cook County and my property taxes went up 30% this year alone. Try finding a small government, social conservative in Cook Co. We are cowering in the fetal position. Thank you for giving us hope.

Posted by jpe | June 17, 2007 11:26 AM

Many, if not most, of the blue dogs ran on economic populism. They expressly vowed to roll back Bush's "tax cuts for the wealthy" (lotsa wiggle room in that phrase, hence the quotation marks)

The total failure to grasp the populist upswing signified by the blue dogs is almost impressive in its breadth and depth.

Posted by Carol Herman | June 17, 2007 12:59 PM

Don't discount Tom DeLay!

DO discount Newt Gingrich!

If you want me to make a bet on 2008, I'd start with one NOT going to the Blue Dogs. Not even going to the recent "survivors" in the GOP's lost election of November 2006.

Ya know why? November 2006 was an anomaly.

How so? Tom DeLay "let" Ronnie Earle's dishonesty "take him out" of a race. Doesn't mean he won't be back.

ALL THE HOUSE is up for votes in 2008.

Which is why the nominee for the republicans will be selected for the coattails. (Here? I think Guiliani has longer coattails across America; than a few of the nonentities. Also known as "favorite sons.")

Even Fred. Who will garner lots of attention. In the end can't manuever beyond the base.

Back in 1860, this was Lincoln's card. The NATIONAL REPUTATION. The one that gave the republican SEATS, once it was determined he was the best choice to win. (And, he won over Douglas. He won over the democratic "pro.")

While, once. Here. Mr.Michael separated it out. CURRENTLY? We're just in the preliminaries. What's going on now is the shifting sands under the whole primary process. Because so many Americans got angry at the old media way. Where "boys got on busses."

February 2008 will contain new stomping grounds.

And, you'd be surprised. People can wait. They can hold their fire.

And, in 2008? I think Tom DeLay comes out swinging. Will he wait, instead for 2010? Well, why would he have to do that?

What the republican candidates need is more than a "promise and a banner." They need to be seen as competent. Something Newt Gingrich tossed out the window back in 1994.

As to what's going on with the Ma & Pa Kettle Show? All I can say is that it works on an out-of-town level, only if your town DIED long ago.

While in Irak? We went in with too few troops. And, we've handicapped them in how they fight.

But it does seem that the case against the kids from Haditha just blew apart. The smell of Nifong entered the air; as the man who has to make the charges just said "smells bad. OVER BLOWN."

Ma & Pa Kettle Show is not going anywhere.

Too bad Dubya's not enough of a politician to take advantage of the opposition on the ropes.

When I was young my dad said to me that a fighter who couldn't take one to the jaw; but who had a jaw of glass, would fail. Even if every other part looked good. In the ring you'd be watching a loser.

Did Dubya think he was gonna take the whole party with him? That's where you see STUPID at play.

Posted by dwyvan | June 17, 2007 1:38 PM

I have often wondered why we have increased our national debt by trillions of dollars that our children will have to repay, and which because China is holding a large amount of this debt it increases our Nations financial insecurity, do we still cry about paying taxes. This is the first time in history that we have failed to pay for a war, opting instead to borrow the money from countries that we may well be at war with within 25-30 years. How does this make any sense at all?

And to claim that the Bush tax cuts have helped our economy, while in fact it is the amount of debt that Bush has saddled us with that has improved our economy is insane! Sooner or later we are going to have to raise taxes if only to repay his debt. How can any American that claims to be able to think come to the conclusion that the past 6 years have been good for us? How can you people justify passing this debt onto our children? Are you proud when you look your own children in the eye and explain to them how you wanted a tax cut so bad that you allowed us to auction off their future? I am not.

Posted by jaeger51 | June 17, 2007 3:05 PM

Hear hear! Lowering taxes always helps the economy, raising them always hurts. But at the same time, we must CUT THE SPENDING!

Posted by syn | June 17, 2007 5:00 PM

$1320 billion spend per year on existing entitlement programs (ie SS/medicaid/medicare),$27 billion in additional pork.

I don't think 4% of our GNP spent on military defense is causing debt for our children to repay.

The damn Great Society simply never learned a thing about sacrificing their momentary narcissism to even think about the next generation's future. If you really care about your children's future cut entitlements permanently.

But the serfs will never cut their entitlements, they need to remain poor and hapless slaves to the government.

Posted by the tapper | June 17, 2007 6:13 PM

Sounds like Tim Walberg has a head on his shoulders, They's new coming from a politician. I only hope he gets the required backing he needs to take it to the floor. Speaking of saving money perhaps someone should be looking at the senates retirement plan, tht they voted for themselves, I wish mine was anywhere near that. Perhaps the sould be paying Social Security along with the rest of the country???
another Idea which might be looked at is "War Bonds " to pay for the war.....Just a thouoght.....

Posted by bulbasaur | June 17, 2007 8:23 PM

I'm still trying to get over the fact that Captain Ed challenged Walberg to write a Java applet to calculate losses due to democrat schemes.

I can't conceive of a politician who would even understand what Ed was talking about.

I guess I'll have to listen to Blog Talk Radio more often. BTW big, big thumbs up for the editions I did listen to with Generalissimo as guest. Duane is the man in my book.

Posted by statistics | June 17, 2007 9:22 PM

What will the median family loss be? That seems more helpful to those of us not making serious money.

Posted by gaffo | June 17, 2007 9:39 PM

when are you Republicans going to care about fiscal responsiblility - when Hell freezes over?

Taxes serve to pay off our National Debt!!!

You and your endless "i want my free lunch - free services now!"...............like children utterly irresponisble to YOUR childrens future!

Posted by Oldcrow | June 18, 2007 2:44 AM

Nice Dhimmi talking points! Do you ever research and think for yourself? Entitlement programs are what is killing us(medicare, Medicaid and social security) Raising taxes will not solve the problem and the horse squeeze that it is the Repubs that are doing this is just that BS! It is both parites doing it, take a look at the budgets being put out by the Dhimmi congress all of the money that would come from the tax hike will be spent not one dime will go towards paying down the debt. The answer is the fair tax plan and privatization of all entitlement programs but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. I suggest you google the "fair tax plan" and start your research there maybe you will learn something and start thinking for yourself.

Posted by Karen | June 18, 2007 3:41 AM

Wahlberg beat an entrenched Republican incumbent in the primary who had lost his way as part of the "majority". Wahlberg had a very sophisticated campaign, and even had to fight an unfavorable redistricting. I just moved from that district right before the election and was pleased this guy was going to win. I liked his campaign and liked his policies and stances on issues.

Hopefully he will rise in the party in Congress and help the Pubs find their way again. He has the right idea about putting the heat on the blue dog dems and raise their profiles in their districts. He does not have a "safe" seat, by any means, because their are a lot of blue collar die hard union dems in his district. This fact alone shows you this guy has balls and is a leader. He is not afraid of a re-election fight and is doing the right thing even though it might be harder to hold on to his seat.

Posted by Project Vote Smart | June 18, 2007 5:20 PM

Representative Tim Walberg’s voting record on budget, spending, and tax issues can be found at: http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=8618&type=category&category=10&go.x=5&go.y=11

Representative Tim Walberg’s history of speeches on taxes can be found at: http://www.votesmart.org/speech.php?keyword=tax&daterange=&begin=&end=&phrase=&contain=&without=&type=search&can_id=8618&go2.x=0&go2.y=0#Results

For more information on Representative Tim Walberg’s position on budget, spending, and tax issues please visit http://www.vote-smart.org or call our hotline at 1-888-VOTE-SMART.