Posts Tagged ‘McConnell’
December 21st, 2011 at 6:07 pm
I’m With Boehner

Am I the only one in the non-congressional conservative universe who thinks John Boehner and the House are doing the right thing and should stand firm, with regard to the payroll tax cut holiday? The Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove, and all sorts of other worthies are all saying that Republicans have totally lost the politics on this issue and that they should acquiesce to the Democrats’ two-month extension.

I say their prescriptions are wrong, and that Boehner and company should stick to their guns. First of all, there are times when principle should be more important than politics. In this case, somebody needs to act the role of the adult and insist that doing what is technically a complete recipe for disaster is just a total non-starter. There are ways to turn the politics around. Boehner could call a prime-time press conference and say aloud that he KNOWS everybody says this is a political loser, but that he MUST do what’s right, specifically because of the procedural problems for small businesses in implementing a mere two-month tax cut AND because he, unlike the Dems, thinks that the tax cut should be for a full year. AND, for that matter, that it ought to be fully paid for. Furthermore, he could add, he could pledge right now that if the Democrats — the Dems, the Dems, the Dems, not the Republicans — fail to extend the tax cut, then Republicans pledge to make it up to voters when the Dems finally come to their senses. In other words, he can say that the tax cut, whenever it is finally passed, will be made retroactive to cover any time lost due to the Dems’ rank political gamesmanship. It is far easier for the government to retroactively provide a tax cut of this sort (it has been done a number of times in recent years) than it is for millions upon millions of small businesses to set up a payroll-withholding system for just two months, which is what the Democrats propose.

(As for me, I think this is the stupidest tax cut in my adult lifetime — and I’m a 33-year Reagan-Kemp-Laffer supply-side tax cutter — and I think it would be better to work for permanent tax relief on another front rather than temporary relief that drains Social Security. But if there IS to be this tax cut, which seems politically to be almost mandatory now, then it is absolutely idiotic to do it the way the Democrats have done it. Mitch McConnell and the Senate GOP REALLY REALLY screwed up by agreeing to this monstrosity. It is they, not Boehner and company, who screwed up both the policy AND the politics on this.)

The reality is that the Republican position of a year-long tax cut should be a political winner over the Dems’ two-month cut. There are ways to turn around the politics. They are ways that must be attempted, because the two-month cut is flat-out irresponsible. The Wall Street Journal, of all outfits, should understand this and point this out, rather than blasting the House GOP for a political problem definitely not of their own making. Responsible people should applaud rare acts of political courage for the purpose of responsible law-making. Boehner and company deserve praise and support, not sniping.

September 25th, 2009 at 12:01 pm
McConnell to HHS: Lift Gag Order On Private Health Insurance Companies

In a letter sent to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Senator Mitch McConnell and other members of the Republican leadership threatened to block some of President Obama’s nominees until HHS lifts its gag order on private health insurance companies.

The gag order was put in place after Senator Baucus and others complained about a mailing Humana Inc. sent to seniors warning that the health care reform proposals advancing in Congress could result in cuts to Medicare benefits.   

McConnell’s office put out a release with excerpts from his interview on Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, during which he dicussed the letter and issue.  Below are some of those excerpts:

I sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services signed by the Republican Leadership. They have 10 vacancies of people they are trying to get appointed to the administration. None of those people will get through the Senate easily until they lift the gag order. None of these people make it through the Senate without extensive debate until they lift the gag order and allow the First Amendment to function for everyone in this country, including people who just happen to be doing business with the federal government.”

I think the Democratic majority is undeterred by the facts. The facts are that they are trying to cut Medicare. They certainly are cutting Medicare Advantage as well they are going to have a $500 billion cut in Medicare over the next 10 years. They are acting like they are not. Nobody believes that the director of the CBO has illustrated what they are doing. It is astonishing.”

Other Republican leaders who signed the letter include:  Senators  Jon Kyl, Lamar Alexander, John Thune, Lisa Murkowski, John Cornyn, Charles Grassley and Mike Enzi.