Missing the Boat on Gingrich’s Tiffany’s Issue

Filed in National by on May 26, 2011

I’ll admit it, I am enjoying the epic flame-out of the Gingrich 2012 campaign. Watching him contort himself to prove that he is totally consistent with his 24-hours-ago-self is like paying the extra money to see behind the scenes at the circus freak show. This latest blunder presents a golden opportunity for those of us that have been trying to show that tax cuts don’t create jobs.

Newt has been shown to have been on the hook for $500,000 to Tiffany’s in New York. He has been subjected to a number of humorous references because of it. He’s been called Blingrich by several late-night hosts and Colbert suggested that this was because Newt buys his engagement rings in bulk. Newt’s expalnation?

As a private citizen who has done well, I think I’m allowed to pick and choose what I prefer doing.

True enough. Newt likely spent money on things like a diamond and platinum necklace ($45,000) that his wife Callista was spotted wearing. It sure must be fun to go back through the Getty Images of Callista and comparing them to the Tiffany’s catalog.

But the point that we aren’t hitting on, is that this is the sort of bullshit that we are enabling. The tax cut that Newt Gingrich received from the Bush administration didn’t go to create jobs. Sure, Tiffany’s probably was able to hire a “Gingrich jewelry consultant” position, but most of the money for Callista’s jewelry probably went to buying the precious metals contained within. There are no commercial diamond mines in the US and platinum mostly comes from South Africa and Russia. So some the tax cuts that the Gingrich’s received in 2003 that were supposed to create jobs, were instead spent on raw materials mined in Africa.

This is what we have to discuss. The uber-wealthy aren’t the job creators here, and cutting them an undeserved break on their contribution to our society doesn’t spur job creation. It allows them to amass more wealth, at the expense of our nation.

Newt Gingrich needs to be held up, not for mocking, but as the poster boy for what is wrong with the alchemy of trickle down economics and the degradation of civil society that it causes.

Here’s what Newt said on Face the Nation.

I’m a guy running for president who pays all of his bills, and after-tax income at no cost to the taxpayer, and who currently owes nothing except one rental property in Wisconsin. I am debt-free. If the U.S. government was as debt-free as I am, everybody in America would be celebrating.

Newt, America could be debt free if it weren’t for the snake oil you have been selling for the last 20 years. And the problem is that the cost to US taxpayers is that we are now paying interest on that tax money that you legally evaded paying, we can’t get an interest free loan from Tiffany’s as a country.

Of course, all of this is predicated on Democrats actually using this. So, nevermind.

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  1. Jason330 says:

    Excellent point and the first time I’ve heard it made. This should be cross posted at dkos.

  2. anon says:

    So … I’m curious. Is Jason330 (no link, uppercase J) the same as jason330 (link, lowercase j)? Or is there an impostor?

  3. Delaware Dem says:

    Same person. Our illustrious founder and creator of all things Delaware Liberal. Just sometimes he is not logged in for some reason, and that is why there is no link. So he just types out his name.

  4. cassandra m says:

    Saw a comment someplace that noted that there were people raptured and dissapeared recently and they seem to be Newtie supporters.

  5. jason330 says:

    This diary has been rec’ed up to the top list at kos. Congratulations Geek. Great insight.

    This is what we have to discuss. The uber-wealthy aren’t the job creators here, and cutting them an undeserved break on their contribution to our society doesn’t spur job creation. It allows them to amass more wealth, at the expense of our nation.

  6. Geezer says:

    I’m surprised the rapture people aren’t claiming the missing in Joplin were raptured up.

  7. anon says:

    The frame is a great insight but has one problem: Democrats now own the damn tax cuts that bought Callista’s bling. Obama will have to be one hell of a great bullshit artist to get past that fact. I hope we can avoid that mistake with Medicare.

    But the great truth of the frame is this: Consumer spending is now forking, with upper income folks expanding their luxury shopping, and the rest of us cutting back. So when you hear that consumer spending is “level” that means things suck for most people. This is what you signed in December, President Obama, and this is what you voted for, Senator Coons. Thanks a lot.

  8. liberalgeek says:

    Yeah, too bad that we don’t have some legislative method of changing the tax rates…. Oh wait.

  9. anon says:

    Yeah, too bad that we don’t have some legislative method of changing the tax rates

    The thing about the legislative methods is, you have to USE them or nothing happens.

    By extending the tax cuts, we broke faith with those long ago Democrats who forced the ten-year sunset, trusting that future Democrats would know what to do with it. We didn’t. And people like Newt are using them to take the middle class to the cleaners.

    Now it is in the hands of Joe Biden’s workgroup and their Grand Bargain.

    Even if they do manage to cajole the House into a Grand Bargain that includes tax increases… Are you prepared to accept whatever Joe’s gang gives away in exchange for them? Especially when we could have had them for free in December?

  10. liberalgeek says:

    I’m happy that we freed gays in the military, minimized our risk of nuclear war and almost got the DREAM Act. And here we are again 6 months later discussing the taxes on the top 2% again. I don’t know if you are aware of this, but politics is ALL about bargaining. And I would like the Dems to exploit the Medicare-killing proposals of Paul Ryan and the overt courting of the top 1% by the Republicans.

    I don’t know if they will do it, but a guy can hope, can’t he?

  11. anon says:

    I would like the Dems to exploit the Medicare-killing proposals of Paul Ryan

    Me too. But if we get a Grand Bargain that cuts one dime of Medicare, you can cancel those ads.

    And here we are again 6 months later discussing the taxes on the top 2% again.

    I think that is on-topic for this post…

  12. Geezer says:

    “Democrats now own the damn tax cuts that bought Callista’s bling. Obama will have to be one hell of a great bullshit artist to get past that fact.”

    It’s not a “fact.” It’s your “opinion” — one that Republicans are pushing. The Dark Side of the Force has great power over the weak-minded.

  13. anon says:

    It’s not a “fact.” It’s your “opinion”

    Your Jedi mind tricks have no effect on me.

    The tax cuts have Obama’s name on them and the names of 80 Senators including both of ours. That is how you become accountable for something in law. And that makes it as much a fact as anything else in politics.

    If I were a Republican I’d damn well be pushing it too. Obama needs a Grand Bargain, or else he will be forced to run on ‘I was against it before I was for it but now I am against it again, and if I am re-elected, who knows where I’ll end up” while dodging flying flip-flops.

    And when a Grand Bargain happens, with loopholes closing, some taxes going up, some going down, caps moving up and down, whatever – nobody will be able to tell if taxes for the rich went up or down. So the conversation about whether tax cuts for the rich create jobs or not will be temporarily thrown into a pit of confusion.

  14. Geezer says:

    “The tax cuts have Obama’s name on them and the names of 80 Senators including both of ours. That is how you become accountable for something in law. And that makes it as much a fact as anything else in politics.”

    Which, of course, still doesn’t make it a fact. His position on extending the tax cuts is perfectly clear to everyone except Republicans and, apparently, you. Your position is indistinguishable from a concern troll’s.

  15. anon says:

    His position on extending the tax cuts is perfectly clear to everyone

    Which position?

    Sorry, signing statements don’t count.

    Anyway, the point was that regardless of positions, we now own the tax cuts.

  16. Geezer says:

    “Which position? Sorry, signing statements don’t count.”

    If you haven’t heard the scores of times he has said the cuts on the top 2% must expire, you really ought to STFU, since you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about.

    “Anyway, the point was that regardless of positions, we now own the tax cuts.”

    And it’s still no more valid a point than it was the last time you made it.

  17. cassandra m says:

    Indeed.

    And amazing that everytime he makes this point he forgets to note that unemployment benefits for millions of people out of work got extended. That is likely the kind of oversight that someone who can complain on blogs all day can make. There were also plenty of other stimulative benefits too — like keeping a college tuition tax break, some R&D credits and a temporary reduction in payroll taxes. Getting the unemployment benefits was crucial and it is really astonishing that you would want to sacrifice those folks who need those benefits just for some purity.

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