Correction: Rep. John Carney is on the record supporting the President on tax increases for the wealthy

Filed in National by on November 15, 2012

I stated that Carney’s over the top bi-partisanship campaign rhetoric left him a lot of room for possibly perfidy when it comes to supporting the President on tax increases for the wealthy. A concerned reader sent along this to correct my misunderstanding:

Here’s Carney’s vote against a Republican plan to extend the tax cuts for everyone:

This is what he said about it:

“I voted today for a Democratic proposal that will extend a tax cut to every single American — regardless of income. For the wealthiest two percent of Americans, only their income in excess of $250,000 will be subject to Clinton-era tax rates. I voted against a Republican proposal to extend tax cuts on all income for the top two percent of income earners because it violates my belief that the tax code should be fair and put our country on stronger fiscal footing.

“In fact, the Republican proposal would eliminate important tax credits for working-class families in order to give large tax cuts to those who need them the least. With the economy still fighting to emerge from the financial crisis, now is not the time to eliminate tax cuts for low- and middle-income families who spend the money, which helps grow the economy.”

The tipster thinks that it makes a pretty airtight case that John Carney is on the record supporting higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans, but does it? Maybe I’m jaded, but I read this sentence (“I voted today for a Democratic proposal that will extend a tax cut to every single American — regardless of income.”) to mean that Carney wants to have it both ways.

It is a very Mike Castle type statement that doesn’t convince me that Carney isn’t trying to create his brand around “Bi-Partisanship Ubber alles!” Why, when tax increases on the wealthy are very popular?

Is this solidly blue state, why does keep his Democratic light under a bushel basket? Why, in 2012, does he not see that Republicans want nothing to do “bi-partisanship” unless you mean the type of bi-partisanship in which Democrats accept all the bullshit Republicans care to dish out? Why does he not see that his over-willingness to “wear a path across the isle” waters down good policy and strengthens the hand of people who openly say that they want the President to fail?

John Carney has an opportunity to establish his identity among voters as a guy who gets it. Unfortunately he seems more concerns with courting the favor of Tom Carper and guys like Mike Castle and Pete DuPont than he does in trying to relate to the hardworking Democrats who sent him to Congress.

In a scene reminiscent of the summit meeting of mob bosses in The Godfather, Republican House leaders were summoned by evil marshmallow and message-crafter Frank Luntz to hash out a strategy to cope with the defeat of their party in 2008 and the election of the newly inaugurated President Obama, according to Robert Draper’s just published book Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives.

The very people John Carney is trying to cozy up with in Congress were present at that meeting:

Attending the dinner were House members Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, Pete Hoekstra, Dan Lungren, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Pete Sessions. From the Senate were Tom Coburn, Bob Corker, Jim DeMint, John Ensign and Jon Kyl. Others present were former House Speaker and future – and failed – presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and the Republican strategist Frank Luntz, who organized the dinner and sent out the invitations.

The Luntz plan worked because there were enough Democrats in Washington who worshiped at the alter of bi-partisanship so ardently that they were easily played by a ruthless and frankly, traitorous GOP. I can almost forgive them in 2008. Who knew that the GOP was going to be so sinister? Who knew that they were willing to continue to wreck the economy, torpedo the recovery and drag down our nation’s credit worthiness? In 2008, it would have sounded crazy to predict the actions of the GOP.

It isn’t crazy now. We all know what and who we are dealing with on the other side of the isle. We all know…

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Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (4)

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  1. Jason330 says:

    BTW – reading this I realized that I come across as thinking that all “bi-partisanship” is bad.

    Obviously, in a democracy, it isn’t. It is just the modern Democratic version of easy bi-partisanship for bi-partisanship’s sake which doesn’t demand anything of the Republicans that is bad.

    I think we can all agree on that much. Even Mr. Carney.

  2. puck says:

    There’s fuzzy language on both sides of the tax issue. Some is deliberate and some is just careless. Carney said:

    a Democratic proposal that will extend a tax cut to every single American

    That statement is true of both Republican and Democratic proposals. Even I sometimes forget that the Obama middle-class-only plan cuts taxes for the first $250K of everybody, even the top brackets.

    Anyway, these are free votes for Carney from his minority position. They don’t reveal his conscience. If Obama keeps his spine stiff and gives Congress a take-it-or-leave-it choice on tax cuts under $250K only, then Carney will have a tougher choice (although I’d still expect him to follow the President’s lead). But if Obama once again negotiates away his advantage and provides a “Third Way,” that’s where our delegation will go.

    In 2010 Obama justified his full extension by saying his first priority was to prevent an increase on the middle class. That is what pissed me off, because my first priority was to raise taxes on the rich. And Obama had made me believe that was his priority too. That is why I am skeptical now. There is every reason to believe Obama will once again piss away the free opportunity to raise taxes on the rich, this time in exchange for a pocketful of loopholes.

    Coons has a tougher row to hoe, because unlike Carney, Coons actually voted for the Bush tax cuts on the rich. Although there’s not much doubt Carney would have voted for them had he arrived soon enough.

    McConnell and Boehner are now talking about compromising on “revenue.” Which means they will agree to some handwaving about loopholes, broadening the base, and unicorn-powered growth, but not any actual increase of tax rates on the rich. Which is why the best option is full expiration of everything. If you hear Carney talking about deals involving “revenue” and not rate increases, that’s the tell he is aligning with Republicans.

    For the rest of this year, if we are negotiating we are losing.

  3. Jason330 says:

    Since this tracks back to a question (how do we support the President in a way that helps him carry through and have a successful second term?) then – contacting John Carney and Chris Coons’ offices to express a strong desire that we don’t “piss away the free opportunity to raise taxes on the rich in exchange for a pocketful of loopholes” seems like the way to go.

  4. puck says:

    We need to have a good Bowles Simpson thread soon. All the Delaware delegation is behind it. So is Obama, based on his Des Moines Register interview. Bowles Simpson is the wrong place to begin negotiating from. Anybody who hopes Democrats will follow the Patty Murray strategy of expiration, then negotiating in January, will probably be disappointed. Including me.

    From, this is bad:

    “How do we turn this middling economic recovery into a robust economic recovery? Part of that is investing in a world class workforce, world class transportation infrastructure and in basic research and development in technologies that can be commercialized and turned into products and goods sold all over the world,” Carper told WDDE on election night. “The second thing is to enact a comprehensive deficit reduction plan like Bowles-Simpson.”

    Carney agrees the top priority in the post-election session is avoiding the fiscal cliff, emphasizing other issues “aren’t even close.” And Carney suggests avoiding the fiscal cliff could also spur growth.

    “Nobody’s going to do anything on the business until they have certainty about tax and fiscal policy. And if we can give them that certainty by doing our job, which is to come up with a fiscal plan that can put the country back on the right financial track, we can create some certainty and let the private sector do what it does,“ Carney told WDDE in an election night interview,.

    Carney believes Congress will act because the consequences of doing nothing are worse than those of doing something.