Dem Infighting: Radicals Differing on How Fast to Implement Agenda
April 12, 2011
RUSH: Byron York in the Washington Examiner: "The pundits are fond of saying that Republicans are deeply divided over cutting federal spending. House Speaker John Boehner, the story goes, is barely able to ride herd on rowdy Tea Party freshmen, who want deeper cuts than House GOP leaders. There's been less discussion of the deep divisions on the Democratic side. How deep are those divisions?
"As President Obama prepares to reveal his budget priorities Wednesday," and lie to the American people -- I threw that in there; Byron didn't write that -- "just take a look at a new document called the 'People's Budget.' It's the product of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a group of the most liberal Democrats in the House. It's not a small outfit; the caucus has 76 members, about 40 percent of the 192 Democrats in the House," but remember what I said earlier: These internecine fights in the Democrat Party, they're not over the end result. They're over how fast to get there. Pure and simple.
"Many are quite prominent and some were until recently in charge of the most powerful House committees: Reps. Barney Frank, John Conyers, George Miller, Charles Rangel, Rosa DeLauro, Jerrold Nadler, Louise Slaughter and others. In other words, the Progressive Caucus -- about three times bigger than the moderate Blue Dog Coalition -- is no fringe organization" within the House. "The 'People's Budget' is the liberals' answer to House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan's 2012 budget proposal, which [they say] is 'leading us down a road to ruin' ... The 'People's Budget' ... would eliminate the deficit in just 10 years," and wait 'til you hear how! (laughing)
Wait 'til you hear this one. "The 'People's Budget' ... would eliminate the deficit in just 10 years (Ryan's plan would take more than 25 years)" to do it, they say, while the People's Budget would be "expanding, not cutting, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. 'This budget saves the American people from the recklessness of the Republican majority,' Grijalva and Ellison write in a letter to Rep. Chris Van Hollen... How can such fiscal miracles be accomplished? By tax increases that would make even some top Democrats gasp. Perhaps the most extraordinary is the caucus plan to raise the Social Security tax to cover nearly all of a taxpayer's income.
"Right now, the tax [FICA] is imposed on the first $106,000 of earnings. For people who make more than that, the caucus would tax a full 90 percent of income..." So for every dollar above $106,000 you make, the tax rate would be 90%. Not the income tax rage. This is the SocSecurity tax rate. FICA. So if you make $206,000 dollars, $100,000 of that would be taxed at 90%. Every dollar over 106 grand is taxed at 90% no matter how high it goes, no matter what your income. "The caucus would raise the Social Security tax that employers pay as well." Although that's a myth. I have to keep explaining that.
For 22 years I've had to point out that the employer doesn't pay Social Security tax at all, and every year I have mentioned this and I still get people e-mailing me and phoning me, arguing with me. I'm not gonna waste my time explaining it again. If you don't understand it by now, you won't. You just don't want it. Anyway, "The caucus would create three new individual tax brackets for the highest incomes, topping out at 47 percent. It would also raise the capital gains tax, the estate tax and corporate taxes.
"It would create something called a 'financial crisis responsibility fee' and a 'financial speculation tax.' And of course it would repeal the Bush tax cuts," which Obama is going to propose tomorrow night, by the way. After agreeing to them in December Obama's gonna propose we get rid of them. Now, the Progressive Caucus is just an offshoot of the Socialist Party of America. They are a bunch of, for all intents and purposes -- you call 'em socialists, but they're -- communists. How about "The People's Budget"? It sounds Maoist. It sounds like something Mao Tse-tung and the Gang of Four would write.
Now, "f anyone needed reminding, the 'People's Budget' is proof that the liberal idea of budget balancing is tax, tax, tax. If you're looking for spending cuts, you'll find just one really big one: national defense. The liberals would end 'overseas contingency operations' -- the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- starting in 2013. They would save more money by 'reducing strategic capabilities, conventional forces, procurement, and research & development programs'" for the military. "In other words, they would gut the United States' ability to defend itself, today and long into the future.
"What would the liberals spend money on? The 'People's Budget' is essentially a newer and bigger stimulus bill. [It] pledge
to 'invest $1.45 trillion in job creation, early childhood, K-12 and special education, quality child care, energy and broadband infrastructure, housing, and research and development,' along with billions more for stimulus-like road and other transportation [games]. Overall, the plan shows the gaping divide between the Progressive Caucus and the Obama White House. Back in his Chicago days, Barack Obama might easily have signed on to something like this.
"Now, as a president desperate for the support of independent voters in 2012, he can't," at least not openly. But "Some strategists will argue that the 'People's Budget' is good for Obama because it lets him position himself responsibly between what he will call the excesses of Ryan and the Progressive Caucus." My friends, the most important line in Byron York's piece here, "[A]s president desperate for the support of independent voters," Obama can't support it, but he "might easily have signed on to" it back in the Chicago days. This is just evidence of what I said in explaining the internecine battles in the Democrat Party.
Obama... I'm telling you. Do not doubt me. Obama agrees with everything in the Progressive Caucus' People's Budget. He just can't come out and support it "openly" the way the authors do, but he and the rest of that bunch loves it. There might be three Democrats in all of Congress who think this is too extreme. The vast majority of them, this is precisely what they believe. I mean, the differences? You'd have to quibble over pennies. Hate defense, raise taxes on everybody, the only job would come working for government. This is exactly what they believe. It's exactly what Obama would love to be able to accomplish.
He can't say so, and he can't openly support this, but he's not opposed to it. The People's Budget -- and this is nothing new, by the way. The People's Budget is something the Communist Parties in the US have been putting out for years. In 1999, the Congressional Progressive Caucus website was hosted by the Democrat Socialists of America. That's one of the hardest things for people in this country to get their arms around: That people like this actually exist, that a lot of them live in this country, that a significant percentage of the population this country (20%, maybe) believe this -- and a lot of them are elected.
Forty percent of the Democrat caucus is made up of people like this, almost half of it. It's not within the party itself, an extreme fringe group or fringe extreme beliefs. It's who they are. The people who will not put their name to this don't disavow it. Well, they might disavow it publicly but they don't disapprove of it. They just seek other ways of getting their way.