THE EXTRAORDINARY TIMING OF JIM DEMINT AND MIKE PENCE…. Almost immediately after President Obama’s budget proposal was released, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) issued a statement condemning it. As the right-wing senator put it, the White House’s budget “would push us over the edge into generational debt.” He added that policymakers need to “save our nation from the coming fiscal crisis.”
Around the same time, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) issued a similar response to the White House budget plan, insisting it would “not get the debt or deficit under control.” He added that policymakers must embrace “fiscal discipline” for “the sake of our children.”
About two hours later, DeMint and Pence unveiled the “Tax Relief Certainty Act.” It would, according to their joint press release:
Make permanent the 2001 and 2003 individual income tax relief for all hard-working Americans — preserving the 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% and 35% income tax brackets, rather than allowing President Obama and Democrats to increase the top tax bracket to 39.6% and increase taxes on the lowest earning Americans in the bottom 10% bracket;
Permanently repeal the immoral and unfair death tax, which increases from 35% to 55% on Jan. 1, 2013. Permanent repeal of the death tax would increase GDP by $118.8 billion and lead to $23.3 billion per year in new federal revenue;
Prevent the tax increase on capital gains and dividends income for all Americans, rather than allowing the Democrats to increase the rates to 20% from the current 15%; and
Permanently patch the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
Honestly, it’s like having a policy debate in a Lewis Carroll novel.
These guys, like their right-wing brethren, have spent the entire day saying that deficit reduction, debt reduction, and fiscal responsibility are the most important problems facing the country. That’s wrong, but that’s their argument.
On the exact same day, the exact same conservatives presented a plan to pass massive tax cuts, costing hundreds of billions of dollars, without a plan to pay for any of it.
In other words, in the morning, DeMint and Pence want to make the deficit better, and in the afternoon, DeMint and Pence want to make the deficit worse.
Anyone who takes these clowns seriously really isn’t paying close enough attention. Indeed, if our political discourse made more sense, every Republican whining today about the president’s budget would be asked (a) whether they demanded expensive tax cuts late last year without any way to pay for them; and (b) whether they contributed to Bush/Cheney leaving a $1.3 trillion deficit for Obama to clean up.