Meet the four Democratic Senators who are so worried about their own reelection campaigns that they are refusing to raise taxes on the wealthy.
Yesterday, I wrote an article based on Sen. Dick Durbin telling a local Chicago radio station that some Democrats in the Senate are refusing to raise taxes on the wealthy in an election year. At the time of publication, I didn’t have the names of the Democrats who won’t raise taxes on the rich, but I do now.
Lots of commenters wanted the names and contact information for the Un-Fantastic Four, so here they are.
2). Sen. Mary Landrieu- Email
Some readers suggested that we should withhold criticism of the four senators until we hear what their motivation is, but it is clear that their motivation is reelection in 2012. Sen. Kay Hagan was wishy-washy about the number of jobs the bill could create, “You know, I don’t think anybody has a crystal ball that we can tell you the exact number. But when you look at our state, we have a lot of veterans in our state. His plan really targets veterans.”
Sen. Casey wants the bill broken into parts, so that can avoid voting to raise taxes “I’m afraid if we tried to pass one big bill, I think there’s a lot of skepticism about big pieces of legislation with all kinds of different component parts. We should break this up… I believe it would be much more likely if we break it up. Why not have a series of votes on job creation strategies – five votes, 10 votes, I don’t care if it’s 25 votes. We should stay here as long as it takes to vote over and over on the most important issue that faces the American people and that’s jobs.”
Sen. Manchin claimed that the American Jobs Act, which is more tax cuts than spending, spends too much money, “I have serious questions about the level of spending that President Obama proposed,” and Sen. Landrieu wants to keep the subsidies to the oil companies in place, “I have said for months that I am not supporting a repeal of tax cuts for the oil industry unless there are other industries that contribute.”
The reasons given by the senators are totally bogus. Casey claimed that Americans are skeptical of big legislation and big bills won’t pass. What he is really afraid of is being labeled a tax increasing Democrat. When Sen. Casey talks about the danger of big bills, he is flashing back to the tea party protests during the healthcare reform town halls. Casey is trying to be cautious and not rock the boat, but his caution makes no sense because he is a popular senator who is likely to win reelection even if he supports the bill.
Hagan is worried that Obama won’t do well in North Carolina, so her split of the American Jobs Act is part of an attempt to save her own skin when she is up in 2014, which might not have been an issue without Obama carrying North Carolina in 2008. Manchin is an absolute lock to win reelection, but West Virginia has gone Red over the last 15 years. Manchin’s opposition is more about preserving his own political survival, not jobs. Landrieu doesn’t want to do anything that might hurt the oil industry that her red state is dependent before she has to run for reelection.
As you can see, these Democrats are willing to kill 1.9 million jobs to preserve their reelection campaigns. They are putting themselves ahead of their constituents. They are saying reelect us then we will create jobs, but by trying to appease the right, three of these four senators could lose the support of the very people who elected them in the first place.
It is a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face strategy. By trying to avoid the wrath of the right, they are enraging the left. The electorate is angry, and demanding political courage. Just once it would be nice to see Democratic senators do what’s right for the nation instead of thinking only of themselves.
H/T: The Obama Diary
(The earlier version of this post incorrectly stated Kay Hagan is up for reelection in 2012).