The Patriot Post Â· http://patriotpost.usDigest Friday, October 1, 2010
The Foundation "Government can do something for the people only in proportion as it can do something to the people." --Thomas Jefferson
Government & Politics Desperate Democrats Head for Home Amid the mortifying prospect of having to face the voters in one month, congressional Democrats voted to abandon ship and head for home. They hope to boost their poll numbers and stem the Republican tide1, but their odds aren't good. The unfinished business they left won't help, either.
The House vote to adjourn was 210-209, a cynically calculated margin that gave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the deciding vote. Vulnerable Democrats staged a minor revolt as 39 of them voted to stay in session in order to extend the Bush tax cuts2, which are an issue, of course, because Democrats forced a sunset provision on them in 2001 and 2003. Democrats are willing to "sunset" tax cuts but not spending tax dollars on unconstitutional boondoggles.
One imperiled Democrat, Rep. Zack Space (D-OH), said, "I think that small business, big business, individuals, have a right to expect some certainty. The longer we keep this [tax issue] open, the more uncertainty there is. Our economy is such that I don't think we can afford that. I just think we need to deal with this. That'd be the responsible thing." Forty-seven House Democrats signed on to a letter to Pelosi urging the extension of all the Bush tax cuts, and yet only 39 saw fit to vote against adjournment, thereby possibly letting them expire. Hmm.
Of course, Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and other Democrats are too busy waging class warfare to care. As White House adviser David Axelrod spins it, Republicans are "going to have to explain to their constituents why they're holding up tax cuts for the middle class. And I think it's an untenable position to say, 'We're going to allow your taxes to go up on January 1st unless the president agrees to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.'" In truth, Democrats would rather taxes go up on everybody than to suffer the "rich" (i.e., small business owners) to keep what's theirs3.
Instead of addressing taxes and taking that back to their constituents, the Senate likewise voted to adjourn, and Congress will hold a two-week lame-duck session beginning Nov. 15. Before they fled the swamp, both chambers passed a stopgap measure to fund the government until Dec. 3. After all, with the fiscal year having started today, this fear-stricken Congress has yet to pass any of the 13 appropriations bills for 2011. Apparently, voter anger over skyrocketing deficits hasn't fallen on completely deaf ears.
Democrats are prioritizing a series of leftist wish-list items they want to ram through in that lame-duck session, including repealing Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell, providing citizenry for American-born children of illegal immigrants, extending unemployment benefits (already at 99 weeks), continuing a freeze of cuts for doctors' Medicare reimbursement payments, etc. However, there's little chance that many of these items will see the light of the debate floor, considering that all of them failed at some stage already. Still, Democrats seem determined to go out in a blaze of glory.