Rep. Charlie Rangel (D.-N.Y.), who at 76 years of age is the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, has made clear that for him the November elections are winner take all.
If the Democrats lose, he will retire from the Congress. If they win, he will take the chairmanship of his committee and begin rewriting the nation’s tax laws so that they conform to his and his party’s left-wing, redistributionist point of view.
“I’m a poker player, and I’ve had good hands all night long. This is all in,” Rangel told Jet magazine in August. “I would not put everything on the table if I thought for one minute we would lose.”
Rangel is an affable, witty, Korean War veteran, who won a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. But he also has never seen a tax cut he didn’t loathe or a tax increase he didn’t love. He voted against President Reagan’s tax cuts, he voted against President George W. Bush’s tax cuts, and he voted in favor President Clinton’s tax increase.
As Ways and Means chairman, he would block any effort to make President Bush’s tax cuts permanent. That would enact tax increases by default because all of Bush’s tax cuts are scheduled to expire by 2010.
In September, Rangel conceded to Bloomberg news service that he “cannot think of one” Bush tax cut that merits renewal.
He also is adamantly opposed to Social Security reform plans that include personal retirement accounts for younger workers. He said Bush’s plan was an “impeachable offense” for precisely this reason. Because his committee oversees Social Security, were he to become chairman the only Social Security reforms that would be on the table would be large increases in the payroll tax and large cuts in benefits for older workers who have been paying payroll taxes all their lives.
Rangel also consistently takes the far-left position on non-economic issues. His 2004 rating from the American Conservative Union was “0.” He voted against banning partial-birth abortion, against banning human cloning and against drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
‘Since We Are Going to Raise Taxes Anyway…’: Charlie Rangel in His Own Words
“Rangel’s accession to the chairmanship of the committee would likely end six years of tax cuts by the Republican-controlled Congress. He said he ‘cannot think of one’ of President George W. Bush’s first-term tax cuts that merit renewal.”
“President Bush and Republican campaign committees have attacked Democrats with a claim that we would raise taxes if elected to a majority in Congress. That’s not true.”
“There is a class system building up in this country. This tax cut has a negative impact on lower-income people when you take into account inflation and Social Security.”
“Since we are going to raise taxes anyway,” he argued, “let’s do it in the fairest possible way, simplification, a flat tax.”
“Isn’t [President Reagan] deceiving himself and the nation as a whole when he insists on revenue neutrality? He has reduced our taxes without spurring the economy. He has shifted the national priority away from people’s needs into his ever-growing concept of military needs.’’
“The time has come for the President and the Congress to face the responsibility of this deficit, not only in terms of reduction of federal spending, but also in raising the revenues necessary to reach this objective.”
“There’s only one way to cut the deficit, you know it and I know it, and that is raise taxes and cut spending.”
May 20, 1993
“Since members of minority groups disproportionately constitute the lower-income brackets, the congressman [Rep. Charlie Rangel] said, they stand to lose the most from Mr. Bush’s efforts [to reform Social Security]—which the congressman labeled a ‘fraud’ and an ‘impeachable offense.’”
“You take Islamic and you call them fascists, you call them radical. You never called Hitler a Christian fascist. This is insulting to an entire religion.”
“Can we believe that just because you’re Republican that you don’t want to help the working poor?”
“I say it’s time for government not to depend on the private sector to help people who are unemployed and need job training, but to come in as a government and not to let people down, and to use this as a dressing once we get back our health.”
“Madam first lady [Hillary Clinton], if I had more than two minutes I would spend more time congratulating you and the President for having brought this issue [of socialized medicine] to where it is.”
“George Bush is our Bull Connor.”
Here are some highlights from the far-left, pro-tax voting record of would-be House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D.-N.Y.).
|2001 Bush Income Tax Cuts||AGAINST||H.R. 1836||Vote #149||05/26/2001|
Income Tax Cuts
|AGAINST||H.R. 4297||Vote #135||05/10/2006|
|Eliminating the Death Tax||AGAINST||H.R. 5638||Vote #315||06/22/2006|
|Elimination of the
|AGAINST||H.R. 4181||Vote #138||04/28/2004|
Across-the-Board Tax Cut
|AGAINST||H.R. 2488||Vote #379||08/05/1999|
|Health Care Tax Credit
|AGAINST||H.R. 4579||Vote #469||09/26/1998|
|14-cent Tax on Gasoline||FOR||H.R. 2264||Vote #199||05/27/1993|
|Contract With America
|AGAINST||H.R. 1215||Vote #295||04/05/1995|
|Balanced Budget Amendment||AGAINST||H.J.RES. 103||Vote #65||03/17/1994|
|4.3-cent Per Gallon
|FOR||H.R. 2264||Vote #199||05/27/1993|
|The Patriot Act||AGAINST||H.R. 3199||Vote #627||12/14/2005|
|Prohibition of Energy
Exploration in ANWR
|FOR||H.R. 6||Vote #122||04/20/2005|
|National Missile Defense||AGAINST||H.R. 4||Vote #59||03/18/1999|
|700-Mile Fence on
|AGAINST||H.R. 6061||Vote #446||09/14/2006|
|English as the National
|AGAINST||H.R. 123||Vote #391||08/01/1996|
|Federal Funds for Abortions||FOR||H.R. 4871||Vote #422||07/20/2000|
|Ban on Partial-Birth Abortions||AGAINST||H.R. 3660||Vote #104||04/05/2000|
|Federal Funding of Embryo-
Killing Stem-Cell Research
|FOR||H.R. 810||Vote #388||07/19/2006|
|Brady Gun Control Bill||FOR||H.R. 1025||Vote #564||11/10/1993|
|Protection of Prayer on
|AGAINST||H.J. 78||Vote #201||06/04/1998|
|Defense of Marriage Act||AGAINST||H.R. 3396||Vote #316||07/12/1996|
Campaign Finance Reform
|FOR||H.R. 2356||Vote #34||02/14/2002|