Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, spoke with HUMAN EVENTS Wednesday night after the President’s State of the Union Address. We talked of additional the spending and taxes and the delayed micro-freeze put forth in the President’s expanded agenda.
In yet another proposed payoff to his Big Labor allies, Obama seeks to revoke certain tax credits allowed American businesses for foreign taxes already paid on earnings in countries where they have overseas presence and employees.
“What he is suggesting is that American companies are double-taxed while foreign companies are only taxed once,” Camp said. “There are only two countries left in the world that have a territorial taxation system, and the U.S. is one of them. The other one is Japan. Other countries now rebate their taxes at the border.”
Obama says this will keeps jobs in America. Sounds more like a policy that could cause the mass migration of businesses and their international headquarters out of the U.S.
“It will make us much less competitive and it will kill high-paying jobs in the U.S.,” Camp said. “He is really misrepresenting what the change in tax law that he is proposing will do.”
Camp also spoke of the now-delayed-for-a-year freeze on spending.
“This idea that there’s a freeze, he doesn’t start it until next year, and then when he made the aside that that’s the budget process, he has rescission authority right now,” Camp said. “He could start reducing spending right now.”
The President’s attempt to lecture Congress on budget process (“That’s how budgets work”) caused a lot of laughter in the House chamber.
“For the President to propose this mini-freeze using numbers as if it were in effect for 10 years is not going to do anything when you just a month before signed a bill that increased spending by 12 percent,” Camp added.
Camp’s overall view of the speech?
“That was an endurance contest, that wasn’t a State of the Union,” Camp said. “It was very difficult to focus and listen because it was a very disjointed speech without the sort of riveting delivery you used to get with Bill Clinton — it was that sort of a speech in terms of a laundry list.”
Kyl Reacts to SOTU
Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) offered a stinging assessment of the Obama speech yesterday on NPR’s Morning Edition. He called the speech “a political tirade” saying, “I don’t think that the American people want a whiner who says ‘woe is me, it was a terrible situation.’”
“More than a year after he’s been sworn in, he’s still complaining about the Bush administration,” Kyl said. “You know, he has created a huge deficit as a result of his spending. Well, he says, ‘it was necessary to get us out of the mess.’ It wasn’t. The $800 billion stimulus bill has been shown not to have provided the benefits that he said it would. So, there’s just a lot of disingenuousness in this political speech.”
Kyl also shot down the President’s insistence that Congress pass his health care bill.
“When the American people tell you they don’t want the health care bill, you have a responsibility to say no,” Kyl said. “The President blames Republicans for saying no to his bill when, if he listened to the American people, he would appreciate they wanted us to say no to his bill. And that’s precisely what the Massachusetts election results revealed.”
The full audio of the appearance can be found here.
Coburn Votes to Confirm Bernanke
If you had to sum up Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.) in a word it would be “consistent.” His continuous, steady push for spending restraint yesterday extended to an admonishment to some of his colleagues who, according to Coburn, seek to make Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke the scapegoat for their mainline spending binge.
“I was disappointed that many in Congress attempted to blame Chairman Bernanke for their own lack of foresight and fiscal discipline,” Coburn said. “It was Congress, not the Federal Reserve, that inflated the housing bubble by enabling questionable lending practices and it is Congress that continues to borrow and spend far beyond our means. Our excessive borrowing, addiction to earmarks and total refusal to reform entitlements or cut spending is doing far more to undermine the health of our economy than the alleged offenses of Chairman Bernanke.”
Coburn acknowledges some of his colleagues have “good faith concerns and were not simply trying to shift blame.” Coburn has also set his sights on accountability at the Fed as a co-sponsor of S. 604, the ‘Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009’ which would compel an audit.
Bachmann and Blackburn Nix Tea Party Nation Event
Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) have withdrawn from addressing next week’s Tea Party Nation event in Nashville. As reported in Politico, “the convention is being run by a for-profit Tennessee corporation called Tea Party Nation, registered to a little-known Tennessee lawyer whose efforts to position himself as a national tea party leader have put him at odds with some state tea party activists. The lawyer, Judson Phillips, intended to turn a profit from the convention, with the stated goal of seeding a so-called 527 group that would air ads praising conservative candidates or criticizing their opponents, though he now concedes he’s hoping just to break even and has tabled the 527 idea.”
Both Blackburn and Bachmann’s offices cited the limitations on sitting members of Congress and discussions with the House Office of Standards as the reason for pulling out of the event.
“I spoke to Judson Phillips this morning and let him know that I could not participate in the convention,” Blackburn said in a statement. “I told him frankly that Tea Party Nation’s for-profit status has put many of his speakers in an awkward position. I remain encouraged by the outpouring of energy from constitutionally minded grassroots organizations in Tennessee and around America.”
Bachmann’s spokesman, Debbee Keller, told HUMAN EVENTS in an email, “There is uncertainty about how any proceeds from the event may be used, and we must err on the side of caution. Some will want to portray her withdrawal as a repudiation of the Tea Party Movement, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Congresswoman Bachmann remains encouraged by all Americans, regardless of political party, who are concerned about this nation’s future and dwindling prosperity, and continues to be inspired their passion.”