Posts Tagged ‘Blue Dogs’

Matheson flip-flops on healthcare – again

July 12, 2012

Congressman Jim Matheson, Utah’s lone Democrat in DC, is in big trouble. He faces Mayor Mia Love in November’s election and she is the rockstar-type of Republican candidate Democrats have nightmares about. Matheson, as always, has to straddle the fence and try hard not to be a Democrat prior to the November election.

In his quest to sound like a Republican, he voted to repeal Obamacare on Wednesday, one of only 5 Democrats to do so. The last time the House voted for repeal – in January of 2011 – he voted against it – but then again, that was just after he had won re-election and thought he was safe. He is the epitome of being for something before he was against it before he was for it and then against it.

You see, Matheson voted FOR Obamacare when he voted to move it to the floor for final passage, then when Nancy Pelosi gave him permission at the last minute, he voted against it. He then voted against the first repeal (leaving Obamacare in place), and now has voted for the repeal. Just wait for the campaign ad that says he voted to repeal Obamacare because you know they’re coming……

Let’s be honest – Matheson has become a master at keeping his head down, straddling the fence, and winning reelection time after time. He knows how to campaign and he obviously knows how to appeal to Republican voters. He has never faced a candidate like Mia, however.

In 2010, 20 House Democrats lost their seats. In 2012, this nation will add to that number and topping the casualty list will be Jim Matheson. It’s about time.

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Poor hurt the most by expiration of Bush tax cuts

October 7, 2010

On Jan 1st, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire. The child tax credit will be cut in half, the standard deductions and income credits decrease and the 10 percent tax bracket – aimed at non-wealthy taxpayers – goes away.

While wealthier taxpayers pay more in taxes and stand to lose more in total dollars, the impact on low-income taxpayers will be far greater since they live on much slimmer margins.

In a new report from the Tax Foundation, author Nick Kasprak points out that in spite of repeated promises that the cuts will be extended, “the current Congress has shown itself to be unusually susceptible to gridlock so the threat of automatic, full expiration of all these cuts is quite real.” In fact, even though we heard last year that the death tax would go away completely, ten months later, Democratic leaders have yet to follow through on that promise.

If predictions for Republican wins in the Senate races in Illinois and West Virginia hold true, those new members will be sworn in immediately. That will give the GOP 43 seats in the upper chamber and the Democrats will have a very difficult time getting the 60 votes they need to pass the legislation to extend the tax cuts for the middle class, but let them expire for the “wealthy.” They will then be faced with the choice to extend the cuts for ALL, or do nothing and let them expire, hurting those at the lower end of the income scale.

“When comparing changes in after-tax income, low-income workers benefited substantially from the Bush-era tax cuts, and so they would pay much higher taxes if political gridlock allows the imminent expirations to occur on schedule,” Kasprak said.

Additionally, low-income taxpayers have benefited from many temporary stimulus measures enacted in 2009 that are also set to expire at the end of this year: a further expansion of the earned income credit for couples, greater refundability of the child tax credit, and bigger credits for college education.

The Making Work Pay credit that appears in paychecks and boosts take-home pay up to $400 for individuals and $800 for couples is also slated to expire next year.

The report shows that inaction on these tax measures will cost a married couple with two dependents earning $40,000 about $2,643. Their after-tax income would drop from $41,513 (if the cuts are extended) to $38,870.

Those cuts could have been extended if the Blue Dog coalition, led by Jim Matheson, had not hidden behind Pelosi’s skirts.

Who does Matheson vote with?

October 4, 2010

If you think it’s the Republicans, you’d be wrong.  He votes partyline over 93% of the time.  See for yourself.


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