Evan Bayh: Best Friend Of The Rich

This Jason Linkins' post describes Evan Bayh's preposterous posing as a deficit hawk. But it leaves out the most important part of the story - Evan Bayh is a profoligate budget buster through other means - namely his obsession with cutting taxes for the wealthy. Ezra Klein described it back in April 2009:

What politicians say or think they want is less important than how they actually vote. [. . .] Sen. Evan Bayh cast a difficult vote against Obama's first budget, [saying] "Under this budget, our national debt skyrockets from $11.1 trillion today to an estimated $17 trillion in 2014."

[. . .] Sens. Jon Kyl and Blanche Lincoln [. . .] sought to reform the tax to exempt estates valued below $10 million and lower the rate on holdings above $10 million from 45 percent to 35 percent. This change would cost $440 billion over 10 years and accrue entirely to the wealthiest 0.28 percent. [. . .] The Kyl-Lincoln amendment, however, was quickly passed. Ten Democrats crossed the aisle to vote in its favor. Among them was Bayh. [. . .] Bayh [voted to] cut $300 billion of revenue-neutral money for health reform from the budget. He then promised to find $440 billion in the budget and, rather than directing it toward debt repayment, cut taxes on the top two-hundredths of the income distribution.

(Emphasis supplied.) Evan Bayh is no deficit hawk. He is first and foremost, the wealthy's best friend.

Speaking for me only

< Monday Afternoon and Evening Open Thread | Name, Rank And Serial Number >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Self Interest (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 08:37:59 AM EST
    As it's been pointed out several times on this site, people vote for their own self interest.  Bayh is securing the future for his family. Maybe we need less millionaires in the Senate?

    There are way too many people in charge of our future that have no idea what the realities of day to day existance are.

    The only winning move is (none / 0) (#5)
    by SOS on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:34:07 AM EST
    not to play.  And even that move looks bleak.

    That's why they had to create the myth (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:51:29 AM EST
    that cutting taxes creates so much growth that revenue actually increases, and deficits decrease.

    Mercifully, I have not heard that one resurrected since it was so thoroughly proved to be false in the GWB years. Even Cheney, who will lie about anything, had to give up on that one and switch to 'deficits don't matter'.  But I expect it to rise again at some point.

    Fuzzy Math... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:09:20 AM EST
    abounds with the brainiacs whose intent is to deceive:)

    Here on knucklehead street basic math always applies...only two ways to pay off a debt, increase the income (more taxes) or decrease spending and reallocate towards paying down debt at current income (tax) levels.  Ya certainly can't do it be increasing spending and decreasing taxes (Bush style) or increasing taxes while increasing spending at a rate higher than the tax increase (where Obama appears to be headed).  

    As for "defecits don't matter"...maybe if there was no such thing as an interest payment!  As anyone who has ever borrowed money knows, it ends up costing more in the end when you don't pay as you go cuz of that little thing called interest.  I heard a blurb somewhere that if we keep it up the entire federal income for the year  will have to go towards interest payments, and the current budget will be all on the borrow.  Now I'm no finance-wizard but that's gotta blow up like AIG at some point.


    right you are (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:45:35 AM EST
    I didn't mean to imply that 'deficits don't matter' was correct either, just a tad less patently false then 'cutting taxes increases revenue'!  

    Now worries ruff... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:54:15 AM EST
    I know you're not a fuzzy math deceiver ruffian, my critique of such thinking wasn't directed at you...I shoulda been more clear.

    I didn't think you were! (none / 0) (#31)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:51:39 PM EST
    Just being clearer for future readers

    That myth, (none / 0) (#32)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:47:13 PM EST
    the Laffer Curve, was pounded just after birth during the Reagan years only to be resurrected during GW's reign.

    Expect that myth to come to the fore yet again.  
    No matter how often the right's fantasies and wishful thinking are proved wrong they'll keep bringing them back.


    It's still alive and well (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:03:11 PM EST
    on Fox News, I can tell you.

    Yup (none / 0) (#37)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:54:15 PM EST
    I still hear it from rank and file Republicans.  They say it as though it's gospel.  An absolute revealed truth.

    Well, Bayh's got to look out for (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 12:27:21 PM EST
    all those wealthy health insurance industry execs, right?  Got to make sure his wife keeps her board appointments and keeps raking in the stock and the cash.

    For crying out loud, we all know that the only way for the rich to keep getting richer is to keep electing rich people to Congress who have a vested interest in protecting themselves.

    I mean, what would some bunch of middle-class losers be able to bring to the table?  

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by DancingOpossum on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 12:43:58 PM EST
    this is all bringing us back to the Clinton tax levels.  Which I think most people would consider fairly reasonable.

    Yes, if we were at Clinton-level prosperity. We're not, and the middle class (however you define that rather squishy term) doesn't have a whole lot left to give.

    I was wrong (none / 0) (#30)
    by CST on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 12:56:18 PM EST
    tax still lower than Clinton levels after the increase.  And also - the increase doesn't kick in until 2011 - when things should have started turning already.  If things don't turn by 2011 - we will have a lot more to worry about than a $400 tax cut for the middle class.

    Is this your only example? (none / 0) (#2)
    by me only on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 08:50:51 AM EST
    Really, if this is your only example, it really is a little much to accuse the man of being the best friend of the wealthy.  There is a principled stand against the estate tax in general.  (I think that position is completely at odds with the founding principles of this country, which is no landed gentry, but that is just my opinion.)

    Now, if you have other examples of Bayh voting for tax reductions for high incomes, I would agree this is a pattern.  Are you trying to turn this into DKOS?

    Did you just fall off the turnip truck? (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:17:01 AM EST
    Evan Bayh has voted for every tax cut for the rich he has ever seen.

    That this is the most egregious example of his deficit hypocrisy is the reason I used it.

    You must be joking.


    Slight correction (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:30:44 AM EST
    Bayh is arguing against the lapsing of the Bush tax cuts now. He voted against them when he still dreamt of being President.

    I think it is clear that he has given up that dream.


    So what? (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:53:27 AM EST
    Obama's budget calls for letting the middle class tax cut lapse. Yes, he's proposing increasing the taxes on the wealthy, but in all actuality, it will be a tax increase for the  middle class too.  Why should we single out Bayh?

    Say what? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:11:49 AM EST
    Bayh OPPOSES raising taxes on the wealthy.

    Obama wants to raise taxes on the wealthy.

    Your comment makes no sense to me.  


    Obama (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:20:35 AM EST
    is proposing to raise taxes on the wealthy and the MIDDLE CLASS (through letting tax cuts expire - which would be an average of $400 more per year).

    What's to understand?


    raising taxes (none / 0) (#11)
    by CST on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:33:56 AM EST
    is not the same position as cutting taxes.  If you are truly a deficit hawk, you should raise taxes across the board.  That's where the hypocracy of claiming to be a deficit hawk but wanting to lower taxes on the wealthy comes in.

    Not sure where raising taxes on the middle class plays into this argument.  That's more like saying everyone needs to pay more into the system to cut the deficit.

    Personally, I think raising taxes on the middle class right now is bad politics.  But it will help cut the deficit.  And again, this is all just bringing us back to the Clinton-era tax levels.  Honestly, the problem I see with that is - Clinton didn't have 2 wars going on.  So in a sense, taxes need to be even higher than they were during those years to fully pay for everything.  Obviously I would prefer to make up that difference on the higher earners.

    But I don't see where raising taxes on the middle class = cutting taxes for the wealthy.  They are two very different issues.


    not just bad politics (none / 0) (#12)
    by CST on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:36:29 AM EST
    bad policy as well.  The middle class does not need any extra squeeze at this point.  Although once the unemployment rate improved I could probably go for an across-the-board increase.

    They aren't the same (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:12:21 AM EST
    The point was we are singling out Evan Bayh because he wants to cut taxes for the wealthy, which most people think is bad.

    Obama wants to raise taxes on the wealthy, which most people think is good.  But Obama's budget also will allow middle class tax cuts to expire, thereby raising taxes on the middle class.  How is Bayh's plan  = bad, while Obama's  = good?


    Where in the post (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:21:28 AM EST
    was Obama even mentioned?

    Not sure where you see (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:25:45 AM EST
    Obama raising taxes on the middle class (outside of the proposed excise tax), but whatever.

    It's in his 2011 budget (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:37:00 AM EST
    Will let middle class tax cuts expire

    Grappling to contain record deficits, President Barack Obama is seeking to end a middle-class tax break he once said would be permanent.

    The $3.8 trillion budget request rolled out by the White House on Monday would renew the Making Work Pay tax credit for fiscal 2011, but then would have it sunset.

    That's a switch from last year, when Obama's budget called for making the tax credit permanent.

    The cut costs the federal government about $63 billion in annual revenue while putting up to $400 in the pockets of workers making less than $95,000. It was approved for the first time in last year's $787 billion stimulus package.

    An administration official said the tax credit reflects changing realities in Congress on climate change legislation.

    by 2011 (none / 0) (#23)
    by CST on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:41:21 AM EST
    hopefully the economy should be in a good enough place where raising taxes won't hurt too much.

    And I was wrong earlier, this would still have middle class tax rates below clinton-era levels.

    This is a short-term tax cut during really bad times.  I see no problem with letting that expire in 2011.


    Agree (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:50:02 AM EST
    And if economic conditions indicate it should be renewed in 2012, I'm sure there will be the votes for it in an election year.

    Doesn't Obama's budget extend the (none / 0) (#19)
    by Radix on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:29:12 AM EST
    tax cuts of those making less than 250K? At least that's what's being claimed by Obama.

    Link (none / 0) (#20)
    by Radix on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:31:35 AM EST
    because not everyone (none / 0) (#21)
    by CST on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:31:44 AM EST
    thinks raising taxes across the board is a bad thing.  Again, lets remember, this is all bringing us back to the Clinton tax levels.  Which I think most people would consider fairly reasonable.  Obama's budget raises taxes on the wealthy a lot more than it raises taxes on the middle class.  So it is still a progressive tax structure.

    Bayh's action (none / 0) (#34)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:29:17 PM EST
    is particularly reprehensible because it's an unnecessary cut for a segment of the population that not only doesn't need more money and should pay more money but also by making such a cut only increases the numbers of the idle rich.  

    Meanwhile Byah was supporting a $300 billion dollar cut in health care.

    And this from an alleged deficit hawk; the worst kind of hypocrite.

    Goodies for the rich and cuts for everyone else.

    I agree with BTD and others who've commented here; Bayh makes me want to vomit.

    This is what we get from Legacy Senators.


    We don't grow turnips around here (none / 0) (#7)
    by me only on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:57:04 AM EST
    It is my understanding that turnips require soft soil to grow well.  We have red clay which does not allow for root vegetables to grow well.

    Amend the soil (none / 0) (#35)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:31:00 PM EST
    to a considerable depth.

    Deficit Peacock (none / 0) (#10)
    by MikeDitto on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:28:36 AM EST
    very good article - thanks (none / 0) (#13)
    by DFLer on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:50:50 AM EST
    Wealthy's Best Friend (none / 0) (#27)
    by coast on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 12:02:53 PM EST
    There were 100 members of the Senate who failed to fix the estate and generation skipping taxes for 2010.

    Personally (none / 0) (#36)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:47:15 PM EST
    I find it reprehensible and disgusting that deficit hawks always seem to have the tendency to support tax cuts for the wealthy while cutting programs for everyone else and boosting military spending.

    IMO, deficit hawks are the most damaging people in elective office.  They'll end up killing the whole nation.

    It is forever hard (none / 0) (#38)
    by weltec2 on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 04:17:57 AM EST
    for me to believe that Evan Bayh has graduated with honors in business economics from Indiana University because he seems to understand very little about it. Nevertheless, I find myself agreeing with him on many other issues.