Thursday, December 24
By Lucas at 11:06 AM
Tuesday, December 15
When is a tax cut not a tax cut? How about when it is actually a tax increase?
The House of Representatives recently passed the Tax Extenders Act of 2009. The act extends over 30 tax breaks to individuals and businesses, $31 billion of tax relief a year
Congressman Ron Kind said of this bill, "This bill will provide much‐needed relief to families and businesses who are struggling in the current economic downturn and in a way that is fiscally responsible."
As a result, while Kagen and Kind are claiming that they just voted for tax cuts, the reality is that they voted for a net increase in taxes. They have used not increasing a host of taxes as an excuse to raise other taxes.
The Tax Extenders Act of 2009 increases taxes on private-equity firms that sell shares to the public to more than 30% instead of the usual15% rate. It also taxes carried interest that investment managers receive at the ordinary income rate of 35% instead of the lower capital gains rate of 15% they currently pay.
By Lucas at 11:51 AM
Monday, December 14
Take a special look at graph for Kohl. Notice where the line takes a decided turn down? August. The same time that there was mass dissatisfaction expressed by thousands of constituents over the health care bill. Now a few things before this is simply dismissed as "another poll." First this isn't just a single poll but the compilation of several polls and one of them (PPP) is a specifically Democratic polling unit. But no matter how you take the numbers--either only from one polling place or compiled--the result is very similar.
Second, look at Health care in general:
Now the change is much more dramatic (from 50/20 support/opposed to 38/54 support/opposed) yet the overall correlation between the graphs cannot be denied. Indeed, if we take Doyle as another statewide Democrat who should not be affected by national politics nearly as much we can find that while his approval in general is much worse, he has actually improved during this same time period.
It is fairly obvious that Feingold and Kohl have almost equally lost almost 10% of their approval ratings with the voters this year. While not as certain, the correlation of that drop with the lack of support of health care and the dominance of that issue on the national scene implies that they are on slippery political ground to continue their support. Indeed, both of them have already dropped below the monumental 50% approval mark. If this same trend continues, Feingold could face a challenging environment in the 2010 election if a quality Republican decides to take him on. It also demonstrates just how harmful the Democratic health care bill has become to even comforatable senators like Kohl and Fiengold.
By Lucas at 2:20 PM
Thursday, December 10
By Lucas at 9:39 AM
According to follow up by Marquette graduate Dan Zeidler, he was assured that two could work “directly” on a solution to prevent controversial abortion coverage mandates."
Interesting to be sure. Now we know that Kohl voted AGAINST the Nelson amendment when it came for a vote (which is were the real proof of the pudding resides) but this statement shows that with a little more clarity on the topic he could support some life issues.
By Lucas at 9:21 AM
By Lucas at 9:05 AM
By Lucas at 8:33 AM
The White House has vowed to be more deficit conscious in its forthcoming 2011 budget due out in February. But the House could vote as early as Thursday on a $446.8 billion year-end package covering more than a dozen Cabinet departments and agencies and representing a healthy 9 percent to 10 percent increase over current spending for the same accounts.
For example, transportation and housing resources would grow by 12 percent, including $2.5 billion for high-speed-rail investments on top of the $8 billion already added by the White House to the giant stimulus bill in February. A $163.5 budget for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education would add an additional $8.6 billion to annual spending, and Veterans Health Administration spending would grow to $45.1 billion, a $4.1 billion increase.
By Lucas at 8:28 AM
Wednesday, December 9
Year to date totals for the Wisconsin delegation are: Ryan - $951,904; Baldwin - $922,888; Kind - $931,578; Moore - $817,093; Sensenbrenner - $898,976; Petri - $935,137; Obey - $686,796; Kagen - $1,183,73So much for frugality.
By Lucas at 12:02 PM
For the first time ever, you can now find out how much your individual Congressman is spending in his Congressional office without making a special trip to Washington. So, with that weapons cache in tow, bloggers and journalists have been pouring over the report available either at the Office of the House's Chief Administrative Officer or the Sunlight Foundation. Some of them -- like this one in New Mexico -- have begun compiling lists of the biggest Congressional spenders for the third quarter of 2009.
At the top: Appleton's own Steve Kagen.
According to the report, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of Santa Fe spent more than $337,000 on his office between June and September and $808,000 in the first nine months of the year. That seems like a lot, but it’s less than New Mexico’s other two congressmen. Martin Heinrich of Albuquerque spent more than $343,000 for the quarter and $908,000 for January through September, while Harry Teague of Hobbs spent more than $352,000 the last quarter and more than $899,000 as of the end of September.
The most expensive offices in Congress are those of Reps. Steve Kagen, D-Wisc., who spent $452,000 in the last quarter, Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who spent $449,000, and Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., who spent $445,000.
In actuality, Kagen's office spent $452,596. Congressional offices get a total of $1.5 million to spend for the entire fiscal year.
By Lucas at 11:54 AM