As the 112th Congress begins to mature, it's becoming painfully clear that not everyone in the "Tea Party freshmen class" is much of a tea partier. In fact, some of them would fit in more with the coffee party [go here if you've never heard of them]. In 2010, we were largely focused on turning over the House from Democrat to Republican. To the extent that we focused on intra-party battles, it was primarily in the Senate races. Consequently, we nominated many sleeper progressives in conservative districts to win back the House. One such member is Rick Crawford (Progressive AR-1).
Today, Rick Crawford will unveil a plan – in the spirit of the Gang of 6 – to impose a 2.5%+ surtax on millionaires in an effort to "compromise" with Democrats. He is trying to be the first Republican freshman to jump in the hot bath of tax hikes to cool it down for his fellow travelers. This, from Politico:
The Arkansas Republican will unveil the plan during a local television interview Thursday morning, and plans to introduce legislation when the House returns next week, according to sources familiar with his thinking.
Crawford will propose the additional tax— expected to be north of 2.5 percent — on individual income over $1 million as part of a broader fiscal responsibility package.
“He’s watched the Gangs of Six and 100 and deficit commissions, as well as leadership’s budget and tax plan, and he feels there will never be a deal that will pass the Senate without a revenue component,” a Crawford aide said, describing the legislation without attribution because it has not yet been officially announced.
Let's clear up two fallacies here. First, raising revenue will not help in the long run. As the latest monthly Treasury report proves, even though revenues are climbing due to the economic recovery, we still incurred a record monthly deficit in February. Moreover, nobody could possibly be so naive to believe that if Republicans agree to massive tax increases, Democrats will reciprocate with commensurate spending cuts. Democrats will never willingly agree to close one major department, eliminate one major welfare program, repeal Obamacare, or institute free-market Medicare reform – even if we agree to all the tax increases in the world. As such, there will never be a "balanced approach" to budget solvency.
This is not surprising coming from Crawford. He voted for the debt ceiling increase, megabus, minibus, and against every single RSC budget proposal and spending cut. What happened to the balanced approach between spending and revenues?
Crawford scored a failing 58% from Heritage Action and 53% from the Club for Growth. But guess what? Crawford has no primary challengers, and the filing deadline expired at the beginning of the month. We are stuck with a progressive OWS congressman from a conservative state for another 2 years.
This is what happens when we ignore congressional races and voting records. Will we learn the lesson for the remaining primaries?
Cross-posted from The Madison Project