'Fair Shot for Everyone' Contains Details for No One

Apr 2 2014, 10:52am CDT | by

Setting a new low for lack of detail and specificity, Senate Democrats unveiled their “Fair Shot for Everyone” agenda last week. Only loosely a set of real proposals, the agenda is merely a series of talking points designed to distract voters from President Obama’s lagging approval numbers and the continuing unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act. The Fair Shot agenda makes Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s “Jobs for America” plan look fully developed and transparent.

At the March 27 press conference announcing their election year platform, prominent Democratic senators emphasized that although their plan was designed to proactively aid the middle class, Republicans were determined to defend a status quo skewed toward the rich and multinational corporations. Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York argued that the press was focused too much on Obamacare, which doesn’t even affect 85 percent of Americans. “You folks all want to ask about Obamacare, but the American people, most of them, are not directly affected by Obamacare,” Schumer said. “They want to hear what we’re going to do for them.” And the Democratic plan is full of small items designed to spur turnout among their base in what is expected to be a dismal round of midterm elections for them.

Most of the Democrats’ Senate agenda is focused on nontax items. Not surprisingly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray want to hold another vote on expired unemployment benefits. They will also propose a higher minimum wage. The Democrats will push for a vote on equal pay for women, something they know will fail. Expect that to be held on April 8 (which has been dubbed “Equal Pay Day”).

Murray criticized Republicans for tinkering with the tax code instead of raising the minimum wage (which was a thinly veiled criticism of House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp’s comprehensive tax reform plan). Her main tax item is legislation to expand the earned income tax credit. The senators at the press conference railed against tax breaks for companies that locate jobs and profits overseas but, as usual, didn’t reveal what tax provisions they were talking about or how they planned to address those issues. Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan has introduced a complicated provision that limits deductions for moving jobs overseas and creates a credit for “insourcing,” but that is hardly a serious base erosion and profit-shifting proposal.

Reid did say he hoped to find bipartisan support for energy tax legislation drafted by Portman and New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. The majority leader might hold a vote on Missouri Republican Roy Blunt’s plan for manufacturing incentives. The goal is to show that Democratic control of the Senate can produce legislation with the support of both parties, while still protecting the Democratic base.

Tax reform observers probably expected little from Democrats this year, and that’s exactly what they got. The loss of Baucus means we won’t get something comparable to Camp’s draft. Instead, both parties have decided to cloak campaign puffery in the form of tax rhetoric and small bills that will have little chance of becoming law.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

How humans colonised the Tibetan plateau
Washington, Nov 24 (IANS) After several failed attempts to negotiate the tough terrain of the Tibetan plateau, farming cold-tolerant barley helped humans adapt to year-round living at higher altitudes some 3,600 years ago, says a new research.
 
 
Indian equity bulls should't anticipate further crude price decline (Currency Corner)
Oil is in a bear market. Over the past few months, both major crude benchmarks - Brent and Western Texas Intermediate (WTI) - have corrected by over 25-30 percent from their 2014 peak. Interestingly, and as it often happens in the financial markets, the timing of this plunge has surprised many. The fundamental factors behind the drop in oil prices—easing - geopolitical tensions, slowing economic growth, especially in the Euro area and China, the Libyan output hitting the supply market again and the US shale oil revolution (the dominant factor) — could have been factored in well before and the plunge could have been smoother and more gradual, unlike the kind of capitulation we are witnessing now.
 
 
New polariser for more efficient LCD displays
New York, Nov 24 (IANS) Research led by an Indian-origin engineer has led to a polarising filter that allows in more light, leading the way for mobile device displays that last much longer on a single battery charge and cameras that can shoot in dim light.
 
 
Science bears witness to dog's love for master
New York, Nov 24 (IANS) Your dog loves you as much as you love it, researchers confirmed in a study that looked inside the brain of our canine friends using imaging technology.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Hamilton admits hardly sleeping the night before
Abu Dhabi, Nov 24 (IANS/CMC) Newly crowned Formula 1 World champion Lewis Hamilton has revealed he hardly slept the night before the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which he eventually won to clinch his second...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Real Madrid to play in Australian tournament
Melbourne, Nov 24 (IANS) Real Madrid, which boasts the most expensive squad in world football, have been announced as one of three teams to compete in the International Champions Cup in Melbourne in July. The...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Cruzeiro win Brazil Serie A title
Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Nov 24 (IANS) Cruzeiro have clinched their second consecutive Brazilian Serie A title with a 2-1 victory over Goias. Everton Ribeiro struck the winner at the Mineirao stadium Sunday after...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Honours shared in Milan derby
Rome, Nov 24 (IANS) Inter Milan have played out a 1-1 draw against crosstown rivals AC Milan in a sellout Serie A game. Jeremy Menez gave AC Milan a lead at halftime but Joel Obi equalised for Inter shortly after the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
IOC chief condemns Afghan bombing
Lausanne, Nov 24 (IANS) International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach condemned the suicide bombing at a volleyball tournament in Afghanistan. The lone bomber detonated explosives Sunday during a local...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Marseille tops French league
Paris, Nov 24 (IANS) Marseille have climbed to the top of the French league after rallying to beat Bordeaux 3-1. With the victory, they now enjoy a one-point lead over Paris Saint-Germain. Bordeaux striker Thomas...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
New crew aboard Russian spaceship reach ISS
Washington, Nov 24 (IANS) Three new crew members from the US, Russia and Italy arrived Monday at the International Space Station (ISS) on board a Russian spaceship. Terry Virts of NASA, Soyuz Commander Anton...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Sears plans for big Black Friday 2014
Sears is looking foward to cashing in big time for the upcoming Black Friday 2014 shopping holiday on Novermber 28th. Members of Sears have seen their Black Friday specials start one week early and the company has...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Apple gears up for Black Friday
Black Friday is fast approaching and one company that plans on seeing a sales increase is Apple. Apple has announced that they will have discounted prices for the upcoming buying holiday and one product they plan on...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Thousands protest in Chile in favour of new constitution
Santiago, Nov 24 (IANS/EFE) Several thousand people took to the streets of Santiago and other Chilean cities to demand a Constitutional Assembly as a means to provide the country with a new constitution, as was...
Read more on Politics Balla