As has the other Democrat federal elected official in Louisiana, Rep. Charlie Melancon, Sen. Mary Landrieu has made a career of holding herself out as one thing to the voting public in order to obscure what her behavior tells us she really is, a big spending liberal. Her statements and actions dealing with H.R. 5297 remind us of that once again.
This bill, inspired by Pres. Barack Obama and put into action by his willing Democrat shills in Congress, essentially wastes another $42 billion but presents an opportunity to claim Democrat friendliness towards small business. It tries to extend $12 billion in tax credits to small business – but ones that are short-lived, thus ineffective, and that few businesses can claim. The other $30 billion would increase lending to small business but imposes qualification to lending institutions that lowers lending standards, thereby increasing the likelihood of waste through default, and gives the federal government some ownership in them. In short, this really does nothing to help small business but does assist the federal government in exerting more control over the economy, the major goal of the Obama Administration from its outset.
If the Obama Administration were serious about assisting small business, as the guy Melancon is challenging this fall Republican Sen. David Vitter pointed out, he would drop the idea of trying to raise taxes on small business owners which would impact nearly half of all small business income instead of pushing legislation designed to appear it actually does anything helpful, producing savings to business (and then passed on to consumers) of $35-40 billion. And mimicking the president’s exact behavior on these is Landrieu.
As chairwoman of the Senate’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Landrieu has propagated the myth about the legislation and cheerily said she thinks taxes ought to go up on single filing households of over $200,000 in income and also for those married filing jointly households of over $250,000. Expressing these preferences and then asserting you really want to help small business is an insult to the intelligence of any thinking person, but then concerning the bill yesterday in the Senate, Landrieu doubled down on her stupidity.
During debate, a Republican senator made an effort in the bill to amend out the so-called “1099 provision” in the recently passed health care overhaul law backed by Obama and Landrieu that will decrease the quality of care while raising expenses and increasing dramatically government control over the industry. A Democrat senator also offered one up which would have marginally changed the requirement but left it largely intact.
This part of the law requires any business doing at least $600 in business with anybody to file a 1099 tax form, which reports amount paid out to contractors. For most small businesses, this would dramatically increase record-keeping and reporting costs but Democrats are adamant on its existence because it might catch some leakage in tax paying (even as the Treasury Department says hardly any would be caught) that would go to “pay” for the additional costs that the health care changes will impose, even though Democrats have constantly spouted the fiction that it actually would save money. Further, they fear the undoing of one part of the law would lead to other changes that eventually could gut it.
The Republican amendment presented, a motion failed to lift cloture on it so it could be considered and thus it could not be amended into the bill. Then, like the good soldier and liberal who favors government over business, Landrieu along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sponsored the motion to invoke cloture against Republicans trying to stop the full bill, successfully. Afterwards, she mouthed platitudes and promises that she would present as separate legislation the changing of the 1099 filing rules – although this likely will be the watered-down version that also was prevented from being considered which will do little to alleviate the problem.
The pledge itself highlights the dual, hypocritical nature of Landrieu related to this very issue. When last year Landrieu announced that she was going to support the health care bill, she asserted it was the promise of the “FMAP fix” stuck into the bill that convinced her which would bring the state anywhere from $100-300 million. Less charitably called the “Louisiana Purchase” for the exchange of her crucial vote to enable passage, critics noted separate, standalone legislation then existed to do this. But apparently that idea wasn’t good enough for her went she wanted to give the shaft to the people; now, suddenly it is when she wants to do it to us again.
So let’s get this straight: Landrieu supports legislation that, at best, will do little to help small business, but supports tax hikes and paperwork requirements to hurt it far worse. Is this why she so eagerly sought the chairmanship of the Senate committee, so she could torture small business and entrepreneurs on a regular basis?
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 12:25