House leadership has taken the biennial pre-election vacation, in other words Representatives Heck, Amodei, Titus, and Horsford will be home to face the voters. However, the House did leave with some parting gifts to corporate America which Representatives Heck and Amodei might wish to explain.
Parting gift (shot) number one: H.R. 4 the inaptly titled “Jobs for America Act.” What this might have to do with jobs is a mystery unless a person subscribes to the well debunked Trickle Down Hoax which says that the more tax breaks we give to corporations the more jobs will be created. In this measure the research tax credit is made permanent, businesses can expense certain depreciable business assets, corporations are given permanent tax relief, the bonus depreciation is modified and made permanent, the medical device tax is repealed, there are registration and reporting exemptions for private equity fund advisors, there are registration exemptions for merger and acquisition brokers, there are more reporting requirements on independent regulatory agencies and a retrospective analysis of existing federal regulations – (and what corporation doesn’t want ‘freedum’ from the SEC, the OCC, the FTC, the Consumer Safety Protection Bureau, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau…) —
And, then there’s congressional review of agency rule making, a permanent moratorium on internet taxes (pro Big Box and Amazon), a land exchange authority to privatize public lands in Oregon and California, and provisions on judicial review of agency actions relating to exploration and mine permits.
In short – this is the exploiters, polluters, hedge fund and private equity wealth management lobbyists laundry list of Things We Want! And, we like to have them now. It’s just about every tax cut and deregulations idea ever expounded. And, we know where tax cuts and deregulation got us in 2007-2008?
And, on September 18, 2014 the bill passed the Republican controlled House on a 253-163 vote. [rc513] Representatives Amodei and Heck voted in favor of the H.R. 4 – the Exploiters, Polluters, Hedge Fund Managers, Merger and Acquisition Brokers Protection Act of 2014. Representatives Titus and Horsford did not. But wait, there’s more!
Parting gift (shot) number two: The House also passed H.R. 2 the so-called “American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act.” If you think this is about creating permanent and well paying jobs for American workers, please find a copy of the bill text – because this is not about lowering your energy costs, nor is it about getting anyone a job – it’s about approving the Keystone Pipeline. That’s what the first section of the first part of the act is all about – approving the Keystone Pipeline to take Canadian oil to an International port. Here’s an idea – if the Canadians want to pipe their oil to a port, how about they pipe it to one of their own ports?
And while they’re about it there are provisions in the bill to prohibit the consideration of social costs of carbon in any analysis, repeal of earlier rules and guidelines on energy efficiency, and then Drill Baby Drill anywhere, any place, any time. This is the American Petroleum Institute’s dream bill. It’s a fossil fuel industry wet dream. And, it passed in the House 226 to 191. Representatives Amodei and Heck voted in favor of the Drill Baby Drill/ Keystone Pipeline bill; Representatives Titus and Horsford voted against it. [rc515]
Let’s guess that Representatives Heck and Amodei will come home to tell us they voted against those icky overburdening regulations on “Small Business In America” – the Norman Rockwell Painting People who run those Mom and Pop corner bodegas – not, so fast – the people they voted to protect are the corporate polluters, exploiters, hedge fund wealth management, merger and acquisition brokers, and Oil Giants. This activity creates jobs, IF and ONLY IF we are foolish enough to believe that cutting taxes on major multi-national corporations creates jobs, and we know that doesn’t work.
The House had time to vote to protect the Oil Giants and the Major Corporations in H.R. 2 and H.R. 4, but they didn’t have time before vacation to take up:
- The Voting Rights Act
- Equal Pay for Equal Work
- Comprehensive Immigration Reform
- Student Loan Terms and Indebtedness