Charlie Bass Goes to MSNBC and Ignores His Own Record of Reckless Spending, Record Deficits, and Special Interest Tax Breaks
Concord, NH - Former Congressman Charlie Bass has apparently forgotten his own record when it comes to government spending - a record that was defined by his support for reckless spending, record deficits, and tax breaks for the wealthy.
Appearing on MSNBC yesterday to discuss the 2010 political climate, Bass shockingly declared, "I wouldn't want to be an incumbent congressman who had raised spending," ignoring the fact that his role as a rubberstamp for George Bush's reckless spending turned a record surplus into a record deficit. Bass not only repeatedly voted for Bush budgets that ballooned the deficit, but he also supported making permanent the Bush special interest tax breaks that benefited the wealthiest Americans. Those tax policies would cost the Treasury approximately $4 trillion.
"Charlie Bass has no one to blame but himself when it comes to the federal deficit," said Derek Richer, Press Secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. "In Congress, Bass was nothing more than a rubberstamp for George Bush's reckless spending that turned a record surplus into a record deficit, and that Bush-Bass agenda helped create the mess our economy is in right now. Instead of trying to shift the blame, Bass should take a look in the mirror."
The Real Charlie Bass: A Rubberstamp for George Bush's Reckless Spending
Deficit Exploded Under Bush. Although President Bush had hoped to preside over a deficit reduction in his last year in office, the New York Times reported that the FY2009 budget he sent to Congress in February of 2008 would raise the federal deficit by nearly $250 billion- bringing it to $410 billion in 2008, up from $162 billion the year before. [New York Times, 2/05/08]
In 2007, the Washington Post reported that Bush "inherited a budget surplus when he took office, but it disappeared amid a recession, the 2001 terrorist attacks and his massive tax-cutting program. By 2004, the deficit had soared to $413 billion...but it fell to $248 billion [in 2006]." [Washington Post, 10/16/07]
Voted to Make Bush's Tax Breaks Permanent. In 2002, Bass voted to make the fiscally irresponsible Bush tax breaks permanent. In the first decade after 2012, the tax breaks would cost the Treasury approximately $4 trillion. When it is fully phased in, the cost of the tax breaks over the next 75 years will be more than twice as great as the entire 75-year shortfall projected in the Social Security Trust Fund. Additionally, when all of the enacted tax breaks are fully in effect, the benefits will flow disproportionately to those with the highest incomes. The 1.3 million tax filers who make up the most affluent one percent of filers will receive more than one-third of the tax breaks. At the same time, the 1.3 million tax filers in this elite group will receive about twice as much in tax breaks as the 78 million low- and moderate-income filers who comprise the bottom 60 percent of filers. The proposal passed, 229-198. [Associated Press, 4/19/02; Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, "The Administration's Proposal to Make the Tax Cut Permanent," 4/16/02; HR 586, Vote #103, 4/18/02]
Supported $70 Billion in Bush Tax Breaks That Benefited the Wealthiest Americans. In 2006, Bass voted in favor of $70 billion tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. The bill extended the Bush tax breaks on capital gains and dividends for two years, but only included a one year patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax, a tax that was particularly painful for millions of middle class families. The Washington Post called the bill a "windfall for the rich, and a hole in the federal budget." According to a study by the Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, Middle-income households would receive an average tax cut of $20, while the 0.2 percent of households with incomes over $1 million would get average tax breaks of $42,000. The bill passed 244-185. [Washington Post, 5/11/06; HR4297, Vote #135, 5/10/06]
Voted For Budget that Would Spend the Social Security Surplus, Increase the Debt. In 2004, Bass voted in favor of the FY 2005 Budget Resolution that spent $174 billion of the social security trust fund would pay in part for $55.2 billion in additional tax breaks. The agreement also increased the public debt limit by $690 billion. The plan includes much weaker rules against red ink than the Senate approved budget. The $ 2.4 trillion, one-year agreement would require any new tax breaks to be offset by spending cuts or tax increases elsewhere in the budget. But that "pay-as-you-go" rule expires in a year under the final version, instead of five years as in the original House bill. The measure passed 216-213. [CQ House Action Reports, "The Budget Agreement," 5/19/04; USA Today, 5/20/04; SCR 95, Vote #198, 5/19/04]
Bass Voted for FY 07 Budget that Hurt America's Working Families. In 2006, Bass voted in favor of a $2.8 trillion budget that is fiscally reckless and harmful for America's working families. The budget adds hundred of billions to the already record budget deficit and includes a provision to increase the debt limit by $653 billion to $9.6 trillion. It cuts key programs like education, health and veterans programs. It does nothing to help lower gas prices and does not provide a permanent fix for the Alternative Minimum Tax, which hurts millions of middle class families every year. The budget includes a projected deficit for 2006 of $372 billion, and a deficit for 2007 of $348 billion. By 2011, the deficit could total $1.1 trillion. The budget resolution contains no plans to balance the budget, and, in fact, the Republican policies make the deficit worse by $410 billion over five years relative to current budget policies. The bill passed 218-210. [House Budget Committee, Minority Staff Analysis of the FY 07 Budget; HCR 376, Vote #158, 5/18/06]
Supported Final $40 Billion Budget Cut Bill that Cut Billions from Medicaid and Student Loans. In 2006, Bass voted for the conference agreement to cut mandatory spending programs by $39.7 billion over the next five years. The measure cut a record $12.7 billion from federal student loan programs, $7 billion from Medicaid that included increased cost-sharing and premiums for the poor, $1.5 billion from child support enforcement and $2.7 billion from initiatives that help the nation's farmers. The bill also repealed a program - known as the Byrd amendment - that helped local employers injured by unfair trade. The measure did not touch a $5 billion HMO slush fund established by the 2003 Medicare bill, and after intense lobbying from the health insurance industry, the budget saved HMOs $22 billion dollars by maintaining Medicare reimbursement formulas that favored the industry. The bill passed 216-214. [House Budget Committee Minority Staff, "Key Provisions in the Conference Report on the Republican Spending Reconciliation Bill." 12/19/05; CQ Today, 2/1/06; Washington Post, 2/1/06; HRS 653, Vote #4, 2/1/06]