Monday, June 9, 2008

Obama’s not especially interested

If Obama is for this:

* Expose Special Interest Tax Breaks to Public Scrutiny: Barack Obama will ensure that any tax breaks for corporate recipients — or tax earmarks — are also publicly available on the Internet in an easily searchable format. […]

* Sunlight Before Signing: Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.

And if Obama is against this:

"Instead of having all of us pay our fair share, we've got over $1 trillion worth of loopholes in the corporate tax code," he said. "This isn't the invisible hand of the market at work. It's the successful work of special interests."

And if Obama is critical of this:

“George Bush and his friends in Congress have given billions in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans who don’t need them and weren’t even asking for them,”

And since he’s probably too busy campaigning to actually vote on many bills these days, we can surely at least count on his strong opposition to this bill and the tactics being used to pass it (h/t American Thinker):

As early as this coming week, Senate Democrats could try to bypass the usual committee process and rush to the floor a tax bill that contains, buried in textual obscurity, a payoff to the class-action plaintiffs' attorneys who contribute millions of dollars to their campaigns. The bill previously passed the House without the usual notice to the Treasury Department for an official analysis of its provisions. The rush to judgment in both chambers of Congress, otherwise known as cramming it down opponents' throats, is objectionable. The trial-lawyer tax break is appalling. Together, they are an outrage.

The lawyers' payoff was slipped into a large bill with all sorts of other provisions such as extensions of a tax credit for research and development and of an optional deduction for individuals for their state sales tax payments. While those provisions would extend current law, the lawyers' payoff would change long-existing policy that already made good sense. At an estimated cost to the Treasury of $1.575 billion, the provision would encourage class-action plaintiff lawyers to file dubious long-shot, big-money cases. It does so simply by letting the attorneys deduct fees and expenses up-front. Existing law rightly treats such expenses as loans to their clients, to be repaid from ultimate awards if they win or deducted on their income reports at case's end if they lose.

A bill that proposes to give a special interest group who represents some of the richest Americans a big tax break, by rushing the bill through without normal procedures being followed and without adequate debate being allowed?

The Obama of campaign trail rhetoric would denounce, reject and object to such a thing.

But the Obama of Senate career actions will remain predictably silent. He’s not especially interested in frustrating the efforts of special interests where they line up with his ideology and line his campaign coffers.

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