Baucus Confronts Blue Dogs on Taxes
Don’t ever let it be said that Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) wasn’t realistic about how Congress intends to pay to prevent millions of Americans from getting hit with the alternative minimum tax next year. (Here’s a hint: It doesn’t.) But the House Blue Dogs are pushing for offsets, which forced House leaders to pass their version of the bill last month without the so-called AMT patch.
(Senate Republicans blocked Baucus’ efforts to move the AMT patch through the upper chamber Tuesday, but all sides consider the patch to be must-pass legislation this year.)
Speaking Tuesday morning at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, Baucus announced that he has no intention of finding offsets for the AMT patch, and he added a short plea to the Blue Dogs to abandon their fiscal conservatism for the sake of legislative expedition:
They [the Blue Dogs] want to, ostensibly, pay for it, but frankly it’s just kabuki. We all know it’s not going to be paid for, so why go through all the motions, in my judgment. Let’s just get on with it.
Earlier in the speech Baucus explained, with much disdain, his agitation with the pay-as-you-go budget rules that the Blue Dogs so doggedly attempt to enforce.
We’ve got these budget rules, and the Democrats in this Congress — having … a majority of both bodies — are enforcing the budget rules, the so-called pay-go rule. So when you pass extenders, in a sense that’s a tax reduction, so you’ve got to increase taxes somewhere by the same amount according to the rules. And it’s just — it’s just nuts.
What a wonderful feeling it must be to consider it nuts to pay the bills.