Sure they’re pushing through a pack of new taxes and regulations meant to punish the wealthy, but it’s really an effort to bring about a new era of centrist politics. That’s essentially how The Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery and Jeffrey Birnbaum characterized the new Democratic majority’s fiscal agenda in their January 18 Business section story.
Montgomery and Birnbaum admitted that business leaders fear the cost of higher taxes and regulation, writing that “a variety of businesses, from insurance companies to wholesalers are try to block proposals that would increase their taxes to generate cash for Democratic proposals.”
Chief among the revenue-raising plans, the Post writers explained, was a measure that Democrats hope will get Uncle Sam his money sooner rather than later. The new law “would limit the amount an executive could put” in a tax-deferred account to “$1 million a year or the amount of the executive’s annual salary, whichever is less.”
The Senate Finance Committee linking that cap on tax-free contributions to the minimum wage hike “symbolizes an effort on Capitol Hill to find a new political center in a Congress” that Democrats only narrowly control, Montgomery and Birnbaum gushed, even though both measures in question are liberal agenda items often rooted in class warfare rhetoric.
Indeed, Montgomery and Birnbaum went on to quote liberal Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) lamenting that the Senate bill “will cost taxpayers $8 billion” in tax breaks to businesses harmed by the minimum wage increase.
The reporters failed to note that Hoyer is hardly considered a friend of taxpayers by advocacy groups such as the conservative National Taxpayers Union, with which the Democratic majority leader voted only 13 percent of the time in 2005, earning Hoyer an “F” on its congressional scorecard.