Latest portrait of Pelosi, Rangel, Dingell. Only thing they forgot was the little red star.
"Read Their Lips
By Mallory Factor
"So what would the Democrats actually do in power? Voters are starting to ask, as polls suggest that Democratic control of the U.S. House is more and more possible.
For starters, take Nancy Pelosi, who would be Speaker of the House if the Democrats win. She has cut through a San Francisco fog of obscurity about the Democrats' intentions and spoken clearly: Last week she said that President Bush's tax cuts would have to be rolled back for those above "a certain level," with details to be worked out later. To parse this statement, recall that the Democrats' definition of "rich" is pretty broad; in 2001, before the Bush tax cuts were enacted, the 36% income tax rate kicked in at $166,500 for married couples filing jointly. Not content to stop at the usual "soak the rich" Democratic rhetoric, Pelosi also noted that middle-class tax relief would have to take a backseat (and maybe the caboose) to not increasing the deficit. So if the Democrats win, you will have no idea what your taxes will be next year.
Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York would be in charge of writing the nation's tax legislation. He would determine what rates you and your business will pay. Singing the same tune as Pelosi, Rangel recently said that if the Democrats win, "Everything is on the table." In fact, when he was asked if he would consider across-the-board income tax increases on everyone, including the middle class, he said "No question about it."
If top Democrats talk this way now before they're elected, what can we expect them to do afterwards?
Next, let's look at spending. One has to admit that the Republicans have given into the spending temptation, too, in the last few years. But the answer is structural reform to fight Congressional earmarks, not a change in party control. Rep. Pelosi suggests that most new spending would be "pay as you go." At first, this sounds good, with its hint of not adding new government programs until we can afford them. But "pay as you go" really means "pay before passing go"—and certainly don't collect any $300 tax refund checks as with the Bush tax cuts in 2001. Rep. Pelosi would be much more convincing on spending if her party had not already proposed $90 billion in new government spending, even before it takes control of the House. The only way to "pay as you go" and fund these programs is for "you" (the taxpayer) to "pay" more. That's why Rep. Rangel has to say that middle class tax increases have to be considered, too—just raising taxes on the rich won't pay for everything.
With $90 billion in spending proposals, and 12 years out of power, can we really believe that Democrats will turn on a dime to become the party of spending restraint? Instead, let's hope that this year's near-death experience for the Republicans will help keep them focused on cutting government spending and keeping taxes low.
Rep. Pelosi says she believes in the marketplace. But who knows what Rep. John Dingell of Michigan will want to regulate when he gets back to being Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee? When Dingell was chairman of the committee in the 1980s, the inside-the-Beltway political magazine National Journal described his jurisdiction as "anything that strikes Dingell's fancy."
Oh, and Rep. Pelosi says she'll pass five major bills (dealing with lobbying reform, homeland security, the minimum wage, the student loan program, and changing Medicare drug pricing rules) in the first 100 hours of the House's year. So much for debate on these important issues. Members of the House won't have time to read the bills, much less engage in open debate. Not a promising start.
The scent of impending power is evidently a truth serum for Democrats like Reps. Pelosi and Rangel. With their comments, the verdict is in: the economy simply can't afford a Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Rangel, or Chairman Dingell. "
Mr. Factor is Chairman of the Free Enterprise Fund. "