A Tale of Two Senators (1 D, 1 R)



The Associated Press (or the Associated Depressed, as Mark Levin aptly calls it) has an article talking about the fact that with the Republicans taking control of the Senate, Democratic Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey will lose influence while Republican Senator Pat Toomey will gain some. The article provides an interesting comparison and contrast between the two.

Philosophically, Casey and Toomey tend to be starkly different. Casey is a favorite of labor unions and has supported the major elements of President Barack Obama’s agenda. Toomey, a budget hawk who discourages government regulation, is a favorite of free-market purists and business groups who has opposed nearly all of President Barack Obama’s agenda.

A budget hawk? A free market purist? Sounds good to me, even as I automatically disregard the pejorative wording--I have never heard of a Democrat called a "socialist purist" or "tax and spend purist", but never mind. It is, after all, the Associated Press.

Some things they agree on.

They both support legislation to force the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Canada’s tar sands oil across the United States to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico, and they both support the repeal of the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices — from pacemakers to tongue depressors, Toomey said — that is helping to fund the expansion of health care under Obama’s signature 2010 law.

Ok, that's fine. These aren't big issues, neither will change the country in a substantial way, but by themselves each is good to support.

In the meantime, Casey is setting his sights on legislation he thinks will help the middle class. That includes expanding federal funding for early childhood education, increasing the minimum wage, expanding tax breaks for small businesses and pumping more money into infrastructure.

This is about what I expect. Whatever "tax breaks" small businesses get will be more than offset by increased costs of complying with Obamacare, EPA requirements, the NLRB, etc. And pumping more money into infrastructure is simply a code phrase for more government spending. (Never explained is what this "infrastructure" is--parts of a building? A dam? A road? Something else? Obama's $1 trillion stimulus was also for "infrastructure" but ended up being merely supplemental spending for state and federal agencies for ongoing operations.)

Toomey said he will look to advance legislation to protect community banks from a 2010 law that overhauled finance-sector regulations in the wake of the worst disruption of the banking system since the 1930s. He also wants to toughen background checks for teachers to screen out sex predators, get more money to the National Institutes of Health to fight Alzheimer’s disease and ease the health care costs for businesses that hire military veterans.

What? Background checks for sex predators--that's very worthy, but that's a local issue. That has nothing to do with the federal government. Fighting Alzheimer's and getting veterans hired are both worthy goals, but... that's it? That's Toomey's main agenda? That's the main reason why he wanted to be elected Senator, to get more funds to fight Alzheimers?

What about repealing Obamacare? What about securing the border? What about getting government spending under control? What about stopping the NSA from spying on

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Will taxing big banks really help the middle class?


In President Obama's State of the Union address he will reportedly call for a tax on banks and use the revenue from that and a capital gains tax increase to fund tax breaks for the "middle class". The tax would not just be on any banks but only big banks, who, by virtue of being successful, are viewed by the Left as far more nefarious than their smaller counterparts. Specifically, the banks it would apply to must have at least $50 billion in assets. Since the left has no idea how to create wealth, they only way they can give it away is to redistribute it.
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