Monday, July 23, 2007

Walberg Interview at TCS Daily

TCS Daily-- formerly "Technology Central Station"-- is a website which comments on "Technology, Commerce, [and] Society." It was started by the lobbying group DCI, which has close political ties to the Republican Party. TCS Daily has been criticized for its conservative bias in the past.

So it's no surprise that Congressman Tim Walberg would want to do an interview with TCS Daily. And it's even less of a surprise that they'd talk about Walberg's favorite subject, that fictitious tax increase Walberg says Democrats support.

Here's what does surprise me, though. For as much as he talks about taxes, Walberg doesn't seem very comfortable talking about them, even with other conservatives. See, on question after question, he dodges the substance of the issue. He doesn't answer the questions. Take a look:

Schulz: Why were the tax cuts that were passed in 2001 and 2003 not made permanent when they were enacted?

Rep. Walberg: They should have been enacted as a permanent part of the tax code, and I will fight to make them permanent.

Note that he doesn't answer the "why," especially since it was Republicans that passed them.

Schulz: Supply-siders argue that tax cuts prompt growth that can offset the revenue losses due to rate cuts. Given the way taxes can influence growth, how do we know what the optimal level of taxation should be?

Rep. Walberg: The average taxpayer filing a 1040 spends 30 hours filling out a tax return and more than six in ten Americans now hire someone to help prepare their tax returns every year. The hundreds of billions of dollars spent each year complying with the federal tax code could be used more efficiently by families and small businesses to grow the nation's economy and create jobs. I support tax reform that will make the tax code simpler and stop the billions of wasted hours spent by Americans just to comply with a burdensome and overly-complex tax code.

Question: How do we know what the tax rate should be? Answer: The tax code is too complicated.

Schulz: What do you make of recent proposals to increase taxes on private equity firms by taxing the so-called 'carried interest'? Would your legislation address that?

Rep.Walberg: The Tax Increase Prevention Act would simply make permanent the tax relief from 2001 and 2003. I support restraining federal spending and have pledged not to raise taxes.

What do you think of taxing "carried interest"? Walberg doesn't have an opinion, except that you shouldn't raise taxes.

Schulz: How are we going to tackle the looming shortfall in entitlement payments, in particular in Medicare, without tax increases?

Rep. Walberg: If you look across the ocean to Europe, massive tax-and-spend policies in countries like France and Germany have led to anemic job creation and stagnant economies. France recently elected a new President based largely on his pledge to cut taxes, balance the French budget and get its economy moving again. Economic growth, increased prosperity and making the tough decisions on needed reforms to restrain entitlement spending are the keys to tackling the upcoming demographic issues related to entitlement spending. The last thing the American people need is higher taxes that will make our nation less prosperous.

How do we handle entitlements? Blame France.

I mean, really, this is pathetic. Congressman Walberg, this is supposed to be your area of expertise! You talk so much about cutting taxes, I'd think you knew the tax code inside and out! But when you're handed easy questions from a conservative and for a conservative audience, all you've got are the same tired talking points. You don't even bother to give real answers.


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He really does not understand many issues. With his little tirade at the Farm Bill hearing, he proved he does not understand what a pilot program is.

He is proof that anyone can get elected to Congress, but that it takes hard work, attention to detail, and some basic level of intelligence to do it effectivly.

He is entirely ineffective.
The American Right is loving using France as an example lately. Somehow though I suspect that France's tax cuts would amount to tax increases here. I don't see anything about France wanting a theocracy either.

"Americans believe, 58 percent to 40 percent, that it is necessary to believe in God to be moral. In contrast, other developed countries overwhelmingly believe that it is not necessary. In France, only 13 percent agree with the U.S. view."

Stick that in your pipe 'n' smoke it Tim.

Somewhat alarming to me is that the majority of Americans consider atheists and agnostics (and maybe polytheists) automatically immoral regardless of how we conduct ourselves. If that's not prejudicial I don't know what is.

Now I know why, despite Michigan Liberal containing about 40% nontheists, even Democratic politicians pretend to believe in God.
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