Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Club for Growth On-Air With $175,000

It's the moment we've all been waiting for... the Club for Growth is on the air:
Washington – Today, the Club for Growth PAC begins running a TV ad on Mark Schauer’s tax record in Michigan’s Seventh Congressional District. The $175,000 ad buy will run on broadcast television in the Lansing market and on cable stations throughout the Seventh District.
Here's the ad:

... That's intellectually dishonest!

For instance, the poor lady who's worried about Mark Schauer raising her Social Security taxes doesn't tell you that Schauer only said he would support removing the $90,000 cap on payroll taxes. From the article they cite:
Schauer said in a conference call with reporters that he would be open to such proposals as raising the current cap on payroll taxes but would not be open to private accounts. He says private accounts would "weaken" the entire Social Security program. He said he'd be open to a "bi-partisan solution that makes adjustments to current Social Security."
Currently, only the first $90,000 you make is taxed for Social Security. That is, if you make $60,000 each year, all $60,000 is subject to the payroll tax. If you make $160,000 each year, then $90,000 is subject to the payroll tax and the other $70,000 is not. Removing that cap is generally considered a part of the solution to Social Security's long-term solvency, and the public supports it:
"Currently, people pay Social Security taxes only on the first $90,000 of their annual income. If it were necessary to keep the Social Security program paying benefits as it does now, would you favor or oppose increasing the amount of income that is subject to Social Security taxes?"

Favor Oppose Unsure
% % %
6/10-15/05 63 30 7
Admittedly, that's a poll from 2005-- it's the most recent one I could find. But I find it hard to believe there's been a dramatic shift since then.

I'm going to come back to some of the other tax claims some other time, I promise. My point here is just to highlight the way that the Club for Growth sometimes represents certain things differently than you or I would.

Let's remember, these are the people who trashed Republican Congressman Joe Schwarz as "a liberal" who would spend your money, kill your babies, and take away your guns. They're not very nice, and they've got a lot of money. And, of course, they've had a reliable vote in Tim Walberg.

The Schauer campaign has responded:
BATTLE CREEK—Today the extreme Washington D.C. special interest group Club for Growth began airing its first attack ad against congressional candidate Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek).

"Club for Growth supports unfair trade deals and wants to privatize Social Security, and after Walberg admitted he was 'bought and paid for by them,' it's not surprising that the group is so desperate to save the seat they spent $1.1 million on two years ago," said Zack Pohl, spokesman for the Schauer campaign. "At a time when our country is facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Michigan can't afford two more years of the dangerous economic policies of Walberg and Club for Growth."


• According to Club for Growth's website, the group's agenda includes expanding free trade, deregulation and privatizing Social Security. [www.clubforgrowth.org/about.php]

• Walberg sticks up for those who ship our jobs overseas, and agreed that outsourcing has been "both necessary and good for the nation's economy." [Lansing State Journal, 4/27/04]

• In 2006, the Club spent $1.1 million to defeat moderate Republican Joe Schwarz and put Tim Walberg in Congress. [Club for Growth Press Release, 8/8/06; Ann Arbor News, 8/09/06]

• Walberg even admitted to the Jackson Citizen-Patriot he was "bought and paid for by them." [Jackson Citizen-Patriot, 7/23/06]
So what does this move mean?

It means that the Club for Growth thinks Tim Walberg is in trouble. They don't do incumbent protection, they go after "bad" Republicans and open seats. Spending $175,000 is probably just the beginning. Tim Walberg, despite all of the advantages of incumbency, can't win reelection on his own.

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