Sunday, July 06, 2008

Every so often, even a Democrat gets it right...sometimes not

Those who follow this blog are aware that I am sometimes a bit hard on Congressman Bob Etheridge, as I should be. I am hard on him when he does things blatantly against the Constitution or against conservative principles. Every once in a while, some things are just plain common sense. Killing the AMT, or Alternative Minimum Tax is just plain common sense. It is enough so that even a Democrat can see that the tax should be eliminated. I am dubious as to the claims of "loopholes", but ending the AMT is a wise idea. I have no problem with ending subsidies to oil companies at all, since I am against corporate welfare programs. From WTSB's news page:
Etheridge Votes For Middle-Class Tax Relief Legislation
U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-Lillington), a member of the House Budget Committee, voted Thursday for legislation that provides $50 billion in middle-class tax relief for 25 million families. The AMT Relief Act of 2008 will save 33,083 families in the Second Congressional District from paying higher taxes under the Alternative Minimum Tax. “At a time of economic uncertainty and rising gas and food prices, this legislation will provide tax relief for thousands of North Carolina families who otherwise would see their tax rate rise dramatically due to the Alternative Minimum Tax,” said Etheridge. The Alternative Minimum Tax was originally designed to ensure very wealthy individuals do not avoid paying income tax. The tax now threatens to impact middle-class families and raise taxes on 25 million Americans if Congress fails to take action. The legislation is fiscally responsible and does not require borrowing money or adding to the deficit. To pay for middle-class tax relief the bill closes tax loopholes that allow multi-millionaires on Wall Street to pay a lower tax rate on their income than other working Americans, such as teachers and firefighters, cracks down on tax cheats and ends massive government subsidies for oil companies earning record profits.
Another bill that Etheridge is involved with is about ending "excess speculation" in the energy markets. Personally, this is one area in which the government needs to step out of, not into. It is a free market problem with a free market solution. Government interference kills freedom for those wishing to play in the market. Also from WTSB's news page:
U.S. Representative Bob Etheridge visited Stancil Oil Company in Selma Wednesday afternoon to discuss legislation he has authored that aims to prevent manipulation and excessive speculation in energy markets. Etheridge is Chair of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management of the House Agriculture Committee, which oversees the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The CFTC oversees futures trading on US exchanges. The Committee will hold hearings on the issues starting Monday, July 7. “North Carolina’s families are struggling to make ends meet while the cost of energy soars. Congress must ensure that investors are not artificially raising energy costs for their own gain while hard-working Americans are suffering,” Etheridge said on Wednesday. “No one factor is responsible for the current energy prices, but my legislation will attempt to keep our markets free of manipulation and excessive speculation.” Etheridge has thrown his support by the Gas Price Relief for Consumers Act, which has been approved by the US House. It is designed to combat record gas prices by authorizing lawsuits against oil cartel members for pricing fixing.
One thing I found out about Bob Etheridge is his occult activities in Freemasonry. Yes, I fully believe that the Masons are a cult, not just a fraternal organization. According to Wikipedia,
He is active in Freemasonry and is currently the Grand Orator for North Carolina Freemasonry.
I can not fault Bob on his dedicated service to his county, his state, and the nation. I can, however, fault him for his stances on issues. It is nothing personal. I give him credit where credit is due. He has supported several bills in the past that I thought were proper. When he does well, I give him praise and have done so on this very blog. When he does poorly, I remark as such.

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