Thursday, January 3, 2013

Legislators Explain Their Fiscal Cliff Vote

The Indianapolis Star published a set of comments from Indiana legislators explaining their vote on the "fiscal cliff; you can view it here. A couple highlights are below.

Rep. (now Senator) Joe Donnelly:"I voted for the bipartisan, Senate-passed compromise because it preserves low tax rates for 98% of families and 97% of small businesses. It is far from perfect, as I would have preferred to keep low rates for everyone for one year while our economy continues to recover, but the American people deserve a Congress that is willing to compromise to get things done.”

Rep. Todd Rokita said: “I opposed this bill because we have a spending problem, and the deal sent over by the Senate makes it worse. I will not consign our children to a debtors’ prison just to block President Obama’s tax hikes." (Does anyone understand what he is talking about here? Surely he can't be implying that the automatic cancellation of the Bush tax cuts were creations of President Obama.)

In an interview with WLFI Rokita places the blame for the national debt squarely on Medicaid and Social Security:

But Rokita said the real fiscal cliff is the impending financial issues with programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security that will drive our country into a $100 trillion debt during the next 50 years.

"That's all being driven by the fact that 10,000 people a day are retiring into programs whether its Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security and that's driving 62 percent of our federal spending and causing us to have to borrow all of this money," Rokita explained.

So will Rep. Rokita have any interest in cutting defense spending, closing tax loopholes, or any other steps aside from depriving middle class and less fortunate citizens of the benefits of Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security?