Hillary Clinton - Democrat
To be fair, I can't stand this woman. I'll be honest about this right up front. There is something about her politics, her work ethics, her moral ethics and her demeanor that frankly terrify me.
But to be fair, like I have done with the other candidates, I'm going to present her stance on the same topics I have the others. This will be very long because she loves to pontificate.
I pulled her bio from her website, might I add they sure make her sound good. If you knew nothing of her actual history . . .
Hillary was raised in a middle-class family in the middle of America. From that classic suburban childhood in Park Ridge, Illinois, Hillary went on to become one of America's foremost advocates for children and families; an attorney twice voted one of the most influential in America; a First Lady of Arkansas who helped transform the schools; a bestselling author; a First Lady for America who helped transform that role, becoming a champion for health care and families at home and a champion of women's rights and human rights around the world.
Since her path-breaking election to the United States Senate, Hillary has been a steadfast advocate for middle-class families, working to help create jobs, expand children's health care and protect Social Security from privatization. As the Senator representing New York after 9/11, Hillary has fought to strengthen our approach to homeland security and to improve our communications and intelligence operations. As the first New Yorker ever named to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hillary has been a tough critic of the administration's bungling of Iraq and a fierce advocate for proper equipment, health benefits, and treatment for military families.The life that Hugh and Dorothy Rodham created for Hillary and her two brothers was a classic 1950s middle-class suburban childhood. Park Ridge in those days was the kind of place where everyone left their doors unlocked and the neighborhood kids all played on the block together. Hillary was a Brownie and then a Girl Scout. She started her political life as a Republican, like her father. She even volunteered as a Goldwater girl!
Hillary went to Wellesley College, where she was chosen by her classmates to be the first-ever student commencement speaker. She talked about the tumultuous times that her generation was living through and said, "The challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible."
Next came Yale Law School, where Hillary focused on questions about how the law affected children and began her decades of work as an advocate for children and families. As a law student, Hillary represented foster children and parents in family court and worked on some of the earliest studies creating legal standards for identifying and protecting abused children. Following graduation, she became a staff attorney for the Children's Defense Fund.
After serving as only one of two women lawyers on the staff of the House Judiciary Committee considering the impeachment of Richard Nixon, Hillary chose not to pursue offers from major law firms. Instead she followed her heart and a man named Bill Clinton to Arkansas. They married in 1975 and their daughter Chelsea was born in 1980.
Hillary ran a legal aid clinic for the poor when she first got to Arkansas and handled cases of foster care and child abuse. Years later, she organized a group called Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. When she was just 30, President Carter appointed her to the board of the United States Legal Services Corporation, a federal nonprofit program that funds legal assistance for the poor.
When Bill was elected Governor of Arkansas, Hillary continued to advocate for children, leading a task force to improve education in Arkansas through higher standards for schools and serving on the board of the Arkansas Children's Hospital, helping them expand and improve their services. She also served on national boards for the Children's Defense Fund, the Child Care Action Campaign, and the Children's Television Workshop.
She also continued her legal career as a partner in a law firm. She led the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, which played a pioneering role in raising awareness of issues like sexual harassment and equal pay. Hillary was twice named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America.
When her husband was elected President in 1992, Hillary's work as a champion for women was recognized and admired around the world. She traveled the globe speaking out against the degradation and abuse of women and standing up for the powerful idea that women's rights are human rights.
In the White House, Hillary led efforts to make adoption easier, to expand early learning and child care, to increase funding for breast cancer research, and to help veterans suffering from Gulf War syndrome who had too often been ignored in the past. She helped launch a national campaign to prevent teen pregnancy and helped create the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, which moved children from foster care to adoption more quickly. Thanks in part to her efforts, the number of children who have moved out of foster care into adoption has increased dramatically.
As everyone knows, Hillary's fight for universal health coverage did not succeed. But her commitment to health care for every American has never wavered. She was instrumental in designing and championing the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which has provided millions of children with health insurance. She battled the big drug companies to force them to test their drugs for children and to make sure all kids get the immunizations they need through the Vaccines for Children Program. Immunization rates dramatically improved after the program launched.
Hillary's 1995 book It Takes A Village, about the responsibility we all have to help children succeed, became an international best seller. Hillary has donated the proceeds -- more than a million dollars -- to children's causes across the country.Hillary's autobiography, Living History, was also a best seller. It has been translated into 12 languages and sold over 1.3 million copies.
In 2000, Hillary was elected to the United States Senate from New York. As Senator, Hillary has continued her advocacy for children and families and has been a national leader on homeland security and national security issues.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Hillary worked with her colleagues to secure the funds New York needed to recover and rebuild. She fought to provide compensation to the families of the victims, grants for hard-hit small businesses, and health care for front line workers at Ground Zero. And she continues to work for resources that enable New York to grow, to improve homeland security for New York and other communities, and to protect all Americans from future attacks.
She is the first New Yorker ever to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, working to see that America's military has the necessary resources to protect our national security. She has visited troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and at Fort Drum in New York, home of the 10th Mountain Division and other New York bases, as well as at Walter Reed Military Hospital. She has learned first-hand the challenges facing American combat forces. Hillary passed legislation to track the health status of our troops so that conditions like Gulf War Syndrome would no longer be misdiagnosed. She is an original sponsor of legislation that expanded health benefits to members of the National Guard and Reserves and has been a strong critic of the Administration's handling of Iraq.
But Hillary has recognized that we can't ignore our problems at home while we face challenges overseas. She has introduced legislation to tie Congressional salary increases to an increase in the minimum wage, because she believes if America's working people don't deserve a raise, neither does Congress. She has supported a variety of middle-class tax cuts, including marriage penalty relief, property tax relief, and reduction in the Alternative Minimum Tax, and supports fiscally responsible pay-as-you-go budget rules. (See record of her votes on this below.) She helped pass legislation that encouraged investment to create jobs in struggling communities through the Renewal Communities program. She has championed legislation to bring broadband Internet access, which is so important in today's information economy, to rural America.
In the Senate, Hillary has not wavered in her work to expand quality affordable health care to more Americans. She worked to strengthen the Children's Health Insurance Program, which increased coverage for children in low income and working families. She authored legislation that has been enacted to improve quality and lower the cost of prescription drugs and to protect our food supply from bioterrorism. She sponsored legislation to increase America's commitment to fighting the global HIV/AIDS crisis, and is now leading the fight for expanded use of information technology in the health care system to decrease administrative costs, lower premiums, and reduce medical errors.
Her strong advocacy for children continues in the Senate. Some of Hillary's proudest achievements have been her work to ensure the safety of prescription drugs for children, with legislation now included in the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act, and her legislation to help schools address environmental hazards. She has also proposed expanding access to child care. She has passed legislation that will bring more qualified teachers into classrooms and more outstanding principals to lead our schools.
Hillary has been a powerful advocate for women in the Senate. Her commitment to supporting the rights guaranteed in Roe v. Wade and to reducing the number of abortions by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies was hailed by the New York Times as "frank talk...(and) a promising path." Hillary is one of the original cosponsors of the Prevention First Act to increase access to family planning. Her fight with the Bush Administration ensured that Plan B, an emergency contraceptive, will be available to millions of American women and will reduce the need for abortions.
Hillary is strongly committed to making sure that every American has the right to vote in fair, accessible, and credible elections. She introduced the Count Every Vote Act of 2005 to ensure better protection of votes and to ensure that every vote is counted.And there concludes her biography. Now her stance on the issues.
War on Terror: "America is ready for a leader who will end the war in Iraq and a president who will respect our Armed Forces by properly planning for the missions we ask our troops to undertake. If the Bush administration won't, as president and commander in chief, Hillary will end this war.
"Hillary opposes President Bush's plan to escalate the war and proposed, along with Senator Robert Byrd, legislation to end authority for the war in Iraq. The legislation will propose October 11, 2007 -- the five year anniversary of the original resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq -- as the expiration date for that resolution.
"The President would be required to come to Congress to seek new authority. Following deauthorization, Senator Clinton would not support any new legislation that did not start to remove our troops from the middle of this sectarian civil war.
She has also proposed a cap on troop levels to January 1, 2007 levels and put forth a comprehensive roadmap for ending the war. If it is followed, Hillary's bill, the Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act of 2007, will end the war before the next president takes the oath of office. But she has also been clear: if George Bush refuses to end the war, when she is president, she will.
Hillary opposes permanent bases in Iraq. She believes we may need a vastly reduced residual force to train Iraqi troops, provide logistical support, and conduct counterterrorism operations. But that is not a permanent force, and she has been clear that she does not plan a permanent occupation.
In addition to capping troop levels, Hillary's Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act of 2007 would:
* Require President Bush to begin removing the troops from Iraq within 90 days of passage, or Congress will revoke authorization for the war.
* Put an end to the blank check to the Iraqi government and give them real benchmarks with real consequences if they fail to meet them.
* Require the Secretary of Defense to certify that all troops sent to Iraq have the training and equipment they need.
Summary: Hillary Clinton has no understanding of the enemy we face. We fight an enemy, who on Friday night released a bin Laden video saying if all Americans became Muslims the war would end. Clinton believes that walking away from this battle will insure no more attacks on America? She would end the war on terror without having completely defeated the enemy? Can she really be that naive or stupid?
Illegal Immigration: (Pulled from her senatorial website.) Immigration is the lifeblood of America, a bedrock value tied to our founding and one that constantly renews the greatness of our country. America is and will always be a home for people who are willing to put in the hard work to create a better life for themselves and their families.
"Our immigration system is in crisis. It is estimated that we have over 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, 1.7 million of whom are children. Our current laws fail by not providing adequately for our national security. Also as a result of our broken system, many families are forced apart, unable to reunite with their spouses, parents, children, and siblings because of a shortage of visas. Our current system allows unscrupulous employers to skirt our laws and exploit undocumented workers in the name of cheap labor . As a consequence of our broken immigration system, there is a huge drain on our state social services, including financial strains on our local and state law enforcement. The situation leaves us with a lot of tough choices. We have a system that is broken and we have to find practical but fair solutions to fix it.
"I neither support illegal immigration nor the enactment of fruitless schemes that would penalize churches and hospitals for helping the truly needy. That will not fix the mess we are in.
"I support comprehensive immigration reform.
"That reform has to be based on:
* Strengthening our borders to make us safer from the threat of terrorism and using new technology to help our Border Patrol agents be more effective;
* Greater cross-border co-operation with our neighbors, especially Mexico, to solve the problem of illegal immigration;
* New enforcement laws that are both strict and fair;
* Harsh penalties for those who exploit undocumented workers;
* A fairer process for people seeking to come to America, especially for those whose families have been torn apart;
* A path to earned citizenship for those who are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law, and willing to meet a high bar for becoming a citizen.
"So I will support plans that meet these principles, and I will oppose one-sided solutions that simply sound tough but do little to deal with either our porous borders or the millions of families who live here."
Summary: She says that she is for immigration reform, but has supported complete and total amnesty with her votes. Amnesty has been tried twice before to stem the flow of illegal aliens and did not work. She wants to welcome everyone in, not punish the lawbreakers, but she wants to establish a system to grant amnesty and provide an easier, legal way for immigrants to come into the United States. In addition, she wants all the family members of these illegal immigrants to be welcomed in and made citizens as well.
Our health system is breaking under the load of illegal immigrants receiving free health care while Americans do without. She wants to continue the free health care. So basically, I believe Hillary Clinton is an illegal immigrant proponent. She currently has a D- rating from the leading Immigration private think tanks that track these stats. She has done nothing during her time in the senate to improve the illegal immigration situation.
National Security: A few weeks ago, Clinton said the following: "Sen. Hillary Clinton told the crowd gathered at the home of Gary and Carol Sobelson of Concord that if terrorists attacked the United States before the election "that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world." UnionLeader.com
Summary: With a statement such as this, Clinton shows that she hasn't seriously considered the issues facing American National Security, but is simply using it as an election tool. I've searched the internet for definitive answers on her stances on Homeland Security, border security, functions of the CIA, FBI, NSA, DEA and more . . . everyone has an opinion but I couldn't find anything from Hillary herself. I'm getting sick of reading about her back and forth stance on it. I want to know what SHE said. So I don't believe I can give you a clear stance from her. There are those who say she is weak on National Security, others who say she's right on the money. I know this, the other candidates made it very easy for me to find their stances on this issues, Clinton has not.
Abortion: Clinton is distinctly and 100% pro-abortion. From her website we learn: "When it comes to each woman's ability to make the most personal of life decisions, Hillary has stood firm as an advocate for a woman's right to choose. She has expanded access to family planning services, including for low-income women. She spoke out forcefully against the Supreme Court's April 2007 decision that -- for the first time in decades -- failed to recognize the importance of women's health."
Her website goes on to say, "Hillary has fought the relentless and insidious efforts by far-right Republicans to limit the protections of Roe v Wade, while also working hard to expand access to family planning services.
"Hillary has seen what happens when governments try to control a woman's reproductive health decisions. Whether it was Romania under a dictatorship saying you had to have children for the good of the state or China saying you had to have only one child for the good of the state, governments have dictated the most private and important decisions that we as individuals or families can make.
"She has championed the Prevention First Act, which expands access to family planning services for low-income women, requires health insurance companies to cover contraception, and provides a dedicated funding stream for age-appropriate, medically accurate, comprehensive sex education.
"As First Lady, she helped pass the Family and Medical Leave Act and helped found the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancies, which established and achieved a goal of reducing teen pregnancies by one-third between 1996 and 2005.
"In partnership with Senator Patty Murray, Hillary waged a successful three-year battle to get the Food and Drug Administration to accept the overwhelming recommendation of the medical community and make Plan B (the "morning after" pill) available over the counter.
Education: Again, from her website we read: "As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Subcommittee on Children and Families, I was one of the key negotiators of The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA), the comprehensive overhaul of our nation’s elementary and secondary education policy that made New York schools more accountable to New York’s families. And today I am holding the Administration accountable for not providing the resources that it promised to allow the landmark law to succeed. I will continue to work tirelessly to support early childhood education, improve teacher training, lower class size, eliminate environmental hazards in schools, make college affordable and accessible, reward innovations in education, and protect the programs that work for all of New York’s children."
Summary: The "No Child Left Behind Act" is one of the greatest failures this nation has seen educationally. She shouldn't be so proud of it. She wants to pour vasts amounts of money into it without understanding that each state determines its educational policies, not the federal government. Taking that away from the states, tying it to federal funds, that is not the solution.
Right to Keep and Bear Arms: As near as I can tell, Clinton is completely anti-2nd Amendment, which is the right to keep and bear arms. She has nothing on her presidential website about it. There are loads of blogs, websites and newspaper attacking her stance on the 2nd Amendment. On the Issues website had these quotes from her regarding gun control:
"Hillary Rodham Clinton offered her support for a legislative proposal to license hand guns. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer, would require anyone who wants to purchase a gun to obtain a state-issued photo gun license. “I stand in support of this common sense legislation to license everyone who wishes to purchase a gun,” Clinton said. “I also believe that every new handgun sale or transfer should be registered in a national registry, such as Chuck is proposing.” Source: CNN.com Jun 2, 2000
They go on to report that Hillary Clinton voted No on the following legislation:
"A bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others. Had she Voted YES she would have supported:
- Exempt lawsuits brought against individuals who knowingly transfer a firearm that will be used to commit a violent or drug-trafficking crime
- Exempt lawsuits against actions that result in death, physical injury or property damage due solely to a product defect
- Call for the dismissal of all qualified civil liability actions pending on the date of enactment by the court in which the action was brought
- Prohibit the manufacture, import, sale or delivery of armor piercing ammunition, and sets a minimum prison term of 15 years for violations
- Require all licensed importers, manufacturers and dealers who engage in the transfer of handguns to provide secure gun storage or safety devices Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-219 on Jul 29, 2005
Budget and Economy: In a speech on Budget and Econmy in New Hampshire in May of this year, the New York Times reported that Clinton said, "leveling the playing field” by reducing tax breaks for major corporations; allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies; eliminate incentives that lead American companies to move jobs overseas; change the tax code so companies no longer escape taxes by moving business profits overseas; “recommit ourselves” to the goal of giving all students a chance to go to college; and provide universal health care and “save” Social Security.
"Mrs. Clinton also said she was “not giving up on manufacturing,” but said that the “right” economic policies were needed to reinvigorate the manufacturing base. Again, she did not share many details of her plans in the 37-minute minute speech, though she did say that new jobs related to energy research and efficiencies and alternative energies could prove as much of a boost for the economy in coming years as new jobs in telecommunications helped fuel the economy in the 1990s."This is the problem I'm finding. She says she wants to do all these things, but her voting record shows the following:
She voted NO on paying down federal debt by rating programs' effectiveness. This amendment intends to pay down the Federal debt and eliminate government waste by reducing spending on programs rated ineffective by the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART).Here's the problem I'm running into with Hillary that I did not run into with the other candidates. The information is scarce. Oh, she talks about what she wants to do but she doesn't get into "how" she's going to do it. I've combed her candidate website, her senatorial website, the On the Issues website and the main newspapers. There is a truckload of information across the web, but in trying to gain information only from reputable sources I'm running into buzz saws. She gives no indication as to how she will pay for the quote at the beginning of this topic.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
"My amendment says we are going to take about $18 billion as a strong signal from the Congress that we want to support effective programs and we want the taxpayer dollars spent in a responsible way. My amendment doesn't take all of the $88 billion for the programs found by PART, realizing there may be points in time when another program is not meeting its goals and needs more money. So that flexibility is allowed in this particular amendment. It doesn't target any specific program. Almost worse than being rated ineffective, we have programs out there that have made absolutely no effort at all to measure their results. I believe these are the worst offenders. In the following years, I hope Congress will look at those programs to create accountability."
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
"The effect of this amendment will simply be to cut domestic discretionary spending $18 billion. Understand the programs that have been identified in the PART program are results not proven. Here are programs affected: Border Patrol, Coast Guard search and rescue, high-intensity drug trafficking areas, LIHEAP, rural education, child abuse prevention, and treatment. If there is a problem in those programs, they ought to be fixed. We ought not to be cutting Border Patrol, Coast Guard search and rescue, high-intensity drug trafficking areas, LIHEAP, rural education, and the rest. I urge a "no" vote."
Reference: Allard Amendment; Bill S.Amdt.491 on S.Con.Res.21 ; vote number 2007-090 on Mar 22, 2007
Clinton voted NO on $40B in reduced federal overall spending. This was a vote to pass a bill that reduces federal spending by $40 billion over five years by decreasing the amount of funds spent on Medicaid, Medicare, agriculture, employee pensions, conservation, and student loans. The bill also provides a down-payment toward hurricane recovery and reconstruction costs. Reference: Work, Marriage, and Family Promotion Reconciliation Act; Bill S. 1932 ; vote number 2005-363 on Dec 21, 2005
However, to her credit, in a letter to the United States Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board she stated, "It is with great concern that I witnessed the recent volatility in the global markets and the undeniable impact it had on U.S. markets. Indeed, I believe that the economic policies of the last six years have contributed to an erosion of U.S. economic sovereignty and have made us more dependent on the economic decisions of other nations. Moreover, I believe that action should be taken now to address some of the underlying issues that contributed to yesterday's market disruption.
"Markets to a certain degree will always be volatile, and to a great extent we are fortunate that our domestic markets are deep enough to absorb certain shocks. But what happened yesterday underscores the exposure of our economy to economic developments in countries like China. As we have been running trade and budget deficits, they have been buying our debt and in essence becoming our banker. While the President has touted recent improvements in the overall budget deficit picture, it is undeniable that the exponential growth of foreign debt in the last six years has undermined our economic standing. We have to curb these deficits and ensure foreign governments don't own too much of our public debt and take steps to ensure that our economic well being is soundly in our own hands."
She is absolutely right in this tact. The difference between Clinton and the other candidates is the how. The how I still haven't been able to find.
Summary: She wants to reduce the national debt and reduce American debt held by other nations. That's good. But she has not voted to streamline the government or provide fiscal and operation accountability. To use one of their examples, the Border Patrol is rife with corruption. What congress has done is to throw more men at the Border Patrol without fixing the corruption. So, she's for fiscal responsibility but her voting record doesn't show this. I think.
"The choices we make about energy touch nearly every aspect of our lives. Our economy, our national security, our health, and the future of our planet are all at stake as we make a choice between energy independence and dependence on foreign sources of oil.
"Hillary has championed policies that encourage development of alternative energy technologies and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. She has proposed an Apollo Project-like program dedicated to achieving energy independence.
"Hillary recognizes that global climate change is one of the most pressing moral issues of our time. She supports policies to reduce carbon emissions and other pollution that contribute to global warming.
"In the White House, Hillary will lead the charge to stop global warming by investing in clean energy technologies, establishing a national market-based program to reduce global warming pollution, increasing our fuel efficiency, and restoring the United States' rightful place as a leader in international efforts to address the problem of climate change.
"Hillary introduced a plan to Congress to create a Strategic Energy Fund that would inject $50 billion into research, development, and deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean coal technology, ethanol and other homegrown biofuels, and more.
"We can create the fund without raising taxes by giving oil companies a choice: invest in renewable energy themselves or pay into the fund. She would also eliminate oil companies' tax breaks and make sure they pay their fair share for drilling on public lands."
Summary: If Hilary is elected president and manages to push this through, gas prices will go through the roof, as if they aren't alread. The oil companies now only make, I think it's $8 a barrel out of the $76.70 it charges. At the pump we pay huge amounts of fees and taxes and her answer is to charge more. She won't consider utilizing the resources of Utah, Colorado and Wyoming which is shale oil, or the drilling of oil in any other state. She's a proponent of global warming.
Tax Reform: Again, on both her presidential and senatorial website she does not address tax reform. We're going to have to simply go on her voting record.
Amendment would accommodate the full repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax, preventing 23 million families and individuals from being subject to the AMT in 2007, and millions of families and individuals in subsequent years.
Voted NO on repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
This amendment repeals the AMT. Except for the telephone tax, the alternative minimum tax is the phoniest tax we have ever passed. The AMT, in 1969, was meant to hit 155 taxpayers who used legal means to avoid taxation, under the theory that everybody ought to pay some income tax.
This very year, more than 2,000 people who are very wealthy are not paying any income tax or alternative minimum income tax. So it is not even working and hitting the people it is supposed to hit. Right now, this year, 2007, the year we are in, there are 23 million families that are going to be hit by this tax. It is a phony revenue machine, over 5 years, $467 billion dollars. We are going to have to have a point of order this year to keep these 23 million taxpayers from paying this tax. We might as well do away with it right now, once and for all, and be honest about it.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
The reality of the budget resolution is this may not have anything to do with eliminating the alternative minimum tax. The one thing it will do is reduce the revenue of the Government over the next 5 years by $533 billion, plunging us right back into deficit. Look, we can deal with the AMT. We have dealt with it in the underlying budget resolution for the next 2 years. There will be no increase in the number of people affected by the AMT for the next 2 years under the budget resolution, and that is paid for. Unfortunately, this amendment is not paid for. It would plunge us back into deficit. I urge my colleagues to vote no. Reference: Grassley Amendment; Bill S.Amdt.471 on S.Con.Res.21 ; vote number 2007-108 on Mar 23, 2007
An amendment to raise the death tax exemption to $5 million; reducing the maximum death tax rate to 35%; and to promote economic growth by extending the lower tax rates on dividends and capital gains.
Voted NO on raising estate tax exemption to $5 million.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
It is disappointing to many family businesses and farm owners to set the death tax rate at what I believe is a confiscatory 45% and set the exemption at only $3.5 million, which most of us believe is too low. This leaves more than 22,000 families subject to the estate tax each year.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
You can extend all the tax breaks that have been described in this amendment if you pay for them. The problem with the amendment is that over $70 billion is not paid for. It goes on the deficit, which will drive the budget right out of balance. We will be going right back into the deficit ditch. Let us resist this amendment. People could support it if it was paid for, but it is not. However well intended the amendment is, it spends $72.5 billion with no offset. This amendment blows the budget. This amendment takes us from a balance in 2012 right back into deficit. My colleagues can extend those tax cuts if they pay for them, if they offset them. This amendment does not pay for them; it does not offset them; it takes us back into deficit. It ought to be defeated. Reference: Kyl Amendment; Bill S.Amdt.507 on S.Con.Res.21 ; vote number 2007-083 on Mar 21, 2007
Increases the estate tax exclusion to $5,000,000, effective 2015, and repeals the sunset provision for the estate and generation-skipping taxes. Lowers the estate tax rate to equal the current long-term capital gains tax rate (i.e., 15% through 2010) for taxable estates up to $25 million. Repeals after 2009 the estate tax deduction paid to states.
Voted NO on supporting permanence of estate tax cuts.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
The permanent solution to the death tax challenge that we have today is a compromise. It is a compromise that prevents the death rate from escalating to 55% and the exclusion dropping to $1 million in 2011. It also includes a minimum wage increase, 40% over the next 3 years. Voting YES is a vote for that permanent death tax relief. Voting YES is for that extension of tax relief. Voting YES is for that 40% minimum wage increase. This gives us the opportunity to address an issue that will affect the typical American family, farmers, & small business owners.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Family businesses and family farms should not be broken up to pay taxes. With the booming economy of the 1990s, many more Americans joined the ranks of those who could face estate taxes. Raising the exemption level and lowering the rate in past legislation made sense. Under current law, in my State of Delaware, fewer than 50 families will face any estate tax in 2009. I oppose this legislation's complete repeal of the estate tax because it will cost us $750 billion. Given the world we live in today, with clear domestic needs unmet, full repeal is a luxury that we cannot afford.
To add insult to this injury, the first pay raise for minimum wage workers in 10 years is now hostage to this estate tax cut. We are told that to get those folks on minimum wage a raise, we have to go into debt, so that the sons and daughters of the 7,000 most fortunate families among us will be spared the estate tax. We must say no to this transparent gimmick. Reference: Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act; Bill H.R. 5970 ; vote number 2006-229 on Aug 3, 2006
A cloture motion ends debate and forces a vote on the issue. In this case, voting YES implies support for permanently repealing the death tax. Voting against cloture would allow further amendments. A cloture motion requires a 3/5th majority to pass. This cloture motion failed, and there was therefore no vote on repealing the death tax.
Voted NO on permanently repealing the `death tax`.
- Proponents of the motion say:
- We already pay enough taxes over our lifetimes We are taxed from that first cup of coffee in the morning to the time we flip off the lights at bedtime. If you are an enterprising entrepreneur who has worked hard to grow a family business or to keep and maintain that family farm, your spouse and children can expect to hear the knock of the tax man right after the Grim Reaper.
- In the past, when Congress enacted a death tax, it was at an extraordinary time of war, and the purpose was to raise temporary funds. But after the war was over the death tax was repealed. But that changed in the last century. The death tax was imposed and has never been lifted.
- The death tax tells people it is better to consume today than to invest for the future. That doesn't make sense.
- Opponents of the motion say:
- Small businesses and farms rarely--if ever--are forced to sell off assets or close up shop to pay the tax. Under the current exemption, roughly 99% of estates owe nothing in estate taxes. By 2011, with a $3.5 million exemption, only two of every 100,000 people who die that year would be subject to the estate tax.
- Today's vote is on a motion to proceed to a bill to repeal the estate tax. Not to proceed to a compromise or any other deal--but to full repeal. I oppose full repeal of the estate tax. Our Nation can no longer afford this tax break for the very well off. Permanently repealing the estate tax would add about $1 trillion to our national debt from 2011 to 2021. Reference: Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act; Bill HR 8 ; vote number 2006-164 on Jun 8, 2006
Hillary Clinton is the front-runner in the Democrat presidential race. She is a serious contender and could very well be the next president of the United States, God forbid. (And I really mean that.) Is this the type of president we want: big government, federal override of a number of state programs, further erosion of state rights, reduction of the military and pulling back on the war in terror (she doesn't understand that they won't let us pull back.) You may learn more about Hillary at her senatorial website and her presidential candidacy website.