Ted Cruz is under attack in Iowa … on his tax policy stance.
Seems that he regularly has to educate reporters on what is wrong with Washington :
The current tax code is an artifact of the Washington Cartel – lobbyists and special interests colluding with government to benefit themselves at the expense of taxpayers. Complexity is the Cartel’s greatest ally because it masks backroom favors. Our current labyrinth of a tax system has been a tool for Washington to amass power. Americans are rightfully suspicious of any government code that outruns the length of the Bible.
One would think that Cruz’s message of eliminating all loopholes and stopping corporate welfare, would play well in Iowa … except there are 75,000 Iowans employed in the renewable fuels industry … and protecting ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standards requirement is something that many Iowans livelihood depends on.
Eric Branstad, the son of Iowa’s Republican Governor Terry Branstad, leads America’s Renewable Future, which supports RSF requiring 10 percent ethanol to be blended into 95 percent of our gasoline, rates the candidates … calling Ted Cruz “Bad“.
Yep, Republicans can be labeled “Bad” if they threaten entrenched business interests.
RSF is an issue that candidates are questioned on in Iowa … but is soon forgotten as the campaign moves on to New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina …
As Senator, Cruz has authored legislation, S. 1584, to end RFS and seems to have to defend it at every Iowa campaign stop … like Friday in the small town ( population : 442) of Ringsted IA … where his response should be evaluated based not on the issue of blending of corn and gasoline; but instead on the blending of politicians and lobbyists.
Cruz understands that candidates are expected to bow to the ethanol altar in Iowa, yet he was straightforward in his assessment that this every four-year question of “who supports ethanol more” will continue … as the incentive is to keep lobbyists and politicians empowered … Cruz said, “it means to lobbyists get money or politicians get paid”.
Cruz is saying that politicians and lobbyists realize that their financial interests are the same … and as long as they keep an issue out there, the money flows to lobbyists and then to the politicians. They have created a Win-Win situation.
RSF may not have the impact on Minnesota’s Third District, but for Erik Paulsen, he has found an issue that keeps his filling his campaign coffers …and that issue is now set-up for perpetual renewal … meaning a perpetual need for lobbyists to send him campaign cash.
The issue … the repeal of the “onerous” the Medical Device EXCISE Tax … something that Congress could be done permanently or temporarily.
Of course, permanently means a big hit on the national debt (and end as a lobbyist’s issue) … or a two year suspension (keeping the lobbyists employed providing monies for re-election campaigns.)
As reported in the Strib on December 16th, Congress would approve a two year suspension … and on December 17th, the Medical Device Manufacturers Association PAC gave the Paulsen For Congress campaign $2500 for his primary election (does Representative Paulsen have a primary challenger ? … doesn’t matter ‘cause the PAC just needs to thank him).
Funny thing is that reviewing the donations that “Representative” Paulsen received from the industry — in the two weeks, after the suspension was announced:
$2,000 ABBOTT LABORATORIES EMPLOYEE PAC (AEPAC)
$2,000 AMSTED INDUSTRIES, INC. PAC
$1,500 BURNS & MCDONNELL, INC. PAC
$2,000 ELI LILLY AND COMPANY PAC
$1,000 HOLDEN INDUSTRIES INC PAC
$1,000 JOHNSON & JOHNSON PAC
$2,000 ST. JUDE MEDICAL PAC
All these companies have a stake in the medical device industry … but there are also contributions from individuals associated with the industry and made donations after the announcement, such as :
$2,700 MARK EVENSTAD CEO of UPSHER-SMITH
$450 FRANK W. SPAHN CFO of SIGNUS MEDICAL
$250 CAROLL H. NEUBAUER CFO of B. BRAUN MEDICAL INC
$500 SCOTT SUNDET CEO of CLARUS MEDICAL
Reviewing Erik Paulsen’s fourth quarter fundraising report, is very telling … telling that he is the consummate Washington insider … including $405,261 from Political Action Committees and big donors and only $2,133 from small donors.
Yep, that’s right the Medical Device Manufacturers PAC gave more money to his re-election campaign with one check, than all small donors combined !
Erik Paulsen tells his $2,133-paying constituents :
We need to close loopholes, we need to eliminate and reduce the number of expenditures and deductions and exemptions that bestow preferential treatment for varying interest groups and primarily only benefit a few.
Then Erik Paulsen returns to Washington to listen to what his $405,261-paying constituents want done.
While many will not agree with Ted Cruz on a lot of issues, his calling out the Washington Cartel is recognition of a real American problem — in the six years since the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, we’ve seen wealthy special interest money corrode our democracy and Washington.
Being labeled part of the “Washington Cartel” will probably not be on the “Reelect Erik Paulsen” posters, yet maybe it should be … actually, it should not be a surprise who Erik Paulsen represents … after all, he worked for Senator Rudy Boschwitz, and then on Congressman Jim Ramstad’s Washington staff … yep, not a surprise that the PACs and BigDonors know where to send the money.
Voters will have a chance to see if they will continue to buy-into the “marketing” of the “Washington Cartel“, or send somebody to Washington that will represent Minnesota’s interests.
— Michael Brodkorb (@mbrodkorb) January 28, 2016