(Page 2 of 2)
The good news is that my father was right. For 15 years, Jefferson has lived up to these promises, consistently ranking above the average Democrat in ratings from various right-leaning interest groups. He consistently scores above 50 percent from the Chamber of Commerce. He often scores above 40 percent in ratings from the American Shareholders Association. His consistent rating of 20 percent from the Americans for Tax Reform isn’t good, but most Democrats are worse than that. And for conservatives who believe in free trade, Jefferson has been splendid: He provided absolutely essential support for both NAFTA and CAFTA when both hung very much in the balance, and the libertarian Cato Institute’s Center for Trade Policy Studies he scored 82 percent in 2003-04 and a terrific 88 percent in 1999-2000.
While this decade he has voted against President Bush’s proposals to cut the capital gains tax rate, he has on record a host of votes in favor of cutting taxes on investments, especially (but not exclusively) for minority and other “disadvantaged” communities. He is one of the two lead House authors of a bill introduced last year to defer taxation of automatically reinvested capital gains until the shares are actually sold — an important issue for the millions of Americans who have mutual-fund retirement accounts, who otherwise must pay taxes each year on capital gains that occur only on paper.
On other issues of interest to conservatives, Jefferson has voted for drilling in ANWR, consistently for strategic missile defense, in favor of allowing military recruitment on college campuses, for a slew of tax cuts for small businesses, in favor of authorizing military force in Iraq, for tax breaks for independent oil producers back in the 1990s, and for a federal Marriage Amendment. The pro-abortion NARAL group gives him only a 30 percent rating, in part because of his opposition to partial birth abortion.p>Finally, Rep. Jefferson not only favors permanent repeal of the “death tax,” but speaks eloquently on the subject. To wit, from the Congressional Record of April 13, 2005 (as discovered by my friend and fellow columnist Deroy Murdock): br> /p>
What was meant to bring short-term budgetary relief has become a permanent burden on America’s farmers, small business owners and families…. There are many reasons to question the value of taxing the accumulated savings of productive, entrepreneurial citizens….Many families must watch their loved one’s legacy being snatched away by the federal government at an agonizing time. This is tragically wrong and nullifies the hard work of those who have passed on. In the minority community there are numerous examples of the injurious effects of the estate tax….Permanent repeal of the estate tax will provide American families with fairness in our tax system and remove the perverse incentive that makes it cheaper for an individual to sell the business prior to death and pay the individual capital gains rate than pass it on to his heirs. But for minorities, it provides much more. It will allow wealth created in one generation to be passed on to the next, thereby establishing sustainable minority communities through better jobs and education, better healthcare, and safer communities.br> If it is proved that Rep. Jefferson wasn’t content to provide for his family through honest capital formation, but resorted to bribery and graft instead, then he should suffer the full legal consequences. But for him for 15 years to have been better — more moderate in votes and in tone — than most Democrats, and especially than most member of the Congressional Black Caucus, is evidence that my father’s choice in 1990 was a wise one indeed. For that choice to pay a sort of backhanded political dividend now, in terms of making my father’s Republican Party a bit less vulnerable — that’s icing on the cake, or maybe ice cream in the cooler.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?