Donald Luskin at Conspiracy To Keep You Poor and Stupid was sent a note by Daniel Clifton of Americans For Tax Reform. Evidently, Mr. Clifton is upset over the duplicity of the Democratic Senators who defeated a motion to only consider bringing the Estate Tax Reform bill to the floor. The duplicity consists of:
**Interestingly, Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieu, and Ron Wyden voted for full repeal in 2002. Today, they voted against even considering the legislation for some type of reform. Hence they went from supporting a 0 percent estate tax to a 55 percent rate. That’s because this is not whether you support or oppose estate tax repeal. The Dems have actively traded votes to let their vulnerable members up for reelection support the legislation and have other members not up for reelection vote against the legislation, even if they support estate tax repeal/reform. This ensures incumbent protection while also ensuring 60 votes can never be reached.
As an example, Sen. John Breaux, the prime sponsor of the legislation for repeal, voted no in 2002 so Mary Landrieu can vote yes.**
The blatent deception of the American voters, openly on the Senate floor demonstrates how no one takes principles seriously anymore. In their minds, hypocrisy is not a bad thing because you are supposed to go with whatever works for now and don't worry about consequences. Thus, if you don't want to repeal the Estate Tax, but your constituents do, then come election time you can fool them by voting for repeal and ignoring your NO votes of the past.
I was reminded of Senator John Kerry's statement "I have never waivered" during the 04 presidential debates. I wondered how he could say that with a straight face on national television. I have decided that such behavior is that of a pure pragmatist, a person who has bought into the primacy of consciousness completely and believes reality is whatever he wills it to be on a daily basis. Whenever reality doesn't conform to his will, it is because, for some unknown reason, reality has conformed to someone else's will. (Considering the implications of that thought process could make for an interesting essay, but for another time.)
Of course, a pure pragmatist is to be differentiated from a partial pragmatist like a George Bush. Mr. Bush seems to go back and forth from pragmatic behavior to that based on his religous principles. Mr. Kerry is 100% tunnel vision on the here and now.
In fairness I have to assume the Republicans do the same thing when the Dems are running things. Anyway, I'm glad there are men like Mr. Clifton keeping track of such insanity.