Friday, November 27, 2015

Dems: Toomey "disingenuous" on opposition to federal aid (updated)

Democrats Thursday pushed an assault on Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey for opposing $26 billion in aid to states that would preserve 12,000 public-employee jobs in Pennsylvania.

Dems: Toomey "disingenuous" on opposition to federal aid (updated)



Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey is "disingenuous" in opposing as an unaffordable bailout a $26 billion package in aid to states that would preserve 12,000 public-employee jobs in Pennsylvania, state Democratic Chairman Jim Burn said Thursday.

He pointed out that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that the version of the bill on its way to final Senate passage would reduce the federal deficit by $1.4 billion over 10 years. Yet Toomey wants to extend all the Bush tax cuts due to expire at the end of the year, which would add to the deficit, Burn said. Democrats want to return tax rates to pre-2001 levels for the wealthiest filers.

"He is pushing a tax cut for the wealthy while yelling 'deficit' to the rest of us," Burn said of Toomey. "The cost-benefit analysis in Mr. Toomey's world is on the side of corporate greed," he said.

One way the aid package is financed: limits on the credit corporations can take against their U.S. tax liability for taxes paid to foreign governments on their overseas operations. Democrats have argued for years that the current system gives an incentive for American corporations to move jobs offshore.

But the CBO projection of a $1.4 billion deficit reduction is "bogus," said Nachama Soloveichik, spokeswoman for Toomey. "The score is depending on things happening that aren't going to happen," she said. For instance, $11 billion of the package would be paid for by cuts in food-stamp benefits that would be imposed in 2014. Soloveichik argued that future Congresses are unlikely to impose such cuts in an anti-poverty program that traditionally enjoys bipartisan support.

"This is a taxpayer-funded bailout to the states for their bad spending decisions, and it sets a bad precedent,' she said.

The Democratic National Committee thinks that the Toomey campaign's explanation for opposing the aid involves twisted logic and something akin to time travel.

"If the Toomey campaign has invested in a crystal ball and knows what Congressional actions will take place in 2014, I urge them to share that technology with the broader political community," said DNC Northeast Press Secretary Michael Czin. "What other valuable information about future events does the Toomey campaign have access to that they’re not sharing?"

He suggested it would be better to look backward to the record 2001 Bush tax cuts, which Toomey voted for as a member of the House, for a deficit culprit.

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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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