After his vote to increase the deficit in the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations, I think so.
Definitely so. Think about it.
He voted to increase federal income taxes on “rich folks”, giving more revenue to a bloated government without demanding cuts in spending. He voted to increase capital gains taxes without demanding cuts in spending. He voted to increase dividend taxes without demanding cuts in spending. He voted to extend unemployment payments to the tune of $30 billion in more debt without demanding cuts in spending. He voted to extend the marriage penalty for those of us that are married without demanding cuts in spending. He voted to extend the Earned Income Tax Credit for couples making $50,270 and singles making $45,000 (this is the program that basically pays someone to have kids) without demanding cuts in spending.
That is way, way, way, way, way, way out of step with Republican primary voters in Texas. I guarantee it.
So what was his excuse? According to Richard Dunham’s report in the Houston Chronicle:
“I voted for this bill because it prevents a huge tax increase on 99 percent of all Texans and Americans. Nonetheless, I am dismayed at the lack of seriousness by the president on dealing with the core issues of our fiscal problems. Our spending is unsustainable and it is high time the president and his party engage in meaningful dialogue to get this county’s spending under control.”
LOL, according to Sen. Cornyn, “Our spending is unsustainable” – so he votes for more spending? No restraint? Another $4 TRILLION added to the country’s debt?
And it is really interesting to note that Sen. Cornyn agreed with noted taxpayer champion Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s reasoning for voting for the “deal”:
Fiscal cliff bringing $2,200 tax hike on#middleclass,shows new report.I’m ready to prevent it. Is House GOP? http://t.co/zXjYXHy3
Yeah, he’s ripe for a primary challenge.
Look, I’ve been a supporter of Sen. Cornyn’s for a long time but that doesn’t mean I can’t criticize him, as I did with his support of the original TARP bill. And yes, he is a conservative and has done some good stuff for us during his time in Washington DC.
But at some point, you have to ask “why aren’t you voting conservative on fiscal issues?” And not accept a non-answer like the one above.
If someone does challenge him, they will face an uphill fight to be sure. Sen. Cornyn has deep roots, an extensive campaign organization, and the support of many party leaders. I think, as do most people, that Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott would easily beat him in a primary but I’m told that they are such good friends that Abbott will not challenge him. Which makes you wonder about Abbott but that is for another day.
Is this the race that State Sen. Dan Patrick will attempt? Before you dismiss him, remember, this is a Republican primary we’re talking about. What happens if Dan Branch takes a shot? Now that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has decided to embrace Tea Party groups and far right activists, will he forgo another run at Lt. Gov. and give the Senate another run? Stranger things have happened. Does George P. Bush have the spine to challenge him? Doubtful because they run in the same circles but if he sees an opening, does he take the chance? Who knows?
What I do know is that Sen. Cornyn’s vote on the fiscal cliff is out of touch with Republican primary voters in Texas. And that can’t be a good thing for him. Perhaps he is betting that Texas Republicans are going to move towards the center in the next 15 months.
I darn sure wouldn’t take that bet if I were him. If a miracle occurs and the House stands up and votes this “compromise” down, perhaps Sen. Cornyn will use the opportunity to make amends by demanding that spending be cut.
We can only hope at this point.
Sally Belladonna Baggins Stricklett says
You know where I stand. He's a major part of the problem and out of touch.
Matthew Dexter says
ANY and every incumbent should be ripe for a challenge!! These bums in DC make me sick! We as voters are to blame, too! We keep sending them to do a job they prove time and again they can’t get done! If I performed like they do, I would lose my job. They all should, too!!
Tax cuts lead to increases in tax revenues because they cause the economy to grow, and then more dollars are taxed at the lower rate. Tax increases cause revenues to decrease because more people evade the taxes (legally or not) and the economy contracts so fewer dollars are taxed at the higher rate.
I have been hoping ever since Cruz won the primary that Cornyn would get a tea party primary challenge. I pray that this helps a true conservative to rise up. I’m just not sure who that would be yet (I see Abbott as a more likely future governor or prez of the Republic of Texas!).
William Vining says
I think all the knee-jerk reactions like this one miss the bare political reality here: the next election is not for president and for only one third of the Senate and the entire House. If the House had failed to act in the way that it did, they are the ones up to take the voter's ire, not Obama and not most of the Senate. The real insanity was in doing this "sequester" deal instead of taking the 4 for 1 spending cuts deal Obama offered back when the Tea Party delivered him a vicious electoral beating. In hindsight, it was obviously the best deal conservative's could have got, but they went for the birds in the bush instead and gambled on defeating Obama.
They could have taken those cuts, and then if the beat Obama, put the tax code back to where it was. Instead, they threw the dice and lost. They set themselves like bowling pins by agreeing to the sequester. I don't blame Cornyn, he had to make the smart choice and do the one thing that keeps the House in play for 2014. If the House refused to act, the pocketbook issues would have killed them. Spending cuts are not a crisis facing the average man tomorrow. Having your taxes go up and milk prices doubling along with the inevitable hits to the 401ks when the market cratered, well, the average man is going to take that right in the chops, and he is going to visit his anger on the next available politician, who in 2014 will be sitting in the US House.
The best way to deal with this situation for the GOP is the one that seems to be eluding them: win elections. Get off the social issues. Don't let the knee-jerk Tea Party screamers push primary elections to extreme candidates who are simply pushing ideas the general electorate simply doesn't agree with. David seems to be doing just that. Each election cycle will, like it or not, reflect a changing demographic in Texas as older white voters die off and are replaced with the children of illegal immigrants and younger voters who simply don't have the same social outlook as your typical Boomer Texan. House districts will become more and more in play. Texas Republicans can choose either to moderate their message or become increasingly marginalized. Cornyn simply decided to keep his powder dry and wait for a better day, there simply was no "win" in this for anyone except for those who had the insane idea that the smart thing to do politically was to wreck the economy in order to make a political point.
Matthew Dexter says
The issue here is that Mr. Cornyn is part of the larger problem. ALL of congress should be held accountable for failing to address this issue for well over a year and then patting themselves on the back for making “tough decisions”. Hell, they created the very mess they tried to avert.
As dave said, why is it “un-American” to hold accountable and question the people who work for you and ask for your vote when they continually fail to do the job they promise. They are more than happy to take your questions when you are writign them checks for their campaign and helping them “get out the vote”, but once the election is over, God forbid you ask the tough qustions and hold them accountable for failing the people who sent them to do a job they can’t get done.
This is not an attack on our leaders from the rear. It’s a movement to hold them accountable for their continued failuires. It really doesnt matter that thy dont have “control” of the Senate od teh White House. That should not matter one bit when it comes to standing up for your principles and hold true to the values you ran on to get the office in the first place.
Senator Cornyn, you and Kay B should be ashamed of yourselves for being the awful negotiators you proved yourselves to be this time around. You and the rest of congress had well over a year to get this task accomplished and you let tit run to beyond the deadline. Then, you gave up the farm. Yes, there is an argument to be made that it could have been a lot worse, but why did you and the other members of congress (D and R) let ti get that far out of hand to begin with?
Everyone who pays into FICA will see a tax increase thanks to your in-action. You and every other setting member of congress should be held accountable at the polls for this mess. You and Kay have failed the residents of Texas.
Leo Vasquez says
Attaboy, David. Off with his head! How dare Sen. Cornyn vote to prevent automatic across-the-board tax increases? And how can we "conservatives" possibly support his pragmatic approach to preventing the draconian slashing of our military's budget? How quickly we forget that by doing nothing, the result would have been even worse. (Hence, the falling off a "cliff" analogy.)
Of course, Sen. Cornyn recognizes that maintaining spending levels is not the sustainable and that lowering tax rates stimulates the economy and increases tax revenue. However, we are not in control of the White House, the Senate and definitely not in control of the Main Stream Media. — You know good and well that if the House and Senate had not held their noses and kicked the can down the road, the MSM would be screaming that by "doing nothing" the Republican-led house caused across-the-board tax increases, cuts to our military, cuts to medicare for dear old grandma's doctor and caused a doubling of the price of milk.
The solution is not to attack our leaders from the rear. Instead, why don't we get out front and provide better support for our leaders to counteract the MSM, SJLs, Reids and Pelosis, as folks like Senator Cornyn fight to implement long term, real solutions in the real world.
Sandy Cornyn says
yea, Leo. thanks
David Jennings says
Leo, I did not say "off with his head". What I said and you failed to address is, that he is ripe for a primary challenge because of this (and other) votes. I also said that I have supported him and that he is a conservative. Is it ever okay to question someone's vote or should we always support people we like even when we think they are wrong?
And yes, I do think that it is "conservative" to pay for the things you spend, i.e., if our country is going to continue its spend happy ways, then we should raise taxes – perhaps enough people would then see that we need to cut spending.
Your use of the fake talking point about "draconian" military cuts just shows how well the propaganda machine did in this "battle". The idea that these small cuts in defense are "draconian" and will weaken the military is just, well, not true.
Ed Hubbard says
Steve, it was JFK who answered your question more than 50 years ago, in his campaign to lower the tax rates in the early 1960's. Lower tax rates allow people and businesses to keep more of their income and invest it. Investments enlarge the productive capacity of the private economy and creates more employment. Greater productive capacity and increased employment increase the tax base, which increases the revenues received by government. Every time the marginal rates have been cut–by Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush–gross and net tax revenues received by the federal government increased. Conversely, when you take more taxes away from earners and investors, productive capacity and employment almost always decrease, which decreases the tax base and tax revenues, with the lone modern exception of the Clinton years, which increased taxes at the start of a productivity boom and arguably slowed the enormous increase in productive capacity experienced during those years.
Steve Bumbaugh says
Ed, then maybe we should push them to zero.
Steve Bumbaugh says
Ed, I'm not sure that's quite right: http://www.factcheck.org/2011/07/sessions-wrong-on-bush-tax-cuts/
SuZanne Feather says
Excellent Leo Vasquez — thank you.
Steve Bumbaugh says
Where's the evidence that lowering tax rates increases tax revenues? I've heard this assertion for 30 years but all of the empirical evidence seems to suggest exactly the opposite. I have not seen any increases in tax revenue or even economic growth, for example, from the Bush tax cuts. We've seen the opposite. I still don't understand the logic behind this assertion.
Steve Bumbaugh says
How do tax cuts lead to increases in tax revenues? Isn't that akin to saying spending increases will lead to lower spending?
Steve Bumbaugh says
Tom, just to be clear, the claim that lower taxes leads to higher revenues based upon the JFK, Reagan and the Bush years (which in fact was not the case) would only prove that lower taxes themselves lead to higher revenues IF revenues were flat or shrank when taxes were stable or raised. In fact, American federal revenues have increased the vast majority of the time, regardless of tax rates. To suggest that its lower taxes that lead to these increases is akin to saying a child who does not each vegetables will grow. It's technically true, but one variable is not predictive of the other.
Tom Whitson says
Ed is correct and we all would be better off with more Sen. Cornyn type elected officials.
Ed Hubbard says
Steve, I had not seen Sessions’ quote before, but the Bush tax cuts were passed and implemented in two phases, and federal revenues did go up after the second cut in 2003, and in fact, the highest revenues in history were taken in by the federal government for one or two years after the second cut. The first cut’s effect was not only blunted by the recession, but also by unique economic impact of 9/11 on business through much of 2002.
As for reducing the tax rate to zero, that is an absurd argument no one seriously advocates. Tax revenues are needed to pay for the legitimate functions of government. While we can argue over what those legitimate functions are, and whether the costs being incurred at all levels of government is wasteful, no one is seriously arguing that government should be defunded.
It is probably true that the stimulative impact of tax cuts on economic growth get marginally smaller as the rates themselves get lower, and/or when economic activity is already robust. Moreover, neither supply-side, nor demand-side stimulative policies work if monetary policy is not stable–monetary policy remained stable for most of the 1920s after the Coolidge-Mellon cuts, throughout most of 1960s after the Kennedy cuts (until Nixon took us completely off the gold standard and implemented wage and price controls, and the Reagan cuts were aided by the stability Volker’s policies started and Greenspan continued. One of the reasons the Bush cuts have not had the long-term impact those prior cuts had is that nothing is working well right now because monetary policy has been unstable throughout the industrialized world since the late 1990s–and that instability accelerated with Bernanke’s policies since 2008.
Tax rates are still high enough, especially when state and local taxes are considered, that tax cuts should directly correlate with economic growth, but we will need more stable monetary policy to gain the full positive affect–and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
Yvonne Larsen says
My problem with Senator Conryn’s vote was that it gave POTUS the opportunity to demagogue Conservatives on one huge issue. It gives POTUS a chance to say “see, even Republicans can’t agree among themselves that tax cuts can increase Federal revenues!”
Yvonne Larsen says
..and we learned the “cuts to defense spending” fear-mongering was a slowing in the rate of growth in defense spending…
Don Sumners says
It’s enlighting to read of the usual suspect pragmatic commenters agreeing with Senator Conryn’s “surrender in advance” yes vote on the tax bill. His vote was not necessary for the bill to be passed in the Senate, so he was free to vote no on principle because of the bills failure to follow the constitutional process, lack of spending cuts or you name it. How can the Republicans ever hope to prevail when supposed leaders like Cornyn are unwilling to even cast a symbolic vote. Also, do these commenters really believe that if the House hadn’t taken up the bill, the matter wouldn’t be addressed by the House in the proper manner early in January and voted on promptly by Congress? When a bill is not taken up or is voted down, it’s replacement when approved is usually better, but not often, if ever, worse.