A rhetorical pronouncement: You all know what was the greatest legislative achievement ever in Congress (at least according to the state’s corporate media, led by the Minneapolis Star Tribune) by a Minnesota legislator there, right? It was of course when Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) shepherded a suspension of the medical device tax through the House and eventually into law. Worthy of a Roman triumph, if you take the aforementioned news sources seriously. But maintaining that cut turned out to be a very low priority for the current Congress, though it was finally managed via a last-ditch insertion into the stopgap spending bill.
The tax suspension never did much in the way of job creation in the industry, at least in the U.S. (That linked article is definitive, and should be perused carefully if you want to be reality-based, here.) No matter: Paulsen had moved onto another magnificence: tax cuts for craft beer. But again:
The frequent assertion that the tax cut is for craft brewers and distillers is misleading.
– For every $20 of alcohol tax cuts in the legislation, only about $1 actually goes to the true craft brewers or small distillers.
– Most of the revenue—the other $19—goes to larger producers and to importers. This is largely because of new or expanded opportunities to evade or avoid the limits on what qualifies for the lowest tax rates. For instance, it’s plausible that a third to one half of all distilled spirits sold in the U.S. will qualify for the reduced rate.
– By allowing alcohol from foreign and large domestic producers to be passed off as “craft,” certain parts of the legislation may put America’s real small brewers and distillers at a competitive disadvantage.
Paulsen’s “work” in Congress has degenerated to open farce. Long past time for a change.
The kleptocratic Trump tax proposal is getting predictable support from you-know-who.
Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen said in a statement that Minnesota middle-class families and small businesses should be excited about the plan.
That’s from last week, but a search this morning turned up nothing to indicate that Paulsen – you know, the alleged thoughtful moderate – has changed his take. Though even corporate media is seeing through it.
The tax plan that the Trump administration outlined on Wednesday is a potentially huge windfall for the wealthiest Americans. It would not directly benefit the bottom third of the population. As for the middle class, the benefits appear to be modest.
The administration and its congressional allies are proposing to sharply reduce taxation of business income, primarily benefiting the small share of the population that owns the vast majority of corporate equity. President Trump said on Wednesday that the cuts would increase investment and spur growth, creating broader prosperity. But experts say the upside is limited, not least because the economy is already expanding.
The plan would also benefit Mr. Trump and other affluent Americans by eliminating the estate tax, which affects just a few thousand uber-wealthy families each year, and the alternative minimum tax, a safety net designed to prevent tax avoidance.
(New York Times)
As long as you’re here, check out this enlightening, first-hand account of a Paulsen constituent “meeting.”
I told Paulsen how much his voting to get rid of these provisions was abhorrent to me and put my loved ones and many others in jeopardy.
He said he didn’t do that.
I blinked. This was unexpected. Flat up saying he didn’t vote to make health care unattainable for 20+ million Americans, to remove $800 million in expanded Medicaid funding.
He said he wanted to ensure that programs like Medicaid went to those who truly needed it and not to those who were able bodied. This implied that many recipients of this assistance shouldn’t get it. I’m not sure what he meant by able-bodied, because there are lots of reasons I can think of that, even with an able body, people wouldn’t be able to support themselves. Down Syndrome and Autism for instance have been on my mind with friends, coworkers and a colleague of Becky’s all touched by these diagnoses. I used to work with teens at a group home that had various levels of ability. I still think of them years later and wonder what became of them when they aged out of the system.
(Bacon and Ice Cream)
I hadn’t known about this blog. Great stuff.
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) has never supported taxing businesses. Since 2014, Paulsen has had four major opportunities to do so, but has declined every time.
In 2014, for instance, he voted in favor of H.R. 4457. The act was designed to amend the IRS code to allow businesses to make more expenses tax-deductible.
On the same day, he voted for the S Corporation Permanent Tax Relief Act of 2014. The act amended the IRS code to reduce the period during which S corporations are subject to taxation. (S corporations are a type of corporation that passes corporate income, losses, deductions, and credit to their shareholders.)
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) criticized both pieces of legislation for making permanent tax breaks that had not been paid for or offset elsewhere. He argued that together, they bills would add $75 billion in deficit increases to the federal budget.
For the same reasons, President Obama indicated that he would veto both bills if they made it to his desk.
More information about his record is available at PaulsenVotes.org.
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) had an op-ed in the Strib last week.
The reason for the delay is that (MN Supreme Court Judge David) Stras’ nomination is being held up by Minnesota’s Democrat (sic) U.S. senators – Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. Neither senator has returned the “blue slip” necessary for the nomination to move forward…
Stalling Stras’ nomination is the latest example of partisan game-playing in Washington.
This sudden concern over aggressive blue-slip use—shock a la Captain Renault to find blue slips being used in here—contrasts with aggressive blue slip use under Obama. Senators used their blue slip prerogatives to forestall or veto nominations and give Trump over 100 in-place and announced vacancies, including over 30 that never had nominees.
And Stras is no “outstanding judge.” Just another dime-a-million rich man’s whimpering, groveling judicial cur.
Yeah, “hypocrite” could be Erik Paulsen’s middle name. First and last names, too.
I certainly haven’t seen any indication that Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) could be thinking of leaving Congress at the end of this term. But conventional wisdom is that 2018 will be his toughest electoral challenge (as will be the case with a lot of GOP incumbents), and he’s certainly paid his dues to the rich man to the point that he will have his pick of lucrative lobbying gigs whenever he wants them.
On the other hand, he doesn’t have to beg for money; Big Device in particular will see to it that his campaign has plenty. And if I’m not mistaken he has always easily outperformed GOP presidential candidates, in the district. It’s certainly possible that he has little to fear unless Democrats can score an A+ list candidate to run against him, and I don’t know who that would be.
Anyway, this new practice of his at least borders on the pitiful. At the very least.
Erik Paulsen regularly issues a video Correspondence Corner in which he responds to constituent questions.
It is a great ploy — Congressman Paulsen determines what question is to be answered … thus, providing him an opportunity to portray himself as effectively responding to issues that he wishes to address as if they are the most critical issues that voters want addressed…
Later in the session, the House approved Amendment 90 offered by Congressman Don Young (R-AK) to H.R. 5538 to prevent use of funds to implement the Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan, which recommended that Congress designate the Coastal Plain as wilderness. That vote was approved 237-191, Congressman Paulsen was one of twelve Republicans to vote NO. OK … that supports his stance but the Republican majority prevailed.
However, that amendment was just an amendment … would Congressman Paulsen retain that same opposition on the final vote ? No … while 15 Republicans voted NO on the bill, it was approved 231-196, with Congressman Paulsen voting YES.
Being able to cast a protest vote on amendments does little when you vote inline with Republican leadership orders on the final bill.
In summary, while Congressman Paulsen’s Correspondence Corner response to April of Edina may give some hope that he will reject Trump’s calls for more oil and gas drilling, his votes say that in the end, he will side with “the Boss” and his Big Oil donors.
(MN Political Roundtable)
There are more critiques of Rep. Paulsen’s “Correspondence Corner,” at the same blog.
Trumpcare passed the U.S. House, by two votes. The vote of the allegedly thoughtful “moderate” Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) was one of those that put it over the top. Reaction was swift and vehement. An op-ed subsequently appeared with his name on it. What a sniveling, impudent load of crap.
The bill empowers states to better design health care plans that meet the needs of their citizens. It provides a portable tax credit to assist Americans who do not receive coverage from an employer in purchasing health insurance. It enhances and expands the use of consumer-driven health care accounts, such as Health Savings Accounts, and it once and for all repeals the harmful medical device tax.
It is also important to point out what is not in this bill. Nothing in this bill would allow an insurance company to deny someone coverage, including to those with a preexisting condition. Nothing would allow an insurance company to cancel someone’s insurance policy should they become sick. Despite claims from opponents, the bill does not classify sexual assault as a preexisting condition. For those who maintain continuous coverage, the bill does not allow insurance companies to charge an individual more simply because they have a preexisting condition. It’s also worth noting that this bill includes $138 billion to assist states in making sure everyone, including those with preexisting conditions, has access to high-quality, affordable health care?
– Where is your typical family these days, living paycheck to paycheck and way in debt, supposed to get money for “Health Savings Accounts?”
Another recent indicator that Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) may be the current U.S. House’s most atrociously fake “moderate” was his intent to vote for Trumpcare 1.0, had it come to a vote there. So we’ll see where he’s at on the next iteration.
Based on our analysis, we estimate that individuals with even relatively mild pre-existing conditions would pay thousands of dollars above standard rates to obtain coverage. For example, because an individual with asthma costs an issuer 106 percent more than a healthy 40-year-old, she would face a premium surcharge of $4,340. The surcharge for diabetes would be $5,600 per year. Coverage could become prohibitively expensive for those in dire need of care: Insurers would charge about $17,320 more in premiums for pregnancy, $26,580 more for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, and $142,650 more for patients with metastatic cancer.
(Center for American Progress)
An additional Paulsen thing, about the fact that suspending the medical device tax has not resulted in any U.S. jobs boom in the industry: “Was Erik Paulsen Duped By Medical Devicemakers Or Is He Promoting Alternative Facts?” (MN Political Roundtable)
Comment below fold.
No, not a “shocker.” I doubt I even had you going for a second.
Frustrated by a lack of town hall meetings on U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s calendar, some of his constituents set up a gathering of their own in Plymouth on Thursday evening, drawing hundreds of people who shared concerns about Paulsen’s recent votes.
The GOP congressman, who represents Minnesota’s Third District, did not attend. That didn’t seem to damper the enthusiasm of the approximately 600 people who packed into Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, while a few hundred more waited outside…
Event organizer Kelly Guncheon, a Plymouth financial planner, said the idea was to show the congressman that many in the west and north-metro district don’t share his views — and want to talk.
“Rep. Paulsen, I hope you hear that,” he said. “There is nothing to fear about these people. They are concerned.”
Comment below fold.
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) has always embodied the very essence of corporate Republicanism.
After campaigning to repeal and replace ObamaCare, Rep. Erik Paulsen now is tasked with how to do it —- and his constituents want to know what he’s going to do. However, like many Republicans across the country, Paulsen is avoiding public face-to-face meetings with constituents — and that brought protesters to his office on (February 4)…
Protesters say Paulsen’s lack of holding face-to-face town hall meetings is not a change, but the norm. They say he hasn’t held a publicized face-to-face town hall meeting with constituents in seven years. That’s not quite accurate. Paulsen did have a town hall meeting in August 2010 — six-and-a-half-years ago. And video shows he took questions from constituents at Mound-Westonka High School in 2011. A search of Paulsen’s current website finds only the 2010 meeting listed. The UpTake has asked Paulsen’s office for a list of any other such public town hall meetings, but so far they have not replied.
I find myself wondering, just a bit, what Rep. Paulsen really thinks of the reality of “President” Trump. Deep concern over a voter backlash? A chance to get some of his pet issues, like more handouts for Big Device, advanced, and therefore better positioning for his lucrative post-Congress lobbying gigs? Any measure at all of the embarrassment and disgust that every American of enlightened sensibility feels?
Heck if I know.
Comment below fold.
You can help our candidate, Terri Bonoff, here.
Let’s look at the record.
Erik Paulsen has been in the pocket of medical device companies throughout his career. He has successfully advocated for a moratorium on the device task that helps fund Obamacare….creating a windfall for companies like Medtronic.
Of course, not satisfied with that tax break, Medtronic changes their corporate address to Ireland so that they can avoid more taxes. All the while, building up offshore bank accounts, hiding their profits – and forcing the rest of us to pay their bills.
Although Paulsen voted against the Dream Act and voted for many of the Trump like immigration bills that came from this Congress, Paulsen managed to vote in favor of special visas that business wanted so that they can bring in high-tech workers from other countries…at the expense of American workers.
And how about energy corporations? Paulsen was right there for them as well. He voted YES on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling. He voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. He voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. And he voted to bar greenhouse gases from Clean Air Act rules, and to declare that nothing in the Act shall be treated as authorizing or requiring the regulation of climate change or global warming…
Paulsen could easily fit into the Trump camp, except for one clear difference. Paulsen’s corporate masters need him to support the TPP.
Paulsen is all over the place on whether he supports Donald Trump for POTUS. And he’s a total NRA stooge. And he’s big on handouts for corrupt war contractors.
Voters need to understand that Rep. Paulsen is most definitely not a “moderate.” And that the essential first step to making things better for everyone is getting right-wingers like him out of power.