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View Diary: Elizabeth Warren: "I'm not running for president and I plan to serve out my term" (200 comments)

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  •  Because this needs to be said (10+ / 0-)

    I think Warren is great.  And she is a great voice for progressive politics.  But when people talk about the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party...what they are talking about is pretty much the middle of the democratic party.

    Take a look at the Progressive Punch rankings of US Senators.

    Warren is ranked the 19th most progressive.

    To be clear, her low ranking is based on two symbolic votes where she differed from the majority of progressive senators.  One doesn't really matter, but the other is more troubling.

    (S.Con.Res. 8) On a symbolic amendment in support of repealing or reducing the estate tax, but only if paired with spending cuts or tax increases that would keep the federal budget deficit from rising
    Senate Roll Call 66     Mar 22, 2013

    This vote was on a symbolic amendment in support of repealing or reducing the estate tax, but only if paired with spending cuts or tax increases that would keep the federal budget deficit from rising.

    Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) offered the amendment during consideration of the federal budget. Sen. Warner’s amendment was meant as an alternative to Sen. John Thune’s (R-SD) proposal to repeal the estate tax. Sen. Thune’s proposal ruled out tax increases to make up for the revenue that would be lost, while Sen. Warner’s amendment left the option on the table. The estate tax is levied on inheritances passed on by very wealthy individuals. Under existing law, the first $5.25 million of an inheritance was exempted from the tax, as were inheritances passed on to a spouse.

    Even though Sen. Thune offered a competing amendment, he supported Sen. Warner’s amendment. He argued that it was unfair to the people who were required to pay tax on their inheritance.

    Sen. Warner argued that repealing the estate tax would leave an enormous hole in the federal budget. The tax should not be scrapped without filling in that hole, he argued.

    “The estate tax right now only applies to about 3,800 people a year. Yet, if we were to repeal the estate tax without any offset, that would add $600 billion to our debt,” Sen. Warner said. “I believe we need a balanced approach. The notion that we can continue to take away revenue sources is not a responsible way to address this budget.”

    No senators spoke out against Sen. Warner’s amendment advocating a repeal of the estate tax if accompanied by spending cuts or tax increases that would keep the federal budget deficit from rising. However, many progressives have argued in the past that the estate tax should not be repealed under any circumstances. Estate tax repeal would amount to a massive windfall for an extremely small contingent of very wealthy Americans, they argue.

    “If the estate tax were completely repealed, the Walton family would receive a tax break of more than $33 billion,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said via Twitter in November 2012.

    The Senate approved Sen. Warner’s amendment by a vote of 80-19. Voting “yea” were 45 Republicans and 35 Democrats. Voting “nay” were 19 Democrats, including a majority of progressives. As a result, the Senate moved forward with a budget proposal that supported repealing or reducing the estate tax, but only if paired with spending cuts or tax increases that would keep the federal budget deficit from rising.

    Warren Voted "Yea" on this symbolic vote, a vote to end the Estate Tax.

    To be clear, this isn't even close to damning, it was a symbolic vote and Warren has voted and supported numerous progressive causes.  But if you want to explain this away, you need to note that Bernie Sanders, and the majority of progressives in the senate, voted against this thing.

    Here's why I bring this up.  I hear constantly on DKos how people voted for change, but they got Obama.  I voted for Obama, and got pretty much what I was expecting.  Warren is more progressive than Obama, but I have no doubt that many here would be seriously surprised by how mainstream she really is.

    Warren is an effective 'near' progressive senator.  And that is something to be celebrated.  But she ain't what some folks think she is.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 01:49:23 PM PST

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