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Really, people are being grossly unfair to Max Baucus, wondering why someone who doesn't speak Chinese would qualify to serve as ambassador. But, c'mon people, focus on the important lingo Baucus brings to the table: it would be hard to find another Democratic elected official who speaks such fluent corporate shillism...The man has got a perfect pitch. But, there is a silver lining.

Where do we start. Taxes, courtesy of the Citizens for Tax Justice on Baucus' embrace of yet more idiotic tax cuts:

Citizens for Tax Justice and other advocates for fair and adequate taxes are unhappy because his proposal would not raise any new revenue overall — at a time when children are being kicked out of Head Start and all sorts of public investments are restricted because of an alleged budget crisis.

Materials released from Senator Baucus’s staff explain that this part of his proposal is “intended to be revenue-neutral in the long-term.” The idea behind “revenue-neutral” corporate tax reform is that Congress would close loopholes that allow corporations to avoid taxes under the current rules, but use the savings to pay for a reduction in the corporate tax rate.

Among the general public, there is very little support for this. The Gallup Poll has found for years that more than 60 to 70 percent of Americans believe large corporations pay “too little” in taxes.

There is almost no public support for the specific idea of using revenue savings from loophole-closing to lower tax rates. A new poll commissioned by Americans for Tax Fairness found that when asked how Congress should use revenue from “closing corporate loopholes and limiting deductions for the wealthy,” 82 percent preferred the option to “[r]educe the deficit and make new investments,” while just 9 percent preferred the option to “[r]educe tax rates on corporations and the wealthy.”

Trade? From his perch as chairman of the Finance Committee, and in previous roles, Baucus has made sure that every NAFTA-style, middle-class killing, corporate trade bill passes the Senate.

He is awash in corporate money, paid off by Wall Street, the insurance mob, HMOs, oil and gas companies, real estate and banks.

A taste from Open Secrets:

Last week's Montana Economic Development Summit, hosted by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) in Butte, was billed as a nonpolitical event meant to "boost our state's economy by finding Montana solutions for Montana jobs," according to its website.

Nonetheless, it managed to draw some of the country's most powerful corporate leaders, including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who may have been more interested in discussing the senator's proposed bipartisan tax reforms.

Max Baucus.JPGA closer look at some of those distinguished guests reveals the ties they have to a number of Baucus's former staffers, as well as the flurry of lobbying they have already done this year on the issue of corporate tax reform -- which is also at the top of the agenda for Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, before he retires in 2014.

Baucus' push for lower tax rates on corporations has coincided with a concerted lobbying effort on the issue by many of those companies who attended his summit.

And another nugget:
Overall, lawyers and law firms, which give heavily to nearly all Democrats, were Baucus' biggest source of campaign funds since 1990, giving him at least $1.82 million. The securities and investment industry is close behind, having provided him $1.79 million.

Lobbyists, pharmaceutical and medical companies and the securities and investment industry were so dominant in Baucus' fundraising that 19 of the top 20 organizations that provided the most money to Baucus -- either through individuals affiliated with the groups or via PACs -- were all lobbying firms, Wall Street firms, pharmaceutical companies or medical device manufacturers.

And Baucus had close ties to many on K Street -- dozens of his former staffers became registered lobbyists. In fact, according to CRP data, 37 former Baucus staffers became registered lobbyists, making his office the second biggest supplier of K Street revolving door lobbyists among current members of Congress (Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell is the leader on that front). Baucus' close ties to lobbyists seem to have come into play on several occasions recently -- a slew of tax breaks worked into the "fiscal cliff" legislation passed in early January were written into the law by Baucus, and seemed directly to benefit the clients of a number of his former staffers-turned-lobbyists.

The silver lining? He'll probably depart the Senate before he has a chance to get yet another tax break for corporations on a roll.

Hey, things are looking a teensy bit less scummy in the Senate: first Joe Lieberman took off for the world of multi-million dollar lobbying. Now, we get rid of Baucus. Life isn't entirely rotten.

Good riddance.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    Follow me on Twitter @jonathantasini

    Visit Working Life.

    by Tasini on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:07:12 AM PST

  •  Yeah, just what we need. (4+ / 0-)

    A corporate buffoon like Baucus in a very sensitive ambassadorship.  Good job, Obama.

  •  I don't agree with Baucus on the issues (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger

    like I agree with Franken or with Gillibrand. But our red state Democratic senators, who represent people more conservative than me, our a huge blessing for both the country and our Party. Without red state politicians like Baucus willing to stand with the Democratic Party against the GOP tide in their states, we would have a Congress in which both houses are GOP-controlled. That would be a disaster beyond belief. Until we learn to accept these moderate Dems into our tent, and knock it off with calling them "scummy" or telling them "good riddance", we risk becoming a weaker and weaker Party. Individual issues like taxes are important, but there is a larger war being fought and the purists here should try thinking a little bigger than launching these petty attacks on our own more conservative Democratic brothers and sisters.

    •  Dems don't need to sell their office (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkmich, harlinchi

      to corporations in order to win seats in red states.  

      Baucus' problem with corporate money and the revolving door isn't just a major ethical lapse, it borders on corruption.  There are many Dem senators who are able to serve their constituents and the country without selling out.

      If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:46:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stand against the GOP??? (0+ / 0-)

      You are contradicting yourself all over the place.   Good to have conservatives because they think like the GOP, and then they vote with Democrats to stop them?   Makes no sense to me.

      What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

      by dkmich on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:51:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He always voted for a Democrat for (0+ / 0-)

        Leader. And he was instrumental in the passing of the ACA. This whole charge of corruption is ridiculous. It is our system that is corrupt. Every one of these guys - including our favorites - take large sums of money from either powerful companies, or individuals, or PACs. There are very few people on Capital Hill who are not up to their eyeballs in contributions from wealthy sources.

  •  Ron Wyden is his likely successor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, Oh Mary Oh

    Wyden could bring some much needed improvement as head of the Finance Committee.

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:25:24 AM PST

  •  Politico is spinning Rockefeller to replace him (0+ / 0-)

    with Schumer quickly following Rockefeller when he retires next year.  Not sure they have that right.

    Schumer would be just as bad as Baucus on Finance.  

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:50:31 AM PST

  •  Please do me a favor. (0+ / 0-)

    Delete this diary and rethink your message.

    It's possible to criticize Baucus without using China as a prop in a condescending and bigoted way.

    It's bad enough Obama seems to have made another bad foreign policy decision here without having insult added to it.

    Oh, BTW, I think you forgot the all caps for CHINA in the title.

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