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.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.
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.”
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.And another nugget:
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.
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.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.
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.
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.