Why is Rep. Kyrsten Sinema voting to repeal the estate tax?

I warned you earlier in the week about the GOP’s Gimmicks-R-Us Shoppe during tax week.

Steve Benen reports, GOP passes massive tax break for millionaires, billionaires:

In recent months, high-profile Republicans, sounding quite a bit like class warriors, have complained bitterly about the wealthy benefiting most from the recent economic recovery. Even House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), without a hint of irony, complained that recent trends point to “exacerbated inequality.” The far-right congressman added that only “the wealthy are doing really well.”

It’s genuinely impossible to reconcile Republican rhetoric and Republican priorities in light of votes like these.

The House voted Thursday to repeal the estate tax, a longtime priority of Republicans that also spurred Democratic charges that the GOP is in the pockets of the rich. […]

The White House has threatened to veto the measure, and the bill does not appear to have the 60 votes necessary to break a Democratic filibuster and get through the Senate.

The final tally was 240 to 179, with nearly every GOP lawmaker voting for it and nearly every Democrat voting against it.

Yeah, about this “almost every Democrat” . . . our own Kyrsten Sinema, once again, voted with the Greedy Oligarchs and Plutocrats (GOP). This has become a routine habit of Rep. Sinema.

The Arizona Republic this morning, in reporting on the the first quarter campaign cash of Arizona’s congressional delegation, had this to say:

no_blue_dogRep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who represents parts of Phoenix and the East Valley in the 9th Congressional District, raised the second largest amount for the quarter. She took in nearly $450,000.

After winning her seat twice decisively and holding about $580,000 in the bank, Republicans appear to be leaving her alone. No challenger has been rumored so far.

And why would they? When Rep. Sinema is voting with the Republicans on such a frequent basis, why run someone against her? It’s like having a Republican that they don’t have to raise money for — ignorant Democrats will do it for them, lying to themselves that Rep. Sinema is one of them.

I have never been a fan of Kyrsten Sinema. It’s time for a real Democrat to step up and primary her.

Back to Benen:

When describing Republican tax proposals, it’s not uncommon to talk about policies that disproportionately benefit the very wealthy. GOP proponents will say a bill benefits all taxpayers, but they’ll brush past the fact that the rich benefit most. This, however, is altogether different — today’s bill, called the “Death Tax Repeal Act,” quite literally benefits multi-millionaires and billionaires exclusively.

It’s not an exaggeration to say House Republicans, en masse, voted for a $269 billion giveaway to the top 0.2%. [Rep. Kyrsten Sinema joined them.] Under the plan, GOP lawmakers, who occasionally pretend to care about “fiscal responsibility,” would simply add the entire $269 billion cost to the deficit, leaving future generations to pay for a massive tax break for the hyper-wealthy.

Wait, it gets worse.

Asked about the bill this week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters, “[The] estate tax’s repeal is long overdue. Remember, all of this money that families have saved has all been taxed, much of it multiple times. And then if you die, we’re going to tax you again. I think it’s totally unfair.”

Regrettably, the Speaker isn’t just trying to give the hyper-wealthy a $269 billion tax break for no reason, he’s also confused about the basics of the policy he’s championing.

Even by contemporary GOP standards, today’s vote is pretty obscene. At a time of rising economic inequality, House Republicans have prioritized a bill to make economic inequality worse on purpose. At a time in which much of Congress wants to make the deficit smaller, House Republicans have prioritized a bill to make the deficit much larger.

At a time when prosperity is concentrated too heavily at the very top, House Republicans have prioritized a bill to deliver enormous benefits to multi-millionaires and billionaires – and no one else.

looking glassAsked to defend this, Republican leaders – the same leaders who balk at all requests for public investment, saying the nation is too “broke” to fund domestic priorities – say it’s only “fair” to approve a $269 billion giveaway to the hyper-wealthy.

It’s like Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens got together to write a novel, and Congress’ majority wants Americans to live in it.

Dana Milbank added this week:

Never in the history of plutocracy has so much been given away to so few who need it so little.

This is the ultimate perversion of the tea party movement, which began as a populist revolt in 2009 but has since been hijacked by wealthy and corporate interests. The estate tax has been part of American law in some form since 1797, according to the advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness, a shield against the sort of permanent aristocracy our founders fought to rid themselves of.

It had long been a conservative ideal, and the essence of the American Dream, to believe that everybody should have an equal shot at success. But in their current bid to end the estate tax, Republicans could create a permanent elite of trust-fund babies.

The House bill now moves to the Senate, where the Republican majority is eager to support it.

19 thoughts on “Why is Rep. Kyrsten Sinema voting to repeal the estate tax?”

  1. Krysten Sinema has always represented Krysten Sinema not anyone else as when she tried to switch districts. If supreme court rules against citizen redistricting bye bye Sinema.

  2. I guess the real question, Steve, is: Would you vote for her over a Republican? I suspect the answer is no.

    • Hm-m-m. That is a very good question. I think that if the Republican was a reasonable individual who did not hold extremist views on most issues, I would vote Republican. However, if the Republican was a radical holding extremist views on most issues, I could see myself voting Democrat. I have done so in the past, and likely will do so in the future.

      • Steve, what do you consider to be extremist views in the right? This is a serious question, I just want to know what your viewpoint is. Thanks!

        • That’s another good question. I will pick some issues off the top of my head.

          Abortion. I am not in favor of abortion, but there are situations where it could be necessary. If the Mother’s health is endangered, for instance. Or in cases of incest or rape. If a Republican held the position that no abortions should be allowed, that would be extreme.

          Welfare. I believe that welfare programs are routinely abused, but that is not a reason to stop them. We need programs in place to help people when they are down on their luck and need some help. I don’t think it should be a way of life, but I think it needs to be available for those who need it. If a Republican held that these programs should be eliminated, that would be extreme.

          Health care. I think we need health care available for every American. I had high hopes for the Affordable Care Act, but have been disappointed with its execution. I don’t think we should scrap it, but it does need some modification in areas where it hasn’t lived up to its promise. If a Republican held that we needed to repeal the ACA, as opposed to modifying it, that would be extreme.

          Anyway, these are just examples. Obviously, the decision about for whom to vote is complex and not based on a single factor. Well, that is not entirely true…when it comes to gun control I can be turned into a one issue voter, but fortunately that has not been an issue for a while.

          In any event, I hope I answered your question.

  3. One of the reasons that the Rs appear to be leaving her alone, for the moment anyway, is that they are waiting for the USSC to rule on their suit over the redistricting process. If the Court rules that the lege gets to create CD lines, they are expected to create a 9th District (Sinema’s) that is less “competitive” and more “R-leaning”. Former AZSOS Ken Bennett is rumored to be looking at a run if that comes to pass.

    Another reason that they are leaving her alone: She may be the sanest of the Rs in Congress.

    • Yes, I know she has taken to crossing the aisle more than most Democrats, and that is why I like her. Remember, though, that she is just doing what so many who post here say they want. She is not being a diehard ideologue and she is open to seeing the other side’s point of view. I actually wish we had a few more on both sides that could do that more often.

  4. Kyrsten accepts money from private prisons, too. Voted with Republicans to delay implementation of ACA. Cannot trust her for a minute. Would LOVE a REAL Dem. She has market cornered in this district. I am not at all impressed with her antics. She doesn’t deserve to run as a Democrat if she won’t vote like one.

    • All the Democrats have to do is field another candidate to run against her in the Primary. If the new candidate connects with the voters, the Kyrsten Sinema is out. After all, it is your Party, and she represents you.

  5. I very much support the idea of primarying Sinema. What I find extremely nauseating about her is that she represents basically the same district as Harry Mitchell, a Blue Dog democrat who did not exactly match my ideal profile for a progressive legislator, but who had the guts and the intellectual honesty to vote for Obamacare, even though he knew it could cost him his seat. Which it did. Sinema now has an even more progressive district, but she insults the memory of Mitchell by her cowardice and her insulting, disingenuous comments and actions about Obamacare. And now this estate tax vote… Please, somebody step in. I promise to work for you like I never did before for any candidate. If we cannot elect a full blown progressive, at least we deserve an honest representative like Harry.

    • Perhaps Kyrsten is honest and she votes the way she thinks she should. That is what Harry Mitchell did even if it cost him his seat. Kyrsten is a Democrat, but maybe she is a noderate Democrat and not a hard core progressive like Mitchell.

      • I do believe that Sinema is dishonest, but even if I were wrong and your conjecture were correct, there is absolutely no point in having a Democratic Party with her voting record. That’s why I very much hope that somebody opposes her in the primary.

  6. I have been very pleased with how Kyrsten Sinema has matured and grown into the office she holds. It is unusual to see a Democrat show such wisdom, especially at such a young age. Kudos to her!

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