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Monday, August 7, 2006

The Tipping Point

Posted by on August 7 at 11:22 AM

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick keeps saying he wants to run a “different” campaign. That is: a campaign that doesn’t stoop to the childish, partisan, misleading level of attack politics that typically clutters civic debate.

I want to believe the guy, but then he sends out childish, partisan, misleading press releases that clutter the civic debate.

Here’s a bit of his latest release on the GOP “trifecta” tax bill. [Asteriks are mine.]

SEATTLEMike McGavick hoped [Sen. Cantwell] would fully explain to Washingtonians her recent vote against lowering their taxes.* Sen. Cantwell last week voted against state sales tax deductibility, against an increase in the federal minimum wage… Among the many things contained in the tax package Sen. Cantwell helped block was renewal of state sales tax deductibility. Sales tax deductibility has saved Washingtonians an average of $550 annually.*   As a reason for voting “no”, Cantwell and Senate Democrats claimed a provision in the bill would lower the wage below the state’s minimum for tipped workers in Washington.* The reality about Sen. Cantwell’s vote:

The U.S. Department of Labor says the bill will protect Washington’s minimum wage of $7.63 an hour.*

*Cantwell voted against abolishing the estate tax. Ending the tax would help .3% of Americans. These are the richest of the rich, with estates valued at $10 million and above. There are about 250 Washington families that would have been affected.

*The reason Washingtonians have been able to save an average of $550 is because Cantwell struck a bipartisan deal to extend the sales tax deductibility provision in 2003. She didn’t take the bait this time because this time it was tied to the estate tax repeal…and a tip deduction wage provision. Meanwhile, she’s the lead sponsor this year, along with Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, of a bill that would make the sales tax deduction permanent. As she said when she voted against the GOP ploy to pass the estate tax repeal, all these issues should be voted on in their own right.

* Cantwell is right about the GOP call for a tip credit deduction provision. The rule would have allowed management to slash workers’ wages by counting tips against their salary. This would bring service workers’ wages down to around $2.15p/h. The tip deduction would have hit about 120,000 workers who depend on tips in Washington statea $950 million wage hit. The Washington Dept. of Labor said the federal law would have trumped our state law prohibiting tip deductions.

*It’s true, Washington’s minimum wage would have stayed at $7.63 per hour, as opposed to slipping down to the new proposed federal level of $7.25. But Cantwell’s concern was about the tip deduction, not about the lower proposed federal minimum.

What really bugs me about this whole thing is: The GOP “trifecta” tax package was purely an election year political stunt, a cynical partisan ploy to neutralize a winning Democratic issuethe minimum wage. And, first thing Monday morning, McGavick, who continually claims to be above the juvenile partisan fray, sends out a misleading hack-job press release on Cantwell, trying to score partisan political points.

McGavick appears to just be following GOP orders. Listen to the GOP leadership quoted last week in the D.C. paper The Hill:

Even if they do not win enactment of the “trifecta” bill, [Republicans] said they would be able to blame Democrats…”There’s no risk. It’s all reward,” said Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “It’s a very compelling political package.”  The Hill, 8/2/06

CommentsRSS icon

The more I hear about Mike!, the more I dislike him.

He's an asshole.

If you don't want to puke, be sure you avoid Joel Connelly's article in the PI today. First he defends Lieberman, and now McGavick. Somone needs to kick him in his very small nuts.

Even if they do not win enactment of the “trifecta” bill, [Republicans] said they would be able to blame Democrats…“There’s no risk. It’s all reward,” said Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “It’s a very compelling political package.” —The Hill, 8/2/06

And I told Slog this last week. I didn't even need to read The Hill. It was pretty clear, looking at it, what they were doing.

The sales tax deduction is ridiculous. Those who would benefit the most from it do not itemize and therefore do not take it.

One would hope the average voter is smart enough to see the GOP ploy for exactly what it was: a desperate attempt to arrest the death-spiral of their ever-diminishing electoral chances, as well as provide them with a stick that will no doubt be used repeatedly this fall to whack Democratic incumbents.

As you say, McGavick is simply toting the party line, but the real question is whether or not voters will buy the rationalization.

I'm really, really hoping they do.

Er, what I'm REALLY hoping is they see the rationalization for what it is, NOT that they buy into it of course...

hey, don't go dissing McGavick, who wants to be the Senator from Alaska ...

i can't believe connelly.

how much did Lobbyist!Mike!McGavick! pay for the blow-job-in-print from good 'ol joel?

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