Friday, September 22, 2006

Observations From The Kudlow and Company Appearance

In the post below, you will find the entire transcript of Congressman Ford and Bob Corker's appearance on Kudlow and Company.

Right now, I want to point out a couple of important things from the program.

First, Larry Kudlow, who is a conservative, took umbrage with Bob Corker's assertion that Ford is a liberal:
  • "And when you look at his voting record, for example, on the estate tax, on the investor taxes, on flag burning, on the Ten Commandments, on getting rid of handguns, it doesn't seem on the surface that he's a screaming liberal." [CNBC, 09/20/06]
Second, during the appearance Corker tried to mislead voters about Congressman Ford's record on cutting taxes. Below is an exchange between Kudlow and Corker:

Corker: I heard him earlier, and as you know, he opposed the Bush tax cuts in '01 and '03. And sort of slides by that and for the average Tennessean here in '09 which he opposed...

KUDLOW: I thought he, just if I may, so far as I know, he voted in favor--I know at the very minimum, he voted to extend the dividend and capital gains taxes. I thought he actually voted for them in the first place in 2003. Are you sure about that?

Mr. CORKER: I am sure of that. And, as a matter of fact, he was opposed to the capital gains extension until he began running for the United States Senate . But the fact is that that tax will raise taxes on middle income Tennesseans by over 100 percent if it's not extended in '09. And if I'm elected, I will certainly vote to support those and extend those tax cuts.

Corker is trying to mislead voters by giving the insinuation that Ford is not a supporter of the important cap gains tax cuts. However, the record clearly shows that the Congressman is a strong supporter of the cap gains cut:
  • During his first year in Congress, Harold Ford Jr supported the largest tax cut since 1981: "The House Thursday voted 389-43 in favor of cutting taxes by a net $95 million, the largest tax cut since the Reagan administration's tax cuts in 1981. The tax cut bill includes a $500 per-child tax credit for each child under age 17 whose parents earn less than $110,000. Families with incomes low enough to not owe income taxes can use the credit toward the payroll taxes they pay, like Social Security. An estimated 27 million families will get the credit. A cut in capital gains tax, a key element for Republicans, was also included. The bill also includes over $35 billion in tax breaks targeted at education." Knoxville News-Sentinel, 08/03/97
  • Backed reduced capital gains and dividend tax rates, which would result in tax cuts worth $70 billion over five years: “U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn., was one of only 15 Democrats voting for the extension of tax cuts worth $70 billion over five years, joining conservatives like Mid-South Republicans Marsha Blackburn and Roger Wicker.” (Commercial Appeal, 05/11/06)
  • “Ford, a familiar face on television news interviews and often called on as a spokesman for the party, has not hesitated to vote with conservatives on key issues such as banning partial-birth abortion or for prayer in school. He voted to give President Bush authorization to invade Iraq and for cuts in the capital gains tax.” FOX News, 03/10/05
Nice try Bob.

But Tennesseans know that you have no record to defend and no vision to fight for.