So, you might ask, since when is holding out for a $1,000 tax cut instead of settling for a $167 tax cut actually a vote to raise taxes on middle class families by $1,000?
You might want to ask Democratic congressional hopeful John Tree.
From a John Tree e-mail asking for $10 for his campaign fund to defeat that horrible, tea party sympathizing Bob Dold:
It's unbelievable. In the midst of this very tough economy, Congressman Bob Dold voted this morning to raise taxes on middle-class Illinois families.
On Saturday, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly - Democrats and Republicans - for a bipartisan compromise on the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment benefits.
Congressman Dold could have shown some courage and broken with the Tea Party crowd that runs the House Republican leadership and voted for a bipartisan payroll tax cut extension. Instead, Dold voted to raise taxes on middle-class families by an average of $1000, just in time for the holidays.
Really, Mr. Tree? Let's read Congressman Dold's explanation of this vote:
As you may have heard there is a debate going on in Congress today about extending the payroll tax cut for working American families. The President asked Congress for a one year extension on the payroll tax cut and that is what I supported. Last week the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation that provides a one year payroll tax cut and protects seniors' health care for the next two years by ensuring doctors in the Medicare program don't have their reimbursements cut by more than 27 percent. The Senate in turn passed a measure to cut taxes and protect seniors for only the next sixty days. I voted today to take this bill to conference to work out the differences.
Under the House plan an American worker making $50,000 is certain to receive a tax cut of $1,000 next year. While under the bill passed by the Senate on Saturday that same worker would only be guaranteed a $167 tax cut. Another feature of the House legislation is a pay freeze for congressional members. The Senate didn't include this key provision in their bill.
Now the Senate is refusing to take the bill to conference to work out the two sides differences and is refusing to come back to Washington before the end of the year.
Hmm... I guess you, the voter, can take a look at the position taken by each campaign and decide who you are going to support. That's what makes our Democracy great. But, I would suggest to you that Tree's position that not supporting the Senate's temporary $167 tax cut is not the same as voting for a $1,000 tax hike. It's much more logical to use that same logic against Tree's position and point out that the Senate, if they did nothing more, would be supporting a $833 tax hike for the year, compared to the House cut of $1,000. This kind of disingenuous manipulation of the facts is something that most 10th District voters are smart enough to see right through.
By the way, I went over to the Tree website to see what his press release on this issue stated, and I noticed that Tree has completely reworked his biography to make his relationship with his current (second) wife and the parentage of his children clear. I can only assume this is in response to our previous post questioning his original vague language on the subject, since Tree brought it up on his website in the first place.
While you have to give Tree credit for tacitly admitting his misleading language by fixing it to address our concerns, I do have to say that such actions only encourage me...
UPDATED: The Daily Herald spoke to Congressman Dold and asked him if the vote to have a formal negotiation with the Senate on the payroll tax issue was a political "punt." According to the DH:
He said "absolutely not."
"I think what we don't want to do is say we're going to do (the payroll tax extension) for two months." He called that "a punt" instead.
The article continues:
Dold said he's spent time talking to Kirk - his predecessor in the 10th Congressional District in northern Cook and Lake Counties - about the deal.
"We have notices that we are ready to come back at any time," Dold said.
"It is the right policy because one of the lessons of Europe is that you can't run retirement security programs without contributions to retirement security," Kirk told C-SPAN. "Seniors have enough to worry about as it is without the Congress voting on a bipartisan basis to undermine contributions to Social Security."
UPDATED x2: Seems like Greg Hinz at Crain's is drinking the Dem Kool-aid on this one.