Sanity finally prevailed at 2:00 AM on January 2, as the US House passed the fiscal cliff agreement that saved tax cuts for the bottom 98% of taxpayers, saved unemployment benefits for the jobless, kept Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid intact, and thankfully, after 22 years, the wealthiest of the wealthiest will have to pay a bit more tax on ordinary income to shore up critical governmental services.
But my Congressman, GOP House Deputy Whip Peter Roskam, not only voted to dive off the fiscal cliff, he defied the pleadings of this party boss, House Speaker John Boehner, to cast his cliff dive vote. I checked Roskam's website to see if he would explain his inexplicable vote, but his home page, instead of trumpeting a principle no vote, contained this headline:
CONGRESSMAN ROSKAM'S JOB CREATION PLAN
Click this old link and a you merely get a re-hash of Roskam's Tea Party platitudes of lowering tax rates for the wealthiest Americans and reducing critical governmental regulations. Sound familiar? That's because those twin policies helped refashion the US into a near Titanic in 2007, Roskam's first year in Congress.
Roskam's website is virtually devoid of substantive discussion of the critical issues facing our nation. Then I noticed a sidebar with Roskam's Facebook postings. Maybe he offered insight into his bizarre vote there. First up: two posts January 4 on Senator Mark Kirk's return to the Senate after year long stroke rehab. While touching, they are not fiscally informative. The next post goes all the way back to December 17, and get this, its a quote from scripture! That certainly didn't provide this non-theist with insight into Roskam's fiscal policies. Finally, the fourth post discusses the cliff. Amazingly, its from December 13, twenty-three days ago, and its a falsehood. Roskam slyly begins by asserting that the administration touts tax hikes on the rich as the ONLY way to cut the deficit. The enacted tax cuts for the rich, which will barely make a dent in their fabulous wealth, are both substantive and symbolic. They will increase revenue $620 billion over ten years and finally reflect the overwhelming sense of the country that the rich must share the enormous pain the middle class and the needy have suffered due to utterly discredited GOP economic policies; policies Roskam doubles down on every day.
Just like a steep cliff should have warning signs posted, so should Congressman Roskam's website. Instead of the tired cliché CONGRESSMAN ROSKAM'S JOB CREATION PLAN being the first sign you see, this might be more appropriate:
WARNING! THIS CONGRESSIONAL WEBSITE IS INTENDED FOR TEA PARTY PROPAGANDA PURPOSES ONLY - ENTERING IT MAY TURN YOU INTO A LOW INFORMATION VOTER