Throughout the tax debate, we heard righteous indignation from both parties regarding the need to close up special interest loopholes in the tax code. Yet the special interest loopholes were the only items preserved in the cliff tax bill. The entire package of over $40 billion in corporate subsidies and green social engineering was taken from a Senate Finance Committee Bill, which unfortunately, was supported by 6 Republicans last August – Orrin Hatch, Mike Crapo, Olympia Snowe, Chuck Grassley, John Thune, and Pat Roberts.
Included in the committee bill, which ultimately became a part of the fiscal cliff bill, was $18 billion worth of green energy pork. The most prominent item was the Production Tax Credit, the equivalent of the Earned Income Tax Credit for Big Wind.
Other special interest handouts include the following:
This is why it’s so important to shed light on the dark corners of committee activity. Committee-approved bills that don’t make it to the floor are often inserted into other pieces of legislation when nobody is watching. It is during committee markups when many Republicans show their true colors. In recent years, legislative scorecards from conservative organizations have helped steer members away from bad votes on the floor. However, we need to come up with a method of scoring committee votes as well. Most committee action in Congress is a bipartisan love fest for bigger government. We need to scuttle bad legislation early and often.
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