by Andrew Walden
According to his campaign website, Ed Case "understands what excessive taxes and unnecessary regulation can do to our economic engine especially in tough times.” But his voting record from 49 months in Congress shows that Ed Case voted 72 times for higher taxes or fees—on average one vote every 21 days. Case claims to be an independent "Blue Dog" Democrat, but most of the 72 votes were cast in lockstep with Rep. Nancy Pelosi's “progressive”-controlled House Democratic Caucus.
Well-calibrated tax cuts spur business investment and keep the economy rolling--thereby increasing revenues to the federal government. But Ed Case voted ten times against proposals for billions of dollars of individual and business income tax relief between May 9, 2003 and May 18, 2006.
Case voted to keep the federal estate tax high six times beginning on June 18, 2003 and ending July 25, 2006. Confiscating 50% of inheritance, the estate tax nails blue collar farmers, small business owners, and elderly Hawaii property owners who die property rich but cash poor after a lifetime of hard work and frugality. Rather than continuing the family business, their children are often forced to close up shop and sell assets to pay the IRS. Meanwhile slick lawyers with legal tax avoidance strategies arrange for elite owners of operations like Grove Farm or AOL Time Warner to completely avoid paying.
It is not just the life savings of the elderly which attract Case's attention. On four separate occasions, Case voted against extension or expansion of the child tax credit--increasing the burden borne by middle class families with minor children. On May 20, 2004, while thousands of American soldiers were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Case voted against HR 4359 allowing military personnel to include combat pay in their calculation of child tax credit refunds. Fifty-eight Democrats joined Republicans to give this tax cut to combat troops--but not Ed Case.
Case voted 16 times between June 12, 2003 and November 6, 2003 for a $9.8 billion extension of US Customs fees. A key sticking point in US trade negotiations with Asian countries, these fees impede international tourism and commerce--contrary to the interests of a travel and import dependent state such as Hawaii.
Case also voted four times to limit exemptions from the so-called alternative minimum tax. Originally intended to nail rich tax-avoiders--the AMT instead hits many middle class wage earners. On May 9, 2003 Case voted against increasing the AMT exemption to $64,000 for married couples. A year later, 89 Democrats jumped off of Pelosi's bandwagon, joining Republicans to approve HR4227 giving an AMT exemption of $58,000 for married couples--but Ed Case still voted "no".
While representing a district laden with retirees who depend on their investment income, Ed Case voted ten times for higher taxes on dividends and capital gains. These types of taxes kill entrepreneurship and job growth. In three of the votes, Case also opposed capital gains tax exemptions of $100,000 for small businesses. Instead, the "independent" Case followed Nancy Pelosi.
Hawaii is working to become a leader in alternative energy, but Ed Case has a different idea. Between April 11, 2003 and July 28, 2005 Case voted six times against creating tax incentives for alternative energy technologies. Between 40 and 75 Democrats backed each of the six bills, but not Ed Case.
Apparently this “Blue Dog” is more like Nancy Pelosi’s lap dog.