Very rarely do I find myself agreeing with Utah Representative Jim Matheson, a politician neither hot nor cold, one who usually tries to straddle the fence and like most of his “Blue Dog Democrat” ilk, is all too willing to be duped by those who would dispense with any and all ethics in the name of national security.
But when he criticizes both parties for passing a “patch” on the AMT which only widens our budget deficits, he hits the nail on the head.
Matheson called the parties “gutless” in a statement released after the House gave its final approval to a “patch” on the alternative minimum tax, or AMT.
He was one of 64 representatives who voted against the bill that will add $50 billion to the national debt.
“The Blue Dogs may be the last ones standing who put their money where their mouths are when it comes to fiscal responsibility,” Matheson said, referring to a group of fiscally conservative Democrats (Salt Lake Tribune, 12/20/2007).
It’s difficult to lay too much blame at the feet of the Democratic Party, since the Republicans and the administration could trump any move the Democrats made. Still, the Democrats could have stood on their principles and forced a showdown. If they had made their case of fiscal responsibility to the nation, they might have won that showdown. Alas, they decided yet again to back down.
(Typically, Chris Cannon showed his lack of integrity by criticizing the Democrats for level of spending in Washington, while completely ignoring the fact that the quickest and most effective way to lower federal spending would be to end this administration’s misbegotten wars.)