Thumbs Up Rob Portman, Thumbs Down Sherrod Brown

July 21, 2011

Just a quick report on my (Ohio’s) two senators, from my communications with them yesterday about the debt-ceiling fight:

I called Senator Portman’s office and immediately reached a real person.  The staffer seemed unprepared to discuss policy details apart from particular proposals, but as to the particular proposals currently on the table, he assured me that Senator Portman would support Senator Lee’s version of “Cut, Cap, and Balance”, and that he would not support the “Gang of Six” proposal (more on that here). 

I both called and e-mailed Senator Brown.  After waiting on hold for about fifteen minutes, I reached a staffer who noted my opinions.  He observed that a lot of people have been calling in with similar comments.  This morning, I got an e-mail back from Senator Brown’s office, a form letter with some of his views on policy.  It had some good things in there, but also bluntly admitted that he wants to raise taxes.  (Maybe I should at least give him credit for his honesty—or maybe, if this is what he’s willing to put in a don’t-offend-anyone form letter to his constituents, how much worse will his actual votes on policy be?)

“Second, we need to ask the very wealthiest Americans to contribute more toward deficit reduction.”  I don’t want to say that Senator Brown’s position is logically indistinguishable from Communism.  But I have yet to hear him or other liberals explain how much would be too much on their view, the point beyond which they have no right to confiscate the property of “the rich” to support their spending habit.

11 Responses to “Thumbs Up Rob Portman, Thumbs Down Sherrod Brown”

  1. Snoodickle Says:

    As a Kentucky resident, I have the brilliant Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul looking out for my interests (although I believe their respective positions are at odds with respect to the debt ceiling) and therefore do not care about the Ohio senators. However, my uncle is good friends with Senator Brown, so if you ever want to talk to Senator Brown personally, let me know and I will get in touch with Uncle Dave. (seriously, I’m not being facetious).

    • Thank you, that’s kind of you; I’ll keep it in mind. In the meantime, please give Senator Brown my advance congratulations on, and best wishes for, his retirement next year. (I’m being facetious.)

  2. Snoodickle Says:

    P.S. As I alluded to before, I think the cut off point is 90%. Anything beyond that would be too much.

    • I don’t know whether I can call that a principled basis (arbitrary might be more apt), but perhaps it’s at least a basis, for drawing a line. That’s more than I’ve heard from Senator Brown.

      Of course it also sounds like roughly 90% Communism, or reducing taxpayers to (very roughly) 90% slaves.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        I hope you’re joking about the slavery thing. Even if the tax rate were 90%, you would still get to keep 10% of your money, you would still get to work wherever you please, you would still get to go home after work, you would still get to do whatever you want with your free time, indeed, you wouldn’t have to work at all. Also, with a 90% tax rate, there would be government health care and a panoply of other government programs to keep people healthy, fed, and happy.

        Are you seriously going to compare the foregoing with being forced to work in a field 16 hours a day for no wages, being whipped when you don’t work hard enough or maybe just for no reason, and having no meaningful life beyond work.

        Need I say it again? Delusional.

  3. Snoodickle Says:

    Would you be happier if you could move to some lawless region without a government and make your own rules?

    P.S. The blog is almost ready for launch! For those of you who sometimes tire with the sometimes boring content on this blog ( I am not one of those people, I am actually a big fan of this blog), my blog will discuss a wider range of topics, notably the final season of Entourage, which starts this Sunday at 10:30 on HBO.

  4. Mickey Mouse Says:

    Do you think gays should be jailed?

  5. Tevyeh Says:

    Just a quick comment to say that I have nothing but contempt for the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” crowd. So we’re up against a serious deadline…what’s the solution? A bill with zero chance of passage, which is…and this is my favorite…contingent on a Constitutional Amendment! Taking advantage of an emergency to score political points…I’m not sure the G.O.P. has much lower to sink before I no longer consider them the lesser of two evils.

    The G.O.P. is so invested in opposing any revenue-increasing measures (including by eliminating inefficient tax expenditures), and the Democrats are so invested in sticking it to “the rich,” that I’m starting to wonder if they’ll actually drive us off the cliff.

    And don’t even get me started about the ignorami who blow off the prospect of a default in the absence of a debt limit increase. I’m not saying that actual default will happen on August 3 in the absence of a deal, but we’ll definitely have a crisis on our hands.

    • Ouch, man! Strong words. I wouldn’t call that just trying to “score political points”, but I agree that the Republicans should be willing to accept half a loaf rather than none, so to speak. I think a much more easily defended position (now forgotten?) was the one John Boehner seemed ready to defend staunchly a couple of weeks ago: We’ll raise the debt ceiling by however much, but spending must be cut (which I understood to mean cut concurrently, not cut years in the hypothetical future) in an equal or greater amount.

      For whatever it’s worth, that’s the guideline or principle I really wanted to impress upon my senators when I called (rather than any of these fleeting particular proposals that seem to come and go so fast lately), but again, at least that first staffer didn’t seem prepared to talk about that sort of thing. I think he needed me to check “for” or “against” in the particular boxes he had in front of him.

    • Snoodickle Says:

      Chilly, why don’t you defend the Cut Cap and Balance that you implied you support. Stand up to Tevyeh for once.

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