Wednesday, December 29, 2010

GOP candidates rush to get into Senate races

Philip Elliott
Less than two months after voters gave Republicans six more Senate seats and control of the House, the GOP is lining up candidates for 2012, well ahead of the pace of previous election cycles.
Looking to ride what they hope will be a continuing Republican wave, nine potential challengers, including two each in Missouri and Virginia, already have said they are weighing bids for the U.S. Senate.
They have an abundance of targets. Twenty-one of the 33 Senate seats up in 2012 are held by Democrats and two others are occupied by independents who align themselves with Democrats. Including those independents, Democrats will hold a 53-47 Senate advantage in the new Congress that convenes Jan. 5. The 10 Republican senators up for re-election in 2012 have yet to draw a challenger.


sara p said...

"Ol Sara figures before they start to anticipate any future victories, they better learn to dance with the 'one's that brung them'. WSJ today:
A major Republican victory in the recent tax deal with the White House was the refusal to extend the Build America Bond (BAB) program. But Wall Street needn't fear. Republican Congressman John Mica recently said that "I can almost guarantee" that the program for subsidized bonds will be funded next year.

We would have thought Republicans had learned their lesson about subsidizing Goldman Sachs, but apparently not. A stalwart of the Tom DeLay era, Mr. Mica will soon be running the House Transportation Committee and apparently thinks that cutting subsidies for business isn't part of the GOP mandate to reduce the size and cost of government.

BABs are an alternative to traditional municipal bonds that finance local and state spending projects. These bonds are not tax deductible but require the federal government to finance roughly 35% of the lifetime interest payments. The feds issued $185 billion of BABs in 2009 and 2010 under the 2009 stimulus bill that nearly every Republican opposed.

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Associated Press
Florida Representative John Mica

With more than $2.8 trillion in outstanding debt carried by municipalities and another $2 trillion in unfunded public worker pension and health-care liabilities, the feds should be finding ways to encourage states and cities to cut their debt burdens, not add to them. The program's biggest winners are arguably Wall Street bond traders, who have earned some $700 million in fees over two years. Goldman has received at least $55 million. Extending the program would also add $36 billion to the federal debt over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Worse than the details is Mr. Mica's mindset. His comments show that while Republicans say they believe in cutting spending, many of them are more than happy to use their power to protect subsidies for their favorite projects. Republicans are especially fond of corporate welfare, which they promote in the name of creating jobs and private business. But helping Wall Street is no better than President Obama's subsidies for Silicon Valley and fanciful "green jobs."

Soon-to-be Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan has the better argument when he says that Build America Bonds have "subsidized state local governments going deeper into debt." Speaker-designate John Boehner will have to arbitrate these intra-GOP policy disputes, and we hope he keeps his focus firmly on taxpayers and tea party voters, not on campaign check writers from Wall Street.

sara p said...
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Baxter said...

2012 should be fun to watch. It's rather early, but I predict that O handily wins reelection. He remains more popular in the polls than Reagan or Clinton at this point in the presidential term. So far, there are no GOP candidates that excite the base without alienating the general electorate.

The popularity of the Tea Party is already waning. With the House in GOP hands there is less paranoia on the right. Actually cutting spending & specific programs is much less popular than calling for same in the vaguest terms. The rhetoric of "no compromise" will not wear well with most Americans.

The Democrats could win back the House - they only need 25 seats - with the larger turnout and Obama's coattails. At the same time, the Senate could go GOP due to the 23/10 playing field. I expect both houses will have narrow majorities.

Like I said, it's awfully early. We'll see.

Jim G. said...

And the question is...

Why would anyone listen to our friend Baxter.

Let's revisit his prediction of the 2010 wave.

What to do? That is the reality. That is the playing field. The Democrats need to compare today to two years ago, emphasizing the near collapse. They need to show that the adults are in charge. Why aren't they pointing out that GWB's deficit is coming down under Obama (just as Reagan/Bush's did under Clinton)?

Two weeks is not a lifetime in politics - we are close to the finish line. I expect the Democrats to narrowly keep the House and comfortably keep the Senate. It is all about turn-out and voter enthusiasm. The Dems know what they need to do - they just have to do it.

Baxter said...

Had the Dems listened to my advice, perhaps my prediction would have come true.

Why would anyone listen to Jim G? He hasn't a clue about the budget but insists on non-specific budget cuts. After all, he says, he's not a legislator...