View Full Version : Nice blog post on Marlin Stutzman

04-20-2010, 09:45 AM
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Which Senate Candidate Was For a Tax Increase Before He Was Against It?
“This is one of the largest tax increases in history. This is a job killer!” - State Representative Dan Leonard on HEA 1379

In this election cycle, there are many factors that we as voters need to keep aware. These trying economic times have us keeping one eye on Washington, while keeping the other eye on our wallets. With budgets bursting in Washington laden with pork barrel spending, bills being passed that amount to nothing more than unfunded mandates, stimulus bills that create more government jobs (read bureaucracy) than private sector jobs, and unemployment hovering near 10%, the candidates that we elect need to have history of looking out for tax payers and small businesses which are the backbone of our country’s future economic recovery. And when we are looking at who will replace Evan Bayh, we need to keep an even sharper eye this.

As I have been studying the candidates, I have found multiple things that would make me want to vote for most of them. Integrity is a big part of that. But when I received an email that showed one of the candidates saying one thing, but then doing another, I had to take a closer look.

(Read more after the leap)

In the recently concluded Indiana General Assembly, a provision was voted on to delay the enactment of HEA 1379, the so-called “fix” on Indiana’s insolvent unemployment insurance trust fund. The passage of HEA 1379 was panned, not just by some legislators, but also by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce as an “unprecedented tax increase”.

HEA 1379 is an unprecedented tax increase on Indiana employers both large and small at a time of severe economic hardship. In the aggregate, it represents a more than $700 million tax increase over two years borne solely by businesses and employers. Many employers will see increases of 150%; the vast majority of even the smallest firms will experience a minimum 35% rate increase under the new wage base and rate schedules.

Worse than higher taxes, it will lead – ironically – to more job losses and higher unemployment as marginal firms attempt to adapt to increased operating costs. Worse yet, the tax increases embodied in HEA 1379 do not fix the problem of the UI fund’s financial insolvency.

Who voted for this tax increase not once, but twice? State Senator Marlin Stutzman.

(Roll Call Number: 272 – 3rd Reading)

(Roll Call Number: 464 – Conference Report)

According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the estimated job loss because of the passage of this legislation is 107,389 jobs between 2010 and 2015. Is it any wonder that Governor Daniels pushed for a legislative fix to a legislative fix?

But here’s the interesting part. In February of this year, Stutzman and other Senate Republians, such as Dennis Kruse, Greg Walker, Brent Steele, Michael Young (who is running in the 4th CD) and Carlin Yoder, who voted for the tax increase in 2009, also signed the Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge in 2010 which states: “I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes”

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform stated after Stutzman signed the pledge “By signing the Pledge, Marlin Stutzman demonstrates that he understands the problems of hard-working taxpayers nationwide, but especially the taxpayers in Indiana.” My question is, does he? While Stutzman did vote to delay full implementation of the tax increase after he signed the pledge, does the fact that he voted for it in 2009 make a difference? Is the signing of a pledge to oppose and vote against tax increases something that’s convenient only when you’re running for higher office?

Stutzman does have a history of signing these pledges and he has a history of voting, for the most part, against tax increases, which makes this vote for the highest tax increase in Indiana’s history during dire economic times so puzzling.

At the Hoosier Access hosted U.S. Senate debate, Stutzman was asked by one of his fellow challengers whether he regretted any of the votes he has cast while a state senator. He responded that there wasn’t a vote he regretted. Not one….really?