Isakson, Chambliss say ‘no’ to tax breaks for businesses

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, Republicans could be counted on to vote for a bill that would give tax breaks to businesses. Not anymore. Not this Republican Party. Not the party-of-no, we-want-Obama-to-fail GOP.

Yesterday, the Senate broke a filibuster against a proposed jobs bill that would provide tax breaks to businesses that add workers to the payrolls. Only five Republicans voted to end the filibuster. (Georgia’s leading lights, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, were not among them.) That’s what counts as bi-partisanship in Washington these days. From the WaPo:

Aided by a handful of Republicans, Senate Democratic leaders on Monday kept alive a $15 billion job-creation measure and are poised to pass the measure later this week.

Five Republicans, including new Sen. Scott P. Brown (Mass.), joined 57 Democrats in voting to break a filibuster of the jobs bill, after a suspenseful buildup in which members of both parties wondered whether Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) could cobble together enough support to clear the legislative hurdle.

The bipartisan result marked a breakthrough for Democrats, who have been frustrated since President Obama came to office by their inability to attract much Republican support for their agenda. The vote was also a vindication for Reid, who is grappling with a tough reelection race in Nevada and faced questions in Washington over whether he mishandled the jobs issue.

“I hope this is the beginning of a new day in the Senate,” Reid said after the vote.

Reid lost the public support of several Republicans after discarding an $85 billion jobs package negotiated by Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) in favor of a narrower bill favored by liberals. GOP leaders complained that Reid had spurned a bipartisan deal that had been negotiated in good faith.

Republicans Christopher Bond (Mo.), Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia J. Snowe (Maine) and George V. Voinovich (Ohio) joined Brown in breaking ranks to back the bill. Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) was the only Democrat to vote against the measure, which advanced, 62 to 30.

The bill’s centerpiece is a $13 billion program allowing companies to avoid paying Social Security taxes for the remainder of 2010 on new hires who have been unemployed for at least 60 days. Employers would also receive a $1,000 tax credit for each new worker who stays on the job for at least a year. Democrats tout the plan as a simple way to create tens of thousands of new jobs, though some experts dismiss it as too narrow to make a significant dent in the nation’s unemployment rate.

The jobs bill also includes a one-year reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund, a provision allowing companies to write off equipment purchases as business expenses, and an expansion of the Build America Bonds program, which helps state and local governments finance infrastructure projects.

Scott Brown, who promised bi-partisanship in his Massachusetts Senate campaign, had the gumption to vote to end the filibuster. If he had not, the bill might have died.

142 comments Add your comment

Peadawg

February 23rd, 2010
8:42 am

So, you blast Republicans for voting for tax breaks a couple of years ago, and now that they finally vote no, you call them the “party-of-no, we-want-Obama-to-fail GOP.” Really? Keep up the hypocrite movement, Cynthia..you’re the pack leader!!!!!

Call it like it is.

February 23rd, 2010
8:43 am

Republicans bad, Democrats good, nothing to see here people move on move on……….Tune in tommorow for same ole same.

Bob

February 23rd, 2010
8:51 am

So we are giving rich business owners tax breaks while we are going into more debt, isn’t that what repubs do ? The rich get richer.

Barry Osborne

February 23rd, 2010
8:53 am

Tom Griscom, a White House Communications Director for Reagan, wrote Sunday in the Chattanooga paper that Republicans don’t understand that their wins lately have been driven by the desire for change, not popularity of the party. People are fed up and want their politicians to work together and “get things done,” he said. I think he’s got a point all sides in Washington need to learn.

Peadawg

February 23rd, 2010
8:53 am

“Senate broke a filibuster against a proposed jobs bill that would provide tax breaks to businesses that add workers to the payrolls.”

Where’s the outrage for this one? Republicans give businesses tax breaks = BAD. Democrats give businesses tax breaks = GOOD. Look up hypocrite in Webster’s and Cynthia’s picture is the definition..no words, just Cynthia’s picture.

Kevin

February 23rd, 2010
8:55 am

“party-of-no, we-want-Obama-to-fail GOP”

Seriously? You’ve got a bad case of broken-recorditis. Hope your insurance premiums are paid up so you can see a specialist for that.

Soames

February 23rd, 2010
9:03 am

History (Jimmy Carter) has proven that a tax credit for businesses to create jobs is worthless without actual demand for the products or services being offered. Addressing our huge trade imbalance would be the best step towards fixing our economy and creating jobs.

Granny Godzilla

February 23rd, 2010
9:20 am

From the Chicago Sun Times….

“The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently analyzed several proposals to create jobs and improve the economy and concluded that a payroll tax credit for companies that increase payroll would be among the most effective.”

I’m not particularly impressed by Johnny and Saxby….Georgia deserves
better representation.

Peadawg

February 23rd, 2010
9:26 am

Granny, the ajc posted a story a couple of weeks ago that this jobs bill wouldn’t do much to create jobs. So I guess it depends on what you read……

Shawny

February 23rd, 2010
9:27 am

We can’t just crap out jobs. There either is a need and a market for certain products and/or services, or there is not.
Maybe it was just a bad bill.

“Reid lost the public support of several Republicans after discarding an $85 billion jobs package negotiated by Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) in favor of a narrower bill favored by liberals.” Perhaps this line says it all. Scrapped a bipartisan bill for a bill favored by liberals. Might this be why most republican voted against it?!?

hmmmmmmmm

Drinking the koolaid...

February 23rd, 2010
9:29 am

“GOP leaders complained that Reid had spurned a bipartisan deal that had been negotiated in good faith.” CT didn’t cover this part of the story. So let me get this straight, first Dems made a compromise, then broke it, and somehow this is the republican’s fault?

And what about “That’s what counts as bi-partisanship in Washington these days.” As if Dems acted any better than Republicans when Bush was in office.

Hope the view is good from that high horse. Let me know when you want to take a step down. Fact is this is all politics and you could take the story and stamp any date you want on it by simply reversing dems and republicans- no one would know the difference since this IS Washington at ANY time of the year.

How about a useful debate, such as what the bill will or won’t do? I work for a large business selling to small businesses…none of them are rushing to hire so they can avoid paying social security…at the end of the day you still have to pay the salary and the economy doesn’t support adding the headcount to the books. the tax break will be used- by those already planning to hire before all of this.

Granny Godzilla

February 23rd, 2010
9:30 am

Peadawg

Which is why I read most everything…..

Sam

February 23rd, 2010
9:34 am

Pea, all tax breaks are not created equal. you should be smart enough to know that…when the GOP fights for tax breaks for large corporations and the super wealthy (during 2 wars no less) and then in a time of crisis vote against tax breaks directed at small/medium business (will also benefit multi-nationals)…then yes, it seems a bit hypocritical. doesnt it?

Sam

February 23rd, 2010
9:35 am

shawny, if we could crap out jobs. i wouldve created about 10 this weekend. not sure what i ate but it ‘created some jobs’

Peadawg

February 23rd, 2010
9:40 am

Sam,

Big business, medium business, small business…what’s the difference? The tax breaks the Republicans did and the tax breaks the Democrats are wanting to do are both trying to accomplish the same thing. Maybe, just maybe, the Republicans learned their lessons that tax breaks for businesses don’t work. It looks like the Democrats didn’t get that memo……

Granny Godzilla

February 23rd, 2010
9:40 am

Sam

A chili cook off for jobs comes to mind.

Peadawg

February 23rd, 2010
9:41 am

And it is very hypocritical for Democrats to be outrage at Bush’s business tax cuts but not Obama’s, isn’t it?

real fan

February 23rd, 2010
9:42 am

This bill is like offering a buy one get one free coupon to a broke homeless persom . Dont you think companys want to grow. Thats how they make money .And taking more money out of social security isnt going to help things. Talk about smoke and mirrors when are the democrats going to get wise and do some real economic stimulus .This is like taking a grain of rice to haiti and saying we did something for them but those mean old republicans tryed to stop us.

real fan

February 23rd, 2010
9:51 am

Hey sam I own a small buiseness . I can hardly afford to pay myself right now . You think $1,000 and no ssi tax is going to change my bottom line that much. You want to bail me out , how about the government picking up the tab on all my unpaid collection and bank fees from slow paying customers. I figure that right there to match the salary of hiring someone . Of course what would I have that person do, no one is spending money.

Scout

February 23rd, 2010
9:53 am

Ms. Tucker:

I am confused. What does this have to do with racism or “Don’t Rearend, Don’t Tailgate”?

Sam

February 23rd, 2010
9:53 am

the main objections came from the tax cuts for wealthy individuals (top 1%) not necessarily for large business …do you not think there’s a difference between large, medium, small business? where do all the new jobs come from? large corporations, nope. small/medium business create the jobs, remember? so thats where the tax break focus should be…

uga_b

February 23rd, 2010
9:53 am

Another disingenious offering from Ms. Tucker. They voted against the entire bill just not the one component you are highlighting. Now that most of the other stuff is gone, it appears to be moving through.

Of course both bills were absolute tripe and just more of the same short-term distortions in markets: first cars; now labor. Neither addresses any long term stability. Additionally, the main problem is consumer demand evinced by the high unemployment rate in the face of cheap money and incentives to hire. Why add an employee when you don’t expect to sell anymore products (crud, I just lost all our “progressive” friends).

uga_b

February 23rd, 2010
9:54 am

Last sentence should end in a question mark. My bad.

Sam

February 23rd, 2010
9:54 am

real fan, so do i. and once i see what it entails, I will decide if its helps me or not. any bit will help, right?

Capital Rage

February 23rd, 2010
9:54 am

“In a galaxy, far, far away”.

I think what Cynthia is trying to say today is that Bipartisanship is science fiction, not rocket science, and probably can’t survive the Pea(brained) Tardies in the Tea Party.

That’s the rub, and that’s the drubbing, you see, Cynthia is beset not so much by wonks as she is by wookies….

Take my hand, Cynthia, for even though I am not your blog-father, I can help you defeat the dork farce…..

Peadawg

February 23rd, 2010
9:57 am

“do you not think there’s a difference between large, medium, small business?”

When it comes to the bottom line, which is giving tax cuts if they hire more employees, not there isn’t a difference. What makes you think this will work? It’s just more money down the drain. Way to cut that wasteful spending, Obama!! Keep up the “good” work. See ya back in Chicago after 2012!!!

jconservative

February 23rd, 2010
9:57 am

Notice that even though taxes were cut and, as a result, income will go down, that no spending was cut. This is the exact formula Reagan started in 1981 that has resulted in today’s $12.3 Trillion national debt.

My question is where and when are we going to cut spending?

pat

February 23rd, 2010
9:58 am

yawn, why did I bother? Definately time to stop wasting my time with this blog. Whose with me?

Peadawg

February 23rd, 2010
9:58 am

“I think what Cynthia is trying to say today is that Bipartisanship is science fiction”

Kinda like that cry bipartisanship during Bush’s tenure? That’s what I thought.

CabinetMaker

February 23rd, 2010
9:58 am

Truly the only jobs that the feds can “create” is if they hire more federal employees. I asked my employer if tax breaks/incentives, etc. would induce him to hire more folks and he said, “Only if they bring some new customers with them”.

Bubba

February 23rd, 2010
9:59 am

So if I read correctly, Republicans WOULD have supported a larger bill that Reid “discarded.” So if the Republicans’ only objective is to see Obama fail, as you say, why were they supporting the earlier bill? Just wondering.

The Tar and Feathers Party

February 23rd, 2010
9:59 am

Small business gets away with murder on their taxes already. They get big tax credits and the right to expense vehicles they purchase for their business, specifically trucks. They all buy SUVs at the end of the tax year, and later convert them to personal use. The off the books, and the under the table payments are off the charts. They deserve no more tax breaks, they already pay next to nothing. Now they want refundable tax credits, meaning they want money back they have not paid, a negative income tax for business. Nail their butts to the wall, they are all tax cheats, imho.

Kevin

February 23rd, 2010
9:59 am

Scout,

You still thinking about guy’s rearends? Get over it dude!

Peadawg

February 23rd, 2010
10:00 am

““Only if they bring some new customers with them”.”

He knows what will make business hire more. Maybe your boss should for POTUS. He’s obviously a lot smarter than the guy we’ve got right now….

uga_b

February 23rd, 2010
10:00 am

Sam, where do you think a large majority of the capital comes from for small business loans? It comes from people who save and invest money and not the ones who are in debt and live on the government dole. When you transfer money from the wealthy to the poor–who usually spend it all–via taxes, you remove money that could have been invested in banks, stocks, bonds, or venture capital and replace it with short-term spending. While spending is important, it does not provide the highest return on investment for the nation.

uga_b

February 23rd, 2010
10:05 am

There are some things I find really funny:

Democrats calling GOP “party-of-no” after their years of Bush lied divisionism

GOP calling Democrats fiscally irresponsible

Either of them saying the other party is unethical or unpatriotic

Scout

February 23rd, 2010
10:06 am

Kevin:

LOL ! Hang in there son.

Sam

February 23rd, 2010
10:08 am

uga, what does that have to do with this discussion?

ctucker

February 23rd, 2010
10:09 am

Bubba, A handful of Republicans said they would support a larger bill. But Harry Reid didn’t believe them. He figured that was a set-up, given the GOP obstructionism for the past year.

Sam

February 23rd, 2010
10:09 am

no difference between small/medium/large companies? interesting..gives me a good perspective of where you’re coming from..

ctucker

February 23rd, 2010
10:10 am

ctucker

February 23rd, 2010
10:10 am

Scout, Don’t try to inject race into this

Bubba

February 23rd, 2010
10:10 am

If the Dems are so interested in bipartisanship, why did they refuse to allow the Republicans to offer any amendments to this bill. Pot, meet Kettle.

Sam

February 23rd, 2010
10:11 am

by the way uga, short term spending is what we need right now. forget your stocks, bonds, venture capital….

CabinetMaker

February 23rd, 2010
10:14 am

Peadawg,
It’s all just another example, like we needed more of them, of what happens as soon as a politician gets “inside the Beltway”. If they had any clue at all of how the real world works, it goes right out the window as soon as the lobbyists, slurpers, fawners, spin doctors, professional staffers and career politicians get ahold of them. Of course, if you have had no real world experience to start off with, then you come in with all the grandiose ideas and thoughts that we all kicked around in late nite college dorm BS sessions, in Philosophy 101 class, and in entry level PolySci courses. Most of us however grew out of that and got on with the business of being responsible, productive adults.

Scout

February 23rd, 2010
10:18 am

ctucker:

I’m not. I’m just surprised you haven’t.

Joe

February 23rd, 2010
10:23 am

Without reading the blog I will say Obama needs no external catalyst for failure. He is up to the task.

ctucker

February 23rd, 2010
10:27 am

Joe, You can’t be bothered to read the blog before you comment?

Kevin

February 23rd, 2010
10:27 am

Scout, this blog is about tax breaks but your mind is still on guys rearends. Is it not?

Scott

February 23rd, 2010
10:30 am

Cynthia…Where is your outrage at Harry Reid? He threw bipartisanship right out the window when he made a massive transformation to the bill that lost alot of the initial support.

I just still do not understand why you and other liberals continue to think that the government can create jobs and solve all of our problems. Simply put….They never have and never will; it’s been proven time and time again. Do you really think that a company is going to hire a new worker for a $1,000 tax credit when there is still so much uncertainty about what effect the healthcare takeover is going to have on their business? Would I hire somebody for a $1,000 credit now in exchange for additional costs in the future? Hell no.