John Boehner could be in for a fight Thursday when the newly seated House votes for the next speaker, with conservatives grumbling about his leadership and a report surfacing about a supposed plan to challenge him.
The 11-term congressman, who’s endured his share of political turbulence, presumably enters the election with the upper hand. So far, a single viable Republican challenger has not emerged and the rules of the vote tend to work in Boehner’s favor.
But Boehner’s potential troubles were compounded by a late-night flare up with outraged northeast lawmakers over a decision by the speaker to postpone a vote on an aid package for Superstorm Sandy victims.
I am not sure if Boehner is out, or if the next Republican will be better, but I do not have much faith in the GOP to get it right if Boehner is replaced. Meanwhile, stories like this make me wonder if this country is even capable of righting the ship.
The fiscal deal cemented Tuesday night includes a one-year extension of tax credits for the wind-energy industry that will cost taxpayers an estimated $12.1 billion.
The extension was part of a tax-extender package that the Senate Finance Committee approved in August and was included in the final package that Congress approved before sending it to the president.
Congressional Republicans and other fiscal conservatives opposed the extension, arguing the deal between Congress and the White House was supposed to include cuts to federal spending, not additional subsidies for alternative-energy programs.
Prior to the vote, Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander cited several reasons to end the tax credit – including the cost to taxpayers, putting coal and nuclear energy at an economic disadvantage and wind companies producing just 3 percent of U.S. electricity despite receiving billions in subsidies over the past 20 years.
“A better idea is to reduce the debt and increase research for solar, batteries, carbon capture from coal plants, more energy-efficient buildings, advanced biofuels and the disposal of nuclear waste,” Alexander wrote in The National Journal. “Then let the marketplace decide which fuels can produce enough clean, cheap reliable energy.”
The Production Tax Credit was created in 1992 and has been extended for wind companies several times over the past several years at an estimated cost of $16 billion to taxpayers.
Using taxes to reward certain behaviors, or to punish others or using taxes to favor one business over another is a dreadful mistake. It goes against the founding principles of America, and against common sense. If an industry cannot survive on its own, let it die. Propping it up with tax dollars hurts everyone eventually. Not to mention that these types of subsidies are SPECIFICALLY what we out to be eliminating to cut spending. Seriously, folks, our fiscal troubles are bad, and getting worse because Congress has no ability to stop spending.