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Editorial: Greg Walden did the right thing

Eastern Oregon Republican ignored the Tea Party at the fiscal cliff

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Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 10:00 am | Updated: 10:49 am, Thu Jan 10, 2013.

Early last week, Congressman Greg Walden, who represents Eastern Oregon, proved his loyalty to common sense – and to House Speaker of the House John Boehner. Walden voted with the majority when the House passed the compromise deal 257-167 to sidestep the pitfall known as the fiscal cliff.

That put him in the minority with the Oregon congressional delegation (Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader voted against it, with Suzanne Bonamici supporting the Joe Biden-Mitch McConnell compromise).

It also put Walden on the wrong side of the Tea Party wingnuts in the Republican Party.

“We now have 85 members of the House who have shunned their noses at us,” said Dustin Stockton, a Texas- and Nevada-based operative and the chief strategist of The Tea Party.net. “Our job now is to recruit and inspire and motivate people to run against those Republicans who did it.”

But Walden, Oregon’s lone Republican, refused to blindly drink the bitter swill brewed by the tea partiers. He obviously doesn’t – and shouldn’t – feel threatened by a potential opponent. He serves this district well and represents the views of its constituents.

Instead, Walden preferred the milder Boehner-Obama brew. Its formal name is the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Political nitpicking aside, Walden did the right thing. Walden’s vote was certainly in line with, if you believe polls, what a majority of Oregonians – and the nation – wanted.

There are numerous other details of the deal that will irk taxpayers – for example the elimination of the 2 percent payroll tax cut. But overall, we believe the passage of the fiscal cliff deal was a sensible step away from immediate danger.

Rep. Walden, Speaker Boehner and President Obama may be strange bedfellows, but their midnight machinations at least postponed an uncertain financial pitfall for our nation.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • obmug posted at 3:43 pm on Mon, Jan 14, 2013.

    obmug Posts: 407

    Not sure of the numbers, Beav, but taking them as accurate, would not a reduction in tax revenue to the government over 10 years (the Congressional Tax cuts - the President does not raise or lower taxes) if and only if the government continues to spend as if those revenues were still flowing into the Treasury?

    Case in point (although I admit the scale is different): Well in advance, my employer advises me that due to a drop in business revenue my hours will be reduced by 15% next year. Instead of my usual two-week vacation in the immediate area, I make multiple trips to Hawaii and even take several friends with me. I buy a new luxury RV and a vacation home as well as a yacht. I increase my charitable contributions to the World Starving Artist and Polar Bear Fund by a factor of three . I give the neighbor's kid a new car so he won't have to walk around his college campus or take a part-time job to pay for one himself.

    Now, who is responsible for the fact that I'm now obliged to borrow money at interest to pay for my groceries, insurance premiums and utilities?? If you say my boss because he doesn't pay me enough, you should run for the Senate - you'll find a lot of people just like you there.

  • beaver7216 posted at 7:30 pm on Thu, Jan 10, 2013.

    beaver7216 Posts: 9

    Hard to understand what the Editorial writer wants Congress to do. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 made permanent the Bush Tax cuts for 85% of Americans, adding $4 trillion to our debt over 10 years. This is in addition to the $1 Trillion we are adding every year. Sen. Merkley recently pointed out the $60 billion a year in increased taxes on the wealthiest will have a negligible impact.

    So, there are 3 solutions: raise taxes, kick the debt can down the road for future generations, or cut spending, as the Tea Party wants. Or, I guess, what Democrats used to call "voodoo economics" and raise the GDP growth rate above the anemic 1-2% per year.
    If the Daily Astorian has another idea, please share it. The readers deserve straight talk.

  • TaxPayerAmerican posted at 2:05 pm on Thu, Jan 10, 2013.

    TaxPayerAmerican Posts: 4

    We were so fortunate the Movie Industry people got $50,000,000 of this "emergency" money to spew there anti gun rhetoric meanwhile showing gun violence, blood shed and death as a regular way of life. Pathetic that this bill passed and included so much waste and fraud again and failed to solve the over spending. We also enjoyed the tax increase alrready across the board so more increased spending could occur.

  • glenn taggart posted at 12:46 pm on Thu, Jan 10, 2013.

    glenn taggart Posts: 8

    I know it humors liberals to poke fun at "wingnut" tea partiers. Most do so without researching what it is the movement stands for. Much is the same thing most civilized people stand for. You should read the tea party platform and see if you yourself don't agree with it. I'll share a couple of the more important:
    1. Eliminate excessive taxes.
    2. Eliminate the national debt.
    3. Abide by the constitution.
    4. Reduce the size of govt.

    Yeah, those darn "wingnut" tea partiers. They're ruining everything.