H/T Bill Turner
That’s not the only piece of hilarity from Minnesota’s Keith Ellison, the Democrat who recently won more than 70% of the vote in his House re-election. Ellison suddenly discovered his inner Milton Friedman in wondering how much the tax deal cut by Barack Obama with Republicans would cost per job created, saying that the reduction in the estate tax would “give away trillions of dollars” over the next ten years. What Obama really needs to do, Ellison advised Minnesota Public Radio, was to “create a real crisis” that would force the GOP to surrender on tax hikes for those making $200,000 a year or more (via Weekly Political Review and Rhymes with Right):
Ellison, who was recently elected co-chair of the Progressive caucus in the House, voted against the compromise.
“I think that we need to create a real crisis here so that the Republicans will have to answer for denying Americans unemployment benefits on the eve of the Christmas holiday,” Ellison said. “We let them off the hook, in my opinion.”
Ellison said Democrats should have negotiated more aggressively to protect the interests of middle class and low income Americans, but he defended Obama’s effort to reach a compromise.
“I think (Republican lawmakers) exploited the president’s compassion for people who are facing a very grim holiday with no unemployment insurance extension,” Ellison said, “but I think that we should have bargained harder because what we’re doing is we’re going to fundamentally shift the income spread in this country.”
First, the reduction of the estate tax won’t “give away” trillions of dollars in the next ten years. It doesn’t “give away” anything at all. It allows families to keep a little more of the wealth that has already passed through at least one round of taxation already, either when it was earned or when it was inherited previously. The actual dollar impact in the difference between the rates before and after the deal won’t amount to trillions in any case.
However, the need to now produce a cost-benefit ratio seems rather sudden for Ellison. He backed the Porkulus plan that spent $800 billion on stimulus, which according to the White House’s ridiculously inflated calculations “saved or created” 3.5 million jobs, for a cost per job of … $228,571.42 per job. Other estimates range between 2 million and, er, zero, according to the Fed, and the best-case scenario is that it cost $400,000 per job in a short-term reprieve for bureaucrats.
As far as the “crisis” goes, Ellison is recommending that Obama do what Obama accused Republicans of doing: holding the unemployed and working class hostage to force an end to unemployment benefits and across-the-board tax hikes. That way, Ellison figures, voters will blame the side that offered a deal that a majority support. Only in Minnesota’s 5th CD would that kind of logic and political strategy be rewarded with a federal office.