There he goes…the one true fiscal conservative in the Republican Party. U.S. Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) is leaving DC as soon as he finishes helping the President save the economy. Who can blame him; would you want to be the lone vote breaking rank with the current Party of No in this political climate?
It’s not often we get to see a real fiscal conservative in action in the current Republican Party. The rarest of rare breeds, they were run out or co-opted into Bushpublicans who now masquerade as Teapublicans, which is an industry, not a political party. But we have one in George Voinovich. Look now while you can, because George is retiring.
Here’s what a fiscal conservative looks like in action: Democrats have a 12 billion dollar tax incentive and 30 billion dollar lending bill to benefit small businesses up before the Senate next week; said bill has ONE Republican vote, and it’s our man George Voinovich, voting yes on the Republican Platform.
What can he be thinking?
See, the rest of the Republicans will vote NO on tax breaks and lending next week, which is odd, since we know how they say they feel about tax cuts. It’s all they talk about, like those dolls whose tummies you push so they will spit out 3 or 4 stock phrases. Tax cuts is one of the Republicans stock phrases. No matter what you ask them, they will reply, “Tax cuts!” This phrase can be seen as the booty call of the modern day Republican Party; it’s called often out of desperation and loneliness of ideas, but never faced in the morning.
And then there’s lending. Lending to small business gets money moving, which economists (and especially conservative ones) say is a key to improving the economy. For example, lending helps small businesses hire workers and make investments in their business by spending money on equipment, money that goes back into our economy and spurs growth.
It’s called credit. Something our economy depended upon, but which now is near impossible for a small business to secure. Republicans should be familiar with the importance of credit for the economy. The ease of getting credit is what spurred on the mortgage joy ride in this country and why it is now so hard to get.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Voinovich said:
“(H)e could no longer support Republican efforts to delay the measure in hopes of winning the right to offer additional amendments. Most of the proposed GOP amendments “didn’t have anything to do with the bill” anyway, Voinovich said, and amounted merely to partisan “messaging.”
“We don’t have time for messaging,” Voinovich said. “We don’t have time anymore. This country is really hurting.”
By breaking ranks with his Party to give the Democrats the vote they need to break the Republican filibuster (now redundant), Voinovich is doing what he thinks is right for his state instead of playing partisan games with our economic recovery. His state of Ohio is suffering from a 10.3% unemployment rate. This is called having the courage of your convictions. Again, look long and hard, because we don’t see this often in DC and certainly not in the modern day GOP.
Of course, he’s not running for reelection, so he can afford to cast his vote where his ideology lay, instead of having to vote no on his Party’s own ideas in order to keep the Democrats from helping the economy.
To this end, Voinovich made a small request to amend the bill by cutting down on paperwork that small businesses would need to file in order to comply (wow, this guy is on a small government conservative roll) with the new legislation.
And hold on to your hats, because Voinovich, who is a champion of federal transportation spending (investment and infrastructure were not always the bogeyman), has also proposed a gas tax to the President in order to pay for roads projects. You know, um, paying for stuff….like a fiscal conservative would, instead of cutting taxes for the rich and spending like drunken sailors.
How can I be so sure we’ve spotted that rarest of species, the Republican fiscal conservative? Because in 2003, he actually opposed President Bush’s $750 million tax cut proposal as it was not fiscally responsible.
Yes, Dorothy, there is one single fiscal conservative left in that party. This is what they looked like before the term got hijacked and distorted by pork lovers like Sarah Palin and farm subsidy hogs like Michele Bachmann. Voinovich is an example of someone who believes in a different ideology but who can and will debate, and who stands up for the principles of his beliefs.
Naturally, he is leaving office.
With him, goes the glory of the old GOP and its flag waving odes to the entrepreneurial spirit in this country as exemplified by the “mom and pops” of small businesses across our great land. This modern Republican Party, the Party of small business, is going to vote against small businesses this week. And in doing so, Republicans will be voting against the middle class, against struggling small business owners, and against our economic recovery.
You’ve seen what the Teapublicans are doing to members who fail its “purity” test. It’s a Post-Bush bloodbath of “conservatism” out there; a movement they’re trying to bill as getting back to their ideology, but which is really nothing more than the same failed Bush tactics of subservience to big corporations.
The current GOP is an industry posing as a political party.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.