Have the big banks already vetoed Dave Camp’s tax plan?

As I mentioned twice previously, I admire House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.) for putting out a detailed roadmap to a tax simplification plan. But assuming that Politico knows what it’s talking about (yes, there are a lot of unnamed sources in this piece but plenty of named sources as well):

Private equity and investment firms in New York are telling key Republican players in D.C. that commitments for big-dollar fundraising have been “canceled for the foreseeable future,” as a protest against some of the ideas in Camp’s tax proposal, including a  new tax on banks and a loophole closure that would require private equity players to pay income taxes on more of their income.

Without Wall Street, Republicans risk their coffers emptying. The securities and investment industry is the largest contributor — besides candidate committees — to the National Republican Congressional Committee this cycle, directing $3.5 million to the party committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In the 2012 election cycle, the financial services industry ponied up nearly $9.9 million.

But there’s something twisted and wrong about the way Politico, as it has for days, continues to pound on Camp for his naivete and just plain political idiocy for even putting his long-contemplated tax reform ideas out in an election year. As in the video below.

Every even numbered year is an election year. And every odd-numbered year is the year before an election year. Just avoid doing anything that might tick anyone off — especially anyone in your donor base — in odd or even years and everything will be just fine.

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/03/2014 - 09:37 am.

    In the current climate of Republicanism, the worst thing for their career is to do anything that might end up with an accompanying Democratic vote in agreement.

  2. Submitted by Dan Hintz on 03/03/2014 - 09:52 am.


    Camp’s plan has some interesting pieces, but as a whole its a steaming pile of dishonesty. Its not revenue neutral and it relies on gimmicks rather than being real reform. Some people may have bad reasons to oppose this plan, but there is no shortage of good reasons.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/03/2014 - 01:09 pm.


    While the WSJ and other Wall Street propaganda vehicles are busy condemning Camp’s proposal, one need not look very closely to see the basis for their objections: following anything more than a couple of the more trivial proposals in Camp’s plan would make it marginally more difficult for those on Wall Street to add more feathers to their already-stuffed nests.

    As Eric points out, if you do nothing during an election year, and you do nothing in the year before an election year because it is, after all, the year before an election year, you’ve created a perfect formula for doing nothing at all, about much of anything, beyond criticizing any action or proposal that might benefit the political opposition. If people continue to vote your guys into office, as Republicans, strangely, continue to do, why, it’s win-win. Do nothing, rake in the campaign contribution cash, enjoy the perks of office, and live a very comfortable life in the process.

    I don’t like everything in Camp’s plan, but at least it *is* a plan, as opposed to trainloads of the usual meaningless hype and alarm about “job-killing” taxes. In years gone by, a certain amount of alarm expressec by Democrats would have been followed by something that looked remarkably like genuine negotiations. Now we get tax plans killed by members of the presenter’s own party before the plans have even seen the light of day, largely because the big campaign donors, members of the 1% or their lackeys, don’t like the idea that they may not be able to further increase the chasm between their incomes and those of people who actually make and do things.

  4. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 03/03/2014 - 01:54 pm.

    Tax simplification

    As much as people pay lip service to the idea of tax simplification, people don’t want simpler taxes. They want to pay less in taxes. As for revenue neutral “reform”, the problem is that either tax burdens are shifted or they are not. If they aren’t shifted, how has anything been changed? And if they are shifted, there must be winners and losers, and if the losers are more politically powerful than the winners, then the reform will never happen.

  5. Submitted by John Roach on 03/03/2014 - 03:58 pm.

    In essence, Wall Street controls Washington.

    The backlash that will surely kill this plan or anything like it is just further evidence of that. There have been and there will be no meaningful prosecutions related to the massive fraud perpetrated in the mortgage derivatives market, or in the LIBOR fraud scheme.

    The large investment banks and private equity operations are a law unto themselves. Individual legislators, or even larger groups have no chance of pushing through any legislation that will reduce their power. No political party will dare to cross them as long as big money is allowed to swing our elections.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 03/03/2014 - 05:54 pm.

      Wall Street & Corporate centers = the Employers,…

      …National Administration, Legislature, and Judiciary = the Hired Help.

      Our Senators and Congressmen, even our President, know who butters their bread. This seems nigh unto insoluble, as these elected officials want to keep their jobs and act accordingly.

  6. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 03/04/2014 - 06:13 am.


    There is not backlash. Rep. Camp has gotten mildly favorable coverage for his “courage”. There has been a brief discussion of some of the mustier issues surrounding taxes. And a Congress that is dysfunctional about all else, will certainly be dysfunctional about a bill that would nearly double the taxes a guy like Mitt Romney pays. The Republican Party will still give itself credit for being the party of ideas. Journalists will give them credit for being serious. And nothing at all will happen..

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