Come join us, Republicans told Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin after he single-handedly derailed the Biden administration’s crushing Build Back Better Act.
You’d be more comfortable with us, they said. After all, your party hates you for what you did. You’d make a great Republican.
No, Manchin wouldn’t. A Democrat is a Democrat is a Democrat.
Of course, one can be grateful that he may have saved the republic from a monster welfare burden. But a Democrat is a Democrat is a Democrat — and Manchin is proving it.
He has reportedly told fellow Democrats that, true to form, he likes big government programs. It’s just that he had some issues with Build Back Better. Democrats should recalibrate some aspects of BBB, according to Manchin, and torpedo the Trump tax cuts for corporations and individuals.
Manchin favors gutting the tax cuts because it would give Democrats an idea of how much of the federal budget they can blow on social welfare programs, according to the Times. And tax cuts are anathema to big government types — despite how much such cuts boost the economy.
Tax cuts were a signature part of the Reagan administration in the 1980s and key to about two decades of a strong economy that even a Democrat like former President Bill Clinton was wise enough not to tinker with.
Former President Donald Trump aided economic growth with his cuts, dropping the corporate tax rate from 35 percent — among the highest in the world — to 21 percent. Democrats have shown at least some restraint in wanting to push it back up to 25 percent.
But what about Joe Manchin? What is this guy all about?
His website provides the usual say-everything-say-nothing burble of politicians everywhere: “Keep Americans safe from threats from both home and abroad,” “Every American deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare,” and so on.
But a compilation of third-party evaluations by Vote Smart shows Manchin to be fiercely lukewarm.
For instance, in 2020 the National Right to Life Committee gave him a 100 percent rating. But Manchin also got 50 percent from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in 2021, 58 percent from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2019 and a 0 rating from Susan B. Anthony List in the same year.
On defense, the Center for Security Policy, which tends to favor Republicans, listed Manchin at 73 percent in its 2015-2016 evaluation, the highest of any Democrat, few of whom got above 20 percent.
On conservative social issues, Manchin received 20 percent in 2018 from the American Family Association and 50 percent in 2020 from the Family Research Council.
On liberal social issues, the leftist Campaign for America’s Future gave him 100 percent in 2012.
Not surprisingly, Manchin scored poorly with groups that advocate for lower taxes. In 2020, FreedomWorks gave him a 10 percent rating and the National Taxpayers Union gave him 4 percent.
Ratings from the American Energy Alliance show a marked difference between Republicans, who often receive 100, and Democrats, who often receive 0. Manchin, from a state that relies heavily on fossil fuel production, received a 67 in 2020.
So he walks a narrow line.
A Democrat is a Democrat is a Democrat — any moderation Manchin shows is because he knows which way the wind blows.
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