Here come the “Milker Bills”

In Peter Schweizer’s great best seller, Throw Them All Out, he writes about what are called “Juicer” or “Milker” bills. They are legislation proposed in the House or Senate with the sole purpose of getting people to donate money to the congressman’s reelection campaign. From page 149 of the book we read:

Milker bills are often introduced in the area of taxes… Members of Congress threaten to impose a new tax and then withdraw the bill after campaign contributions flow in. Of course, the contributions were the point in the first place.

In the summer of 2006, Senate Majority Leaser Harry Reid announced that he wanted a tax hike on hedge funds. At the time those funds were taxed at the capacity gains rate of 15%. Reid declared that Democrats would put at the top of their agenda taxing hedge fund profits as regular income rather than as capital gains, meaning rates of 25% or higher. So they began working on legislation.

As expected the donations from the hedge fund industry to Democrats exploded. Well it looks like Senator Reid has learned his lesson well. He clearly plans to introduce a new crop of “Milker” bills for the new year, per Tuesday’s Politico Playbook:

DRIVING THE YEAR – Chicago Tribune, 2-col. lead, “Drumbeat rises to tax rich more: Democrats embrace Obama’s agenda; polls back larger share,” by Lisa Mascaro: “Congressional Democrats, more liberal since the 2010 elections thinned out moderates’ ranks, are embracing the populist agenda President Obama outlined in his State of the Union speech. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is planning votes all spring and summer in an attempt to end the tax breaks that corporations and wealthy individuals like Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney enjoy. With the House controlled by Republicans, none of Obama’s tax measures is expected to become law.

Emphasis is mine. Of course they are not expected to become law. Milker bills never are. They are just there to extort campaign contributions from people whose lives would be ruined if the bills ever passed. Silly people.

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  • GarandFan

    Harry is so busy.  But not enough to pass a budget.

    • Hank_M

      Good point.

      And now I understand why we’ll never have a flat tax.

      • A flat tax from Congress? More like a flat uence.

        • Yeah, take out the opportunities for graft and kickbacks, and where’s the fun in being a politician?

  • Brucehenry

    If it’s true that “of course they are not expected to become law,” that these “milker bills never are,” why are YOU smart enough to see that but the people they are allegedly extorting contributions from are not? How can they work if they are so patently, obviously, a trick?

    •  @Brucehenry:disqus

      Because it works?

      • Hard to argue with something that produces consistent results…

    • Oysteria

      Easy, because those that pour in the contributions are being promised that they’ll get an exemption.

      • Brucehenry

        An exemption from a law that never gets passed, and was never intended to pass?

        • lol… yep, that’s what he said.

        • Oysteria

          This is the Senate, and it’s still in Democrat control.

          The Senate has already introduced bills that weren’t intended to pass.  They were intended to make Republicans look bad in the hopes of holding the Senate in the long run and it got them campaign money.  The payoff to the contributors isn’t so much from the particular bill but down the road there are other bills and lots of other ways to repay the favor.

          • Brucehenry

            OOOOHHH, I see….diabolical!

  • There’s always the chance that Reid could get it through Congress. Those who give large donations to candidates don’t like surprises, and will pay for the security of knowing they have killed a particularly egregious bill.

    • herddog505

      Exactly.  Businesses crave stability: they like to know from year to year what the tax and regulatory environment is so that they can plan accordingly.

  • ackwired

    Seems like you can never be too cynical.

  • Your emphasis was a bit off.

    You wrote: “With the House controlled by Republicans, none of Obama’s tax measures is expected to become law.”

    Should be: “With the House controlled by Republicans, none of Obama’s tax measures is expected to become law.”

    It’s a wedge issue. Getting Republicans to vote no on taxing the rich this summer is strategically designed to get them on record as opposing tax hikes for the wealthy. It’ll help bring voters to the polls in 2012 to stop the Republicans by decreasing their control of the House.

    Same reason is was used in 2006.

    The donations increasing are a red herring. Don’t over think it. Occam’s Razor and all.

    You’re welcome.

    • Gmacr1

      You do know that works in both directions don’t you? I’m betting you were to busy reading the daily talking points fax to realize that taxes on anyone in a down economy, especially on the people that create jobs, is not particuarily well liked.

      • The polls I’ve seen say the majority of voters favor raising the taxers on the rich.

        Yeah, it goes both way, and you lose again, loser…

        • Oysteria

          Stephen, you’re so cute.  Dumb, but cute.

  • herddog505

    “Nice business ya got dere.  Be a shame if something… happened… to it.”

    Could somebody please read this article to those idiots at OWS?  This sort of thing is WHY more regulation is bad: it gives politicians plenty of scope to create havoc.  It’s also how fat cats get fatter: they make sure to “donate” to the right politicians to ensure that, at the very least, regulations don’t hurt their businesses and, at the worst, it hobbles any competition.

  • Brian_R_Allen

    Wizbang was Mister Tea was Wizbang.

    Bring back Mister Tea!