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And I Bet John McCain Kicks Puppies, Too (Part 1)

For far too long, it's been a cliche' to mock the Democrats and their various and sundry special interests as saying "it's for the children!" whenever they try to justify their sillinesses. But now the Children's Defense Fund, with their annual ranking of members of Congress who must just out-and-out hate kids, is giving those people fresh ammunition.

I dunno why I'm surprised, but Senator John McCain is the biggest child-hater (90% hateful). (For once, I find myself proud of my Senator, Judd Gregg, who's only 70% hateful. Come on, Judd, you can do better than that!

Their methodology was simple -- childishly so, even: pick ten Senate votes that they thought had the greatest effect on children, and give each Senator 10 points per vote that the CDF liked.

So, what were these ten votes that were so fundamental to the well-being of America's children?

1. Increase the Minimum Wage
Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2000, Passage, H.R. 2, as amended
Passed 94-3 (R 45-3, D 47-0, I 2-0) on February 1, 2007. Enacted in P. L. 110-28.
Vote Description: This bill raised the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years, the first increase in the minimum wage in 10 years.
CDF Action Council Position: Yes. This bill passed into law a long overdue increase in pay for minimum wage workers. A vote for this bill was a vote to help struggling low-income families with children.

Yup. Even though the studies I've read show that largest group earning minimum wage are those who are most recently children, and not parents, this was crucial to helping kids. Even though the bill didn't (to the best of my knowledge) affect minors in the workforce. Even though a lot of employers said that they'd balance the increased wages by cutting positions to avoid taking a bigger hit on their payroll expenses, it was the single most important issue facing America's children.

2. Increase Funding for Education for Children with Disabilities
Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2008, S. Con. Res. 21, S. Amdt. 545 - Special Education
Rejected 38-58 (R 0-47, D 36-11, I 2-0) on March 22, 2007.
Vote Description: The amendment would have restored the top marginal tax rate on taxable income in excess of $1 million to pre-2001 levels and used the additional revenue to increase funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
CDF Action Council Position: Yes. Adoption of the amendment would have provided a large increase for needed funding to help ensure a free appropriate education for children with disabilities. It would be funded by taxing the richest Americans
.

OK, this one is almost not laughable. Raise the taxes on the rich to help disabled people, some of whom are children. But note the language -- "restore(d) the top marginal tax rate." "Restore" implies that the old rate was the natural, fair, just rate, and "marginal" implies that it's only a few get soaked. Another way of saying the same thing would be "jack the taxes on the class that contains those who contribute the most to our economy's continued prosperity," but that uses the kind of biased language that the CDF doesn't approve of.

3. Protect Children from Unsafe Medications
Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act, S. 1082
Passed 93-1 (R 44-0, D 48-0, I 1-1) on May 9, 2007.
Vote Description: This bill would revise and extend Food and Drug Administration (FDA) programs to ensure the safety of prescription drugs and medical devices and expand the FDA's ability to review the safety of prescription drugs and track problems after they have been approved and marketed.
CDF Action Council Position: Yes. This legislation would help protect children from unsafe medications. It includes critical provisions that would greatly increase the amount and quality of information doctors need to safely prescribe medication to children. It also provides incentives to drug companies that conduct responsible testing to determine prescription drug safety and dosage requirements, since children react to medications very differently than adults.

Yet another bill that affects everyone, but somehow the fact that it also affects children makes it automatically not only a good idea, but a moral imperative. The CDF's mentality comes shining through on this list -- "we don't care who gets screwed over, as long as at least one child might be benefited somehow!" Usually they're better at keeping that concealed.

4. 2008 Budget Resolution
Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2008, S. Con. Res. 21, Conference Report Agreed to 52-40 (R 2-40, D 48-0, I 2-0) on May 17, 2007.
Vote Description: The Conference Report on the Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Resolution allowed up to $954.1 billion in discretionary spending, plus $145.2 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It reinstated pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules in the Senate and set up a mechanism in the House to block tax cuts if the projected surplus in fiscal year 2012 does not materialize.
CDF Action Council Position: Yes. The Budget Resolution included important funding priorities for children, including up to $50 billion in additional funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). It also rejected many of the cuts the President had proposed for the 2008 budget, including cuts in other important health and education programs.

See above. Because the entire federal budget contains items for children, the whole thing should have been passed just to make sure those elements are funded.

5. Extend Health Coverage to 3.2 Million More Uninsured Children
Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, H.R. 976
Passed 68-31 (R 18-31, D 48-0, I 2-0) on August 2, 2007.
Vote Description: The bill would reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) for five years and increase federal funding for child health coverage through SCHIP and Medicaid by nearly $35 billion over five years. The cost of the expansion would be funded by a 61 cent per pack federal cigarette tax increase.
CDF Action Council Position: Yes. This legislation would extend health coverage to more than one-third (3.2 million) of the more than nine million uninsured children in America. It includes new funding and policy improvements needed by states to enroll and provide health coverage to millions of children who are currently eligible but not enrolled in SCHIP and Medicaid
.

This one is a gold mine. First up, they out-and-out lie about the bill. It would not "extend" health coverage, it would "offer" -- there's no requirement that parents sign their kids up for it. Next, there were a lot of good reasons for opposing the expansion of the SCHIP program -- two of them that particularly annoyed me were the provisions that would have defined as "poor children" people as old as 25 and families making up to 4 times the poverty level. I had a hard time wrapping my head around my having to pay higher taxes to subsidize people making well over twice what I pull down in a year.

Whoa... I just realized I'm closing in on 1200 words, and I'm only halfway through their list here. That's partly their fault; they were so damned verbose in the parts I had to quote. I guess I better break this into two parts. The rest will be posted later today.


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Comments (9)

Sounds like they like the t... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Sounds like they like the trickledown effect after all... but only when it involves raising taxes.

Their version of the trickl... (Below threshold)
epador:

Their version of the trickle down involves a Depends and a leak.

Seniors,Children and the ma... (Below threshold)
btenney:

Seniors,Children and the marginally Handicapped get way too much of society's resources.
There are way too many handicapped parking spaces though they are a convenient place to leave your shopping cart. Blocking 2 spaces with one cart is challenging but worth the effort for the sense of accomplishment it provides.
I am 70 years old and will never park in one of these spaces. My many Chidren and grand children have no desire for the Government to help them.
If you want an education work for it, pay for it.
AARP is a blood sucking socialist pest intent on the destruction of personal responsibility.
Had to get that off my chest, feel better now

have no desire for the G... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

have no desire for the Government to help them

The CDF seems to miss the fact that in order for government to give to one person it must take away from another. It's simply legalized theft by proxy. It's wrong no matter who the recipient of the confiscated goods may be.

CDF is a far-left group fou... (Below threshold)

CDF is a far-left group founded by Hillary's old chums, the Edelmans (both of whom angrily disassociated themselves from the Clintons with the signing of the Welfare Reform bill in '96 or so). Donna Shalala was a former honcho in the CDF before being named SecHHS.

Their proposed "solutions" are always massive government programs funded by tax increases. They seldom find any fault with any socialistic policy initiative.

These are the sort of folks who would be communist revolutionaries, except that they are scared of guns.

Wow, for an independent vot... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Wow, for an independent voter you sure go all out to help McCain.
depp=true

JT, if all JP2 wants to do ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JT, if all JP2 wants to do is give his snide remarks about you being an independent voter, why not just ban him. He does not bring anything to the game. He is boring and annoying. ww

"restore (d) t... (Below threshold)


"restore (d) the top marginal tax rate." ...that will result (possibly, depending on timing and retroactivity) in a one time bump in receipts, followed by a plateau or decline.

Raising marginal rates does not work. Or, said another way, punishing your rich neighbor will not bring higher tax receipts...it will simply increase tax avoidance. And reduce productivity.

Is reduced productivity what Americans really want in a highly competitive international economy? Do Americans truly want their highest income producers saddled with a disincentive to work and produce? Or do we want to bathe ourselves in a liberal bath of Schadenfreude so that we feel good about putting it to The Man?


You really need to read the... (Below threshold)
Parent23:

You really need to read the bills and get your facts straight. For example, there is nothing in the children's health bill covering kids to age 25 or 400% of poverty. Both of your citation are completely inaccurate.

Children's health coverage is publically subsidized private coverage. It has cut the number of uninsured kids by one-third in this nation and works.




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