By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Congressman Mike Rogers (R) from Saks spoke with members of the St. Clair County Republican Party about the election and the approaching fiscal cliff.
Rep. Rogers told the assembled members of the St. Clair Republican party and said, “It is great to visit with the county committee. I was stunned to see a Democrat party headquarters here (referring to the Democrat Party storefront headquarters across the street from the court house). Is that here just for memorabilia or something?”
No one was willing to even qualify to run as a Democrat for any county office in 2012 in the staunchly Republican County to the northeast of Birmingham.
Rep. Rogers said that there are two major problems which Congress faces after the election: automatic sequestration cuts that go into effect on January 1, 2012 and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts where federal tax rates are set to automatically go up to 2000 rates on January 1.
On sequestration, Rep. Rogers was optimistic that would be resolved after the Presidential election. Rep. Rogers said, “Frankly I think that is going to be extended for a year whether Barack or Romney wins the Presidential election.” Rep. Rogers said that behind the scenes what they were hearing is that President Barack H. Obama is willing to extend the deadline for another year, he just can’t do it before the election. “His base would go nuts. They want to cut defense to pay for their social programs.” If sequestration goes into affects billions will be cut from defense and from Medicare.
The two political parties are more divided on the coming tax-amageddon crisis. On January 1, tax rates will return to what they were in 2001, before the current rates were passed early in the Bush Administration. The average American family could see their tax bill increase by $3,000.
Congressman Rogers said, “After 11 years you would think they would call them tax rates and stop calling them Bush tax cuts.” Rep. Rogers said that the President thinks he can make the House Republicans accept higher rates for Americans making over $200,000 by holding the rest of the nation hostage; but Rep. Rogers said, “We will never raise taxes on people making over $200,000. Those are the job creators.”
Rep. Rogers said that the big thing in the package of across the board tax increases is the death tax. Right now every American has a personal exemption of $3 million. As Rogers explained it: currently if a married couple has total assets of $5,000,000 and when he dies, she carries over his personal exemption. Then when she dies their heirs take both of their personal exemptions (a total of $6 million) and their business survives them, because they owe no federal estate taxes. After January 1, the personal exemption drops to just $750,000. In that same example, that family would owe the federal government $1,925,000 and the family would have to sell that business. Rep. Rogers said that when you work hard and pay your taxes what you earn, “Ought to be yours from now on.”
Rep. Rogers said that if Romney wins the election, Obama is likely to sign a six month tax rate exception; but if Obama wins he is less likely to be open to compromise. Rep. Rogers said, “It is pretty scary what can happen (with an Obama reelection). Dodd Frank becomes permanent. Obamacare become permanent.” Rogers said that this is unlikely because, “We are going to kick their butt in November.”
Rep. Rogers said that this election is shaping up to be similar to the 2010 election. Rep. Rogers said in 2010 there was not one of the major polling predictions that accurately predicted what was going to happen. Rep. Rogers said, “There wasn’t one. We knew we were going to pick up some seats. We had no idea that we were going to get a 25 seat majority and they would drop from 59 to 51 in the Senate. I think we are going to win and we are going to win bigger than expected.”
Rep. Rogers said that after a Republican victory the Congress was going to have to make very deep cuts to balance the budget. Rep. Rogers said, “We are going to have to make some very serious cuts and everybody is going to get skinned up.” Rogers warned that it is very possible we are going to lose the House and/or the Senate in 2014.
Rep. Rogers said that he was going to Ohio on the 30th and 31st of this month to work for Romney and encouraged everyone there to do what they can do for a Republican victory in November.