Jul 5, 2011

Republican Horses Versus Health Care - guest editorial on GOP hypocrisy

Horses Versus Health Care

Jul 5, 2011 | By ThinkProgress War Room
GOP Tax Giveaway of the Day: Mitch McConnell’s Bluegrass Boondoggle

As the Aug. 2 deadline for resolving the default crisis nears, we will start taking a closer look at some of the wasteful tax giveaways the GOP is refusing to eliminate while at the same time demanding trillions of dollars in spending cuts. As President Obama has repeatedly noted, for each dollar in tax giveaways the GOP refuses to eliminate, that is one more dollar that will have to be cut from Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, or another important program.

Today’s nominee for elimination is just one of the more than $1 TRILLION in wasteful tax giveaways that need to be sent to the glue factory.

Sen McConnell (R-KY)
WHO: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

WHAT: The Bluegrass Boondoggle, a special tax break for the horse racing industry

WHERE: Inserted into the 2008 Farm Bill by McConnell. When he was up for re-election in 2008, McConnell publicly took credit for it at the time by noting how much it would benefit Kentucky’s horse racing industry.

HOW MUCH IT WASTES: $126 MILLION over 10 years

WHY IT MATTERS: It is the perfect example of an industry using one politically powerful member of Congress to obtain special favors and giveaways — giveaways the rest of us pay for. This tax giveaway is particularly egregious, as it is both costly and benefits a very small and wealthy group of individuals. When it was first inserted into the Farm Bill in 2008, ThinkProgress referred to it as McConnell’s “millionaire-only earmark.”

NOTABLE QUOTABLE — Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR): “Giving Triple Crown treatment to millionaires while workers are put out to pasture – that’s not right, and it’s not the American way.”

WHAT’S NEXT: Just two hours ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed a resolution expressing that it is the sense of the Senate “that any agreement to reduce the budget deficit should require that those earning $1,000,000 or more per year make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort.”

This resolution will give both sides a crystal clear opportunity to express whether they think millionaires need to start paying their fair share or whether they favor eliminating Medicare instead of getting rid tax breaks for millionaire horse breeders, billionaire hedge fund managers, and corporate jet owners.

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