NJ Rep. Lance: Washington Must Next Act on Jobs

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. Today on the Brian Lehrer Show, New Jersey Congressman Leonard Lance (R-7) discusses what he's been hearing from his constituents while Congress is in recess and what he expects to happen in Washington in September when Congress reconvenes.

Leonard Lance is a Republican in his second term. He represents the 7th Congressional District. Lance said the major concern he hears across the country is the economy.

I am willing to consider the proposals of the president… my personal view is what we need is certainty in the economy.

He said while he hopes for fewer regulations, it is certainty regarding tax policy, regulation and health care that employers need to create jobs.

I do not favor raising tax rates, but I certainly am willing to examine increases in revenues.

He said he had sponsored legislation to eliminate the ethanol subsidy and would also consider ending subsidies to oil and gas industries, as well as “the corporate jet situation.”

The congressman was clear that he does not think that closing loopholes and ending subsidies is simply a semantically-acceptable route to raising taxes, and that he hopes the super committee puts those strategies to use.

It's charge is one-and-one-half trillion dollars, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do more than that.

The super-committee will be filibuster-proof, which Lance said is a point in favor of it achieving an effective solution.  Yet he agreed that some of his GOP colleagues are unlikely to share his position that closing tax loopholes is deferent than raising tax rates.

I believe in dynamic scoring, that if you do X, Y is likely to occur in tax revenues. The CBO [Congressional Budget Office] does not score dynamically, but many of my colleagues who are in the Tea Party caucus, are in favor of dynamic scoring.

Regarding the Tea Party in general, he said their overwhelming concern is fiscal responsibility, and in his experience meeting with members, their concerns are the same. 

I think when people actually sit down and speak with each other there is much greater congruity than some of the pundits will suggest.

He denied the narrative that President Obama and Speaker Boehner almost reached a grand bargain on the debt, but the Tea Party caused the deal to fail by pushing unrealistically radical demands. He said while he was not in the room, the version of the story he hears says it was the president who broke the bargain down, by pushing for more tax increases than previously agreed to.

I obviously don’t know whether that is completely factually accurate, but perhaps if we were to go back to what appeared to be the rough agreement between the president and the speaker, that might be an [sic] historic agreement by the twelve members of the committee.



Congressman Leonard Lance


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Comments [21]

Troy from Bronx, New York

Representative Leonard Lance is a (non-partisan) hope for our future. Today his appearence on the Brian Lehrer Show renewed my faith in government. He makes a lot of sense. I'm neither Democrat or Republican, but I am an unemployed American genuinely grateful for a voice of reason. Best to Congressman Leonard Lance!

Aug. 24 2011 03:24 PM

Listening to Brian Lehrer this morning, I was waiting to hear him ask Congressman Lance how he felt about Warren Buffett's stated opinion of how Congress has been coddling the rich. Then, I decided to call and ask him myself, but was disappointed that Brian didn't take any listener on-air questions. I wonder whether the subject had become taboo.

Aug. 24 2011 11:51 AM
Art White from Brooklyn

Also why can't you actually just get to the point sometimes, don't be sacred of confrontation, it'll make better radio. Check out John Humphreys from BBC Radio 4's Today show especially in the 90's, Ask a Republican who claims to "oppose" any raising of federal income tax who they are actually defending and why when the Democrats wants to increase tax on millionaire earners only - (please note the distinction between someone who earns a million dollars a year and therefore is a multi-millionaire through accumulation to those who may have a million dollars in net worth through a lifetime of labor and who wouldn't be effected by the proposed tax rise.) When they reply about small business please actually challenge their figures. The small businesses they refer to are a handful of those affected in the first place and the few which are, are generally businesses with a $50million cashflow and a high rate of return. It is fair to push them on this, hard. Do they support any tax increase in sales tax? On tolls? Are they on record reducing or increasing tax on utilities? What is their record on excise and corporate tax? Do they like tax cuts for corporations but approve of sales tax increases somewhere else? I assume your producer's have all this info in front of you before and during the interview? If not you need new ones.
Shine some light on their misstatements and propaganda, don't treat it with respect it does not deserve. Basically do your job Brian. Please, you're already one of the straightest shooters, but we deserve more respect than to have our representatives polluting the airwaves with unchallenged and uncorrected lies, distortions and fantasies.
And for the record I think politicians of all affiliations need to be treated with a similar degree of informed skepticism and moral indignation.

Aug. 24 2011 11:20 AM
Art White from Brooklyn

Brian, how can you let a politician repeatedly lie without challenging him? Rep Lance admits to supporting the closing of loopholes and how ever many ways he rephrases this it is in actuality an increase in taxation. It’s an oxymoron to claim otherwise. And also it’s a propaganda tactic – to focus the entire discussion of taxation onto one figure and one alone. We saw this game in England in the 80's when Murdoch first built his power base and Thatcher won three elections. From the Sun and the News of the World and later the Times they proclaimed in huge bold front pages- income tax reduction - as the percentage rate fell for one tax only - the equivalent of the federal income tax, obviously benefiting the rich the most. At the same time taxes on everything else went up. City, state, sales and notably property taxes (in US terminology) but in the majority of the media Thatcher was known as a tax cutting Prime Minister. Not just wrong but dangerously absurd.

( Her later desire to get rid of property taxes (rates) led to the poll tax, an arcane middle aged law that allowed Her Majesty's Government to tax you basically for having a head. She also couldn’t help overreaching and having Labor boroughs, generally much poorer, subsidize their conservative and richer neighbors. We actually had the absurdity of Westminster borough, where Parliament is located and businessmen with pied a terres and their mistresses live, was paid something like 50pounds while Camden next door, full of estates (housing projects), students and families paid 400. This led to the riots (you know the ones they haven't mentioned in the last couple of weeks) that led to her downfall.)

Aug. 24 2011 11:19 AM
On Poking out your left eye to see right. from Hot Air and Natural Gas

Republican arguments about the economy
tend to obey the following syntax :

The reason for is

catch phrase>

For example :

The reason for the
is .

Then the propose a solution of the form :

The solution is :
for transfering more money or goods and services from the middle class to the ultarich>

Why answer any question thoughtfully,
when you can repeatedly bleet your talking party's points - regardless of what question is asked ?

Question : How's the weather today ?

Answer : There's too much uncertainty
and its stopping job creators from putting America back to work.

Aug. 24 2011 10:55 AM
mike from Manasquan

RE: Rep. Lance and NJ Solar...

FYI, the Social Benefit Fund assessed all electric Meters in NJ provided money for REFUNDS of solar and renewable energy projects and no longer exist. Gov. Christie's Master Energy Plan looks to reduce our target of 30% Renewable Energy statewide by yr 2020, to 22%. His plan heavily favors Natural Gas and Huge Solar installations. This will cripple the small solar businesses that have blossomed over the past few years as the investment money will move toward bigger and bigger arrays, rather than small residential or small business rooftops. Nobody can explain why this plan is "more balanced" than the current system. A result of the past 3 Board of Public Utilities meetings [public hearings] has been a disaster for the market based Solar Renewable Energy Certificate program. The market prices crashed after the last hearing because it seems certain Gov. Christie's plan will take focus off solar and grant the Utilities a liferaft of lower electricity costs via future Nat. Gas piped in from Pennsylvania HydroFracking wells. I don't get how a conservative Gov. kills jobs and then claims victory for business. I guess it's another "cut" he can notch on his resume?

Aug. 24 2011 10:44 AM
Peter from Berkeley Hts

Questions for Mr. Lance:
You were so good as Senate Minority Leader in NJ, compromising on budgets... where is your voice Now? Has your party shut you out... or are you just silent? Do I (one of your constituents) still have a voice in DC... or has your party Left you?
If so, who do I speak to in order to get things heard?

Aug. 24 2011 10:39 AM
Peter from Berkeley Hts

Questions for Mr. Lance:
You were so good as Senate Minority Leader in NJ, compromising on budgets... where is your voice Now? Has your party shut you out... or are you just silent? Do I (one of your constituents) still have a voice in DC... or has your party Left you?
If so, who do I speak to in order to get things heard?

Aug. 24 2011 10:39 AM
Peter from Berkeley Hts

Questions for Mr. Lance:
You were so good as Senate Minority Leader in NJ, compromising on budgets... where is your voice Now? Has your party shut you out... or are you just silent? Do I (one of your constituents) still have a voice in DC... or has your party Left you?
If so, who do I speak to in order to get things heard?

Aug. 24 2011 10:37 AM

I skews the debate and is down-right wrong to let posing "moderate Republicans" come into the home district and talk about bi-partisan cooperation and areas of compromise, only to return to Washington and - through choice or strong-arming, again march in lock step with their Tea-Party bretheran.

Aug. 24 2011 10:30 AM

"Uncertainty" is another term which is bandied about and seldom defined.

A guest on the Diane Rheme Show said he asked a shop owner whether he was concerned about uncertainty in the economy (undefined in the question of course).

The shopowner told him he sure was concerned about uncertainty. He was uncertain whether there would be enough customers with enough money to come into his shop and BUY THINGS from him.

So, for this small businessman, "uncertainty" was completely about consumers not having enough money spend on things other than necessities (and they couldn't afford some of those).

As Warren Buffett said, he'd never encountered a business which would not expand due to regulations or taxes: If they could sell a product or service and didn't have enough employees to meet the concustomer demand, they expanded.

Now, massively high interest rates did discourage businesses. But not near zero rates.

Aug. 24 2011 10:29 AM
The Truth from Becky

The Country should have started jobs, jobs, jobs chant back in 2001!

Aug. 24 2011 10:28 AM

Please pin this rep down on Medicare and SocSec.

Aug. 24 2011 10:24 AM
Robert Herrig from Garrison ny

How is elimination of ethanol subsidy an increase in revenue?? Isn't it a spending decrease?

Aug. 24 2011 10:23 AM

Does everyone know that at Montclair State University you can not park for free? They charge, even visitors for a few hours.

Aug. 24 2011 10:23 AM

Wow. What are Republicans? Red Queens? Terms mean what they say they mean?

It's just another Frank Luntz poll tested word to try to bamboozle the public.

I hate when these things just get picked up up because the In Crowd is using them.

It's so...high school.

Aug. 24 2011 10:23 AM

I can't believe you are using his terms --"tax preferences" now means "tax deductions"????

OR what else? And what else?

This is an amazing switch for a journalist to make; Just accepting the pols's new terms without even getting full definitions.

Aug. 24 2011 10:21 AM
drew from Brooklyn

I want to hear what kind of "jobs, jobs, jobs" he wants to create, that he thinks America is still capable of creating.

Aug. 24 2011 10:19 AM

BTW, the legislation does allow the HOUSE to make changes to the Committee of the Twelve Caesars' recommendations IF there is ANY REVENUE INCREASE.

Ask him about this. Please.

Aug. 24 2011 10:19 AM

Brian, please, please, please, if you're going to start using new Reublican terminology, will you please DEMAND the user DEFINE what these words mean.

Such as "tax preferences'??? Give me a break: What does that mean? That the rich get to choose which taxes they prefer to pay or not pay?

Aug. 24 2011 10:18 AM
peter from nj / lance's district

lance says "more certainty" but has voted lock step with his party to repeal healthcare. how does the republican agenda add certainty???

Aug. 24 2011 10:16 AM

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