Rebutting Senator Hoeven’s Lame Explanation For Voting For The “Fiscal Cliff” Deal


Earlier today Senator John Hoeven’s office sent out a detailed explanation justifying his yes vote for the “fiscal cliff” deal. You can read the full press release here. I thought I’d respond to some of the claims the Senator is making.

First, Hoeven says he voted for it because it maintains tax relief for the 99%:

Maintains tax cuts for more than 99 percent of the American people and permanently extends current rates for most taxpayers

This is demonstrably not true. According to the Wall Street Journal, 77% of US households will see an increase in their tax burdens, with the average yearly hike being $1,635. That average figure is skewed, because to be fair these tax hikes are focused on higher-income Americans, but Hoeven claiming that 99% of Americans are getting away from this without their tax burdens increasing is simply untrue.

Second, Hoeven justifies his vote by pointing to all the spending the deal preserves:

Extends unemployment insurance for more than 1 million jobless individuals

Averts a steep decrease in the Medicare reimbursement rate for doctors to ensure seniors continue to receive quality healthcare

Unemployment benefits that have been hugely inflated under Obama and Democrats as cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates that were counted as part of the cost savings from Obamcare but, let’s face it, are never going to see the light of day.

Hoeven also brags that the sequester cuts, resulting from the debt commission deal from last year, have been delayed.

Turns off the Sequester for two months, and offsets the costs with a reduction in the discretionary spending cap for 2013 and 2014.

What’s driving the nation’s fiscal problems is spending, so bragging about all the spending cuts you helped stop isn’t exactly solving the problem. What’s more, the idea that the sequester cuts are offset by discretionary funding caps is a little ridiculous. We’re going to offset spending cuts by capping increases in new spending?

That sounds suspiciously like President Obama claiming budget savings from promising not to fight the war in Iraq any more.

In summary, it seems that what Hoeven and other Senate Republicans (with a few exceptions, notably among them Senator Marco Rubio) have done is agree to significant tax hikes in exchange for not having to cut a lot of spending.

In fact, this deal actually increases spending, adding $330 billion in spending and a projected $4 trillion to deficits over the next decade.

But hey, at least people can still get 99 weeks of unemployment!

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • zipity

    Ugh Hoven ain’t much better than that fake “boy scout” Kent “Gimme a Sweetheart Mortgage” Conrad. If Conrad is considered a deficit “hawk” in Washington, we are all going to be beggars by the time they get done with us…

  • Roy_Bean

    What a surprise, he had such a conservative record in North Dakota………..

    • LibertyFargo

      Oh… I see what you did there… ;)

  • whowon

    I sent John a couple e-mails today questioning some of his “logic”. He always responds but guessing not this time. Watched some C-SPAN yesterday when the Senate was supposedly working so hard, no one on the floor but John and Debbie Stabenow, buddies for sure.

  • whowon

    I send him messages almost every day, join the group, he needs to hear from us.

  • $8194357

    Hiedi Hoeven follows the pre determined “script” as well..
    Go figure….

  • splined

    Hoeven, a member of the stupid party on the same page as Obama and most other members of the evil party. When your employer has to pay more in taxes that means less dollars available for employee wages. More taxes for bigger government equals less dollars for employees.

  • sbark

    A statesman worries about future generations……a politician worries about the next election……..

  • camsaure

    We sorely need to “primary” him. What a phoney backstabber.

  • two_amber_lamps
  • VocalYokel

    Johnny boy…I will say to you what my High School Principal told me…more than once…

    “This is going to go on your permanent record.”

  • jimmypop

    so. glad. hes. gone.

    now, we just need a conservative governor.

  • Harlan Goerger

    Unfortunately Hoven is more moderate than conservative (use to be a Democrat) and now with Queen Regulator Heidi at his side, I think we are screwed!! He does have the right talking point but avoids the tough questions.

  • Shadowwalker

    And to think that this is the man that stands between us and any UN treaty that the POTUS would get us into…. too bad ND can’t find a few truly conservative individuals to get themselves elected into office. There are a few that try until the GOP tries to get in their way. I guess this is the result of ND suckling off the the federal government for all these years. Land of the free loader and home of the not really all that brave!

  • splined

    Even Collin Peterson can figure out he should vote against this. See Hoeven should resign and quit pretending he is representing ND.