Oct 20, 2012
Congressman Allen West Fails To Make Case on Extreme and Divisive Agenda
Congressman Allen West failed to make his case for re-election during his debate against small businessman Patrick Murphy. In addition to his long record as a polarizing and divisive figure, Congressman Allen West has voted twice for extreme budgets that end the Medicare guarantee just to pay for new tax breaks for millionaires. “Congressman West failed miserably at trying to rewrite his divisive and partisan history during tonight’s debate,” said Stephanie Formas of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Congressman Allen West cannot hide his record of hurting seniors by voting to end Medicare to pay for more tax breaks for millionaires, and his extreme record of denying health care choices to women. With less than three weeks to Election Day, the last thing Floridians want is another two years of Congressman Allen West’s partisan rhetoric scoring points with the Tea Party instead of working to create jobs and get the middle class back to work.”
FALSE CLAIM: Congressman Allen West touted his bi-partisan record of working across the aisle.
Congressman West is one of the most divisive Members of Congress. During the primary, both local papers refused to endorse Congressman West calling him “ineffective” and “polarizing.”
Congressman West Said 78 to 81 Democratic Party Members were Communists. In April 2012, West said, “I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party.” He went on to say, “it’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.” [Politico, 4/11/12]
Congressman West Called Colleague “Vile” and “Despicable.” In July 2011, West sent an email to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz calling her “the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the U.S. House of Representatives.” He went on to write that “You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!” [Palm Beach Post, 7/20/11]
Called the Democratic Party a “21st Century Plantation.” “You have this 21st century plantation that has been out there where the Democrat party has forever taken the black vote for granted. And you have established certain black leaders who are nothing more than overseers over the plantation.” [Fox News, uploaded 8/17/11]
West: Goebbels would be proud of Democrats. Congressman Allen West said, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.” This is just the latest incendiary comment from West, who has a disgusting history of using Nazi rhetoric to slander his opponents.” [Politico, 12/15/11]
FALSE CLAIM: Congressman West said he wouldn’t raise taxes.
Although Congressman West claimed he wouldn’t raise taxes, Congressman West opposed extending a bi-partisan $1,000 tax cut for 9 million hard-working Florida families. Congressman Allen West reiterated his support for a flat tax plan that would benefit billionaires and big corporations while shouldering the middle class with a greater share of the tax burden. Congressman West Voted Against Extending Payroll Tax Cut Calling The $1,000 Tax Cut a “Short Term Bump.” In 2012, Allen West voted against a bipartisan compromise extending a payroll tax cut for 160 million working Americans through the remainder of the year and called the payroll tax a “short term bump.” [Fox News, uploaded 9/9/11; HR 3630, Vote #72, 2/17/12]
West Wants to Eliminate Capital Gains Taxes, Institute a 13 to 16 Percent Flat Tax, Cut Corporate Tax Rate. West has argued that he supports a 13 to 16 percent flat tax, wants to eliminate the capital gains tax, and would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent. During a town hall event in Palm Beach, West argued for a flat tax on personal income and reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. “That’s why I say with flat tax – I think 13 to 16 percent, every wage earring household, that’s what you pay” claimed West. By supporting the flat tax, West also claimed that he favored reducing the corporate business tax rate to 21 percent. Similarly, while speaking on the floor of the House, West argued in favor of eliminating capital gains taxes. “We can get rid of capital gains tax. Definitely, we can reduce it,” said West. “By taxing income only one time, a flat tax is far easier to enforce and more conducive to the one thing that we need in the United States of America right now: job creation and capital formation.” [YouTube, uploaded 9/1/11; YouTube, uploaded 3/8/12; CSPAN, 3/7/12]
West’s Capital Gains Tax Cut Disproportionately Benefits the Wealthiest Americans and Adds Over a Trillion to the Deficit. The Washington Post recently reported that the capital gains tax cut disproportionately benefits the ultra-wealthy. For the very richest Americans, low tax rates on capital gains are better than any Christmas gift,” reported the newspaper. Eliminating the capital gains tax would also add $1.3 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years. [Washington Post, 9/11/11; Congressional Budget Office Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Year 2011-2021, 1/2011]
Similar Plan Would Give the Richest One Percent a $391,330 Tax Cut. Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich proposed to change the personal income tax by introducing a “flat tax” that is described as having a single rate at 15 percent. “Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s $18.1 trillion tax plan would give the richest one percent of Americans an average tax cut of $391,330, which would be over 190 times as large as the average tax cut of $1,990 that the middle fifth of Americans would receive.” [Center for Tax Justice, 1/6/12]
FALSE CLAIM: Congressman West said that his opponent supported Medicare cuts.
Congressman West once again falsely claimed that his opponent voted for Medicare cuts although he supported a plan that included billions in cuts. Even worse, Congressman West voted for a plan to end the Medicare guarantee twice.
The Hill: Allen West slams opponent for Medicare cuts West backed “Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) is attacking his Democratic opponent for supporting $716 billion in Medicare cuts — the same cuts West backed when he voted for Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plans […] But West voted for the same reductions when he supported Ryan's last two budget plans. Both sets of cuts are aimed at extending Medicare's lifetime.” [The Hill, 10/10/12]
Republicans Voted for Kept The Same Medicare Savings. House Republicans “voted for the same Medicare cuts as president Obama’s health plan known as ObamaCare. Under the 2011 Ryan plan bill approved by nearly every House Republican, ObamaCare would have been repealed almost entirely – except when it came to the Medicare reductions in future reimbursement rates to hospitals and drug and insurance companies.So Medicare’s bottom-line spending would have been about the same under ObamaCare or under what some are now calling RyanCare.” [Miami Herald, 8/13/12]
Congressman West Voted to End Traditional Medicare. “Ryan’s budget bill also would end traditional Medicare by capping spending and offer vouchers to buy private insurance.” [Bloomberg, 8/13/12]
FALSE CLAIM: Congressman West supports abortion in the cases of rape, incest or life of the mother.
Congressman West has a radical record in Washington that attacks women’s health care by sponsoring legislation that would redefine rape, define personhood, and prohibit abortions even in cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother.
West Co-Sponsored Bill that Would Ban Abortion. In 2011, West signed on as a cosponsor of HR 374, the Life at Conception Act. In 2011, NPR reported that similar personhood bills “would have allowed no exceptions to what would be an absolute ban on abortion” and that “other possibilities include bans on certain forms of birth control that can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, like the IUD and some formulations of the bill.” [HR 374, Cosponsors; NPR, 11/09/11]
West Co-Sponsored Bill that Would Redefine Rape. In February 2011, West signed on as a co-sponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a bill that would have redefined rape to just mean “forcible rape.” The Washington Post reported that the “modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically categorized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats.” [HR 3, Washington Post, 2/01/11]
West Voted to Deny Health Care to Women. In July 2012, West voted for a ban on abortions for pregnancies past 20 weeks in the District of Columbia with no exception to protect a woman’s health. According to the Washington Post, the vote is “a misuse of Congress’s time and another cynical exploitation of the District to advance others’ political agendas.” [HR 3803, Vote #539, 7/31/12; Washington Post, Editorial, 7/30/12]
West Voted to Eliminate Funding for Title X. In February 2011, West voted to eliminate funding for the Title X program. Title X received $317 in federal funding in 2010, directed towards family planning, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and other preventative health services for low-income women. 4,500 Title X funded programs across the country serve five million individuals annually. [HR 1, Vote #147, 2/19/11; Kaiser Health News, 3/09/11]