President Obama can’t be in the battleground state of Ohio selling his Keynesian politics every day, but U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was running on the same platform back when the president was still organizing Chicago communities. See how easily Sherrod Brown could teach a course singing the praises of Obama’s failed economic policies.
Like President Obama, Sherrod Brown believes more centralized power in Washington, D.C. is the answer to every problem – and he’s happy to attack anyone vaguely conservative who argues otherwise. When it comes to free trade and a national “industrial policy,” Sherrod is a constant force pulling Obama even further to the left.
Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama are never able to explain how America can afford the crushing new Obamacare tax or the other entitlement programs the Left holds sacred, so I wrote a web app that lets YOU solve the deficit spending crisis. Try out SoakTheRich.us and challenge your friends to help, too!
Does a socialist by another name still think bigger central government solves every problem? If Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is your test case, the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Sherrod was a member of the fringe-left Congressional Progressive Caucus during his years in the House of Representatives, and his Senate record proves Sherrod barely differs from Socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Membership in the Congressional Progressive Caucus — founded by Sanders in the early ’90s — is itself a sign of a socialist-leaning politician who recognizes the need to work within the Democratic Party. The Congressional Progressive Caucus website was actually hosted by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for several years before being moved; hard to distance oneself from the “s” word when your web presence is managed by the nation’s largest Socialist group.
In fact, though Sherrod left the Congressional Progressive Caucus when he moved from the House to the Senate in 2007, he remains incredibly in sync with avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders… except when Sherrod is even further left:
Similarities don’t end there, as Sherrod and Bernie have worked closely on a number of issues in the past two years. Sherrod and Bernie regularly co-opt religious communities for the sake of Big Labor as they did in December 2010, which for leftists causes no conflict with their support for taxpayer-funded abortion on demand.
Sherrod Brown rode a wave of perfect circumstances to election in 2006. If Ohioans behave like Vermonters by voting for more of Sherrod’s idiotic job-and-freedom-killing policies again this fall, America is well and truly screwed.
Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown has a problem: he was the deciding Senate vote for Obamacare, and six months ago Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment to block Obamacare. But that’s only the beginning, considering the multitude of speeches and MSNBC appearances where Sherrod championed one of the few ideas that would’ve made Obamacare even worse:
As icing on a bitter Progressive cake, read this interview with Ezra Klein where Sherrod complains that Republicans of old would have let the Democrats pass an even bigger stepping stone towards single-payer socialized medicine:
They don’t have the right wing wackos blowing in their ear. Anybody with any decency and perspective watching this saw how the right wing so overreached by out-and-out lying and scaring people.
I leave to the reader to determine whether Sherrod Brown is in any position to judge another human’s decency or perspective.
Despite the $41 million Big Labor smear campaign against an adjacent issue, the anti-Obamacare ballot measure drew more “Yes” votes in an off year than Sherrod’s anti-war campaign could manage in a year marked by Iraq fatigue, Dubya fatigue, and an Ohio Republican Party almost too embroiled in scandal to hold a circular firing squad. With fewer registered voters, lower turnout, and an extremely limited budget, the Healthcare Freedom Amendment beat Sherrod’s 2006 numbers by nearly 11,000 votes.
Think Sherrod Brown regrets spending several months of his endless MSNBC circuit fighting to make Obamacare even bigger?
Like any politician, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has a few go-to parables he’s been repeating for years. The moral of Sherrod’s favorite story? Big Labor and Progressive activists are responsible for everything good about America, and conservatives want to drag us back to the days of horrifying individualism.
From his 2006 Senate campaign to his many tirades against public union reform and Planned Parenthood cuts in 2011, Sherrod’s telling of the “canary in a mineshaft” classic has remained much the same. Throw in a demand for single-payer socialized medicine, praise for stimulus spending, and a few Occupy-style references to corporate billionaires, and you’ve heard every Sherrod Brown speech from the past decade.
What do you think is the most sickening part of this story? Sherrod’s insistence that labor unions and abortion activists are the reason for improved life expectancy? His suggestion that today’s government employees are the same as miners from a century ago? His warning that conservatives want to send America back 100 years by cutting spending and reining in public unions?
Politicians occasionally slip and admit something they would prefer to cloak in well-practiced talking points. With Sherrod Brown, that’s not really the case: Sherrod openly adores Big Labor and federal bureaucracy, and he publicly berates anyone who would stand in their way.
Last year while governors across the Midwest worked to reform broken public union laws, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) slandered them in a speech that could have easily been written by one of the millionaire “leaders” at SEIU, NEA, or AFSCME.
During one of his stemwinders about the wondrous things unions do, Sherrod dropped a reductio ad Hitlerum on Governor Kasich (OH), Governor Walker (WI), and Governor Christie (NJ):
Bizarrely, Sherrod claims he’s not comparing Kasich, Walker, and Christie to Hitler, Stalin, and Mubarak in the middle of comparing them to Hitler, Stalin, and Mubarak. While he’s conflating overdue reforms with mass murder, Sherrod also repeats one of his favorite deceptions by pretending government unions are the same as private industry unions.
“But in speaking about this, I should not have mentioned the hostility of tyrants like Hitler to unions,” Brown said. “I don’t want my mistake to distract from the critical debate in Ohio, and I apologize for it.”
Sherrod didn’t want “to distract from the critical debate” over public union reform! Even now, slamming Ohio’s Senate Bill 5 as an “attack on workers” is the cornerstone of Sherrod’s stump speech – yet he always runs out of time before debating any of the critical specifics. Big Labor’s opponents are evil because it’s evil to oppose Big Labor.
Replace automatic step increases with merit pay for public workers.
Require public employees to pay 10% of their pension costs and 15% of their health insurance costs.
End forced payment of “fair-share” fees for public workers who don’t want to join a union.
End last-in, first-out firing policies, requiring considerations other than tenure when local governments must make layoffs.
Public workers retain the privilege of collective bargaining for wages & working conditions, but may no longer go on strike against the public.
No less the Progressive than FDR, patron saint of caring Democrats, knew public unions are an awful idea. Either Sherrod Brown is too dense to recognize government and private industry are different, or he’s been lying for years to protect his favorite interest group.
Sherrod Brown: Because we, as a country, we stand for a more egalitarian workforce. We stand for worker rights. We believe workers should organize and bargain collectively, if they choose. We believe in a minimum wage. We believe in workers’ compensation. We believe in worker safety. We believe in human rights, and all of that is about the labor movement, and, you know, you can support labor rights in Guatemala, but you better damn be sure you’re supporting labor rights in Wilmington, and Columbus, and Cleveland, and, and Detroit, and Dover, Delaware, and everywhere else.
And that’s, um, that’s, those were, those were some of the words Secretary Clinton said – I’m obviously expanding on them – but, as a nation, you know, I I I I look back at history and some of the worst governments we’ve ever had, you know one of the first things they did? They went after the trade unions. Hitler didn’t want unions, Stalin didn’t want unions, Mubarak didn’t want independent unions. These, these autocrats in history don’t want independent unions. So when I see, when I see in Egypt, or if I see in, in the old Soviet Russia, or I see – history tells me about Germany – I, I, I’m not, I’m not comparing what’s happening to the workers in Madison or in Columbus to Hitler and Stalin, but I am saying that history teaches us that unions are a very positive force in society that creates a middle class and that protects our freedom.
If you look at the votes Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) casts, the things he says, and the bills he sponsors, one thing is clear: Sherrod is a dyed-in-the-wool statist. For every domestic policy question, his answer is bigger central government.
Make a list of federal bailouts and entitlement expansions from the past several years, and Sherrod Brown’s name comes up constantly. Here’s Sherrod at a June 2010 pep rally for a public union bailout:
For Sherrod, falling tax revenues present a familiar math problem. Union pay and benefits should never decrease, so when tax hikes are a political non-starter it’s time for more deficit spending! Sherrod steps in with free money to balance the equation, waving research from a union-funded Progressive group.
Sherrod Brown has built a 20 year Congressional career around our difficulty visualizing large numbers. Sherrod promises $75 billion as if he were bequeathing a gift to the peasants, knowing many voters actually believe “The Rich” can cover it – after forking over their fair share to fund Obamacare, the auto industry bailout, the stimulus bill, underwater mortgages, food stamps, unemployment benefits, and so on.
In Ohio, Sherrod is a key part of the industry thriving on this lie. If we oust him this fall, Policy Matters Ohio, Progress Ohio, Innovation Ohio, and the Ohio Education Association – plus locals of AFSCME, SEIU, and assorted openly Socialist groups – lose a seasoned class warrior and a reliable vote in Congress.
On top of the Local Jobs for America Act and the other programs listed above, here are a few other entitlement increases & federal bailouts Sherrod has hawked recently:
As a rule, Sherrod Brown’s ideas would be unwise even if we could afford them. Since we can’t, Sherrod is willfully contributing to a $15 trillion deficit – which he tries to blame on national defense and the Bush tax cuts.
Sen. Sherrod Brown: Uh, Wendy Patton will talk in a few minutes about Policy Matter Ohio’s report that shows our region is facing elimination of critical public services at a time when we simply cannot afford that. The legal — the National League of Cities said last week 7 in 10 city managers and mayors are cutting jobs and services because of a loss in property – in property tax, especially in commercial real estate. But you don’t need me to recite these statistics, you know them because you live them every day, you’re seeing people still that can’t find work when they’re trying to.
Sen. Sherrod Brown: That’s why what you need from me and from Mayor Plusquellic and from Mayor Jackson is to take action. That’s why I will introduce next week when I return to Washington The Local Jobs for America Act, would help cities and municipalities save or create jobs even as they face these awful budget crises. This legislation is aimed at putting people back to work and turning them into taxpayers rather than benefit collectors. The bill would direct [Applause from the crowd] …the bill would direct $75 billion dollars over the next 2 years, uh, to cities, towns, and counties to save municipal jobs and prevent layoffs so that, so that fire- so that our, our, our cities, our communities, our counties are protected – firefighters, emergency medical personnel, law enforcement, all the services that are essential in a civilized society to a normal, decent life.
Yesterday The Columbus Dispatch reported on a story playing out in Ohio and across the country: the U.S. Postal Service is announcing specific plans for long-overdue closures and consolidation. Incredibly, leftists in Congress continue to demagogue reform despite the fact USPS lost $3.3 billion in the last quarter alone.
Back in December the USPS agreed to delay restructuring until May, at the behest of Socialist Bernie Sanders and several Senate Democrats. The USPS has been running deficits for years and is losing roughly a billion dollars a month, but Progressives won’t acknowledge market realities or admit the postal union’s demands are insane.
Ever the spokesman for unicorn economics, “Postal Service Protection Act” co-sponsor Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has an online petition to “SAVE OUR POST OFFICES!”
Victimized by mathematics? Light the Sherrod-Signal!
Ohioans rely on post offices to do business and communicate with family – and thousands of Ohioans rely on them for jobs.
We can find a solution to our budget crisis that doesn’t involve shuttering these community institutions and handing thousands of workers a pink slip.
That’s why I’m joining Sherrod Brown’s fight to keep these post offices open!
If I’m reading Sherrod correctly, it’s evil to stop paying people who we can’t afford to pay. In what sense is this Progressive standard any different from Socialism?
He said Congress should free the postal service from having to pre-fund its pension obligations for 75 years. He called that a “unique” requirement that costs the mail service more than $5 billion a year.
Unfunded state pension liabilities contribute to an estimated $4 trillion in debt, and leftists blame the states for not hiking taxes to cover Big Labor’s demands. With that in mind, Sherrod Brown’s big idea is to stop requiring USPS to sock money away in advance? This is a Progressive solution through and through – we’re running out of cash, so stop saving and spend, spend, spend!
Not everyone agrees USPS could be “saved” by fudging accounting rules. Take, for instance, the Postmaster General:
He also said, “Roughly 25,000 out of our 32,000 Post Offices operate at a loss” and that thousands of post offices generate less than $20,000 in annual revenue yet cost more than $60,000 to operate, and many of these unprofitable locations are a few miles away from another post office. He bemoaned the response to even the slightest effort to close any Post Office, as well as interference in other proposals to address the USPS deficit.
Who has a better grip on USPS finances: the Postmaster General, or Sherrod Brown and Socialist Bernie Sanders? If you thought Sherrod’s line about selling coffee was stupid, try this on for size:
“The postal service has been very restricted in what its [sic] allowed to do under law. It’s not been given opportunities to generate revenue,” Senator Brown said.
Progressive loon Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has argued time and again that unemployment benefits are a great way to create jobs. As Big Government readers know, Pelosi isn’t the only congressional Democrat to build a career coaxing the masses into Washington’s crushing embrace.
Where there’s a Progressive economic fallacy, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is never far away. Sherrod seems to think the U.S. economy performs best with bureaucrats working all the levers. This is his 20th year in Congress, so maybe we should forgive his ignorance of how a free market works!
As an Ohioan, Chris Matthews fawning “you’re the best there is on this argument” is not what I hope for from my senator.
I am impressed, though, with the way Sherrod Brown knows what every wealthy American is going to buy! I wonder how long he had to look into his crystal ball to be absolutely sure extending unemployment benefits is better for the economy than letting citizens keep and invest our own money.
Like Pelosi, Sherrod also argued for the “stimulus” effects of unemployment benefits in the summer of 2010:
Many have lost their job and, as a result, they lost their health insurance. After that, they lose their home or apartment because they can’t afford the mortgage or rent. Passing an extension of unemployment insurance isn’t just the right thing to do – it will also help stimulate the economy and serve as a critical part of a jobs agenda that puts the middle class first.
Emphasis mine. Sherrod’s solutions for the crises in health care, housing, and unemployment are one and the same – government redistribution, paid for by “The Rich” with a wave of the hand.
Self-righteous demands for shortsighted spending are exactly what we should expect from a Progressive who can’t even manage his own property taxes. The silver lining: Sherrod Brown is up for reelection in November, and Ohio is not California.
Transcript from the Hardball clip follows.
Sherrod Brown: These tax cuts for the rich that Bush did twice, Chris, in ‘01 and ‘03 as you know, resulted in very little economic growth. We saw only 1 million jobs created in the Bush years, 22 million created in the Clinton years, when we reached a balanced budget with a fairer tax system, and there is no, there’s no real history illustrating that these tax cuts for the rich result in jobs. It’s extending unemployment benefits that creates economic activity that creates jobs – not giving a millionaire an extra 10 or 20 or $30,000 in tax cuts that they likely won’t spend because they’re already buying what they’re gonna buy anyway.
Chris Matthews: You’re the best there is on this argument. Sorry, I’ve gotta ask you one last question…
News broke Wednesday that Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was delinquent on his property taxes due September 2011 until last week. Sherrod, who angrily demands bigger central government and higher taxes from “The Rich,” paid the nearly $900 in taxes, penalties, and interest due for his $222,000 D.C. condo only after being questioned by a reporter.
“I was late,” he said on a conference call with reporters when asked about the recent delinquency. ”I misplaced the bill and I paid it as soon as I found out. I paid a penalty for being late, and it won’t happen again.”
Senator Brown lost a tax statement and forgot to pay until a reporter came calling months later, but there’s no cause for alarm! He paid the penalty for his delinquency, and it won’t happen again.
When a reporter noted that it also happened five and six years ago, Brown said, “I misplaced it then. This is a small apartment. I’m not in D.C. nearly every week, I’m here when the Senate’s in session, I’m here three or four nights a week. I paid the penalty. And in no way, obviously, was I avoiding taxes.”
Because “the dog ate it” worked so well the first time around, Sherrod tries the same excuse for three consecutive property tax bills in 2006 and 2007. With no reporters reminding him, Sherrod actually fell so far behind on property taxes his condo was listed for public auction! Odd that a U.S. Senator would forget the existence of taxes for months on end, springing into action only when his property is on the line.
I love Sherrod’s volley of additional excuses. It’s a small apartment! He’s there less than 57% of the time! He’s been serially delinquent with payments, but was in no way avoiding taxes by not paying taxes! Obviously.
Since his election to the Senate, Sherrod has paid over $850 in penalties and interest for his failure to submit D.C. property taxes on time. That’s peanuts for a millionaire who promises trillions to interest groups and insists soaking the rich & slashing the military will pay for it.
Remember, Sherrod is a Progressive who thinks a republic of 300 million can – and should – be ruled by a few thousand bureaucrats in Washington. He’s unable to keep track of his mail and pay his taxes on time twice a year, but that doesn’t stop Sherrod from making big plans with your money!
When Sherrod Brown (D-OH) spoke at the Ohio Education Association Representative Assembly last spring, he had a receptive audience for his class warfare routine. Since Sherrod is the most extreme leftist in the U.S. Senate and must face Ohio voters this fall, the state’s public union fight was a perfect chance to remind Big Labor he’s their man.
By the end of his 40-second detour into the Progressive causes and glorious federal programs conservatives are attacking, Sherrod had built up a 9x attack multiplier! This sort of word power makes Sherrod Brown a rhetorical king, so long as no one ever asks how to pay for the bankrupt boondoggles he adores.
Still, think how grateful young Ohio teachers should be that Sherrod Brown is protecting their union bosses. If not for Sherrod, Ohio teachers might be paid based on merit! Public layoffs would consider factors other than tenure! Teachers would be asked to cover slightly more of their benefits so schools could avoid layoffs altogether! What a dystopian ruin Ohio would be if the Ohio Education Association had slightly less power.
Sherrod Brown is consistent, at least. He always credits Big Labor and bureaucracy with America’s success, while treating union bosses as the backbone of American society.
I’d like to extend a special thanks to the Columbus Education Association for sharing Sherrod Brown’s energetic pandering to a crowd that demands the impossible from Ohio taxpayers. You can see Sherrod’s keynote and footage from his Q&A session on the union’s YouTube channel (for now).
Transcript follows of the clips featured above.
Clip 1, Sherrod Brown: The vote in November on SB 5 [the union reform bill] repeal is the most important election in the country, the most watched election in the country, because of the attack – the attack on worker and collective bargaining rights, the attack on voting rights, the attack on women in Columbus, in the state legislature. In Washington, the attack on Head Start, the attack on Pell grants, the attack on public radio, the attack on Medicare, the attack on Social Security. All these things, I think, are absolutely hostile, absolutely enimical to what we, as a nation, have stood for for 75 years. The reason we have a prosperous middle class in this country, more than anything, is in the 1930s Congress passed, with Franklin Roosevelt signing, collective bargaining rights.
Clip 2, Sherrod Brown: How can young people not have second thoughts about a profession when the politicians that run our state – the conservative politicians that run our state – are attacking their profession and attacking what they stand for?