Politics

Inhofe: Today I’m McConnell’s biggest fan

Inhofe: Today I'm McConnell's biggest fan

Oklahoma’s good-as-Goldwater conservative Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe freely admits that he’s never been the biggest fan of Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), but, after enactment of the tax bill in the twilight hours of 2012, “I sure am now.”

“Why any conservative could not look at this bill and rejoice is beyond me,” the senator told Human Events—in fact, phoning us early Thursday morning from a Midas muffler shop in Tulsa where he was having work done on his car. Inhofe had just finished with more than a dozen interviews on Sooner State talk radio on the bill and, as he told us, “one of our popular talk show hosts here in Tulsa, Pat Cambell, had been a vigorous opponent of the measure but I think I turned him around.”

“When 99 percent of the taxpayers get a very large reduction in their taxes, you can’t say it’s not a conservative victory,” he explained. “I think that many were upset because the bill didn’t have spending cuts. Well, this was a tax bill and cutting spending is the next step, along with dealing with sequestration, so we don’t disarm America. We’ll deal with that shortly.”

Inhofe noted that under the legislation signed by the president yesterday, “people with annual incomes of $450,000 and below will pay only 15 percent in capital gains. The president wanted it to be much higher, and here in Oklahoma, what most folks were concerned about was the inheritance tax, the cruelest tax of all as far as farmers are concerned. Now it will only start at $5 million and the rate will be far below what it could have been. Had Congress not passed the bill we did, the inheritance tax would have started at $1 million and been at 55 percent. That would have killed our farmers.

“And had we not dealt with AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) the way this bill did, it would have meant a lot of tax dollars from a lot of people.”

Reminding us that “taxes actually went up on just about all Americans in a big way for a few hours before we passed on the bill,” Inhofe repeated his view that “conservatives should rejoice” and praise Leader McConnell “for the incredible job he did in negotiations. Today, I am his biggest fan.”

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