From this Wednesday's The Last Word, Lawrence O'Donnell took apart "tea party" Rep. John Fleming for his remarks about irresponsible Republicans in the House never voting to increase taxes in the last 100 years -- and reminded everyone why they would be better off not quoting President Lincoln on taxes if they're not in the mood to make fools of themselves.
It seems Fleming repeated during a press conference, the same thing he wrote in an op-ed this week: FLEMING: GOP-controlled House has never raised taxes:
If some Republicans have their way, the party soon will make history for all the wrong reasons.
In the past 100 years, since the authority of Congress to tax income was enumerated in the 16th Amendment, marginal income tax rates have never been raised when Republicans have held the majority in the House of Representatives. For nearly a century, Republican-controlled Houses held the line on tax rates, a Republican coup de pointe to Democratic tax-increase parries. Here’s the question for my fellow Republicans: Do we want to be the first-ever GOP House majority to raise federal marginal income tax rates? [...]
If Republicans really believe in the principles of smaller government and economic liberty — as we have over the past 100 years, and as many of us still do — we should be far more concerned about getting principle right instead of worrying about polls and re-election.
Abraham Lincoln reminded us to “adhere to your purpose, and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life.”
Here's more on O'Donnell's response from his site: O’Donnell on why Republicans shouldn’t quote Lincoln on taxes:
He failed to mention what the Republican-controlled House of Representatives during Lincoln’s presidency did with taxes. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell set the record straight on Wednesday’s show:
“That Republican-controlled House actually passed our first income tax which Lincoln signed into law to pay for the Civil War. It was a progressive income tax–3% on annual incomes over $600 and 5% on annual incomes over $10,000. The Supreme Court ruled those taxes constitutional, but decades later in 1895 the Supreme Court reversed the earlier decision and declared federal income taxes unconstitutional–which is why in 1913 it took a Constitutional amendment to re-establish federal income taxation.
O’Donnell also pointed out that Republicans constantly bring up Lincoln any chance they can get “because 21st century Republicans know that Abraham Lincoln is the only Republican that many Americans admire.”
“Abraham Lincoln is also the only Republican president, indeed the only president, who has ever gotten a Republican House of Representatives to raise income taxes. Republicans didn’t just establish the very first income tax as I just described. Two years later, they raised the rates. They doubled the top tax rate from 5% to 10%. That’s back when Republicans were responsible: 150 years ago.”
O'Donnell also reminded his audience that their stance on taxation may be one of the reasons that Americans have not given them control of the House of Representatives for all that many years over the last century.
Sadly, they wouldn't have it now were it not for cheating and gerrymandering.