The Corner

The Left’s Misguided Love for Fred Upton

Given his not-exactly-conservative fiscal record, Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R., Mich.) was seen by many as a surprising choice to represent House Republicans on the deficit “supercommittee.” Some on the left saw him as a potential ally in their quest to raise taxes. On the other hand, others assumed his proximity to GOP leadership would prevent him from straying too far from the party line.

The liberal blog Think Progress has posted this video of Upton speaking at a recent town-hall meeting in Kalamazoo, Mich., and claims the congressman’s remarks provide a “glimmer of hope that he would be willing to divorce himself from Tea Party dogma to do what’s right” by vowing to protect current beneficiaries of entitlement programs:

UPTON: It’s critical … for people that are benefiting today from Medicare and Social Security, that they do not see benefit reductions. It’s awfully hard to tell someone … who might be 82 that they’ve got to go back to work because their benefits are going to be chopped. That’s not going to happen. We’re not going to let that happen.

The report also states that Upton expressed opposition to raising the retirement age for Social Security above 67, and said he was “not afraid” to consider the elimination of tax loopholes. “I don’t think anybody was happy to see that GE didn’t pay any taxes,” he said.

Again, Upton’s record on spending and taxes is painful for any conservative to read over, but I don’t mind defending him in this case. Frankly, I’m a little confused as to why liberals would see a “glimmer of hope” in his comments at all. When Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) introduced a budget that not only eliminated corporate loopholes in the tax code, but left current Medicare beneficiaries untouched and Social Security benefits completely untouched, they shrieked and moaned. Every single Republican appointed to the supercommittee voted for that budget, and many are on record in support of tax reform that would do away with loopholes and carve-outs in the tax code. Now, judging from his record, could Upton potentially abandon his party to be the crucial seventh vote for a Democratic-friendly proposal that includes significant tax hikes (and which would swiftly be defeated in the House)? I guess it’s possible. But I wouldn’t count on it.

Andrew Stiles — Andrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...

Most Popular

PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More
Film & TV

Joker: An Honest Treatment of Madness

When I saw that the New York Times and The New Yorker had run columns berating the new Joker movie, criticizing it not simply on cinematic grounds but instead insisting that the film amounted to a clandestine defense of “whiteness” in an attempt to buttress the electoral aim of “Republicans” — this is a ... Read More

The Democrats’ Disastrous CNN LGBT Town Hall

A few days after Donald Trump committed the worst foreign-policy blunder of his presidency by betraying America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, former vice president Joe Biden, the elder statesman and co-frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary, was on a national stage talking to CNN’s primetime ... Read More
White House

What Is Impeachment For?

W hat is impeachment for? Seems like a simple question. Constitutionally speaking, it also appears to have a simple answer: to cite and remove from power a president guilty of wrongdoing. Aye, there’s the rub. What sort of wrongdoing warrants removal from power? I’d wager that the flames of ... Read More

Beto Proposes to Oppress Church with State

Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign is within the margin of error of non-existence, but in his failure he has found a purpose: expressing the Democratic id. His latest bid for left-wing love came at a CNN forum on gay rights, where he said that churches that oppose same-sex marriage should have to pay ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Resigns

Fox News Channel's chief anchor, Shepard Smith, announced on air Friday that he would be resigning from his post after 23 years with the network. “This is my last newscast here,” said Smith. “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged.” He ... Read More