published Saturday, November 5th, 2011

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann would benefit from tax bill

by Chris Carroll
U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.
U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.
Photo by Alex Washburn /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann proposed a two-year moratorium on capital gains taxes this week, leveraging a key point of his jobs plan and suggesting an idea that would benefit him personally.

The government now charges individuals and corporations varying rates of tax on most capital gains, which are commonly obtained from the sale of stocks, bonds and property. If the House and Senate adopt his idea, the Chattanooga Republican said, the savings will be invested in people, not “buried in the backyard.”

“Once you get that capital in the game, it results in more jobs,” he said Friday in a telephone interview. “This allows average Americans — all Americans — to go out and take a risk with their capital.”

Fleischmann is one of those Americans. According to House financial disclosures filed last spring, the attorney and freshman congressman reported an investment valued between $500,001 and $1 million that included capital gains income.

Records show the investment returned a profit between $15,001 and $50,000 last year.

“It’s a very fair question, but I have never thought of my own financial situation one time in any of the 830 votes I’ve ever cast,” he said. “It just doesn’t enter my mind.”

In a news release announcing the legislation, Fleischmann’s office sought to downplay the wealthy-beneficiaries narrative, citing a National Center for Policy Analysis study that showed “more than half of all tax filers with capital gains had incomes of less than $50,000 in 2005.” The study examined the changes that took place after Congress and President George W. Bush lowered capital gains tax rates in 2003.

The National Center for Policy Analysis is a research organization that develops “private, free-market alternatives to government regulation and control,” according to its website.

Paul Smith, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, called Fleischmann’s proposal “voodoo economics.”

He said the congressman should focus on public-sector jobs projects such as repairing bridges and highways.

“We know who’s really going to benefit from this — this is all the millionaires ... who put money into his coffers,” he said.

Like other legislation that might pass the GOP-dominated House, Fleischmann’s proposal could have a difficult time getting through the Democratic-controlled Senate. In fact, a bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama last year calls for an increase in capital gains taxes starting in 2013, concluding years of Bush-era reductions.

Fleischmann, who represents Chattanooga within Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District, said voters will endorse his proposal because of its simplicity, in contrast to the “complex and convoluted” tax code.

“Some skeptics might say it’s dead on arrival in the Senate,” Fleischmann said. “I think not. I think the American people are going to start holding us all accountable.”

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hambone said...

Am I missing something here? Mr Carroll has written the most disconnected article I have ever read. Not that he had much of a subject to start with!

November 5, 2011 at 12:27 a.m.
mthompson332 said...

Clear to me. A tired Republican proposal that helps rich people and, guess what, the congressman introducing it.

November 5, 2011 at 12:44 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

How does this create jobs? How does this reduce the debt? It doesn't. It is a give away to the people who already have all the wealth, the 1%. Remember 400 Americans have more wealth than half our our country combined! Why do they need this?

400 have the same as 155 million Americans combined. Remember, remember the 5th of November. Great time for Fleischmann to introduce a bill to give more to those least deserving.

November 5, 2011 at 7:32 a.m.
tipper said...

Chuck is out there bashing Dems in the Senate for blocking GOP jobs bills? What jobs bills? Cutting capital gains, reducing environmental and consumer regulations for corporations, helping the "job creators with more tax cuts?" None of that will create one single job. It will just line the wealthy's pockets and add to ridiculously high corporate exec bonuses. This guy's a joke. This same old Republican mantra hasn't worked in 30 years. It's finally put us in disaterous economic shape--so deep it will takes years for the majority of Americans to recover. Get rid of this clown.

November 5, 2011 at 7:36 a.m.
joneses said...

Tipper, Putting more restraints on business with more regulation and increasing business taxes adds cost for that business. Who pays for these cost? The consumer, us, so actually when you put more regulation on business and increase their cost with more taxes, the consumer ends up paying these extra cost. This is simple economics and why you dummycrats do not understand that is beyond me. Businesses has not a need to hire if they cannot sell their product because they are forced to raise their prices and be noncompetitive in the market place. This idea of raising taxes on business is intetionally meant to send the businesses out of the country to eventually destroy the middle class i America. So you people that think the Republicans are out to destroy the middle class need to look at your fellow dummycrats. It is their agenda to make more dependant on government so they will eventually have total control of your lives. If this is what you want move to North Korea. One could look at it as a way to control immigration as I do not think North Korea has an issue with entering the country illeglly to live their because they are so prosperous. Most poor people are poor because the continue to do things that make them poor and most wealthy people are wealthybecause they continue to do things to make them wealthy. It would be healtheir for you dummycrats to stoop being so envious of other peoples wealth and find ways to acquire your own.

November 5, 2011 at 7:55 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Joneses, the Republicans have tried this detrimental Friedman loving economics plan for thirty years on us, and look where we are today? The poor class is the only thing growing. Businesses get tax breaks, ship our jobs overseas, and have little accountability or responsibility to our own Nation. They aren't creating jobs, they are just maximizing profits and getting obscenely rich.

400 Americans hold the same wealth as 155,000,000 Americans. The only thing this plan creates is class struggle.

November 5, 2011 at 8:18 a.m.
joneses said...

Sandy, The proven economic facts I posted above worked when Bill Clinton lowered the capital gains taxes to 15% in1993. If raising taxes on the wealthy was the correct action to do then why did Pelosi, Ried and Obama not do it when they controlled everything? If raisng the taxes on the wealthy was the right thing to do then why did Hussien Obama extend the Bush tax cuts all you liberals screamed and whined about was tax breaks for the wealthy? I heard nothing from the liberals when Hussien Obama did the same as President Bush. Do you think the government should confiscate all corporate profits? If not how much of the corporate profits should they confiscate? We have the second highest corporate taxes in the world. Should the government regulate how much wealth you and your husband should have or only regulate the wealth of those that have more than you? Some of you might need government to run your life but I do not.

November 5, 2011 at 8:51 a.m.
Facts said...

Let me break it down for you: Chuck would benefit by having his taxes lowered on business purchases. Purchases to expand his law firm that his wife's dad gave to him when Chuck married Mr. Mayfield's daughter. It's so nice to know that such a kind gesture by Chuck would be extended to the rest of us who actually have built a business and a trying to survive. Those who clamor to support this propped up joke are showing that you're no different.

November 5, 2011 at 9:31 a.m.
inquiringmind said...


Just don't kid yourself, Chuck is in it for the money, nothing else - except maybe to expand his ego.

Joneses look at the data, more wealth is concentrated in the top few percent of the public than ever before, the wealthy aren't having any problem making money. President Obama is trying to undo all the damage Bush the Younger did starting wars in two countries and tapping the public treasury for his stockbroker friends.

We (USA) were running a surplus until Bush took over. President Obama is trying to fix the problem that the Republicans want to leave as-is for their fat cat friends. (whether you like that or not) Who really cares how you run your life? I just want to be sure you pay your fair share of taxes.

That old fanatical tactic trying to tie "Hussein" to President Obama to pander to Islamic xenophobia pretty much paints the extreme corner you sit in. It reminds me of the old John Bircher tactic to label everybody who disagreed with them as a commie. The old "love it or leave it" attitude. Well, it "won't fly in Peoria." At least President Obama isn't claiming God is whispering in his ear as Bush the Younger did. That was a scary 8 years.

November 5, 2011 at 9:38 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Oh, put a cork in it, joneses. Like tipper said, "This same old Republican mantra hasn't worked in 30 years. It's finally put us in disastrous economic shape." Yet nitwits like you and the myopic, self-serving Republicans have the audacity to keep on spewing your phony-baloney "trickle down" theory of economics. Federal tax rates are at practically the lowest they have been in 60 years, the rich and big business have more write-offs and loopholes than at any other time in history, thirty-seven major U.S corporations paid out a total of ZERO DOLLARS in taxes last year, the United States has the LOWEST corporate tax burden of any of the 32 member nations of the OECD, and the banks are sitting on more cash than they know what to do with. So where are the friggin' jobs?! If your theory of wishful-thinking economics had any merit we should have more jobs right now than we have people to fill them. Yet, here we are, mired in the worst recession since the Great Depression and all you Republican economics “gurus” can come up with for a jobs plan is to “stop taxing the job creators!” There is nonsense, there is utter nonsense...and then there is just garbage. What garbage.

As for your claim that "we have the second highest corporate taxes in the world," that is an outright lie. I'm wondering where you get your data from? Let me guess - Faux News? You are using the smoke and mirrors tactic that all you right wingers like to use, and that is talking about the statutory tax rate and not the overall effective tax rate that is a truer indicator of taxation. According to the latest figures of the OECD, the U.S. Pays the LEAST of the 32 member nations.

And as for Obama extending the Bush tax cuts, it is common knowledge that he did it grudgingly. Everyone knows that he was in favor of letting the tax cuts expire but extending them was the only way the obstructionist Republicans would agree to an extension of the unemployment benefits. Might I suggest that you stop using such lame and easily refutable arguments to make your point.

November 5, 2011 at 10:18 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Chucky says,"...but I have never thought of my own financial situation one time in any of the 830 votes I’ve ever cast. It just doesn’t enter my mind.”

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Funny stuff, Chucky! You're crackin' me up!

November 5, 2011 at 10:33 a.m.
Emersization said...

9-9-9 Plan: Summary

• Allows immediate expensing of business investments • Eliminates double taxation of dividends • Increases capital formation which aids capital availability for small businesses •Increased capital per worker drives productivity and wage growth • Features a platform to launch properly structured Empowerment Zones to renew our inner cities • The pro-growth, pro-job, pro-export economic policies of the 9-9-9 PLAN equals a strong dollar policy

November 5, 2011 at 10:38 a.m.
joneses said...

Rickeroo and inquiring mind. You two never answered my question. How much wealth of private citizens should Hussien Obama confiscate? How much of the profits from corporations should Hussien Obama confiscate? Should Hussien Obama put a limit on how much a person should make in America? Why did Tim Geitner go absent when the OWS looters started their pissing and moaning? If Obama is against Wall Street wealth then why is he the president that received more campaign contributions (18 million) from Wall Street than any president ever? Why did Pelosi and Ried nevr propose a budget? And to this day we still do not have one. Why will Ried not even let the Senate vote on the budgets the House has submitted? Answer these questions or shut up.

November 5, 2011 at 10:56 a.m.
khargis said...

I remember when Candidate Fleischmann told me that he supported the Fair Tax, and that, if elected he would work to get it implemented. He still has not signed on a a co-sponsor of the bill (H.R. 25).

November 5, 2011 at 11:24 a.m.
bret said...

Chuck says:

“It’s a very fair question, but I have never thought of my own financial situation one time in any of the 830 votes I’ve ever cast,” he said. “It just doesn’t enter my mind.”

That may be true. The problem is that Chuck has never thought about his constituents financial situations either. It just doesn't enter his mind. Not much does, come to think about it.

November 5, 2011 at 11:25 a.m.
chrisbrooks said...

Fact of the matter is that Chucky believes that people who make money off of money, like himself, should NOT PAY ANY TAXES at all - while people who actually work and produce for a living are left bearing the entirety of the tax burden. Fleischmann is just another big business mouthpiece advancing the interests of Wall Street fat cats and corporate elites over the needs of actual working families in the Third District.

November 5, 2011 at 12:03 p.m.
terrybham said...

The information in this article should be reason enough to throw this bum out. Unless of course you also made a bundle as a result of this legislation. If you didn't and you still support this guy...then you are hopeless.

November 5, 2011 at 1:16 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"When Bush took over there was a 4 trillion debt." - joneses.

Granted, there is a difference between the deficit and the national debt. But the fact of the matter is that Bush inherited a sound economy and a surplus of money in the government's coffers. In his speech in 2001, about the tax cuts he was getting ready to enact, he said, "We recognize, loud and clear, the surplus is not the government's money. The surplus is the people's money. And we ought to trust them with their own money." If you want to deny that Bush inherited a surplus, then maybe you should argue that point with Bush himself, who used the word "surplus" twice in three sentences in that speech.

You say, "I find it entertaining that you idiots are still blaming this mess on Bush and never say what Bush did to create this mess." Tell me, do you live your whole life with your head in the sand, or do you just stick it in there when you don't want to hear facts that cause your right wing ideology to crumble? I thought everyone knew what Bush did. How many times do you want it repeated? For starters, he lied outright to get us into Iraq and left Afghanistan without finishing what he started there. He should be prosecuted for war crimes if nothing else. Then, on top of that he cut the taxes that could have helped pay for those wars, and there is a direct correlation between the unfunded wars and the tax cuts leading to a drastic increase in the runaway deficit. It is not just coincidence that the deficit ballooned immediately thereafter as it did. Bush went on to snowball the deficit to about 11 trillion by the time he left office.

I'm in no way making excuses for Obama or trying to defend his policies, but the fact of the matter is that Bush DID a whole lot of damage and for you to deny it is just plain irresponsible and dumb.

Another fact of the matter is that this country has the greatest income disparity we have ever had, and there is nothing economically sound about that. We have had income redistribution upward for the last 30 years. It doesn't take a PhD in economics to know that that just ain't right. This nation cannot sustain itself without a strong, healthy, and prosperous middle class. To favor the super rich at the expense of the poor and the middle class is not only not fair, it is downright senseless and self-defeating.

November 5, 2011 at 1:28 p.m.
ScoopAway said...

I have found myself agreeing with @payingattention yet again. Great point!!

November 5, 2011 at 2:53 p.m.
fechancellor said...


I did not know you are a member of Ways and Means or Budget Committees.

What's needed first before lower rates is Honest to God tax reform. I'll toss out one loop hole that needs to go--The interest deduction for a second home mortgage. If you begin winnowing down loopholes, you will ignite an energetic conversation benefiting both tax payer and legislator.

November 5, 2011 at 6:32 p.m.
wethepeople said...

There is so much misinformation and downright falsehoods in this article and in many of the comments to this article. To be clear, I did NOT vote for Chuck. But one has to be willing to ignore the facts or not give a rip about average Americans to attack a bill that would cut taxes for 52% of Americans. Yes, that's right, 52% of Americans pay capital gains tax. Reduce the tax rate on capital gains and the historically proven result is greater taxes to the treasury because people will invest more of their capital - thus increasing the total tax collected. As far as Paul Smith's comments that we should merely focus on public sector jobs repairing infrastructure that's very short sighted. So our nation is going to put millions back to work permanently by investing in short term projects? Sorry, the way to permanent jobs is to see small and mid-sized business open and grow. And the way they do that is with capital.

Finally, Mr. Brooks, when have you paid any taxes? Get real with your facts. I would speculate that Mr. Fleischmann has paid more in taxes over the last 10 years than you have made in your life. Obama and the rest of the Main Stream Media (including Mr. Carroll) love to under-report and/or misrepresent the facts about who is really paying the taxes in our nation today. Surely you know that the wealthiest 1% pay 37% of the tax in our nation (while earning 19% of the income). The top 10% pay 68% of the tab while the bottom 50% pay 3% of the tab. So who is really shouldering the lion share of the tax burden in our nation?

So critique Chuck all you want. We should hold our elected officials accountable. But ultimately a cut in the capital gains tax rate is a cut for a majority of Americans and is just the program our nation needs to free up capital and get the wheels of pure capitalism turning again in our nation.

Good call Chuck!

November 5, 2011 at 7:32 p.m.
wethepeople said...

Payingattention - great rebuttal to Mr. Brooks' outrageous and hypocritical positions. Amazing that a guy who is overly eager to condemn corporations has himself established one in such a manner so as to minimize or avoid taxes. While it's completely legal, it should expose him for what he is -- someone who is more than ready to use the system to his advantage while condemning others for doing the same. Hmm, isn't that just what he has condemned Chuck of doing -- advancing his own self interests?

November 5, 2011 at 7:37 p.m.
hambone said...

Numbers and percentages can be used to represent 3 different sides of the same argument.

The top 1% pay 37% of the taxes because they ARE the top 1%.

The bottom 50% pay 3% of the taxes because they ARE the bottom 50%.

A family of 4 with a income of $1 million can live a whole lot better and pay more taxes than a family of 4 with a income of $20,000!

November 5, 2011 at 8:39 p.m.
joneses said...

Rickaroo, Read this article. You might be enlightened.

The Crash of 2000

From 1992-2000, the markets and the economy experienced a period of record expansion. On September 1, 2000, the NASDAQ traded at 4234.33. From September 2000 to January 2, 2001, the NASDAQ dropped 45.9%. In October 2002, the NASDAQ dropped to as low as 1,108.49 - a 78.4% decline from its all-time high of 5,132.52, the level it had established in March 2000.

Causes of the Crash:

Corporate Corruption. Many companies fraudulently inflated their profits and used accounting loopholes to hide debt. Corporate officers enjoyed outrageous stock options that diluted company stock; Overvalued Stocks. There were numerous examples of companies making significant operating losses with no hope of turning a profit for years to come, yet sporting a market capitalization of over a billion dollars; Daytraders and Momentum Investors. The advent of the Internet enabled online trading –a new, quick, and inexpensive way to trade the markets. This revolution led to millions of new investors and traders entering the markets with little or no experience; Conflict of Interest between Research Firm Analysts and Investment Bankers. It was common practice for the research arms of investment banks to issue favorable ratings on stocks for which their client companies sought to raise capital. In some cases, companies received highly favorable ratings, even though they were actually in serious financial trouble. A total of 8 trillion dollars of wealth was lost in the crash of 2000.

Rickaroo,I guess you could blame the abuse by the day traders on Al Gore for "inventing the internet".

November 5, 2011 at 10:01 p.m.
7Seventeen said...

Rickaroo,I guess you could blame the abuse by the day traders on Al Gore for "inventing the internet".

Wow, these people never get any new material at all. It's all repetitive and predictable.

November 5, 2011 at 11:11 p.m.
joneses said...

I am going to apologize for all those people on this board I have or intended to offend and this is my last post. The reason is I am finished letting these politicians bring out the worst in me. Congress, both the House, Senate and White House are ineffective as they keep arriving at rediculous solutions to impossible problems they create. So good luck with all the lies that are being fed to all of you by the media and the politicians. I will vote and that is all any of us can do. Good day.

November 6, 2011 at 9:17 a.m.
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