published Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann pitches jobs plan

by Chris Carroll

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann released a 33-page jobs plan Monday that's high on ideas and low on specifics.

Among other aims, the Republican from Chattanooga wants to eliminate the capital gains tax for businesses and individuals for two years. Fleischmann's plan says legislation is "being drafted" to achieve that goal.

According to House financial disclosures filed May 16, Fleischmann reported a Wells Fargo investment valued between $500,001 and $1 million that included capital gains income.

Records show the investment garnered between $15,001 and $50,000 last year. Fleischmann said Monday that Wells Fargo no longer manages the money.

"I probably couldn't tell you what I'm invested in," Fleischmann said. "I leave that to [my advisers]."

The rest of Fleischmann's plan can be gleaned from its title: "Less Government, More Jobs." It follows up on the GOP's stated economic positions, concluding that government regulations, taxes and "frivolous lawsuits" prevent employers from hiring new workers.

Besides the capital gains tax proposal, the plan offers little in the way of implementation. But in an interview, Fleischmann said writing letters to President Barack Obama, working on committees and "co-sponsoring legislation out there that deals with the plan" will get the country where he says it should go.

Chris Brooks, executive director for Chattanooga Organized for Action, said regulations keep consumers and workers safe, adding that tax cuts "would add to our nation's deficit" and won't reduce the jobless rate.

  • photo
    Chris Brooks, executive director for Chattanooga Organized for Action
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

"Chuck's solutions aren't solutions," Brooks said. "They're the same old rhetoric we've heard for the past 30 years."

A 10-page section titled "Action Already Taken" documents Fleischmann's votes on previous bills. Some of them, such as a bill to repeal Obama's health care plan, stalled after passing the Republican-controlled House but failing in the Democratic-majority Senate.

Fleischmann blasted the Senate and the White House for the rejections, pointing to high jobless rates and saying Democrats "need to listen to the American people and realize their ideas have failed."

In his plan, Fleischmann advocates closing all tax loopholes, adding "there would be no need to raise any other taxes" if that happened.

He also accuses the Obama administration of imposing "politically charged regulations" on oil and gas companies in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that killed 11 workers in the Gulf of Mexico and spread oil along the Gulf Coast.

"Additionally, if we speed up permitting and open up additional areas on the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling, the U.S. economy would rake in an additional 1 million jobs in the next seven years," states the plan.

According to the plan's endnotes, Fleischmann obtained those figures from a study sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute, the lead lobbying outfit for the oil and gas industries.

Contact staff writer Chris Carroll at or 423-757-6610.

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nucanuck said...

Fleischmann apparently has no new ideas and further, seemed to have a pretty weak grip on the complexity of the counyty's economic problems. Instead of carping about too much government regulation, give examples of harmful regulation and how he would change it.

If his best idea is to cut capital gains taxes even further, he should be well recieved with the country club set while striking out with middle America.

And we wonder why Congress can't get the job done. Look no farther than our own representative.

September 27, 2011 at 1:48 a.m.
328Kwebsite said...

Having read Representative Fleischmann's 33 page essay, I give him an F. It's so vague and poorly written that it's an example of why we should increase educational spending. If a college junior had turned this in as a report, he'd fail for lack of substantive arguments.

In the sad trace of ideas outlined in a list early on, readers of Representative Fleishmann's report can see that he has chosen to parrot Karl Rove's suggestions: oil drilling, lawsuit regulation and prohibition ("tort reform"), attacking the EPA by refusing or regulating it, and generally siding with rewriting the law to use it to pay rich people like himself.

Reject Representative Fleischmann's insistence that we allow him to pay himself by rewriting the law. A zero percent capital gains tax is not responsible, intellectually sound or good for business. Time and again we have seen Republicans advocate for the removal of regulations: time and again businesses have rushed in to that vacuum to do themselves harm by committing fraud. Removing financial controls that stop fraud and encourage crime is not only bad for business and soft on crime, it's flat out stupid.

Representative Fleischmann's ideas are so bad, so poorly thought out, so limply supported by his own feeble reasoning, that it is a wonder he was elected. Truly, he deserves our praise for achieving such great political heights in his complete absence of elementary problem solving skills.

If our homeless were as clueless about their environs as Representative Fleischman appears to be about his, they would get run over by a bus.

Chattanooga and the United States do not need any more encouragement for the rich to perpetrate financial crime. We need them to begin to reach out, to strive, to seek, to find any path to profit which does not involve directly lying about assets, liabilities and owner's equity. Maybe they could start by actually doing business instead of just lying about it.

Reject Representative Fleischmann's self-serving propaganda from a corrupt and manipulative country club elite. Small satellite cities require their city managers to have college degrees in planning and policy: Representative Fleischmann's law degree doesn't count towards understanding the mechanics of the matters at hand.

We need problem solving, not more Bush-era problem creating.

Unqualified, unintelligent, unreasonable and entirely paid for by the Republican party. That's the kind of service Representative Fleischmann is bringing to this area.

It's almost as unintelligent and tacky as it would be to have Mayor Littlefield in federal office. As with many of the Metro Payoff club of self-appointed county and city officials who have financially exploited the political divisions between city and county government, US Representative Fleischmann elicits attention with displays of low intelligence.

September 27, 2011 at 2:32 a.m.
328Kwebsite said...

Read his 33 pages of rambling Karl Rove Bush-speak and ask yourself: do we need more of this?

Representative Fleischmann's poorly thought out ideas should be rejected by voters as soon as elections allow. Elect anyone who can actually do the job of being a US Representative for this area. Representative Fleischmann is clearly showing that he cannot.

September 27, 2011 at 2:32 a.m.
Gump said...

The last paragraph in this article is all you need to know about whom Chuckie represents. Yeah, don't go with objective studies, go with the ones made by the people who stand to benefit. That's good policy, right there.

September 27, 2011 at 11:55 a.m.
ranger1 said...

chuck a snake in the grass he dont know jack

September 27, 2011 at 7:15 p.m.
ibshame said...

This would be funny if it wasn't so sad. Chuckie won an election last year without appearing at a single debate. NOT ONE. You get what you pay for and he is the person the voters sent to Washington, D.C. not because of his stand on the issues but merely because he won the Republican Primary and in this district that's all it took. His job plan is nothing more than the same old smoke and mirrors philosophy he ran on in 2010. Chuckie sincerely believes he can do it again in 2012. His "jobs proposal" is the proof. When it comes to Chuckie's bid for re-election, the voters should heed the age old advice: Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.

September 28, 2011 at 1:44 p.m.
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