Massa Press Conference: Taxes and the Bailout

Eric Massa unveiled his tax plan [pdf] at his press conference today. That, and bailout reaction, after the break.

Massa's plan is similar to the Obama plan. It would lower taxes on 97% of "working Americans in the 29th Congressional District." It ends taxes on Senior Citizens making $50K or less per year. It cuts taxes for those going to college, and removes the self-employment tax for those making less than $250K per year.

Massa proposes to pay for the tax cut by removing oil tax breaks ($14 billion), ending loopholes for hedge funds, repealing the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250K, putting a stronger emphasis on pay-as-you-go financing of legislation, ending the war in Iraq and earmark reform.

Most of the questions from the many members of the press were about the bailout plan. Massa believes that the Senate should take up the bailout plan and "no one goes home until the work is done." He's concerned about the amount of power concentrated in one person, and wants an organization similar to the Depression-era NRA, composed of "the best and the brightest" to administer the program.

Massa believes this is "not a fabricated crisis" and that we "can't have a repeat of the dysfunction we saw yesterday".

When asked about Kuhl's plan, Massa said the main problem he sees is that it calls for a 100% US Treasury guarantee for private insurance companies. "I'm not quite sure how we're going to implement this, and if those companies go bankrupt, the American taxpayer is left holding the bag." Massa quoted Doug Elmendorf at the Brookings Institute, who said that he didn't understand how this is going to work.

Massa said that Kuhl's plan put a "for-profit middleman" in the midst of the crisis. "It makes no sense."

That said, Massa says he's "willing to learn and listen." That said, if a proposal "is driven by pure ideology, and political talking points, then it ought not take up our time."


Hello Mr. Massa:

I am a republican in the 29th district (Stanley, NY) that had been planning to vote for you but I find you position on the bailout for WallStreet very "wishy-washy." Although I disagree with Mr. Kuhl on many subjects, he is "Right-On" with his No vote on the bail out. I want no taxpayer dollars at risk and I think this is just scare tactics just like the WMD campaign of the Bush adminsitration before. There is no emergency requiring immediate action without deep understanding, contemplation and risk-reward analysis. Let's not jump into this and let time and debate take its course. I would also call for the immediate resignation of Mr. Paulson. Although he appears to be a hard working, intelligent and dedicated individual, he is tainted and was a heart beat away from this mess while at GS. He has a clear conflict of interest and should recuse himself ASAP. Let's bring in Paul Volker or some other dedicated public servent that has no vested interest in the outcome other than the good of America.

You are being naive and not focused. You are playing both sides. Strike out with a firm position and let the voters decide if you are the right person to represent our 29th district. At the moment you have put big doubts in my mind even though I voted for you last time and had planned to do so again. Kuh's firm and well thought out position and his risk taking have made me swing back to his camp.

Scott and Elena Cline
4647 County Road 5, Stanley, NY
also of 11492 West Lake Rd. Hammondsport, NY on Keuka Lake

Hi, Clines, Just to be clear, I'm not Eric Massa. But since you posted this, I'd suggest that you wait until this time next week to make up your mind, because another bailout bill is coming up for a vote.

Hi, Clines, Just to be clear, I'm not Eric Massa.

So you say.