Democrats' Extreme Legislative Agenda Pushing Out Party Moderates

Democrats are back on the attack. Just a year after a voter backlash over their spending habits caused them to lose the House and their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, Democrats are hoping Americans have forgotten about the deficit.

Brian Beutler reports:

“Senate Democrats are preparing an aggressive legislative agenda . .

The push is premised on the nation that the country has turned the corner on the fights over deficits and the size of government, and that keeping issues of equity and opportunity for the middle class at the center of the national debate will redound to Democrats’ political benefit, either by breaking the GOP or by putting them on the wrong side of public opinion”

As it turns out, Democrats vision of “equity” and “opportunity” is in reality little more than symbolic measures to attack certain individuals and industries.

One of the biggest “villains” that Democrats have set their sights on is oil companies.

Democrats recently introduced a bill that would apply a windfall tax on the sale of oil and gas that ranges from 50 percent to 100 percent of anything that exceeds a “reasonable profit.” Under the bill, a Reasonable Profits Board would be created, staffed by three presidential nominees that would determine an acceptable profit margin for oil companies.

In their campaign to bash “big oil” and their “greedy executives” Democrats conveniently leave out the fact that their profit margins aren’t that high. Indeed from 2006 to 2010, the nation’s five largest oil companies had an average profit margin of 6.65 percent – much less than Apple, whose margin was 22 percent, and Coca-Cola’s 33 percent.

Even if oil company profits were on the high end, does anyone truly believe the federal government is should be entrusted with the power to determine what is and isn’t reasonable?

It would seem to me that if gas prices were soaring and oil execs were reaping a windfall that would be a good incentive for consumers to switch to green alternatives. After all, the main reason that solar, wind, ethanol, etc. has had so much trouble competing is because the price of oil is still low enough to make them bad investments. Rising oil prices would only hasten Democrats goal of achieving a clean energy marketplace, albeit through market mechanisms favored by Republicans.

But this is about politics and not policy, a fact that also explains a Democrat agenda that institutes a wealth surtax, deficit-financed extensions of various government programs, and bills to further revile the financial industry.

The far-left agenda is taking its toll on more moderate Democrats in Congress. The latest victim of the party’s retreat from a brief foray into fiscal sanity is Heath Shuler, a Blue Dog Democrat from North Carolina who recently announced his retirement.

Politico’s Jon Allen had this to say following the announcement:

“[Blue Dogs] don’t want to run into the political headwind of Nancy Pelosi, who would become speaker again if Democrats win the House. “What I think is really lost here is a lot of retirements were preordained the minute Nancy Pelosi decided to run again for speaker,” said one retiring centrist Democrat. “Many of us didn’t want to share the ballot with her.” Beyond that, this lawmakers said, the moderates have become so powerless in the House Democratic Caucus that a job in Congress is less appealing.”

Turns out Democrats’ liberal plans aren’t only turning off many Americans, they’re also pushing moderate Democrats out of the party.