Who is Congressman Bob Gibbs?
Congress is broken, and career politician Congressman Bob Gibbs is part of the problem.
Congressman Bob Gibbs on Ending Medicare As We Know It
On April 15, 2011, Congressman Gibbs voted to end Medicare as we know it forcing future seniors to pay $6,400 dollars extra out of pocket every year -- nearly double what they would otherwise pay. Gibbs would use that money to protect tax breaks for millionaires and subsidies for oil companies.
The Wall Street Journal wrote, “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.”
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Wall Street Journal: 4/4/11
Congressman Gibbs Voted for two budgets authored by Congressman Paul Ryan. These budgets would end Medicare’s guaranteed benefit, protect $40 billion in tax breaks for big oil, and provide people earning more than $1 million a year with an average tax cut of $265,000. Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office estimated it will increase health care costs by an extra $6,359 by 2022 for future Medicare beneficiaries, while the Center for American progress has claimed that it is likely that that a middle-class family with two kids making about $70,000 a year would pay about $1,150 more in income tax [H Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12; Center for American Progress, 3/20/12; Center for American Progress, 3/20/12; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/27/12; Tax Policy Center, Table T12-0078 and T10-0132; Citizens for Tax Justice, 3/22/12; CBO, 4/5/11; CNN, 3/23/12].
Congressman Bob Gibbs on Social Security
Gibbs supports raising the Social Security retirement age to 70.
Gibbs even said he wouldn't have supported Social Security if he had been in Congress when the law was first written, "I doubt I would have supported it back in the 1930's when they did it."
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In September 2010, Gibbs suggested forming a bipartisan task force to ensure Social Security's viability, and went on to say: "I doubt I would have supported it back in the 1930's when they did it, but we have it now and we've got to fulfill our obligations." [Plain Dealer, 10/5/10; Columbus Dispatch, 10/22/10].
Congressman Bob Gibbs on Raising Taxes on Middle-Class Families
Not only did Gibbs vote to raise the gas tax, he supports a national 23 percent sales tax on top of state and local taxes. This would increase taxes on basic necessities -- everything from groceries and gasoline to clothes and medicine. Gibbs' plan would hit the middle class hardest because it would cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans while raising taxes on the rest of us.
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- Gibbs supported the Taft Tax – the largest ever tax increase in Ohio’s history. Gibbs cast his vote in support of the tax increases merely four months after claiming that he would oppose them. In 2003, Gibbs voted for the conference report of the biennial budget that increased the state sales tax from 5 percent to 6 percent, a 20 percent increase. The report included $3.2 billion in tax increases and it increased the two-year budget by 11 percent “to $49.3 billion from $44.3 billion” [HB 95, 6/20/03; Newark Advocate, 4/13/10].
- The 11 percent increase in Ohio’s two-year budget -- to $49.3 billion from $44.3 billion -- was one of the largest in the nation. The $3.2 billion in tax increases was the largest in state history,” the Columbus Dispatch reported [Columbus Dispatch, 11/23/03].
- The budget increased the sales tax from 5 to 6 cents effective July 1, 2003. In addition, the sales tax was extended to include many services. Among them were satellite television, auto towing, dry cleaning, storage facilities and manicures [Akron Beacon Journal, 6/21/03].
- Gave Wealthy Individuals Investment Credits on Jet Time-Shares…The budget allowed wealthy individuals who buy time-shares on corporate jets to receive investment credits [Akron Beacon Journal, 6/21/03].
- Included Pay Raise. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the budget that Gibbs supported allowed “Automatic pay increases of 5 percent for legislators” to “continue unchanged” [Akron Beacon Journal, 6/21/03].
- Raised Tuition Rates. The budget allowed Ohio State University to raise tuition 12.9 percent, while all other state universities were allowed to raise it by 9.9 percent. Anything above 9 percent for OSU and 6 percent for the others needed to be used for technology or scholarships for low-income students [Akron Beacon Journal, 6/21/03].
- Gibbs has also repeatedly shown himself to be out of touch with the economic reality in Ohio:
- Voted for $580 million in New Taxes, Including Higher Gas Tax. In 2003, Gibbs voted in favor of the transportation budget bill which included higher taxes at the gas pump and higher fees for licenses and registrations. In addition, under the bill no change would be made to the auto emissions testing program known as E-Check in 14 counties. In total, the bill included $580 million in new taxes. The bill raised the state tax on gas from 22 to 28 cents a gallon by 2005. The bill passed, 63-34 [Akron Beacon Journal, 3/27/03; HB 87, 3/12/03].
- Wanted to Cut Taxes on Wealthy. In 2006, Gibbs spoke out in support of cutting Ohio’s capital-gains tax paid mainly by the wealthy. “When things are looking better in the state, this is the time we ought to do more to encourage people to do business and live in Ohio,” Gibbs said [Columbus Dispatch, 7/14/2006].
Congressman Gibbs on Outsourcing American Jobs
At a time when we need to keep jobs in America, Gibbs signed a pledge to protect tax breaks for companies that ship American jobs overseas to countries like China and India, even though Ohio has lost nearly 100,000 jobs to China since 2000. Gibbs even testified before Congress that the U.S. should remove trade protections with China.
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- Congressman Gibbs signed Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform Pledge to oppose closing tax loopholes for Big Oil companies or tax breaks for millionaires and companies that ship jobs overseas [Americans for Tax Reform Pledge Signers, accessed 5/1/12]. In a House Budget committee hearing, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said he has never signed Norquist’s pledge because “I don't believe in out-sourcing principles and convictions” [Budget Committee Hearing, 6/1/12].
- Congressman Gibbs Voted Against a Plan to Prevent Federal Loans and Grants from Going to Companies That Move Call Centers Overseas. On June 19, 2012, House Republicans voted against a plan to pass the “United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act,” which was written and introduced by Rep. Tim Bishop (NY-1). This legislation would require certain call centers to disclose when they plan on relocating outside of the United States. Additionally, the legislation would stop companies that ship jobs overseas from getting federal loans and grants and would give them adequate time to comply with the measure. It would also give consumers a right to speak to a worker based in the United States instead of a worker in a foreign country [H Res 688, Vote #381, 6/19/12, THOMAS Website, accessed 6/19/12].
- Congressman Gibbs Voted Against a Plan to Ensure National Parks Only Sold American Made Goods. On June 19, 2012, House Republicans voted against a plan to ensure that all items offered for sale in any gift shop or visitor center located within a unit of the National Park System are produced in the United States [HR 2578, Vote #386, 6/19/12].
- Congressman Gibbs Voted to Give Tax Breaks to Companies Shipping Jobs Overseas While Cutting Medicare. On March 29, 2012, Congressman Gibbs voted in favor of the House Republican budget which included cuts to Medicare. Under this proposal, companies essentially would pay just the tax rate of the country where the profits are earned. According to the Tax Policy Center, exempting these offshore earning from U.S. tax liability “might encourage some domestic companies to move more of their operations—and shift both jobs and more reported income– to low tax countries.” Similarly, Citizens for Tax Justice concluded that adopting this type of system would increase the incentives for job offshoring [H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12; The Hill, 3/29/12; National Journal, 3/20/12; Wall Street Journal, 3/19/12; Tax Policy Center, 2/28/12; Citizens for Tax Justice, 10/19/11].
- Congressman Gibbs Voted to Help Protect Tax Breaks for Oil Companies. On June 21, 2012, Congressman Gibbs voted against a motion to prohibit new leases for major integrated oil companies unless they agreed to not take special tax breaks. The motion would also encourage the major integrated oil companies obtaining oil and gas leases under the legislation to use only materials made in the United States in drilling operations and to avoid outsourcing jobs. The motion was introduced by Rep. Louise Slaughter (NY-28) [HR 4480, Vote #409, 6/21/12].
- In March 2011, Congressman Gibbs voted against a measure which would have prohibited any major integrated oil company from being eligible for any tax benefit or relief under related provisions of the tax code [HJ Res 44, Vote #153, 3/1/11].
- In April 2011, Congressman Gibbs voted for the FY12 Republican budget which secured no deficit-reduction contributions from closing special interest tax breaks such as tax breaks for big oil companies [H Con Res 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/20/11].
- Congressman Gibbs Voted Against Ensuring Oil Produced Here Benefits American Consumers. On June 21, 2012, Congressman Gibbs voted against an amendment that prohibited oil and gas produced under new leases authorized by this legislation from being exported to foreign countries. This legislation would have ensured American resources remain here to benefit American consumers [HR 4880, Markey amendment, Vote #400, 6/21/12].