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The Enablers: Democrats On Board with the Party of the Rich

Even with control of the House, Republicans couldn't divert tax money to the rich without help from key Democrats in the Senate

November 9, 2011 6:50 AM ET

Chuck Schumer (New York) Recived $2.7 million from Wall Street. Defended loophole that allows hedgefund billionaires to pay only 15 percent in taxes. May back a tax "amnesty" to allow giant corporations to evade billions in taxes on profits they've stashed offshore. Key quote: "$250,ooo makes you really rich in Mississippi, but it doesn't make you rich at all in New York."

Ben Nelson (Nebraska) Corporate America's most dependable Democrat. Provided the 50th vote for Bush's tax cuts; helped the GOP downsize the stimulus and weaken health care reform. Voted against jobless benefits for the unemployed while supporting $21 billion in subsidies for Big Oil. Key quote: "One of the biggest challenges our job creators face is overregulation."

Joe Manchin (West Virginia) Appeared in campaign ad firing a rifle at Obama's climate legislation. In office barely a year, has accepted $600,000 from coal interests - and voted for a GOP measure to permanently bar the EPA from regulating big carbon polluters. Key quote: "The EPA's overreach is destroying jobs in my state and all over the country, and it must be stopped."

Mary Landrieu (Louisiana) Accepted almost $1 million from Big Oil; prevented $13 billion in industry tax breaks from being diverted to clean energy. Opposed a temporary halt to offshore drilling, even after the BP spill. Key quote: "If I were one of them," she said, defending beleaguered oil executives, "I'd be tempted to just shut off the spigots and go elsewhere."

Kay Hagan (North Carolina) Won praise from Rep. Eric Cantor for co-sponsoring GOP bill to allow America's richest corporations to pay only 5.25 percent in taxes on $1.4 trillion in offshore profits. Voted for GOP "jobs" bill to repeal withholding tax on federal contractors. Key quote: Tax evaders like GE are victims of an "outdated" tax system that "traps" their profits abroad.

This story is from the November 24, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone.

Related
How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich
Grover Norquist: The Billionaire's Best Friend

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