It is increasingly clear that Congressman Stephen Fincher (TN-08) has put his banker friends before the working families of West Tennessee since he came to Congress. Roughly five months after being sworn in as a Member of Congress, the man who campaigned as a “lifelong farmer” and the “gospel singer from Frog Jump,” gave up his spot on the Agriculture Committee for a plum assignment on the House Financial Services Committee.
“Congressman Fincher bailed on the farmers he promised to represent when he ran for Congress, and he has been looking out for the big banks and their big bonuses from day one,” said Brandon Puttbrese of the Tennessee Democratic Party. “Working families in West Tennessee deserve someone who puts their interests ahead of the special interests. Next fall, the people who sent Congressman Fincher to Washington are going to hold him accountable for breaking his promise.”
After joining the Financial Services Committee, Fincher quickly forgot about the farmers and working families in his district. He enthusiastically supported the Republican plan to end Medicare and introduced legislation to suspend capital gains taxes for the next 10 years – a proposal that would add over a trillion dollars to the deficit.
Fincher Campaigned as a “Lifelong Farmer.” When Stephen Fincher announced his candidacy in September 2009, Fincher said, “I may not be a polished politician, but as a lifelong farmer I know that most problems can be solved with a little common-sense. When I’m elected, I’ll put that common-sense to work for everyday Tennesseans, not the special interests.” [Commercial Appeal, 9/22/09]
National Journal: “Farmer From Frog Jump Bails On Ag.” “In Washington, Fincher has a decidedly different priority. Last month, Fincher won a coveted appointment to the House Financial Services Committee — a move that forced him to give up his spot on the Agriculture Committee […] Fincher will no doubt reap the other great benefit of the Financial Services Committee: It’s a lot more lucrative to serve on a panel that interests banking lobbyists than on a panel that handles agriculture policy. Fincher was one of the better-funded first-time candidates in 2010. But with a farm bill coming up next year, what would Fincher’s rural constituents — who make up 53 percent of his district — think about his move?” [National Journal, 6/10/11]
Fincher’s Tax Plan Benefits the Wealthiest Americans and Adds Over a Trillion to the Deficit. According to the Commercial Appeal, Fincher “introduced a bill that would suspend collection of the capital gains tax for 10 years.” The Washington Post recently reported that the capital gains tax heavily benefits the wealthy noting that “Over the past 20 years, more than 80 percent of the capital gains income realized in the United States has gone to 5 percent of the people [and] about half of all the capital gains have gone to the wealthiest 0.1 percent.” The Congressional Budget Office estimates that over the next ten years the capital gains tax will bring in over .3 trillion in revenue and the elimination of the capital gains tax would eliminate this revenue. [Commercial Appeal, 9/12/11; Washington Post, 9/11/11; Congressional Budget Office Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Year 2011-2021, 1/2011]