Fox News’ “business block” today began with a full-out cheering section for Donald Trump to cut corporate and personal taxes and, while he’s at it, one pundit demanded cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
Host Dagen McDowell began the first "Cost of Freedom" show by “asking” if Trump should “slash” both personal and corporate taxes “at the same time.”
Guest Gary B. Smith said, “It should be number one priority.” Smith argued that cutting personal taxes is about “fairness,” as in, “Let the individual keep their money and better spend it, rather than on the Solyndras and on the Amtraks and all the other silly government projects out there.” Apparently, if you want to take a train as public transportation, you should just wait for a billionaire to build a private one and hope that it stops near you and has an affordable fare.
Not that anyone on the panel complained. McDowell enthused, “If you cut individual taxes, in addition to corporate taxes, that flows to small corporations, small companies who are taxed at those very individual rates.”
McDowell continued, “Why not do both? Why not do corporate and individual and just tackle it? To quote President Obama in reference to President Trump, what did Obama say? ‘I won.’ Well, not only did Donald Trump win, but the Republicans won. So why not use your political capital?”
Jessica Tarlov, “Democratic strategist,” didn’t point out that Trump’s tax cuts favor the ultra-rich. Instead, she signaled that she’s on board the Trump train, just with a different schedule. She argued we should “pace through this and do the corporate tax cut first and then go to personal income taxes.” She added that the money that will (supposedly) be repatriated would be “kind of a sweetener to Democrats who could use some money for infrastructure.”
“You should go for it if he can,” Tarlov added. “It is important to keep some Democrat friends.” It wasn’t until later that she pointed out that Trump’s plan “is appraised at adding $5.3 trillion to the debt.” According to the Tax Policy Center, Trump’s plan would reduce revenues by almost $10 trillion over the first decade and “increase the national debt by nearly 80 percent of gross domestic product by 2036, offsetting some or all of the incentive effects of the tax cuts.”
“Why not do all three and cut the federal gas tax?” guest Jonas Max Ferris said. But he did note that corporations do not actually pay the corporate tax rate.
Smith, the Amtrak hater, chimed in to call infrastructure spending “a boondoggle.” He seemed to think the same of our social safety nets. “Why can’t we cut things like Social Security? Why can’t we cut the billions wasted in Medicare?” he asked.
Watch it below, from the November 19, 2016 Bulls & Bears.
He just does not care about his promises or being consistent. Now he feels he has the power to do anything – you only have to look at the way he worded his breaking of the Lock Her Up promise. “I’m just not that concerned about it” – as if the prosecution of the law is a matter of whim to the Rapist/Cheat in Chief. Let’s see how he gets on with the conflicts of interest question.
The Right is absolutely united about some things and they will vote as a block to accomplish them. Their highest priority at the start of 2017 is to erase the Obama presidency. They all agree that they want to undo all of Obama’s actions and scrap the ACA. As the article admits, they won’t need a single Dem vote to accomplish those things. So those will happen immediately.
As for the various treaties and agreements achieved by Obama’s team, those will be ripped up immediately, and Congress won’t have any part in it. That will completely be a Pence discussion in the White House, where all these various initiatives will simply be discarded. I particularly stress this to anyone thinking that a Far Right White House is going to continue the Obama move to ease relations with Cuba. I know people who were planning to travel to Cuba next year, and I don’t believe they will be doing so now. I think it’s more prudent to expect Trump and his group to follow through on as many of his promises as they can. Which means the TPP is dead, the Climate Change agreements are dead, the Iran treaty is gone and the Cuba embargo will be reinforced.
I keep seeing people grasping at straws for a sign that Trump might not be all that bad and that maybe he didn’t mean all that stuff he’s been saying. Maybe he’ll bend a little on climate change or maybe he’ll go easy on the Clinton investigation obsession. But the people around him aren’t saying those things. Except for the Clinton “Lock Her Up” meme, which some Trump surrogates are trying to walk back. And I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in that, based on Trump’s behavior and based on the Right’s outright hatred of the Clintons. Just last night, we saw Fox News and Breutbart repeatedly attack Trump surrogates for backing off this idea even a little. We already know that Trump acts on what those outlets tell him, and we know that they’ll keep up a drumbeat on this. So I wouldn’t think that this nonsense is over by any means.
I realize this will all sound pessimistic, but we’re going to need to get used to some really unfortunate conditions over the next four to eight years. This is going to be a mean, unpleasant time, governed by mean, bullying, unpleasant people. The best and smartest thing I believe we can do is to make sure that what these people do is documented, just as Ellen has done here for years. These guys are going to try to write the history of our time in a way that makes them feel good and portrays people like President Obama as failures. We need to be able to help keep the actual record straight, now more than ever.
Willing To Oppose Trump, Some Senate Republicans Gain Leverage
A small number of influential Republicans in the Senate are threatening to block appointments to Trump’s administration, derail his thaw with Russia and prevent the planned wall on the border with Mexico.
For readers of this newsletter who are despairing over what may happen under a Trump administration, the best hope I can offer is the Senate. I spent last week up on the Hill, and plan to be up their regularly during the Trump years, and I can tell you that there is a not-insignificant faction of the GOP that is not planning on rolling over for Trump. And they have no interest in giving up their right to filibuster, which means Trump is going to have to work with Democrats.
For those confused about why Mitch McConnell won’t just blow up the filibuster: first, McConnell actually likes it. He is a politician first, and it’s better for him if vulnerable red-state Democrats are obstructing him, than if he can actually get done what his base wants done. If you’re Mitch McConnell, your ideal scenario is Obamacare still being the law of the land, premiums rising just a few weeks before Election Day, and Democrats taking the blame for it. He can then blame the filibuster when the base loses its mind. McConnell will take that scenario over repeal all day long, and twice on Sunday.
And, he can say, it’s not my fault: blame Lindsey Graham. As I wrote this week, Graham, Jeff Flake, Orrin Hatch, John McCain, Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander are all against nuking the filibuster. Some of them love it for its institutional value, but also, for people like Flake and Graham, they lose all their power if Trump or McConnell only need 50 votes. So it’s in their interests to keep the filibuster around, and it’s in McConnell’s interests not to pressure them too hard otherwise. Without their support, he can’t undo the filibuster.
All of that means Trump is not yet the dictatorial kleptocrat people fear he’ll become. Though he may already be lurching toward kleptocracy.
I honestly don’t think that Trump understands what will happen after the ACA is junked on January 20th. He’s thinking that people will be grateful to be rid of it, and that the GOP can somehow get him a plan quick that everyone will love more than the ACA. He hasn’t figured out that they don’t have a plan, and won’t have one for years to come. It’s entirely possible that he simply hasn’t figured out the reality of millions of people losing their coverage – but he will once it happens. And then he’ll blame Congress for not handling it better.
As for the Dems in the Senate, I do hope that they will present a principled opposition – not obstruction, but principled discussion about the various things Trump’s people will inflict on this country. The Dems won’t be able to stop much or any of it, but they can at least go on the record to voice their concerns, and they should. I don’t see the Dems filibustering every Supreme Court nominee for the next four years. I think it’s sadly more likely that they will allow Trump to put 45 year old far right wing advocates on the SC to replace Scalia and Kennedy and save their powder for what could happen if Breyer or Ginsburg steps down.
The Dems do not have the ability to confirm or even really discuss the appointments of Bannon and Flynn as neither of those positions requires Congressional approval. Bannon’s in particular – as it’s a senior advisor scenario, like Karl Rove’s. Congress has no say on it. Theoretically, the Dems can make some hay out of the appointment of a racist like Sessions to Attorney General, but they muffed this badly when dealing with another extremist named Ashcroft, so I doubt they’ll do more than make Sessions a bit uncomfortable for a day or two before letting him through. They can’t really stop Sessions in any case, with the GOP only needing 51 votes, which they already have.
The indications I’m seeing are that Trump will go all-out to the Right, and try to push as many hardline positions as he can while he has some momentum. If his play works, he’ll energize his base, which will be happy to vote him back in again. If his play fails, he’ll alienate even more people than he did over the past 18 months, and he’ll be tossed out in 2020.
The man wants to be loved and adored, especially by the millions of low-information and self-centred drones who put him in power. I think he will stymie attempts by Ryan and co to dismantle health provisions, especially for the elderly. Upset them and he’s, um, fornicated.
Another little ray of sunshine I see is that with the apparent determination of a few senators to block the ‘nuclear option’ at the start of the session, Trump will struggle to get many of his current nominations confirmed. Bannon and Flynn in particular seem like dead ducks paddling to me.
Medicare is another matter – they will definitely try to move on it as part of the dismantling of the ACA in January. But I’m not sure how far they will be able to get with Medicare, other than to take the first steps toward privatizing it and then scrapping the public part of it. Likely just enough to make the program unstable, and thus an easy target for full privatization if Trump gets re-elected in 2020.
I’m sure Trump will get his tax cut for the rich in a big way. This will be accompanied by a slash in government employees, including what looks like the closing of the Department of Education over the next year or two. The Right will also drastically limit the EPA and fire as many of its employees as they can. There’s two points to these cuts. One, the slashing of the EPA will be part and parcel with Trump’s revocation of all of Obama’s Executive Orders, including the ocean limitations announced this past weekend. Two, the elimination of Dept of Education will satisfy a Right Wing dream of the past 36 years – that they will be able to smash the final piece of the Carter presidency and they’ll be able to do it while he’s alive to see them do it. There’s a definite aura of meanness about what these guys are doing – some of this is to satisfy angry Right Wing constituents, some of this is to satisfy various companies that hate regulation, but a good chunk of this is just for spite.
Regarding the ACA, I don’t know why anyone is falling for the “replace” discussion. The Right Wing has no intention of replacing the ACA. They can’t even agree on a plan to do so. The one thing they agree on is that they want to get rid of the ACA. So they’ll do that on January 20th, as part of the signing ceremony at the White House following the Inauguration of Trump. He’ll get to make a show of signing a bunch of EOs in the Oval Office, reversing all of Obama’s policies. And the big finish will be the repeal of the ACA, from a bill that mirrors what the GOP sent Obama this past year. (I remind everyone that this bill will not need 60 votes in the Senate – just 51, and they have them.)
As of January 21, unless Trump is planning on completely ignoring the moves already being made by his own people, the ACA will only exist in theory. Nearly all of its components will have been removed – aside from the notion of not letting insurance companies get away with refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions and the notion of allowing parents to keep their kids on their insurance up to age 26. And the exchanges will still exist – nominally. They just won’t have any government funding to them, as that will have been removed via Trump’s signature on the 20th. Which means the insurance companies are going to drop out of the exchanges since they can’t be required to foot the bill themselves. So yes, there will still be something in government paperwork of an ACA for the next two years, but in practical reality, there won’t be anyone in it.
I think this is likely the reason why a lot of people are trying to sign up for the ACA now – they are trying to get their doctor visits and treatments in before the program disappears. In two months, they will again be without coverage, as will millions of other Americans.
I was praying for 4 more years of a Democrat in the White House because that’s my retirement timeline. Now I’m screwed.
Trump lied during the campaign saying Medicare was popular with seniors, it was a great program, and he wouldn’t touch it. A couple days after he’s elected his transition plan gets posted saying he’s going to “modernize” Medicare. No coincidence simultaneous to that Paul Ryan tells Bret Baier he plans to privatize Medicare as part of the repeal/replace of ACA.
No doubt Social Security is next since Trump told Ryan privately during the campaign he agreed with him Social Security needed to be privatized but he just couldn’t admit it publicly during the election.
Social Darwinism is coming, folks. We can’t stop it. I hope you’re prepared. America is about to become a Dickens novel.
“The same goes for roads. They wear out. Especially public roads. Where commercial 18 wheelers pay special fees to carry overweight loads on roadways……”
Especially on I-80 & 90, the major east-west highway that goes through Dense Pence’s home state of Indiana. Boy, I sure feel sorry for those working class Indianians who have NO CHOICE but to use that highway on a daily basis, because since that highway got privatized during the reign of Der Fuehrer II (i.e. George Dumbya Bush), THE TOLLS ON IT HAVE SKYROCKETED INTO OUTER SPACE! Always remember:
HIGHWAY AND BRIDGE TOLLS AND OTHER USAGE FEES ARE TAXES TOO!
What kind of goddamned pirates do they invite on these Faux business shows? Supposedly these are business minded conservatives. But they aren’t. They are spoiled rotten conservatives. The kind of spoiled that buys a new car when the ashtray is full.
On a car, the wheels wear out, the bearings wear out and on down the line, etc., etc. They have to be maintained. Rebuilt. The same goes for roads. They wear out. Especially public roads. Where commercial 18 wheelers pay special fees to carry overweight loads on roadways. Wearing them out faster. A road will wear out just like a tire will.
So these spoiled idiots think that kind of spending is just plain silly. It’s no wonder they think the best way to deal with grandpa and grandma is to starve them to death.
1. Cut taxes for the rich.
2. Start a war. Iran is always available. Maybe North Korea for a twofer.
3. Pay for 1. and 2. by ending Granny’s Medicare and Social Security.
4. When the economy tanks, blame it all on Obama.
Anytime Congress cuts federal spending and imposes unfunded mandates on state, city and local governments, YOUR STATE, CITY AND PROPERTY TAXES ALWAYS GO UP!