GOP Tax Plan–2017

I listen to the lying toad Paul Ryan give his speech about the newest tax plan to get hammered through the House….his words made it seem like us poor working stiffs would be sitting pretty and that jobs would be thrown at us ad nauseum…..the problem is it is all typical GOP LIES……he had to make sure to state that there had not been a tax reform since 1986…..a typical talking point. (Yawn)

This vote in the House is the big win that Trump has been praying for…..plus it helps those like himself….filthy rich….

In a victory for President Trump, the House successfully passed its version of the Republican tax-cut plan Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports. All Democrats and 13 Republicans voted against the bill, giving it a 227-205 win. “Passing this bill is the single biggest thing we can do to grow the economy, restore opportunity, and help these middle income families that are struggling,” House Speaker Paul Ryan says. The vote took place after Trump met with House Republicans, telling them, “I love you. Go vote.” The Washington Post explains the contents of the bill, which includes more than $1.4 trillion in tax cuts, reduces the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%, reduces taxes for the rich, and ultimately raises taxes on middle-income earners. The bill also reduces the number of tax brackets from seven to four and gets rid of popular tax deductions, the New York Times reports.

The vote was held two weeks after the bill was introduced with little analysis or debate. Now Senate Republicans have to pass their own tax bill and work out the differences with the House bill. That will be easier said than done. Support for the Senate bill is wavering, especially after a nonpartisan committee found that it would end up increasing taxes for low-income Americans in 2021 and for everyone earning less than $75,000 a year in 2027. Not to mention it repeals part of ObamaCare. If the Senate manages to pass its bill and rectify it with the House version, it would give Trump the first major legislative achievement of his presidency. The White House has been pressuring Republicans to get tax cuts passed by Christmas.

The Congressional Republican tax plan is not a good deal for middle-class and working Americans. It fails to cover the full cost of the tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, adding to the deficit and putting middle-class priorities such as Medicare, Medicaid, education, and infrastructure at risk. Many states would see tens of thousands of families with tax increases, while nearly three-quarters of U.S. states would see hundreds of thousands—and in a few cases well more than 1 million—families with tax increases under the plan. Here’s what you need to know:

Many Working and Middle-Class Americans Would See a Tax Increase Under the House GOP Tax Plan: A State-by-State Breakdown

The Senate Tax Bill Threatens Access to Health Care

Work Requirement Proposals Would Kick Struggling Workers When They’re Down

Repealing the Estate Tax Would Plunge Charitable Giving

Giving to the Rich

4 Ways Repealing the Estate Tax Would Expand the Racial Wealth Gap

Not in a Million Years: The House’s Proposed Windfall for Donors

House Republican Attempts to Repeal the Adoption Tax Credit Show Their Real Priorities in Tax Reform

As usual…the GOP builds lies to cover their help for the wealthy….and we simpletons buy their crap every time….and when it does not pan out for us we re-elect the same lying bastards to screw us all over again……no wonder we are about to elect a pedophile and do it with joy.

What a silly bunch we as a nation have become.

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The Trump “Tax Reform” Bill

Tax reform……(pause here for raucous laughter…..) It is NOT tax reform it is tax cuts for the rich….selling it anyway you choose it is tax cuts for the rich….working people are just a slogan that will see NOTHING substantial out of these tax cuts.  And yet they buy the manure being spread by Ryan, McConnell and the rest of the ilk in the GOP…..

Republicans finally unveiled their tax reform legislation Thursday with a draft bill that would dramatically cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy.

GOP legislators generally stuck to their already released framework for the legislation: lowering individual and corporate tax rates while eliminating most individual deductions. But they also showed a willingness to jettison major aspects of their plan in order to get a bill through Congress.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/republican-tax-bill_us_59fb289fe4b0b0c7fa387e8f

This GOP bill is repugnant because it is lying to the hard working people they are pretending to protect…….

It is once again “plug your nose week” on Capitol Hill as House Republicans have released their tax bill with sweeping odious overhauls that steal away benefits for the poor and middle-class to pay for massive tax cuts for the most wealthy and largest corporations.

It is once again plug your nose week on Capitol Hill as House Republicans have released their tax bill with sweeping odious overhauls that steal away benefits for the poor and middle-class to pay for massive tax cuts for the most wealthy and largest corporations.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) declared, “The bill’s like a dead fish: The more it hangs out in the sunlight, the stinkier it gets. The more people learn about this bill, the less they’re going to like it.” This was after learning of a quiet revision on Friday by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) that, “reduces the value of the tax cuts for ordinary Americans by $89 billion over 10 years compared with the legislation released with fanfare Thursday.”

In a press conference House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi blasted Republicans following the unveiling of their tax bill, “Get real. Don’t tell the middle class this is for them. You’ve set a banquet for the wealthy and corporate America and thrown a few crumbs to the middle class. It’s really making suckers of the American people.”

(politicususa,com)

You really want to know who this tax reform will benefit?

President Trump’s inner-circle may be among the biggest beneficiaries of his proposed tax bill that would allow multinational corporations to bring massive offshore holdings back to the mainland at a one-time low-rate.

Several Trump officials — including key writers of the proposed tax reform bill being sped through Congress — have their own investments or were involved in the decision to keep company profits sheltered overseas, according to a report from the Guardian, which was part of an international coalition of journalists who obtained leaked documents called the Paradise Papers.

Among the various advisors and cabinet members in Trump’s administration identified in the reporting are:

https://thinkprogress.org/gop-tax-reform-offshore-holdings-aae3b60f62ec/

Rich people benefit and hard working Americans get the shaft as always when the GOP has an idea on “Tax Reform”…..why do we allow this bullshit to happen ?

Update–After writing this draft word has come down that the tax bill has a compromise…..

Congressional Republicans released their proposal for tax reform on Nov. 2, and it included major provisions with implications for every American taxpayer.

Changes to individual and corporate tax rates, the boosting of the standard deduction, and the elimination of many popular itemized deductions have garnered a lot of attention from policymakers. Yet by the time most people read about these provisions, there’s a risk that they’ll be out of date, because lawmakers are making further revisions to the proposal at breakneck speed in order to keep proponents onboard and boost the chance of eventual passage.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/taxes/2017/11/07/forget-the-original-republican-tax-plan-its-already-changed/107416020/

But wait…….ther’s more……

“In the world of conservative thought, few issues are as popular as tax reform. It’s an accepted truth, by nearly anyone on the right, that the tax code is too complicated for an average citizen to understand and too laden with loopholes to be fair. Beyond the structure of the code itself it’s a fairly standard conservative view that taxes themselves are unjust, that government should not be confiscating a large chunk of our hard-earned pay and they certainly shouldn’t then be helping themselves to additional taxes after that first take. In a perfect conservative world there would either be no taxes at all or a tax which would be simple to understand, a flat tax or the Fair Tax. But we don’t live in that perfect conservative world and so we recognize that tax policy, while still being burdensome, complicated and unfair, is used to achieve various societal objectives.” (11/07/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/11/07/im-conservative-and-hate-republican-tax-plan.html

Note:  I apologize for posting the urls but since WP has eliminated the “Press This” it is the best I can do to get the info to my reader….sorry for the inconvenience……chuq

Betraying The Veteran (Again)

For too long the American veteran has been a prop for the political parties….veterans are rolled out whenever they want to project this air of patriotism and then are quickly kicked to the curb and pushed aside.

And it has been that way for 50+ years and nothing ever changes….the vets are lied to, promised, used and discarded like broken tools….one of America’s biggest sources of propaganda.

This President and this Congress are NO different from the past…….

Despite vowing to support America’s veterans, President Donald Trump and congressional Republican leaders have put forth budget proposals that are poised to do great damage to the economic security of veterans and their families—all to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and corporations.1 In fact, new analysis by the Center for American Progress reveals that the tax cuts Trump wants to give corporations and businesses, which will cost $4.3 trillion over 10 years, amount to 28 times as much as the deep cuts he is proposing to services and benefits for veterans.2

And these cuts are just the tip of the iceberg.

Despite the common belief to the contrary, veteran-specific benefits and services fall short of meeting the needs of veterans and their families, many of whom struggle to meet basic needs even with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) supports.3 More than 3.9 million veterans live paycheck to paycheck—meaning their family incomes are less than twice the federal poverty level, or less than $50,000 for a family of four.4 Yet new CAP analysis reveals that if Trump’s proposed cuts to key job training programs were applied directly to program participation, more than 340,000 veterans could lose access to critical employment services that help boost wages.

Source: 5 Ways President Trump and Congressional Republicans Are Betraying Veterans – Center for American Progress

Our veterans deserve so much more than this country is willing to give them….the country asked….they went…..now they are ignored.

Ignored that is until the powers need another prop to trot out to lather up the base.

Across The Aisle

For decades I have watched the two parties snipe at each other from the bushes….matters not who is president or which party holds the leads of the power wagon.

Since 2008 when Obama was elected president then the label of liberal has been a bad thing and been used to attack anything that is purposed.  The GOP had a plethora of slogans for anything the liberals had to offer and it has been successful…..and then the country elected Donald Trump as president…..a Repub a member of the GOP (?) plus the GOP controls both Houses of Congress and a majority on the Supreme court….so with all that power in their hands then the bills and legislation should be flying off the pens of reps and onto Trump’s desk for approval.

You would think……but nope the GOP has not been able to accomplish a thing legislatively.  plus Trump and McConnell and Ryan do not seem to be on the same conservative page…..and that has a impotent party in control.

Recently the GOP “repeal and replace” hit the manure heap…..could not find the support for a bill.  But they still have DACA, Russia, taxes, border wall, etc…..lots of issues with little support from the party in power.

With failures mounting up Trump decided to go to the Dems for some help……and found them eager to work on a compromise…..

President Trump ticked off Republican lawmakers Wednesday (last week) when he struck a surprise deal with Democrats. Now, it looks like the across-the-aisle deal-making is poised to continue. The Washington Post reports that Trump, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi have reached a “gentleman’s agreement” to explore the idea of permanently eliminating the need for Congress to approve increases in the debt ceiling. More on that and the suddenly warm relations between the president and top Democrats:

  • Rosy press:Politico reports that Trump seems thrilled with the generally positive media coverage of his outreach to Schumer and Pelosi, and he spoke to both by phone Thursday. “In the eyes of Trump, news coverage often matters more than almost anything else,” writes Josh Dawsey, which could bode well for future deals.
  • ‘Schumer Test’: “It goes something like this,” explains NPR. “If you’re a Republican and Chuck Schumer is happy, then it’s likely not a good day.” Well, Schumer, is “beaming,” and that has Republicans leery. Trump’s cozy reference to “Chuck and Nancy” didn’t help.
  • The irony: Mike Allen at Axios sees Wednesday’s development as a “seminal moment” for GOP leaders in Congress, who watched in person as Trump derailed their strategy. “It’s now possible that Trump’s biggest legislative wins this year will be more spending and raising the debt cap—the exact opposite of what Tea Party Republicans came to DC to do.”
  • The debt limit idea: Congress routinely needs to raise the debt limit, which puts a cap on how much the government can borrow, to pay the nation’s bills. The problem is these votes “are often politicized and can cause panic among investors,” explains the Post. Trump himself suggested, “Has anybody ever thought about eliminating this vote?” recounts Pelosi, per the Hill. “And we said we’ll take it back to our caucus.” A report at Politico says Schumer was the one to broach the idea with the president, who responded, “Let’s do it.”
  • Nope: House speaker Paul Ryan threw cold water on the idea Thursday. “I won’t get into a private conversation that we had,” he said, referring to the president. “But I think there is a legitimate role for the power of the purse and Article 1 powers, and that’s something we need to defend here in Congress.” That article of the Constitution essentially gives Congress control over the US purse strings. Meanwhile, House conservatives objected even to Wednesday’s short-term deal in a letter to Ryan.

The deal seems to be popular….at least in the polls….the country liked the idea of a compromise and the working of two entities for a success.

It must have been overwhelming because Trump has decided to bring the two Dem leaders to the White House for a dinner and a meeting…..

In a move that stunned many Republicans, Democratic leaders announced Wednesday night that they had reached a deal with President Trump to protect Dreamers from deportation in return for funding extra border security—but not a wall. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced the deal after a White House dinner, the AP reports. “We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides,” they said in a joint statement. A source says the deal also includes a pathway to citizenship for the almost 800,000 young immigrants involved.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that DACA and border security were discussed at the meeting, though “excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to,” the Los Angeles Times reports. This is the second time in two weeks that Trump has bypassed Republicans to cut a deal with Democrats and immigration hardliners are furious over what they see as an amnesty, the Washington Post reports. If reports of the deal are true, Trump’s “base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair,” said GOP Rep. Steve King. “No promise is credible.” Breitbart.com called the deal a “full-fledged cave” and dubbed the president “Amnesty Don.”

After 8 months of nothing to show for his time in office the president now has two wins if we may call them that……

Maybe now all those diehard Trump supporters should lighten up on liberals….apparently they are willing to work with him where as his own party is shunning him at every move.

I believe we now have a good grasp on which party is the obstructionist party.

Could this be a temporary situation?  Sure.  But take the wins while you can.

On The Road To Single-Payer?

WE have been having the same debate for a half a century about health care in this country…..in all that time the one policy that made more4 sense than any of the others put forth was the single-payer plan or Medicare for all……

Sander has also been pushing the idea of a single payer all his years in Congress….with little enthusiasm shown by his colleagues….but is that about to change?

Bernie Sanders rolled out his vision to overhaul the health care system on Wednesday, one in which everybody would get their insurance from the government through Medicare instead of through their jobs or a private insurer. Sanders calls it the Medicare for All Act of 2017, but you’ll also hear phrases such as “single payer” and “universal health care” used to describe it. One key part missing: details on how to pay for it, though Sanders plans to release a separate paper on that, reports the Wall Street Journal. Coverage:

  • The basics: Per CNN, everybody gets a “Universal Medicare card,” which would be used to cover all health bills, from surgeries to dental care to substance abuse treatment. Co-payments would go away, and people would pay premiums based on their incomes, reports the AP. Private insurers would still exist, but for things such as elective plastic surgery or, sometimes, to act as middlemen between the government and hospitals or doctors.
  • A ‘right’: Sanders makes his case in an op-ed in the New York Times. “Guaranteeing health care as a right is important to the American people not just from a moral and financial perspective; it also happens to be what the majority of the American people want.”
  • ‘Single payer’: David Leonhardt of the New York Times has a Q&A on the fundamentals, including the basic question of what the term “single payer” means. In short, it “describes a system in which only one entity—the government—pays medical bills. If all Americans had Medicare rather than insurance through their jobs, it would be a single-payer system.” Vox says Sanders’ system is far more generous than single-payer plans in Canada and elsewhere.
  • The cost: This could cost hundreds of billions of dollars more per year, per the Journal. Details are yet to come, but Sanders envisions a progressive tax increase, with the wealthy paying more income, capital gains, and estate taxes, reports Newsweek. The senator says higher taxes for families would be offset by the fact that they no longer have to buy insurance. Still, in regard to single-payer systems, “no one—including Sanders—has truly reckoned with how to pay for whatever system they might support,” writes Mike Allen at Axios.
  • Litmus test? By all accounts, the chances of it passing a GOP-controlled Congress are precisely 0%. But it’s turning into a political litmus test of sorts for Democrats, reports the Washington Post. Sanders has the support of 15 Democratic senators so far, including all of those seen as potential 2020 presidential candidates. Co-sponsors include Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris. But many prominent Democrats are not on board, at least yet, including Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and those in tough re-election fights, reports Politico.
  • The politics: No, this isn’t going to pass, “but here’s the big question,” writes Perry Bacon Jr. at FiveThirtyEight. “Is it going to become one of the central goals of the Democratic Party and a defining feature of the campaign of whichever Democrat is the party’s nominee in 2020?” As of now, this “seems very likely,” as the Democratic party seems to be gravitating to the left. But Bacon lays out the political and policy reasons why Democrats might avoid “becoming the party of single payer.”
  • Relishing the fight: Republicans see a chance to pounce. “We welcome the Democrats’ strategy of moving even further left,” says Katie Martin, spokesperson for the Senate GOP’s campaign organization, per the AP.

Let the fight begin!

If someone would spend more time checking out how single payer really works then the answer would be as easy as a straight up vote…..and this national nightmare could be over.

Where’s The Money?

The time draws closer for the Congress to take up the issue of military funding….that is cash that we will need to funding all the wars we are now fighting and the ones on the horizon awaiting approval to be fought.

It appears that there are a few in Congress that want the AUMF to be addressed before any funding is approved….

Senate officials are hoping to get to a final vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a military spending bill in excess of $700 billion. Getting to that vote, however, means dealing with all the military and war-related amendments in the bill.

Senate leaders appear to have decided that the easiest way to get around this is to severely curtail debate on certain particularly controversial issues, with an 89-3 vote today agreeing to limit procedural debates on the matter.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is trying to manage the debate, which is to say, dramatically curtail the debate. There are still major issues to be settled, however, with Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) both pushing major debates, on war authorization and transgender soldiers, respectively.

Sen. Paul intends to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The amendment is seen as politically awkward for some hawks, who argue that they want to create a new AUMF that explicitly covers current wars, but who are reluctant to see any limitations placed on the way America’s wars are waged.

(antiwar.com)

That’s the 2001 AUMF problem all over. Though on paper it was intended to only cover 9/11 and the Afghan War, the authorization has been used by all presidents since as carte blanche to wage any war, anywhere on earth, in which the term terrorism can remotely be applied.

There is no secret if you are a regular here on IST that I am a definite antiwar person…..while I do not agree with muich the Sen. Paul offers up as policy I do appreciate his stand in the AUMF……

As Congress takes up the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will insist it vote on my amendment to sunset the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.

Why?

Because these authorizations to use military force are inappropriately being used to justify American warfare in 7 different countries. Sunsetting both AUMFs will force a debate on whether we continue the Afghanistan war, the Libya war, the Yemen war, the Syria war, and other interventions.

Our military trains our soldiers to be focused and disciplined, yet the politicians who send them to fight have for years ignored those traits when developing our foreign policy.

Source: Rand Paul: Why we must repeal the 16-year-old Authorization for the Use of Military Force | Rare

Personally, I think any new conflict we must fight must be authorized by Congress….there should be NO blanket authorization.

Update:  After writing this draft news came down about the defeat of this proposal….

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had to push heavily and very publicly against the Senate leadership to get even the limited debate that ultimately occurred on his amendment, aiming to revoke the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The vote did not occur. In the middle of the debate Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) moved to table (kill) the amendment, forcing an immediate vote. The Senate then voted to kill Paul’s amendment, by a vote of 61-36.

The post-9/11 AUMF has been interpreted broadly by US presidents as allowing unlimited war-making powers against anything even loosely described as “terror.” Sen. Paul argued that the AUMF was wrongly been used to authorize seven distinct wars, and that repealing it would force Congress to debate specific authorizations for specific wars as an alternative.

While he’d hoped this would bring in support not only from opponents of the war, but from hawks eager to get their votes on the record to authorize these many, effectively unauthorized wars, little support ultimately materialized. In addition to Sen. Paul, speaking in favor during the debate were Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Dick Durban (D-IL).

While the failure of the amendment doesn’t preclude future efforts at passing new AUMFs to cover America’s many wars, it makes such debate a less pressing matter. Talk of an AUMF for the ISIS wars, put off since the 2014 mid-term elections on various reasons, can be expected to remain just talk, and no real advance on the effort is likely.

(antiwar.com)

This seems to get a little more popular every time they try to bring it up for a vote……hopefully the Congress will come to its senses eventually.

Rats Desert A Sinking Ship

Obstructionism and division has been part of the American political scheme for decades.  And since the election of Trump and his brand of autocratic rule Congresspeople are deciding to cut and run from government service.

After Democrats handed President Donald Trump his biggest legislative achievement, Republican leaders are worried he doomed his party for the 2018 midterm elections.

Trump, “paved the way for hazardous, rolling deadlines over the next six months,” Burgess Everett, Seung Min Kim and Kyle Cheney report for Politico.

“The debt and spending bill approved by Capitol Hill on Friday averted imminent fiscal disaster, but it’s added more misery for a Republican Party whose agenda has floundered even with unified control of Washington for the first time in a decade,” Politico explained. “It’s also given Democrats significant leverage to imperil tax reform, the GOP’s best hope at a major legislative victory.”

Source: ‘It is not going to be pretty’: GOP panicked over midterms as Trump continues destroying their agenda

Repubs have NO one but themselves to blame for their current state of confusion and sluggishness…..and some are running sacred and have decided to desert this sinking ship we call democracy….

Outraged by the behavior and radical right-wing agenda of Donald Trump and GOP congressional leadership, Democrats are laser-focused on winning back the House in 2018.

And that could spell huge trouble for Speaker Paul Ryan, who could end up struggling to maintain his majority.

There is no question Democrats have a massive advantage in voter enthusiasm over Republicans for the midterm, and a record-shattering edge in candidate recruitment. But many political experts are still skeptical that Democrats can win the House, due in part to how Republicans rigged and gerrymandered congressional districts.

Source: Seventh Republican retirement signals House GOP’s massive Trump problem in 2018 – Shareblue

Could this be the only way the Dems can return to the power of DC?  They have no new ideas and Trump is about as popular as a turd in the punch bowl….that alone is a scary thought….

This country needs help….but this is not the type I am talking about.