Monthly Archives: November 2017

Sen. Bob Corker’s trigger amendment a ‘poison pill’ to GOP tax bill?

Donald Trump is making promises he has no intentions of ever keeping in order to line up enough gullible GOP senators to pass the GOP tax bill.

Yesterday I told you about the mythical moderate from Maine, Sen. Susan Collins. In major policy reversal, Trump now backs bipartisan fixes to ‘Obamacare’ to get Sen. Susan Collins vote on tax bill. She is being played.

Trump apparently also made a promise on Tuesday to his arch nemesis, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, to include a “trigger” provision in the bill that would automatically raise taxes if (read when) the “trickle down” effect does not produce the promised tax revenue in the future (it never has, never will).

If such a trigger provision is actually included in the Senate GOP tax bill to appease Sen. Corker, it should cause conservatives to flee from this bill. There is no chance such a provision would ever be approved in the House by the radical House GOP Freedom Caucus.

The Washington Post reports, Tension over adding ‘triggers’ to the tax bill highlights the Republican identity crisis over deficits:

THE BIG IDEA: Outside groups on the right are furiously mobilizing against an agreement that Republican leaders made with Bob Corker yesterday to get the tax bill through the Senate Budget Committee.

The Tennessee Republican negotiated a budget deal in September that the tax cuts cannot increase the national debt by more than $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. Now he’s concerned about various gimmicks and overly rosy assumptions in the bill that would almost certainly mean the true impact on the debt is far greater than that. So the retiring senator has been pushing in recent days to include a “trigger” that would automatically increase taxes down the road if the bill fails to generate the level of economic growth that Republicans leaders keep publicly predicting.

It’s not clear what exactly GOP leaders promised Corker, who declined to share specifics with reporters. He said the amendment will be included in an updated version of the bill that is likely to be released publicly on Thursday.

But the constellation of groups funded by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers – including Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners – came out strongly against any trigger last night. They were joined by Grover Norquist from Americans for Tax Reform, the Wall Street Journal editorial board and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

These right-wing organizations will be scoring this tax bill, so if the bill includes Sen. Corker’s trigger provision for automatic tax increases, presumably these organizations are put in the position of either having to come out against the tax bill, or taking the cynical position to vote yes because the trigger provision will be stripped out in conference committee, in which case they will lose Sen. Corker on the vote for final passage. If Corker’s trigger amendment fails to be included in the Senate GOP tax bill this week, presumably he is a no vote.

This trigger provision sounds like a “poison pill” amendment to me.

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Inside the Pity-Our-Farmers Tax ‘Reform’ Scam

No farm families, repeat no farm families, are losing their family farms to the federal estate tax.

The politicians currently scheming to repeal the federal estate tax — America’s only tax levy on grand concentrations of private wealth — don’t have any good arguments to make. They have only bogus sob stories. The most bogus of them all: the claim that the estate tax is forcing hard-working farm families to sell their beloved farms.

The repeal crowd has been circulating this canard for years – and frightened many farm families in the process. But let’s get real. This family farm story holds absolutely no water whatsoever.

Let’s start with the basic number of farms valuable enough to subject their owners to estate tax. This figure is currently running about 30 each year. For the entire country. That’s less, on average, than one farmer per state.

The battle lines are drawn: a government shutdown over DACA appears likely

Back in September before the last threatened government shutdown, Donald Trump surprisingly worked out a deal with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to keep the government open and raised expectations that a deal could be struck on DACA and the DREAMers. I warned you at the time, A DACA deal with ‘Amnesty Don’? Don’t believe it until it actually happens.

The Trump administration had rescinded DACA in early September, giving Congress a March 5 deadline to pass a bill allowing its nearly 690,000 beneficiaries to stay and work in the United States.

It was not long afterwards that Trump reneged on his deal for DACA and the DREAMers. Deal making with the devil on DACA. I warned you.

The next deadline for a government shutdown is Friday, December 8. Democrats have vowed to withhold votes from the spending bill should it not address DACA and the DREAMers. Government shutdown looms in December over DACA.

A government shutdown now appears more likely after the antics of our Twitter-troll-in-chief today. “President Trump on Tuesday cast doubt on Washington’s ability to avoid a government shutdown, writing on Twitter that he didn’t believe a deal could be reached with Democrats.” Trump: ‘I don’t see a deal’ to avoid government shutdown:

The tweet came hours before Trump was to meet at the White House with GOP congressional leaders as well as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

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Ah, now there’s the “@realDonaldTrump” we all know and despise, the xenophobic, anti-immigrant white nationalist racist who takes his cues from his alt-right white nationalist advisers, Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, who are willing to take the DREAMers hostage in order to extort funding from Congress for Trump’s “big beautiful wall” along the Mexican border that even the GOP leadership in Congress does not want and has not provided funding.

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In major policy reversal, Trump now backs bipartisan fixes to ‘Obamacare’ to get Sen. Susan Collin’s vote on GOP tax bill

Dear Senator Susan Collins: Please don’t play the fool. Your wholly insufficient “Obamacare” reinsurance fund bill would need to be enacted by Congress before you vote “yes” on this terrible GOP tax bill.

If you vote for this terrible tax bill first, Donald Trump will renege on his agreement to support your “Obamacare” reinsurance fund bill, as he has done so often. Trump is only agreeing now to get your vote on the terrible GOP tax bill. If you give him what he wants first, he will simply use you and cast your bill aside. I really shouldn’t have to explain the obvious to you.

The Hill reports a major policy reversal by Donald Trump, who remains hellbent on destroying “Obamacare.”  Trump backs bipartisan fixes to ObamaCare markets:

President Trump told Republican senators Tuesday he supports two bipartisan efforts to stabilize ObamaCare’s insurance markets.

Trump, during a luncheon on Capitol Hill, said he supports a bill proposed by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), that would continue key ObamaCare insurer payments.

He also said he supports a bill proposed by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) that would set up a reinsurance fund to help insurers cover higher-cost individuals.

“He said he supports Alexander-Murray. He said, more importantly, he supports Collins-Nelson … which has widespread bipartisan support,” Alexander told reporters after the lunch.

Collins, who has opposed the GOP Senate tax bill’s repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate, has met with the president in recent days about her concerns.

Asked if she were feeling more optimistic about the tax-reform bill, she said: “That is a fair assessment because I believe a lot of my concerns, it appears are going to be addressed.”

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The manufactured ‘crisis’ over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The latest attempt by Donald Trump to fill the D.C. swamp with his loyal cronies to destroy federal agencies he does not like is this manufactured “crisis” over who will head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

This fake “populist” is actually a big supporter of the banksters of Wall Street, the The Predator Class whose unbridled avarice and greed led to The Mortgage Fraud Scandal, The Biggest In Human History, that nearly destroyed the U.S. economy and the world’s financial system.

Donald Trump, a grifter and con man himself, believes the banksters of Wall Street were the real victims in this financial scandal, and that they should be freed from the minimalist banking regulations enacted in the Dodd-Frank Act to allow them to once again prey on consumers victims again, something you would expect a grifter and con man to say. Casting Wall Street as Victim, Trump Leads Deregulatory Charge.

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The Twitter-troll-in-chief”s tweet is, of course, total bullshit, as Philip Bump of The Post explains. Trump once again rises to Wall Street’s defense:

This isn’t true: Banks have repeatedly set new quarterly records on incomes over the past several years, including in the second quarter of 2017. If that’s devastation, sign me up.

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Bloomberg News’s editorial board, in an editorial praising the watchdog agency, described some of its successes: “It created the first federal rules to make payday lending less predatory. It gave the public reams of valuable information, such as a database that allows consumers to compare credit-card agreements. Its practice of publishing complaints pushed financial institutions to be more responsive. Its investigation of Wells Fargo brought national attention to the fake-accounts issue.”

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Senate tax plan would penalize Mormon families

President Trump has called his fellow Republican and our U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake a “non-factor” in the Senate.

But Flake and his colleague Sen. John McCain have the chance to be big factors in the defeat of the recently released Senate tax plan.

That plan would hurt many working families, but some of the worst treated would be Mormons. Why? Believe it or not, because they tend to have larger families and give more to charity.

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