Category Archives: Taxes

The art of the tantrum: Trump gives do or die ultimatum to House Tea-Publicans for ‘Obamacare’ repeal

Donald Trump has a long history of fabricating his own myths about his ability of negotiating deals.

This political novice has no experience and no skills in legislating, and more importantly, no capital with those whom he is negotiating — he attacks Tea-publicans in Congress as easily as Democrats. He attacks anyone who does not immediately satisfy his petulant demands or dares to disagree with him.

What we have is a 70 year old man with a three year old’s child-like mentality, a man who throws tantrums to get his way, whether it is an early morning Twitter rage, or his latest tantrum: “Let me win or I will take my ball and go home!Trump delivers ultimatum to House Republicans: Pass health-care measure on Friday or he’ll move on:

President Trump delivered an ultimatum to House Republicans on Thursday night: Vote to approve the measure to overhaul the nation’s health-care system on the House floor Friday, or reject it and the president will move on to his other legislative priorities.

The president, through his aides in a closed-door meeting, signaled that the time for negotiations was over with rank-and-file Republicans who were meeting late at night on Capitol Hill to try to find common ground on the embattled package crafted by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).

The move was a high-risk gamble for the president and the speaker, who have invested significant political capital in passing legislation that would replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act. For Trump, who campaigned as a skilled negotiator capable of forging a good deal on behalf of Americans, it could either vindicate or undercut one of his signature claims.

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‘Trumpcare’ chaos: GOP doesn’t have the votes to repeal ‘Obamacare,’ no vote today

Tea-Publicans will not meet their artificial deadline of voting to repeal “Obamacare” on the anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law. Ahhh, poor babies.

The Hill reports, GOP lawmakers leave Trump White House with no deal:

GOP lawmakers leaving the White House after a meeting with President Trump said they have not reached a deal that would allow them to support an ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill set for a vote Thursday.

Republicans appear short of the 215 votes they’d need to win the tally. The Hill’s Whip List: 32 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan.

The members streaming out of the White House just after 1 p.m. characterized the meeting positively but showed no signs of a shift toward more favorable ground for the White House.

“Nothing new was agreed upon,” said Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)

He added the group will “go back and consider our options.”

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told reporters on Capitol Hill that “there are not enough votes” to pass the bill.

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D-Day for ‘Obamacare’ repeal aka Trumpcare bill in the House

It is decision day (D-Day) in the House.

The radical far-right GOP House Freedom Caucus is making eleventh-hour demands for more draconian measures to the GOP’s “Obamacare” repeal bill aka “Trumpcare 2.0” (soon to be 3.0?) ahead of the vote scheduled for today, only because it is the anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law. The post-policy nihilists of the GOP only do propaganda, not policy.

The New York Times reports, Key to Health Vote, Hard-Line Conservatives Push New Cuts:

Hard-line conservatives in the House will meet Thursday morning with President Trump to hammer out changes to the House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, pressing to eliminate federal requirements that health insurance plans provide a basic set of benefits like maternity care, emergency services and wellness visits.

What the Freedom Caucus wants in the GOP health-care bill, and why it’s not getting it:

The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 dictates that not just anything can be passed by the “reconciliation” process; matters that are “extraneous” to the budgetary nature of the bill are excluded.

House leaders, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), are insisting that any provisions rolling back the ACA’s essential health benefits are indeed extraneous. And not only are they extraneous, Ryan argued Wednesday, but if the House adds them to the bill, the Senate couldn’t just strip them out — it could no longer consider it as a privileged reconciliation bill needing only a simple, Republican majority to pass.

Translation: the Senate cloture rule requiring 60 votes to end debate and advance to a vote on the bill will apply, and Democrats could comfortably filibuster this bill in the Senate.

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Rep. Martha McSally will vote to take health care away from thousands of her constituents

As I pointed out earlier this year to the folks at “McSally Take A Stand,” It turns out that Martha McSally does stand for somethin’: Trumpism.

The Five Thirty Eight Vote Tracker still shows our “mythical moderate” Congresswoman (a myth created by our local media) voting 100% with the destructive positions of “The Donald.”

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McSally has now declared her support for the “Trumpcare 2.0” bill to be voted on Thursday, which will take health care insurance away from thousands of her constituents. Hopefully they vote and will return the favor in November 2018.

The Arizona Republic reports, Martha McSally signals support for ‘Obamacare’ repeal bill; Trent Franks doesn’t:

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally signaled support for the revised Republican health care bill Monday, but the plan’s passage remained uncertain as it headed toward a key vote Thursday in the House or Representatives.

In a statement Monday night, McSally, a two-term Arizona Republican, said the bill backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan “is not perfect and I still have concerns,” but she indicated she was working to strengthen that plan.

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‘Trumpcare’ bill was DOA in Congress, so a desperate attempt at ‘Trumpcare 2.0’

Tea-Publicans in Congress want to hold a vote on their “Obamacare” repeal bill aka “Trumpcare” on Thursday for one reason, and one reason only: it is the seventh anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. The post-policy nihilism of the GOP is all about empty symbolism and marketing to the conservative media entertainment complex for them.

Just one problem: Tea-Publicans do not have the votes to pass their own bill among their own members in Congress. The radical House Freedom Caucus demands nothing less than a straight-up repeal of the entirety of the ACA (something these lunatics apparently do not realize cannot be done under the budget reconciliation process, which this bill is proceeding under). Concessions to these far-right radicals will lose the mythical moderate Republicans who have the ACA’s expanded Medicaid in their states and who are afraid of voters turning on them for taking away their health care (looking at you Rep. Martha McSally).

The so-called American Health Care Act aka “Trumpcare” bill drafted by the GOP’s alleged boy genius, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the sate of Wisconsin” and Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan, is dead on arrival (DOA) in Congress. He does not have the votes and he desperately wants to avoid a defeat on Thursday which would demonstrate just how weak a Speaker of the House he is.

So boy genius last night rolled out “Trumpcare 2.0” to try to sway enough GOP members of Congress to go along in the House to avoid an embarrassing defeat. (This new version is no more likely to pass the Senate than the original bill). It is all about saving face, the one thing that really matters to boy genius.

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AZ House: Left & Right Converge on Funding Issues (Sometimes) (video)

HB2492

A bipartisan vote stopped HB2492, a corporate welfare bill for Arizona’s largest, most successful employers.

Everyone keeps telling me “things are different this year” in the Arizona House of Representatives.

From my perspective, there are many possible reasons why things are different, but the three most obvious are: 1) Speaker of the House J.D. Mesnard has chosen to run the House efficiently and fairly; 2) 23 House members (including 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans) were elected for the first time in 2016; and 3) the Democratic Caucus is highly diverse, with half of the members being women, more than half Latino, and several Progressive.

The result has been some interesting votes on funding issues. On several spending votes, fiscally conservatives (who don’t like to spend money) and fiscally conservative Progressives (who don’t want to spend money on non-essentials until the schools are made whole) are voting together for different reasons. (This phenomenon is being reported at the Congressional level also— with both far-right Republicans and Progressive Democrats voicing extreme dislike for TrumpCare.)

As the Arizona House moves from hearing bills in committee and voting on the floor to debating and voting on the budget, it will be interesting to watch the Conservative/Progressive budget hawks.  A hint of things to come can be found in a recent article from the Capitol Times: Ducey determined to pass university bond plan lawmakers dislike.

As outlined in his address to the Arizona Legislature on Inauguration Day, Governor Doug Ducey wants to increase funding for building construction and repairs at the three universities by giving them back the tax they paid on the purchases they made. (The proposal is to refund their Transaction Privilege Tax or TPT– essentially sales tax.)

The universities would split the roughly $30 million per year proportionally and use those funds to pay interest on roughly $1 billion in bonds.

There are multiple reasons I don’t like this idea…

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