In the end, there was not a single Tea-Publican in the Senate to display courage and conviction of principles to vote against this abomination of a GOP tax bill finaced by $1.5 trillion in debt that future generations will pay. They all failed their “Profiles in Courage” moment.
The GOP’s plutocrat campaign donors and corporate masters demanded a tax cut they did not need and these lickspittle servants of the oligarchy kissed their feet and said “yes master, your wish is my command.”
In the wee hours of Wednesday morning when decent people were asleep, the Republican Tax Bill Passed the Senate in a 51-48 Vote:
Republicans took a critical step toward notching their first significant legislative victory since assuming full political control, as the House and Senate voted along party lines on Tuesday and into early Wednesday to pass the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code in decades.
The $1.5 trillion tax bill, which is expected to head to President Trump’s desk in the coming days, will have broad effects on the economy, making deep and lasting cuts to corporate taxes as well as temporarily lowering individual taxes.
The endeavor was not without hiccups, however, as three small provisions in the final tax bill agreed to by the House and Senate were found by the Senate parliamentarian to violate the budget rules that Republicans must follow to pass their bill through a process that shields it from a Democratic filibuster. As a result, the bill changed slightly in the Senate, and the House will now need to vote on it again since both chambers must approve identical legislation. Among the items that were deemed out of order was the title of the bill: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The approval of the bill in the House and Senate came over the strenuous objections of Democrats, who have accused Republicans of giving a gift to corporations and the wealthy and driving up the federal debt in the process.
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California called the tax bill a scam, saying it “is simply theft — monumental, brazen theft from the American middle class and from every person who aspires to reach it.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the House voted 227 to 203 to pass the bill, with 12 Republicans voting against it and no Democrats voting for it. Eleven of the 12 Republicans were from California, New Jersey and New York, states that would be hit hard by a provision in the bill limiting the deduction for state and local taxes to just $10,000. The Senate approved the bill early Wednesday morning.
The Senate voted 51 to 48, with no Republican defections and no Democratic support.
Under the final tax bill, the corporate tax rate would fall to 21 percent, from the current 35 percent, a move that Republicans are betting will increase economic growth, create jobs and raise wages. Individuals would also see tax cuts, including a top rate of 37 percent, down from 39.6 percent. The size of inheritances shielded from estate taxation would double, to $22 million for married couples, and owners of pass-through businesses, whose profits are taxed through the individual code, would be able to deduct 20 percent of their business income.
But the individual tax cuts would expire after 2025, a step that Republicans took to comply with budget rules, which do not allow the package to add to the deficit after a decade.
The tax changes will affect businesses and individuals unevenly, with winners and losers often being determined by industry or geography. An analysis by the Tax Policy Center found that the bill would reduce taxes, on average, by about $1,600 in 2018, increasing after-tax incomes 2.2 percent, with the largest benefit going to the wealthiest households.
The reach of the bill extends beyond taxes. It strikes at a core component of the Affordable Care Act, eliminating the requirement that most people have health coverage or pay a penalty, a move that the Congressional Budget Office projects will increase premiums for people who buy insurance.
Shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday, Mr. Trump acknowledged the Senate’s vote in a tweet: “The United States Senate just passed the biggest in history Tax Cut and Reform Bill. Terrible Individual Mandate (ObamaCare)Repealed.”
UPDATE: Without the Insurance Mandate, Health Care’s Future May Be in Doubt: The demise of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate will lead to higher premiums and lower enrollment in plans sold on the health law’s marketplace. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that repealing the mandate penalties would increase premiums by 10 percent and leave four million more people uninsured in 2019 and 13 million more uninsured by 2027.
Dana Milbank explains, Republicans have their own Obamacare now:
Now, Republicans are making impossibly high promises, and if anything goes wrong — if the economy doesn’t boom, wages don’t soar and the middle class doesn’t rebound — it will be the fault of this legislation, soon to be labeled “the Trump Tax” by Democrats.
The Trump Tax is in worse shape than Obamacare was. USA Today reported last week that the bill had “the lowest level of public support for any major piece of legislation enacted in the past three decades, including the Affordable Care Act in 2009.” In March 2009, the Quinnipiac poll foundopposition to Obamacare exceeded support by nine points; the latest Quinnipiac poll finds opposition to the tax bill exceeding support by 29 points.
Republicans worked hard to convince Americans that Obamacare was a transfer of wealth from the middle class to the poor. Democrats can now argue, truthfully, that the Trump Tax is a transfer of income from the middle class to the wealthy and big business. Under the law, the middle fifth of American households will see an average increase in after-tax income next year of $930, while the top 1 percent get an average increase of $51,140, according to the Tax Policy Center. The rich even get a greater proportional increase in after-tax income: 2.3 percent, compared with 1.4 percent for the middle class.
While the “forgotten man” Trump lured with phony populism gets little benefit, the things that bothered the forgotten man about the tax code — a tangled mess of loopholes for businesses, the rich and Wall Street — remain intact. This will be a “bigger albatross” for Republicans than Obamacare was for Democrats, argues Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson. “They own the tax code. When you are upset about taxes, you’re going to be upset about the Trump Tax.”
Back to the Times:
It also would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas drilling, a defeat for environmentalists who have fought against such action for decades.
The last-minute parliamentary stumble involved three small components of the bill, according to Senate Democrats, including a provision that would have allowed the use of 529 savings accounts for homeschooling expenses and part of the criteria to be used to determine whether colleges and universities are subject to an excise tax imposed on their investment income. The parliamentarian even ruled against the bill’s name, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, since the provision creating the name did not influence spending or revenue, as each provision must under Senate budget rules.
The chief tax writer in the House, Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas and the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, was unruffled.
“Our belief is, ‘So what?’” Mr. Brady said on Fox News. “If we can get to vote twice on cutting taxes for [wealthy] families and small businesses, glad to do it.”
UPDATE: Most of the people who benefit from a tax cut on pass-through income are not small business owners. How the ‘Small-Business Tax Cut’ Would
Also Be a Tax Cut for the Wealthy.
At the Capitol, the mood among Republicans was largely triumphant. But Democrats were already looking ahead with a focus on next year’s midterm elections, when they hope to wrest control of the House and Senate. Polls have shown that the Republican tax overhaul is unpopular with the public, and Democrats hope to turn the biggest Republican legislative achievement into a liability in next year’s races.
Mr. Schumer warned that Republicans would come to regret rushing the tax bill through Congress on their own.
“This tax bill will be an anchor around the ankles of every Republican,” he said.
Protesters also made themselves heard as both chambers voted. As senators cast their final votes on the bill, protesters rose in the gallery of the chamber and began chanting, “Kill the bill, don’t kill us.”
On the floor of the Senate, the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, observed the proceedings, as senators mingled. The Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona laughed as they spoke to each other while protesters implored them to change their minds and vote down the legislation.
Laughing about killing their constituents who were begging them for ther lives. Sear this image in your mind to motivate you to volunteer your time, energy and money to defeat these evil GOP bastards and remember in November when you vote.