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A Brief Summary of the Trump Engineered Political Hellscape of the Last Few Hours

By Dustin Rowles | Horror | April 26, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Horror | April 26, 2017 |

If you’ve had your head down attending to your work for the last few hours and missed the headlines, you should probably put that head back down again and work twice as hard, especially if you’re self-employed and pay for your own health insurance, because you may lose that deduction in the next year and will no longer be able to afford it.

But that’s OK! As long as you’re healthy. You won’t even have to have health insurance anymore, but if you have any immediate plans to get pregnant or develop cancer, you’re fucked. I’m sorry. You just are.

An analysis from the Center for American Progress found that under recent changes to Trumpcare, insurers would charge $17,320 more for premiums for pregnant individuals. People with metastatic cancer would be charged $142,650 more.

— So, what happened today is that the Freedom Caucus has agreed to support Trumpcare with the new MacArthur Amendment. I’ll spare you the boring details, but the gist of it is this: Insurance companies wouldn’t be able to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, but they could charge you a shitton more. So, sure: Blue Cross would cover you, but you’d have to pay $142,000 in premiums if you have cancer, which for most people is the same is denial.

Meanwhile, insurance companies would also still be required to cover essential health benefits, but essential health benefits would be determined by individual states, so if Iowa decides that maternity care is not an essential health benefit, then bringing a child into the world would start at a cost of $17,000 in premiums and that’s before you’ve paid for the first diaper. States could also decide whether prescription drugs, mental illness, hospitalization, or emergency services are covered or not. It’s a game of chance based on where you live! What fun!

Again, if you live in New England or California or Minnesota or maybe Colorado, you’ll be fine. If you live in a red state, my best advice would be to move. Just pack your shit and go. That is, of course, if this new health care bill manages to pass. While Trump has lined up the Freedom Caucus, he may have alienated some more moderate Republicans. Or the moderate Republicans will go along with the rest of the GOP so they’re not blamed for another Obamacare repeal effort. We don’t know yet! And that’s what so fun about the Trump Administration! Recklessness and uncertainty!

— What we do know is that Trump is really pushing this new healthcare plan and an Obamacare repeal because it is necessary to pay for part of his new tax plan. Trump provided the broad strokes, and for rich people, they’re gonna be sitting pretty. The corporate tax rate would drop from 35 to 15 percent, and that would also extend to “small” and “not-so-small” business owners whose income passes through a corporation or a partnership (Hey! That’s me. I think, although I’m not sure if the tax break extends to “tiny businesses.”).

On the individual side, the number of tax brackets would be reduced to three: 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. I’m not sure where the cutoff for each bracket is, but rest assured, if you make enough money to pay a significant amount in taxes, you’ll probably get a sizable tax rate deduction. The standard deduction will also double for individuals, but Trump would remove all of the other deductions other than the home mortgage interest deduction and deduction for charities.

I assume that means the student loan deduction is kaput. Shame, but who can afford college anymore anyway! Not with those health insurance premiums.

— Anyway, if you’re middle class, you might save a few bucks. If you’re rich — like Donald Trump — you’ll save millions and millions and millions. How much will Donald Trump save under the next tax plan? We don’t know, because he still won’t release his taxes, as Mnuchin very rudely reminded us today.

— Also, while rich people would get much richer, the goddamn government would probably fall apart because Trump hasn’t figured out how to pay for the tax cuts except to rely on supply side economics, which we know from history never, ever works (right Bueller? Bueller?). Destroying the government seems like the ultimate goal of Stephen Bannon, anyway, so I hope you guys are enjoying Handmaid’s Tale because we may be living it, soon.

— Oh, but there is more! Under the tax plan, a tax on investment income used to help pay for Obamacare would be repealed, which would help to tank Obamacare even if it isn’t repealed.

— Speaking of that, Trump also told the Democrats that he’s not going to pay for cost sharing payments for low-income people with Obamacare under the new budget, and Pelosi is not going to go along with any such deal, so we may see that government shutdown on Day 100 after all.

… Oh wait. Trump has changed his mind on that within the last hour.

Fun. Reckless, uncertain and fickle! He changes his mind from hour to hour!

— That’s not all! The White House has drafted an executive order to withdraw from NAFTA. It may be for real, or it may be a bluff to get Canada and Mexico to renegotiate their trade deals with America. You just never know with Trump. Is his finger on the button cause he’s gonna push it? Or is he just fucking with us! Tune in after the commercial!!!!

— Trump has also ordered the Interior Department to look into opening up areas previously closed off by President Obama for oil exploration, like the Pacific Ocean off of California. He’s also signed an executive order to “identify national monuments that can be rescinded or resized - part of a broader push to open up more federal lands to drilling, mining and other development.”

— Trump also launched this today, which is supremely fucked up.

In other words, he’s created an office with the sole purpose of stoking fears about immigration.

But maybe the courts will overturn it. Or maybe all of Trump’s legislative plans will stall in Congress. Or maybe he’ll change his mind again after watching Fox News tonight. Who knows?! Isn’t all this fear and unpredictability so much fun! It’s like a horror movie, only it’s our lives at stake!


Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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