The political talk this morning has revolved primarily around the Republican tax plan, the contours of which have been released. Here’s the outline:
Here’s the good news: Low income taxpayers will get a tax break. They’ll pay about $165 less per year in taxes. If you’re Donald Trump, on the other hand, you’ll pay about $7 million less a year (based on his 2005 tax return). So everybody wins, right? It’s just that rich people win a whole lot more.
And how will the Republicans pay for it? Increased economic growth will supposedly increase the tax base, i.e., it will pay for itself, which is what the GOP says every time they lower taxes, and it never, ever works out that way. In reality, that $165 tax break the poor will receive will likely come at the expense of social service benefits, which amount to far more than $165 a year.
News headlines have not been favorable, which is the danger of having a wealthy President offering tax reform that he will benefit from, and I don’t think the GOP will be able to successfully hide the ball from the white, working class on that. Rich people and corporations get the lion’s share of the benefits, which is what Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan want. Guess who is even more unpopular than Donald Trump?
Mitch McConnell Job Approval among 2016 Trump Voters (via @YouGovUS)— Will Jordan (@williamjordann) September 28, 2017
If tax reform fails — and given the ineffectiveness of Congress, and the inability of the President to agree with members of his own party (he’s already skeptical of his own tax plan)— the GOP Congress would enter an election year with zero major accomplishments. With Bannon outflanking establishment candidates with fringe candidates, and with popular sentiment moving against Donald Trump, the midterms could be a blood bath for Republicans, except in GOP strongholds like Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi, where the party is likely to move even further to the right. By 2020, the political composition of Congress may be unrecognizable.
Of course, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and the rest of the establishment brought this upon themselves, and a clearly terrified and craven Paul Ryan continues to play along in the hopes of saving his ass.
What I’m saying is, don’t go spending your 165 one dollar bills, folks, because this is going to get ugly, and when it does, Trump is going to pin it on McConnell, and tax reform is going to blow up.
— In Trump vs. the NFL news, Trump keeps beating the drum, and this statement has some troubling echoes: “I think they’re afraid of their players, if you want to know the truth, and I think it’s disgraceful. They’ve got to be tough, and they’ve got to be smart.”
So, basically what he’s saying is, “White owners are afraid of black players, and the white owners need to keep the black players in line.”
— This week, Trump suggested that the health care repeal didn’t pass because there’s a Senator in the hospital. This was a lie. There is no Senator in the hospital. The media has been saying as much for the last 24 hours. Repeatedly. Nevertheless, Trump persists.
Trump (at 1:20) repeats the claim that a Republican senator is in the hospital. There's no senator in the hospital. pic.twitter.com/uKIIdlXDPw— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 28, 2017
GOP has the votes on healthcare, but one of the senators can’t make it because he’s visiting his girlfriend in Canada who you wouldn’t know.— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) September 28, 2017
— Trump has finally lifted restrictions on shipping to Puerto Rico, something he should have done a week ago.
The scene in Puerto Rico, meanwhile, is heartbreaking. This offers a fairly good overview.
Congressional leaders, however, won’t be able to witness that devastation firsthand.
WaPo: The White House is restricting lawmakers from visiting Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, aides say. https://t.co/bPBUXEGrbN— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 28, 2017
— Finally, this is an insanely nonsensical answer:
President Trump on why Sudan was removed from the travel ban pic.twitter.com/ipEAS2F5XP— Yeganeh Torbati (@yjtorbati) September 27, 2017
This is why asking Trump specific policy questions is so important — so people can see he has no clue what he's doing or why he's doing it. https://t.co/BzONaM9Mgv— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) September 27, 2017
If only Trump voters gave a damn about the fact that Trump has no clue. But you know what? They just don’t care and even if they did, they’ll never see Trump’s answer to that question because it will never air on Fox News.
A good 45 percent of you, I reckon, will understand today’s header image.