Wednesday, November 22, 2017

How Bad You Think It's Going To Hurt Republicans Who Voted To Raise Taxes On Their Constituents?


I often mention how hard it is for the House Democrats to effectively message a progressive agenda because so manyDemocrats in Congress do not adhere to progressive policies. And when the GOP passes most of their toxic agenda, Ryan and McCarthy have rounded up a few putative Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- basically Blue Dogs and New Dems and their fellow travelers-- Raul Ruiz (Palm Springs), Al Lawson (Tallahassee), Tom Suozzi (Long Island), Jack Rosen (Vegas suburbs), Tim Walz (Rochester, MN), Julia Brownley (Ventura Co.) and Donald Norcross (Camden)-- the House Democrats find it difficult to attack them effectively because it would be condemning so many of their own members.

Now the Republicans are experiencing something similar. Remember how 13 House Republicans decided to stand up for their constituents last week and voted against the Ryan Tax Scam? Ryan's bill drastically raises annual taxes on middle class voters, particularly in California, New York and New Jersey, causing usual rubber stamp Republicans like Darrell Issa (CA), Dana Rohrabacher (CA), Tom McClintock (CA), Elise Stefanik (NY), Peter King (NY), Lee Zelden (NY), John Faso (NY), Dan Donovan (NY), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Chris Smith (NJ), Leonard Lance (NJ) and even Appropriations Committee chair Rodney Freylinghuysen (NJ) to vote NO.

The Democrats are going after Republicans in California, New York and New Jersey who voted YES, since constituents of Members like, for example, Mimi Walters (Orange County), Ed Royce (Orange County), David Valadao (Central Valley), Jeff Denham (Modesto), Devin Nunes (Fresno), Tom MacArthur (Toms River), Claudia Tenney (Binghampton), Tom Reed (Jamestown) and John Katko (Syracuse) will be paying thousands of dollars more in taxes per year, in some cases over $20,000 more annually.

But the Mafia candidate backed by Bannon in the Staten Island primary, Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm, is seeing a different kind of opportunity from the vote. Though Grimm hisemlf, during his brief time in Congress before being tried and imprisoned, had an extremely moderate voting record and would have certainly not have voted for the bill, has reinvented himself as a Bannonite. Tuesday he penned an "exclusive" OpEd for neo-Nazi website Breitbart to denounce mainstream conservative Republican Dan Donovan for opposing the bill on behalf of Staten Island and Brooklyn homeowners. "13 GOP House members," he wrote, "voted against the President. Some of these Republicans have the elite distinction of voting against every major legislative initiative the President has brought to Congress. That willful disregard is as unfortunate for the voters as it is short-sighted for these career politicians." Clearly guided by Bannon, Grimm continued attacking his erst-while colleagues and, of course, the man he's running against:
Anyone in politics knows these Members will have zero influence on policy matters going forward. Not only will the President’s team move on to govern without them, they will do so gladly while awaiting their more effective replacements. Some are already facing tough primary challenges.

Take, for example, the case of my opponent, Rep. Dan Donovan. As the sole Republican from New York City-- representing a remarkably pro-Trump district-- Donovan might be expected to use his position to fight back against the radical leftist agenda of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the tax-and-spend policies of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Instead, Donovan’s voting record is liberal enough to make a conservative voter’s blood boil.

In fact, these Republicans working to stymie the President have emboldened the country’s most liberal mayors and governors to effectively lead the national debate and dictate federal policy, leaving these Members unable to provide any relief to the hard-working families they represent. If we are unable to pass common-sense reforms because they upset the “bluest” states in the country, then why bother trying to win the White House at all?

Using the excuse, over and over again, that “I voted against the President because it would take money away from my state” is not governing, and serves nobody but the Democrats that seek to derail the President’s agenda.

Congress has had input on three areas of policy essential to President Trump’s agenda – immigration, healthcare, and tax reform. On all three, liberal Republican politicians like Donovan are using the aforementioned excuse to explain away votes that undercut every pledge they’ve made on the stump.

Let’s think this through: these Members voted against repealing Obamacare because doing so would have undone the program’s Medicaid subsidies to hospitals. Yet, they all ran on repealing it knowing this full well. Were they lying when they were campaigning? Or were they utterly ignorant of how healthcare works? It must be one or the other, or, more likely, a combination of both.

This is a perfect example of why Congress is so unpopular with Americans: saying one thing when asking for votes and doing another once elected.

Banning sanctuary cities should be an easy call for any reasonable person. Still, seven Republicans voted against it, including Dan Donovan. This was yet another pillar of Trump’s campaign: immigration reform, starting with border security and ending the illegal practices of sanctuary cities. But, once again, pandering to leftist local officials ruled the day over an extremely popular conservative initiative.

If a Republican Member of Congress will not use the federal purse strings to enforce the law and reclaim our sovereignty, what exactly are they good for?

The broader problem for voters is the very real and tangible fact that, after voting against every major legislative initiative the President has put before Congress, their representatives have lost their seats at the negotiating table. They have become irrelevant and even persona non grata at the White House and thus cannot be effective in representing their districts.

The tax relief bill passed without them, the sanctuary city bill passed without them, and soon ObamaCare will be repealed and replaced without them.

If we know anything about President Trump, beyond his vision for the country and his determination to get things done, it’s that he demands loyalty and results. He will not reward these Quisling obstructionists when the largest infrastructure project in modern history begins. And that is a very sad reality for hardworking people in places like New York’s Staten Island and Brooklyn, who need transportation infrastructure more than any other place in the nation.
This is what John Faso, who represents a swing district in the Hudson Valley and Catskills, told his constituents about why he voted NO: "The complete removal of the deduction for state income taxes and the limitation on deductions for local property taxes will impact New York families more severely than taxpayers in other states. While the full SALT income tax deduction for individuals is repealed, full deductibility will remain in effect for corporations and other business entities, thereby protecting taxpayers in states like Texas which rely more heavily on corporate taxes. Since New York taxpayers already send over $40 billion more in tax dollars to Washington than we receive back in federal benefits and services, we are not being subsidized by any state. Frankly, I resent the accusation that New Yorkers are being subsidized by the rest of the nation, when in fact the opposite is true... [T]he statewide impact of the proposal will dramatically and negatively impact state revenues as wealthier taxpayers and their businesses flee New York State to lower taxed jurisdictions. These revenue reductions will ultimately hurt our district as the state’s tax base is further eroded."

And this is from an interview Donovan did yesterday with City and State New York:
C&S: How would the tax plan, as passed in the House, affect your constituents?

DD: To many of my constituents, it's going to end up in a tax increase. The tax plan as it stands now, about 46 states will receive a benefit over 10 years of about $100 billion in less taxes they’ll be paying. Four states will end up paying close to $17 billion more in taxes, and New York happens to be one of those four states, the others being California, Maryland and New Jersey. The elimination of the state and local tax deduction, the deduction in the amount of money that people are going to be able to deduct on their mortgage interests, the cap of $10,000 in which people can deduct their property taxes, and the elimination of the personal exemption-- a family of four, that’s $16,200 that they can deduct right now-- even if they take the standard deduction, that's going to be eliminated. So, the tax cuts for the rest of America seem to be being paid for by those four states.

C&S: Do you think that the repeal of the state and local tax deduction will be included in the final version of the bill?

DD: I’m not sure. My hope is that it’s restored. The income tax is completely gone, the deduction. And the property tax is capped at a $10,000 deduction. The Senate bill doesn't even have the property tax in it. It has no relief for people paying state and local taxes, so it’s completely gone in the Senate version. In that respect, the Senate bill is even worse than the House bill. But I believe that there are members of Congress, at least in the House, who voted yes on the tax plan (who) were told that when the two bills go into conference-- obviously these two bills don’t mirror one another. So the Senate passes their bill next week, you have two bills that don’t mirror each other, they have to go to conference to work out their differences. I think that there are people who are hopeful that the SALT deduction and some of their other concerns will be addressed in that conference, and we’ll have to wait and see if that’s actually going to happen or not

C&S: Have you spoken with any of the representatives from New York who voted for the bill, to see...

DD: Everybody-- this issue is so parochial-- everybody has to vote in the manner in which they think is best for their constituents. Four folks from New York who voted for it, and there’s one Republican member from New Jersey who voted for it-- the other four Republicans from New Jersey voted no as well for similar reasons that I voted no-- you’d have to ask them their reasoning for voting for it. I would suspect-- I don’t know for sure-- that they could believe this helps their constituents. But until the vote actually happened, we weren’t sure how some members were going to vote. I think it was very clear that two of our members from the Republican delegation were going to be yeses, and myself, Pete King, and Lee Zeldin were very vocal about our opposition to the elimination of the state and local tax deduction and some other things. And then Elise Stefanik from upstate and John Faso from upstate also voted no. I suspect they’re very concerned about the elimination as well.

C&S: Do you think that the tax plan, if passed with the SALT deduction repeal, will be a factor in the 2018 election in New York?

DD: It’s hard to say. The election is a long way off. But I think constituents are able to determine-- and voters are very smart-- determine that the person that they elected stands up for them. The person that they sent down to be their voice expressed their concerns, and their interests, and had their best interest when they voted. So I think that the voters will do an analysis of how well they were represented by the person they sent down there and vote accordingly. Whether or not there’s certain people who voted yes, and it was bad for their constituents, or people who voted no and their constituents think this is a good bill-- I think those are people who will probably be more concerned. And someone like myself, who believes that I was representing the people that sent me there to represent them, and I was their voice opposing this, because it is the deduction that is the No. 1 most common deduction used by New Yorkers. It’s something that’s been in the tax code since 1913. And the ’86 reform, when Ronald Reagan reformed the tax code, the state and local tax deduction was kept in there. That’s how important this is. The result of eliminating this deduction ends up being a double taxation on people. People in New York will be taxed on money they don’t have because they paid that money in taxes for their state and local municipalities. So there’s federalism here involved, and I suspect that’s why it was first put into the tax code, that our government won’t take what is rightfully the state’s. Taxing people on money that they’ve already paid taxes on is double taxation. It's wrong.
And our art director's take on this... well, you probably already noticed it on top. He's been working on it since the vote!

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At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do the rubes ever stop falling for the carnival barker's patter?

At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To augment, you're talking about bipeds with the IQ of a potted ficus (dumber than a wild ficus which at least has to live without help). The question is how many of them will even notice they're paying more after being told by their demigods for a year or more that they are paying less.

The number who notice will be very close to zero and they can be accounted for by those who pretend to count votes.

At 4:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republican voters can't think past the first election after any major action. There will be no harm to Republican candidates in their elections, especially once they again play the social issue cards in their hands.


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