Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Remember when Trump Hated The “Carried Interest” Loophole? That Was Before He Started Making Deals With Paul Ryan


On Monday, Tony Fabrizio, the pollster for the Trump campaign, said he believes Bernie would have won against Trump. "I think Sanders would have had the ability to reach a lot of the less than college-educated, low-income white voters." The new survey PPP released yesterday found "a record level of support for impeaching Donald Trump"-- 49% in favor, 41% opposed. "Trump’s approval rating has declined by a net 7 points in the last month. In September we found him at a -11 spread with 42% of voters approving of him to 53% who disapproved. Now he’s at -18 with 38% of voters approving of him to 56% who disapprove."

We continue to find Democrats with a double digit lead on the generic Congressional ballot, 50-40. The unpopularity of things like the Republican tax plan are helping to drive that advantage- by a 15 point margin voters say they’re less likely to vote for a member of Congress next year who supported the plan.

Congress as a whole stands at a 9/77 approval rating with Mitch McConnell at 11/68 and Paul Ryan at 22/60 not faring a whole lot better individually. They’ve both managed to be unpopular with Trump voters (13/65 for McConnell and 34/44 for Ryan) and Clinton voters (6/76 for McConnell and 9/78 for Ryan) alike.

As you can see in the video above, Eric Swalwell (D-CA), told Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC audience that it's Ryan who's behind all the obstruction of Putin-Gate in the House. Ryan will keep protecting Trump for one reason: he wants his signature of a huge tax cut for the wealthy. David Leonhardt's NY Times OpEd, Trump Wants To Raise Your Taxes exposes Ryan's "formula for passing a big tax cut for the rich... Package it with a modest tax cut for the middle class-- and talk endlessly about the middle-class part." It's as old as the hills and it's what Trump, Pence, McConnell, Ryan and the rest of the Republican deceivers are doing. The plan "would deliver an average tax cut of $700,000 to the nation’s 175,000 richest families. That’s enough for each to buy a new 50-foot yacht, annually. Meanwhile, Trump and other Republican leaders keep repeating 'middle class,' 'middle class,' 'middle class.' Yet there is also a major difference between the current plan and George W. Bush’s tax cut or Ronald Reagan’s. Trump’s plan would not actually cut taxes for many middle-class families. It would raise them...About 17 percent of households earning between $50,000 and $150,000 would see their taxes rise immediately, according to the only rigorous analysis so far, by the Tax Policy Center. Among households earning between $150,000 and $250,000, the share is about 35 percent... Ultimately, the plan would be likely to hurt the finances of the vast majority of Americans. No wonder it is starting to look politically vulnerable. Last week, a precursor bill barely passed the House, receiving 20 no votes from Republicans, many worried about the tax increases... [The very wealthy] get lower rates and get to keep cherished tax breaks, like the 'carried interest' loophole. Herbert Hoover’s Republican Party wanted to put a chicken in every pot. Donald Trump’s wants to put a yacht at every private dock.

Having lavished so much money on the wealthy, the tax package-- or at least the vague framework that the administration has released-- doesn’t have much remaining to spend on middle class and poor families. For them, the package is a mix of pluses and minuses. Many face a lower tax rate, but some face a higher one, and many families lose deductions.

The combination creates a lot of losers. Reduced deductions for children, for example, hurt large families, notes N.Y.U.’s Lily Batchelder. And the deduction for state and local taxes-- also a target for cuts-- now benefits 30 percent of households nationwide. It was the main reason for last week’s House defections, and the tensions over it haven’t been resolved.

Then there are the long-term problems I mentioned earlier. First, Trump’s plan takes a skimpy approach to inflation adjustments, which will push many families into higher tax brackets over time. Second, the plan would radically increase the federal deficit, and when it comes to the deficit, what goes up must eventually come down. At some point, the government will need to pay its bills, through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts.

Virtually any future deficit-reduction plan-- except for a repeal of the Trump tax plan-- would hurt most families more than his plan helps them. This chain of events has happened before. The Reagan and George W. Bush tax cuts may have at first seemed to help the middle class and poor. But the deficits led to later cuts in education, medical research, transportation and anti-poverty programs that almost surely erased the benefits of a modest tax cut. Already, today’s congressional leaders are talking about sizable cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Trump and his allies are feverishly trying to claim their plan really would benefit the middle class. Their latest talking point is the notion that corporate tax cuts will create an indirect windfall for workers. Funny, though, how the wealthy get most of the direct benefits, while everyone else has to hope for indirect ones somehow to materialize.

The main lesson of this year’s health care battle was the political power of facts. They don’t always win the day, but it’s better to have them as an ally than an enemy. Right now, facts are the biggest problem for Trump’s tax plan.

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