Friday, November 17, 2017

Republicans Choking On Ryan's Tax Scam?


Ryan got his Republican tax scam through the House yesterday 227-205. No one doubted it would pass the House. Only 13 Republicans dared to stand up for their constituents instead of the multimillionaires and billionaires who will benefit from this travesty. Most were from New York, New Jersey and California. All the Republicans in New Jersey voted "NO" except the richest and most crooked of the lot: Tom MacArthur. In New York most of the Republicans stood with their constituents instead of Trump, including Elise Stefanik, Dan Donovan, Peter King, Lee Zeldin and John Faso. Katko stuck it to his constituents badly--afer announcing he's retiring. The ones who need to be defeated by their constituents in 2018 are Tom Reed, Claudia Tenney and Chris Collins, all crackpot wing-nuts. And then California-- only 3 of the House's 14 Republicans stood with their constituents: Issa, Rohrabacher and McClintock. So, the signatories to the California GOP Suicide Pact:
Goal Thermometer Ed Royce (CA-39)
Mimi Walters (CA-45)
Steve Knight (CA-25)
Jeff Denham (CA-10)
David Valadao (CA-21)
Devin Nunes (CA-22)
Kevin McCarthy (CA-23)
Duncan Hunter (CA-50)
Kevin Calvert (CA-42)
Paul Cook (CA-08)
Doug LaMalfa (CA-02)
Ted Lieu is the only good regional vice chair the DCCC has. He's not just "good;" he's great. notice when the DCCC endorsed 11conservative shit-heads in primaries this week, not one was in California. That wasn't by coincidence. Yesterday after Ryan's tax scam vote, Ted told me that "Many California Republicans just voted to increase taxes on their own constituents, explode the federal deficit, increase the federal debt, hurt people with student loans, whack folks with medical bills, and potentially crash the housing market in California. Oh, they also voted to name a post office today. One of these two votes will cause many of them not to get re-elected. Can you guess which one?"

Sam Jammal can. Sam's the top candidate in CA-39 (mostly northeast Orange County, represented by Ed Royce since 1992) how he reads what happened. "Ed voted to retire today," he stated flatly. "It will either be by force or choice, but one thing is clear-- Ed is done. By voting against homeowners, students, seniors and working families to help his donors and out of district millionaires, Ed told our community he no longer wants to work for us."

Ricardo Franco is the progressive running for the seat Putin/Trump lover Devin Nunes holds. It's a pretty red seat but Nunes' vote to raise his own constituents taxes will make it easier to beat him next year. "Constituents here have repeatedly told Nunes and the GOP that we don't want our SALT deductions taken away, we don't want our ACA benefits taken away and we don't want our taxes to go up to line the pockets of the wealthy," Ricardo told us after the vote. "Regardless, they continue to stick it to us behind our backs. This Central Valley is the land that gave birth to the Civil Rights and Labor Rights movement in California a generation ago and it will be the land that gives us the Working Class Rights movement of today."

There are two great progressives running for the Mimi Walters seat in inland Orange County (where she doesn't live), Kia Hamadanchy and Katie Porter. Kia: "In voting for this outrageous tax increase, Mimi Walters showed her true colors again. She is more interested in making her billionaire donors, Donald Trump and Paul Ryan happy than serving the people of our district. Over and over, Mimi votes against the interested of her constituents and it’s going to put her out of a job come November 2018." And Katie: "The tax reform bill Mimi Walters voted YES on delivers a huge blow to California taxpayers. It raises taxes on California families by cutting deductions for working families, adding trillions of dollars to the national debt, and giving giant tax breaks to corporations. Orange County families were already struggling to make ends meet before Donald Trump and Paul Ryan rammed this bill through Congress. But Mimi Walters isn’t interested in fighting for working families-- she only cares about keeping Donald Trump and her mega-donors happy so they continue to bankroll her campaign."

Not that political leaders from other states weren't noticing what Trump and Ryan were up to. I liked the way Pramila Jayapal explained it to her constituents in Seattle within an hour of passage:
Republicans just moved forward with their scam on the American people that takes from working families to give trillions of dollars to the rich. The GOP tax scam will line the pockets of large corporations and the wealthy, while middle-class households will see their taxes go up. It is unconscionable.

Instead of closing corporate loopholes, Republicans are slashing the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, the student loan interest deduction, medical expense deductions – everything on which working families rely for tax relief. These deductions allow millions of families to make ends meet. And, though Republicans claim to care about exploding our deficit, this tax scam would do exactly that. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the bill would trigger $136 billion in automatic spending cuts in 2018 alone – this includes a $25 billion hit to Medicare.

The American people see the Republican party has turned its back on the middle-class. Students, seniors, veterans, everyone except for the top 1 percent will suffer under the GOP tax scam. Just as we protected the Affordable Care Act and health care for millions, we cannot allow Republicans to rig the economy to favor the wealthy.
Before yesterday's vote, it was big news this week when ultra-conservative Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (AKA- RonJon) announced that he's a no vote on the Senate tax travesty. He said "that he does not support the current versions of the Senate and House GOP’s tax bills-- becoming the first Republican senator to outright oppose the party’s plan to overhaul the tax system. Johnson said in a statement that he objects to the bills' treatment of businesses known as pass-throughs, whose owners pay taxes on their companies through the individual side of the tax code.
“These businesses truly are the engines of innovation and job creation throughout our economy, and they should not be left behind. Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment, so I do not support either in their current versions," Johnson said.
Remember, McConnell can only afford to lose 3 Republican senators-- 2 if Moore loses in Alabama-- to prevent the whole thing from falling apart. RonJon says he's the first but he's not dependable and just bitches and kvetches all the time but in the end almost never stays from leadership on votes. His Trumpanzee adhesion score is 92.3% and there are 13 Senate Republicans less tied to Trump-- including Trumpian golfing partners Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul.

There are all kind of little nooks and crannies-- and some really big ones (like the repeal of the Affordable Care Act individual mandate)-- that are landmines for some of the Republican members. What about retiring Republicans Jeff Flake (AZ) and Bob Corker (TN)? They're hardcore deficit hawks and this bill isn't the kind of legislation they would have ever approved in the past. And they both loathe Trump and voting NO could be a win-win for them. Mike Lee (UT) and Jerry Moran (KS) and kind of in the same boat, except not retiring. Utah is very anti-Trump though and Kansas Republicans understand-- through experience-- what this kind of smoke-and-mirrors tax plan does to destroy a polity. I'd watch both these guys.

And, of course there are the 3 who cratered the Obamacare repeal, Lisa Murkowski (AK), John McCain (AZ)-- the "regular order" guy-- and Susan Collins (ME). Susan Collins has a lot in the bill she objects to. Back in Maine, the Bangor Daily News speculates that she may well me a NO vote.
Republicans in the U.S. Senate have altered their tax reform plan to include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that all Americans have health coverage or face a penalty. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins doesn’t like that.

The Maine Republican isn’t saying that’ll make her vote against tax reform (yet), but it makes the path toward “yes” harder. The moderate Collins already has helped kill two of her party’s efforts to repeal the health care law this year... On Wednesday, Collins told MSNBC that she didn’t think linking tax reform with the so-called individual mandate is “a good idea from either the political or policy perspective,” though she supports lower taxes and hasn’t made a decision on the ever-changing Senate tax proposal.

... Collins told MSNBC that the impact on premiums from scrapping the mandate would outweigh the current penalties. She said it also endangers a bipartisan Affordable Care Act stabilization bill that she supports.

However, she also opposes a Senate provision that would allow taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes and a provision in the House tax reform bill that would eliminate a deduction for medical expenses.
Maddow has an interesting point about Collins Wednesday night too. One of the groups Ryan and Trump are targeting are school teachers. In 2002 Collins wrote a bill allowing already badly paid school teachers to take a small deductions for out-of-pocket money they spend on supplies for students. The tax bill wipes that out and Collins is quietly flipping out over it. As Trump says, we shall see. I'd also watch James Lankford (R-OK) closely. He seems to have been undergoing a sea-change in the way he's looking at things lately-- as though he's asking Jesus what to do. I could be wrong but... we shall see.

One more metric to look at. Not counting Republicans who are leaving the House to run for the Senate or for governor jobs, there were an even dozen announced retirements by the time the vote came Thursday. Only one voted against the bill, Frank LoBiondo. Ryan and McCarthy prevailed on all the rest to vote for the tax scam and betray the voters who kept them in office all these years with the threat of them not being effective lobbyists if they didn't. These 11:
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL)
Charlie Dent (PA)
Dave Reichert (WA)
Dave Trott (MI)
Lynn Jenkins (KS)
Sam Johnson (TX)
Ted Poe (TX)
Bob Goodlatte (VA)
Lamar Smith (TX)
Jeb Hensarling (TX)
Jimmy Duncan (TN)

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At 6:28 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Yep this whole tax scam is for their rich buddies to keep them wealthy & powerful status quo stays the same way to go corrupt GOP & Dem Establishment.

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

choke on? no. they'll pass it. If the democraps then default into majorities in '18 and/or '20, they know that it won't last because the democraps service the same money they are servicing with this abomination. R voters will put up with it until the end. D voters tend to not put up with it so regularly.

Did you get a load of that liar orin hatch going all righteous during that hearing? He laid on a trumpian lie about him spending his whole "stinking" (the stinking was true) career helping those who have nothing. Lying sack of shit. However the democrap target of his fake indignation didn't have a ball in his sack, so let it pass.

That's our democraps. lots of sacks but zero balls, except for the money.


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