Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Which California Republicans Are Willing To Sacrifice Their Careers To Give Billionaires A Tax Cut?


I hope Jonathan Chait is correct about the GOP tax plan being political suicide... but I'm not as certain as he is. Have you started seeing the ads yet? Millions of dollars of patently fake spots are blanketing TV from coast to coast claiming how fabulous the plan is. There isn't an ounce of truth in them but... when has that ever mattered in this kind of a propaganda effort. There's a lot of money at stake and the GOP fat cats will spend and spend and spend... whatever it takes. Just watch those polling numbers start to turn around as the ads saturate the minds of people who were tricked into voting for Trump by Russian trolls who were told to watch House of Cards in an office building on the outskirts of St. Petersburg. In fact, there are untold numbers of brain-dead Americans-- primarily in the old slave-holding states, but those aren't the only states with lots of morons-- still being told how to think by young Russian trolls working for the Kremlin (and Trump) for $700 a month.
An independent, liberal Russian TV channel also spoke to a man named Alan Beskaev who said he'd worked in the unit that specifically targeted America.

One minute, he said, "you needed to be a redneck from Kentucky and then later you had to be some kind of white dude from Minnesota. ... And then in 15 minutes, you need to be from New York, writing something in black slang."

Beskaev said some of his colleagues even traveled to the U.S. to do research.

Another former troll said in an interview published on Oct. 16 that he worked in a so-called "troll factory" in St. Petersburg for around 18 months until early 2015. He said that during his time there, trolls were instructed to watch the Netflix series House of Cards to improve their English and strengthen their knowledge of U.S. politics.

Lawmakers today released several of the thousands of ads they say were bought by Russian trolls. One Tweet from during the election falsely told fans of Hillary Clinton that they could avoid the line and vote from home.

One former troll told an independent, liberal Russian TV channel that the goal was not to promote pro-Russian views but to create turmoil in America. In fact, the former troll said, workers were punished if they mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Oops... back to Chait, taxes and suicide. He wrote in his New York Magazine column on Friday that "It is a testament to the power of self-delusion that Republicans have convinced themselves that their political self-interest demands that they pass a deeply unpopular tax-cut plan... The bill contains three categories of political poison. First, it cuts taxes on rich people and corporations, a wildly unpopular goal. Americans want to raise taxes on corporations and people with high incomes. Republicans would do the opposite... The second problem is that the bill raises taxes for a large number of middle-class families. It does so by scaling back personal exemptions and reducing the inflation adjustment. Around a quarter of middle-class families will pay more taxes under this plan. That’s millions of people. (Or, to translate it into attack ad–ese, 'MILLIONS of Middle-Class American families will get a TAX HIKE so CORPORATIONS CAN PAY LESS!')... Finally, the House Republican plan eliminates specific tax breaks that are both worthy and popular. There are two fiscal requirements for a tax plan to pass the Senate. It can increase the deficit by no more than $1.5 trillion over the first decade, and it cannot increase the deficit at all after ten years. The House plan utterly fails the second test, which makes it unpassable in anything like its current form, and raises the question of why they’re bothering to take all the political risk."

With the exception of NJ multimillionaire inheritor-- he even inherited his family's congressional seat!-- Rodney Frelinghuysen, and New York's Tom Reed and Chris Collins, Republicans in 2 of the 3 states whose taxpayers will be most immediately devastated by the Ryan's plan, New York and New Jersey, have signaled they're not voting for the thing. If they all hold-- that's Frank LoBiondo, Tom MacArthur, Chris Smith and Leonard Lance from New Jersey and Lee Zeldin, Peter King, Dan Donovan, John Faso, Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney and John Katko in New York-- that's 11 NO votes. 9 other Republicans voted against the budget setup that was needed to get this thing into a win possibility in the Senate-- so twenty. But not a single California Republican. There are 14 of them and their constituents are going to be murdered by this tax proposal.

Even if Chait is wrong about the national GOP being on the verge of political suicide, he is right about the California Republicans. Fully half the GOP congressmembers in the state delegate are unlikely to survive the midterms if they vote to raise their constituents taxes, which this bill would do, drastically: north to south, Jeff Denham, David Valadao, Steve Knight, Ed Royce, Dana Rohrabacher, Mimi Walters and Darrell Issa. Also in serious jeopardy by supporting the bill: Devin Nunes, Duncan Hunter and Paul Cook, though those 3 would be more likely to feel their constituents wrath-- and lose their seats-- in 2020.

Here are how 5 California Democrats are already using Ryan's tax bill against their opponents:
Goal Thermometer Katie Hill (CA-25)- "Steve Knight and the House Republicans are fighting for a policy that is so blatantly harmful that even the Trump administration is against it. I am running for Congress because I think my family, neighbors, friends, and community deserve a representative who will fight for them. Steve Knight's support of the Republican tax plan is proof that he has no intention of being that Representative. While I'm sure Steve's wealthy establishment donors are thrilled by his vote, the residents of the 25th district are outraged and will make their voices heard in November."
Sam Jammal (CA-39)- "Ed Royce's support of the Trump tax on our community shows he no longer represents us. He only represents out of district millionaires and whatever Trump wants him to do. This tax plan-- just on the elimination of the state and local tax deduction alone-- will raise taxes on 37% of families in the district. That doesn't include the roughly 80% of families who own a home and likely benefit from the mortgage interest deduction or the thousands who save for retirement through 401(k)s. A lot of us have known for a long time that Ed no longer fits our community, but it is shocking that he is helping push a tax plan that directly penalizes families in our community to benefit out of district millionaires."
Katie Porter (CA-45)- "Mimi Walters continues to do what she has done her whole career-- ignore the needs of middle class families here in Orange County to give handouts to corporations. Mimi Walters never fights for middle class families. She sided with Donald Trump over Californians 99% of the time. She sided with powerful drug and insurance companies over California families when she voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. She sided with the NRA over the safety of our communities when she refused to regulate bump stocks or vote for simple background checks. And now she’s siding with Paul Ryan’s tax plan, which guts 1.8 trillion from Medicaid and Medicare, limits what people save from their own earnings in 401(k) plans, and eliminates state and local deductions for over 6 million California families."
Michael Kotick (CA-48)- "If Rohrabacher votes for this bill, as proposed he will effectively be voting against Orange County residents keeping their hard-earned money (SALT), blocking the retirement savings pathway for millions (401k) and potentially kicking-off a snowball effect that will impact the property values of those in California, long-term. All of which goes almost perfectly against every anticipated benefit of a 'tax cut initiative,' except if you are in the top 0.2%. Let's just say that this tax plan is going to impact a lot of people, dramatically. If passed as proposed, it may be the single greatest action (besides #45) to help flip House seats in California from red to blue. If the tax cut is paid for as proposed by the 2018 House budget-- with more than a trillion dollars in cuts from healthcare, education and affordable housing-- that just rubs salt in the wound. By voting 'yes' on this budget with the hope of a tax plan that looks lopsided and shaky at best, Dana is directly voting against all of us in Orange County. Time's up, Dana."
Laura Oatman (CA-48)- "At a time when income inequality is already out of control, Trump’s tax plan will do everything to help himself and his billionaire friends, who are already doing very well under this economy, and nothing to help working class and middle-class families who are struggling. Trickle down economics has never worked, but particularly not now when huge corporations are utilizing automation, not people, to maximize their profits. We need to close tax loopholes and ensure that corporations are paying their fair share-- not slash taxes for Donald Trump’s billionaire buddies. Trump’s tax plan is simply a rich man’s tax break. Targeting Orange County taxpayers by ending the state income tax deduction is something Mr. Rohrabacher should be pushing back against. If he doesn't, I will. People in these communities deserve a representative who fights for them, not for Paul Ryan and Donald Trump."

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At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If one word describes the mindset of Republicans everywhere it's impunity. They can't be punished for they acts, so they think, unless they wander off the reservation and get challenged in a primary... from their farther right flank.

They clearly fear Bannon more than their constituents.

At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing occupying the Republican mind is that without these promised tax cuts, the donors will shut off the taps and challenges from the Bannonite fascists become a real threat. They will do anything and anybody to avoid having to rejoin the ranks of the exploited.


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