Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Entire California Republican Congressional Delegation Is In Jeopardy Of Defeat Next Year


“With the passage of the GOP’s disaster tax plan, Mimi Walters again made clear what she thinks about us, the people of her district— absolutely nothing. People in California’s 45th district will truly be hurt by this bill and Mimi could care less. She could be found celebrating with Trump on the White House while thousands of her constituents were left to figure out what they’d do without their SALT deduction next year. She’s truly heartless.”
-Kia Hamadanchy, Orange County Democratic congressional candidate (CA-45)

In case you’re wondering what brought that on, it was a scathing OpEd by Omri Marian on the day after Christnmas in Kia’s hometown newspaper, the Orange County Register, Mimi Walters voted for a tax plan that will hurt her constituents. Sounds like it could be a Democratic Party ad, although if it was they would probably have mentioned that Walters might be unsympathetic with the concerns of her district because she doesn’t live in it. Normally when someone from another district wins election they move into the new district. But not Mimi. She prefers her multimillion dollar beachfront home to any of the towns in the landlocked 45th. She lives in Dana Rohrabacher’s district and the scuttlebutt is that she expects them both to lose in 2018 and that she will run again in 2020— but for the CA-48 seat (Rohrabacher’s).

“Last October, local Rep. Mimi Walters expressed her enthusiastic support for the GOP’s tax plan in these pages,” wrote Marian, a UC Irvine tax professor specializing in tax law. “A few weeks later, she voted in favor of the House version of the bill. On Tuesday, she voted in favor of the final version. Walters’ support for the GOP plan is curious. The plan she described in October looks nothing like the plan that passed The plan also seems to be uniquely tailored to harm her constituents.”
Walters had promised a simplified tax code with “tax cuts for middle class workers.” However, the GOP bill actually makes the tax code more complicated by introducing a host of new special tax preferences. You won’t be able to file your tax return on a postcard. The GOP plan also does very little for most Americans, while benefiting the mega-rich. The top 1 percent of taxpayers (households with annual income of more than $732,000), reap 20.5 percent of the total tax cut in 2018, increasing to 82.8 percent in 2027. Even if most households initially see their taxes cut, most benefits expire, and gimmickry of inflation adjustments will increase taxes. According to estimates by the Joint Committee on Taxation (Congress’ official tax scorer), by 2027 81 percent of all taxpayers will see no change to their tax payments or experience a tax increase compared with current law. Taxpayers in some counties, like Orange County, will be hit particularly hard. Moreover, the bill is expected to lose more than $1.4 trillion in revenue, resulting in cuts to government programs and services. To summarize, Walters supported a permanent tax cut to multinational corporations and the ultra-rich, financed by stealth tax increases on the rest of us.

One oft-discussed provision in the original House Bill eliminates state and local tax deductions; another caps the deduction for property taxes at $10,000. The final bill offers little relief. It caps the aggregate deduction for SALT and property taxes at $10,000— and this amount is not inflation-adjusted, meaning that over time the benefit of this deduction shrinks. About 47 percent of households in Walters’s district currently claim SALT deduction. In 2014 (the last year for which we have county-specific data), the average SALT deduction in the district was $13,288— in excess of the $10,000 cap, even before considering property taxes.

As we experience one of the worst Southern California fire seasons in recent memory, it is mind-boggling that the House bill removes the deduction for the terrible financial losses suffered by victims of fires and other natural disasters— a deduction available under current law. The final version of the bill maintains this outrageous provision, with a slight modification: Californians will be allowed to deduct fire losses if the fire is subject to a presidential disaster declaration. So if your house burned to the ground in a “local” fire that does not justify a presidential declaration, tough luck: You don’t get to deduct the loss.

UC Irvine is one of the biggest employers in Walters’s district, and one of the county’s greatest institutions. The House bill would have had a devastating effect on UCI. The bill included provisions that would have eliminated deductions on interest on student loans, and would have taxed graduate tuition waivers. Eliminating a deduction for student loans would have made college education less affordable. This would have had a particularly acute effect on UCI, which is the top college in the country for lower-and middle-income students. Taxing tuition waivers would have resulted in debilitating tax increases (by as much as 400 percent) on graduate students at UCI. Luckily, both of these benefits were saved in the final bill, but it is shocking that Walters could ever have supported something so harmful to UCI.

There is much more to dislike in the GOP tax plan. The big picture, however, is clear: Walters voted to take away money from her middle and lower-income constituents, from homeowners in her district, from UCI students, and from victims of California fires— to fund a tax cut for multinational corporations, the ultra-rich, and their heirs.
And what Marian had to say about Walters applies equally to Ed Royce, Steve Knight, Kevin McCarthy, David Valadao, Duncan Hunter and Ken Calvert also in Southern California and to Jeff Denham, Paul Cook, Devin Nunes, Tom McClintock and Doug LaMalfa in the northern part of the state. They’ve all put themselves in electoral jeopardy in the midterms.

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At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We'll see. This CA voter refuses to back Blue Dogs, New Dems, or other DINOs with my votes. Harry Truman was correct that the people will prefer a real Republican to a DINO.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Cat's Cradle said...

Keep reading DWT then. Howie will let you know who is worthy of your vote.

At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Republican Party seems to be dying a slow death from self-inflicted wounds. It is corrupt, weak and divided, and attracts the worst sort of political opportunists, some of whom smack of racism and fascism....There is no discernible life support for the party, not in the egregious tax bill or in any of its other policies. Voters should just let it go. No resuscitation, please. It has clearly outlived its usefulness and would be doing the country a favor if it left the stage, exit far right.

"Sadly, the Democratic Party also is corrupt, weak and divided and is not positioned to take advantage of the new dynamics....The party cannot succeed if it clings to its false gods and cash cows. Or to its Old Guard.

"Radical reform may be too much to ask of the Democrats; the diehards are still calling the defining shots. A political party that cannot liberate itself certainly cannot effect regional or national liberation. Once again we may witness the all too familiar spectacle of the Democrats snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

"It is crucial that we look beyond the Democratic Party for political salvation. The radical change we need in order to restore democracy requires more democrats, not more Democrats. The donkey has morphed into an albatross.

-Wayne Clark, December 28, 2017
Southern Strategy on the Skids

This is why I see no hope in the DINO-Whigs ever making the necessary changes to return the nation to the course it should be following. They are too attached to easy and corrupt money to do what the nation requires of them.


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