Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Will Montana And Georgia Special Election Voters Help Stop Trump? Lookin' Good


A new poll of GA-06 voters is a dire warning to congressional Republicans. Paul Ryan's SuperPAC has put more money into the campaign on behalf of Karen Handel than any outside group has ever spent on any congressional race in history. And those millions and millions of dollars appear to have been wasted as Jon Ossoff has pulled ahead:
Jon Ossoff- 51%
Karen Handel- 44%
At the same time, tomorrow's at-large race in Montana is looking so close that no one can call it-- again, after massive expenditure from Ryan and the GOP on behalf of billionaire self-funder Greg Gianforte.

In his NY Times column yesterday, David Leonhardt emphasized that "while the rest of the country has been transfixed by Trumpian chaos, members of the Senate have spent the last two weeks talking about taking health insurance from millions of Americans... The effort to take health insurance from the middle class and poor and funnel the savings into tax cuts for the rich is a little like mold. It grows best in the dark. That’s why Republican leaders in the House handled their bill as they did. They did not hold a single hearing, because they knew that attention would have been devastating."

But the Republican posture towards healthcare-- which has largely driven the polling numbers up for Ossoff in Georgia and for Quist in Montana-- will now be reinforced by the Republican posture towards Social Security. As the NY Times explained, the $4.1 trillion budget Señor Trumpanzee proposed "cuts deeply into programs for the poor, from health care and food stamps to student loans and disability payments, laying out an austere vision for reordering the nation’s priorities." The Republicans are trying to redefine "Social Security" to leave out of the definition the parts they want to cut-- aid to people with disabilities.

Yesterday, Chuck Todd hammered Trump on the broken promise to protect Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare from his fellow Republicans whose grasp on power makes them think they have a mandate to destroy all three. Mantra-like, Trump always claimed during his campaign that he wouldn't allow that to happen. "Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts. Have to do it," he said. "[T]wo subjects-- seizing on immigration/race and protecting entitlements-- eventually made him the first Republican since 1988 to carry Pennsylvania and Michigan, and the first since 1984 to win Wisconsin. So it's striking that President Trump's first budget cuts Medicaid and a part of Social Security, arguably hurting many of the voters who helped him win in 2016." Will Montana and Georgia special election voters take it out on Gianforte and Handel? They should-- and more important, midterm voters should decimate the GOP ranks in Congress next year. The Regime "proposes reducing spending on Medicaid programs by more than $600 billion over the next decade, a massive cut that appears to go on top of $839 billion in Medicaid cuts included in the House bill... [Señor Trumpanzee] opposed cuts to Social Security during the campaign, but the new budget would make cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance, which covered over 10 million recipients as of December 2015. It would save about $72 billion through changes to disability programs over the next ten years. Asked about the discrepancy, Mulvaney suggested that the president intended his promises to apply only to retirement benefits. 'If you ask 990 people out of a thousand, they'd tell you Social Security disability is not part of Social Security,' Mulvaney said."
[W]hat's extraordinary about this Trump budget-- released just six months after his presidential victory-- is how it undercuts a central campaign promise... [I]t more reflects Mulvaney's values as a former House Freedom Caucus member than what Trump campaigned on in 2016. "This is, I think, the first time in a long time the administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people paying the taxes," Mulvaney told reporters yesterday, per Sarlin. That sounds a lot more like Ayn Rand and the Tea Party than Trump and Steve Bannon, no?

...The National Republican Congressional Committee, the Republican National Committee and the Paul Ryan-affiliated super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund have already spent more than $15.5 million combined on a trio of unexpectedly competitive races in deep red congressional districts, according to independent expenditure and disbursement reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. More: "[N]ational Democratic groups have spent only a fraction of what their Republican counterparts have pumped into competitive races so far. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the DNC and the House Majority PAC have spent about $4.2 million combined on the three special elections in Georgia, Kansas and Montana, according to FEC reports and statements from the organizations."
And who gets hit the hardest by this budget? Trump's own base. According to Politico, "Rather than breaking with Washington precedent, Trump’s spending blueprint follows established conservative orthodoxy, cutting taxes on the wealthy, boosting defense spending and taking a hatchet to programs for the poor and disabled-- potentially hurting many of the rural and low-income Americans that voted him into office."
The budget proposal underscores the wide gulf between campaigning and governing, even for a president who promised to rewrite the presidential rule book.

The president’s budget plan calls for more than $1 trillion in cuts to a wide range of social programs with millions of beneficiaries, from farm subsidies to federal student aid. That includes a $600 billion cut to Medicaid over 10 years, despite Trump’s repeated promises on the campaign trail not to cut the program. The budget also takes an ax to the federal food stamp program and Social Security Disability Insurance.

Trump also proposes some of the deepest cuts to agriculture subsidies since Ronald Reagan, squeezing out nearly $50 billion over 10 years.

Trump’s budget would drastically cut domestic programs controlled by Congress, slashing $1.7 trillion over 10 years. At the end of the decade, the U.S. would spend nearly twice as much on defense as on other domestic programs. Domestic discretionary spending would be capped at $429 billion per year, below 2004 levels, while military spending soars to $722 billion.

...Trump’s budget would tighten the belt on programs for low-income families ranging from cash assistance to the child tax credit. Nearly $200 billion in cuts will come directly from the federal food stamp program, which helps feed 44 million people each year.

Trump would also slash $72 billion by tightening the rules for programs for people with disabilities-- programs that Trump’s advisers have described as riddled with fraud and abuse. A federal watchdog, however, found last year that 17 anti-fraud programs already exist.

Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Vice Ranking member of the House Budget Committee, responded to the release of Trump's budget in way that doesn't augur well for House Republicans headed into the 2018 midterms. "There is only one way to describe the Trump budget-- cruel. It pulls the rug out from under people who are already struggling to make ends meet. Simply put this is a $54 billion assault on Americans living on the brink. This budget proposal continues the trend of transferring taxpayer dollars into the pockets of the wealthy at the expense of our nation’s working families. It attacks women’s health care by defunding Planned Parenthood, destroys Medicaid, cuts funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and guts nutrition assistance programs that help families put food on their tables. This budget continues down the path of tearing apart families by proposing funding for a billion dollar border wall, and it neglects the health and safety of everyone by making a 31 percent cut to EPA funds that keep our air and water clean. A budget is a statement of our values. My values and the values of the people of Washington’s 7th District could not be more different from those expressed in this proposal. I believe our budget should invest in jobs and opportunities for working families who are desperately in need of support. This budget, in total contradiction to the populist platform that the President campaigned on, does exactly the opposite. It guts investments in working people to give tax cuts to the wealthy. That's just wrong. As a member of the House Budget Committee, I am determined to fight against this budget and protect our communities from harm."

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,


At 7:30 AM, Anonymous wjbill said...

those guys in the picture are probably having a "Cold Smoke" .... brewed in Missoula .... and one of the best in America! Hope Bernie had one when he was there.

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're hoping GA and MT are going to stop the drumpfster fire, you've deluded yourself into believing in fairies and unicorns.

It would take a hella lot more than those and those are very reliable R constituencies.

If you want to douse the drumpfster fire, you'll need to flip about 20 house R seats PLUS flip 20 senate R seats (to get to 67 for conviction after the house impeaches). There aren't that many senate seats in play. And by the time there will be, the house democraps will have screwed the pooch (from the perspective of voters) that whatever D gains in 2018 will be lost again in 2020.


Post a Comment

<< Home