Friday Open Thread | The Next GOP Scam – Tax Reform

Remember, Trumpcare was nothing but a tax cut bill masquerading as a Healthcare Bill. Now that it’s gone down to defeat for now, and they can’t use Reconciliation, they have to show their sociopathy in the open.

 

Hence, their next scam – ‘ TAX REFORM’.

I’m no tax expert, but, considering that they were willing to take away healthcare from MILLIONS for this ‘tax reform’, should tell you all you need to know about it.

So, I went around, in search of folks who had read it and understand the implications.

The Republican tax “plan” is a deficit-busting mess. And it would slash the president’s taxes.
Updated by Edward Kleinbard Sep 28, 2017, 7:23am EDT

Excerpt:

Here is what you need to know about the Republican tax plan released Wednesday: It’s not a tax reform plan at all.

It is a sketch of an outline of a preliminary notion of a tax cut for some — and a tax hike for others. The components read like the jumble of ideas you might expect a table of slightly inebriated Chamber of Commerce types to shout out when polled for their tax reform suggestions.

The plan is sketchy, as I say, but this is the gist: Where individuals are concerned, the seven current individual income tax brackets will become three: 12 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent. The standard deduction will be raised to $24,000 for couples and $12,000 for individuals. There will be a substantially bigger child tax credit.

It’s not just the nerdiest details that are missing: We don’t, for example, know what the top tax rate would actually be (the proposal dangles the possibility of a fourth tax bracket, for high earners, on top of that 35 percent rate). We don’t know where the new tax brackets begin and end, or the magnitude of the enlarged child tax credit. In many cases it is impossible for me or anyone else to tell you whether you will be better or worse off, given the lack of detail.

We know that some lower-income Americans will be worse off, because the skimpy document says so. The lowest tax bracket increases by fully 20 percent, from 10 to 12 percent. The larger standard deduction, the unspecified larger child tax credit, and “additional tax relief” to be named later will protect “typical” low-income families from a tax hike, we are told, but others will see their bills actually climb. And the aged and the elderly will lose their additional standard deduction, which under current law offers them up to $5,000 in additional deductions.

The “doubling” of the standard deduction (to $24,000 for married couples filing joint returns) is offset in part by disallowing personal exemptions. Today, taxpayers are entitled to one standard deduction per tax return, plus a personal exemption (a $4,050 additional deduction) for each family member. The proposal would take away these personal exemptions. This means that a family of four will go from $28,900 in these deductions (standard deduction plus four personal exemptions) to $24,000 (larger standard deduction but no personal exemptions). That’s a decrease, not a doubling.

…………

Guess who benefits?

What does the Republican proposal do in this case? It eliminates the AMT. It subjects income derived from pass-through businesses like Donald Trump’s empire to a special 25 percent tax rate (rather than 35 percent or 39.6 percent, the individual rate), because owners of these businesses are special, in some indeterminate way. And the proposal repeals the estate tax.

Here you see the real agenda at work. When it matters, the proposal has more than enough detail to signal to President Trump and the Republican Party’s coterie of oligarch financial backers that their personal taxes will be slashed, not by a few hundred or thousands of dollars, but by millions and millions.

The 25 percent tax rate for pass-throughs is particularly galling, because it has no principle at all behind it, and will be the subject of widespread abuse, as taxpayers maneuver to squeeze their incomes into the pass-through business box. The proposal describes this as some sort of discounted rate for small business owners, but that is simply dishonest. It applies to all pass-through vehicles, including those owned by Trump and his counterparts.

From WaPo: Yes,Trump’s Tax Proposal As Introduced Would Help Him and His Family

Here’s why Trump’s tax plan will hit Californians especially hard

Many Californians face a big financial hit under the Republican tax plan, which would eliminate a major tax break that benefits state residents more than those anywhere else in the U.S.

The federal deduction for state and local taxes allowed Californians to reduce their taxable income by $101 billion in 2014, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

The tax outline released Wednesday by President Trump and top congressional Republicans would ax the break, which largely benefits residents in states that are Democratic strongholds

“Republicans in Washington have once again zeroed in on California to punish us and make our state the single biggest loser in their reckless tax scheme,” said Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said the elimination of the deduction was one reason the plan was a “non-starter” for her.

“I don’t believe California should suffer in order for President Trump to give tax cuts to the rich,” she said.

The plan also left open the possibility of another big hit: new limits on the deduction for home mortgage interest, which would have a greater effect on states with higher housing costs, such as California and New York.

A leopard can’t change its spots: Newest Republican tax framework is what we knew it always would be—tax cuts for the rich.

 

uh huh

 

 

Thread from Kurt Eichenwald

Kurt Eichenwald‏Verified account @kurteichenwald

I have read the Republican framework for tax reform. It is even more horrifying than I imagined. MASSIVE giveaway to rich. And poor pay more
8:28 AM – 27 Sep 2017

…it horrifies me this is what our country has become. There are things in this proposal that are worthwhile. But greed is the main goal…

…it also intentionally targets urban areas and blue states with higher taxes. It is an abomination.

…and we massively raise the deficit all to accomplish this. Seriously – how much is enough? I have sat in the home of a man with a house..
..that is so large it has 26 refrigerators. And he spent the entire conversation bitching about how taxes were breaking him.

..the bottom line: I have given up on America. No one really cares about the middle class as anything other than props. And they are…

…fooled by Fox etc that the GOP is out to save them. They dont know, the largest middle class tax cut in history was from Obama. But the..

.rich got nothing – in fact, they went up — so Fox and company fooled middle class ppl into believing their taxes were raised.

I would say a certain group of people. A certain kind of person was fooled by Fox.

Kay is one of my favorite posters at Balloon Juice. She has been on this for awhile, and I think her instincts are right on.
Kay says:
September 27, 2017 at 8:56 am

The Trump Administration are lying again this morning.

When they try to sell the huge tax cut for millionaires remember how many times they lied about their health care bill.

Don’t believe ONE WORD without seeing actual text of the proposed bill. Trump lies and all of his low quality hires lie, and they’re desperate to pass a huge tax cut. They don’t give a shit about health care. They care about getting a huge tax cut.

They are going to bury us in lies on this tax bill and taxes aren’t like healthcare- there won’t be a tv host riding to the rescue to call them out on something like preexisting conditions. This is Job One for Trump’s wealthy backers- they don’t care about anything else. Remember what they traded for this tax cut- they backed this corrupt moron. They’ll need to be compensated for that. If they don’t get a tax cut then they discredited themselves and sold the country out for nothing.

…………………

Remember the universal “Fix the Debt” propaganda campaign they used in 2010?

They’ll do it again as soon as they cut taxes and the magical bullshit revenue increases don’t appear because that is the plan.

These rich people all sold their country out and backed this clown for ONE reason- so they could stop paying taxes. They have to get it now. If they don’t they sold out for nothing. This is the POINT of hiring Donald Trump. All the rest is details.

It was an all or nothing bet and now it’s time to collect. They’ll so gut revenue you won’t recognize this country in a decade- I don’t care what you rely on- Medicare, Social Security, highways, courts- this is the Big Grab. They want all of it and they can get it all with a tax bill. Without funding it’s all bullshit and they know it. It’s Part Two to finish the job they started in 1980.

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46 Responses to Friday Open Thread | The Next GOP Scam – Tax Reform

  1. Like

  2. rikyrah says:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rikyrah says:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Liza says:

    SEP 29 2017, 1:49 PM ET
    Trump Administration Won’t Promise To Fix Puerto Rico’s Infrastructure
    by JULIA AINSLEY

    WASHINGTON — Despite the widespread damage to Puerto Rico’s infrastructure inflicted by Hurricane Maria, the federal government is making no promises to fix it.

    “The fact is that Puerto Rico has been destroyed by two hurricanes. Big decisions will have to be made as to the cost of its rebuilding!” Trump said in an early morning Tweet.

    Later Friday, during a speech on tax policy, Trump said, “Ultimately, the government of Puerto Rico will have to work with us to determine how this massive rebuilding effort…will be funded.” Trump said the effort “will end up being one of the biggest ever” and noted that Puerto Rico already had “a tremendous amount of debt.”

    The presidential disaster declaration for Texas after Hurricane Harvey included a promise of federal funds to cover up to 75 percent of the costs to repair “damaged public facilities” including roads, bridges and schools.

    No such clause currently exists in the disaster declaration for Puerto Rico.

    FEMA spokesman William Booher said “what is available to Puerto Rico currently is individual assistance” as well as funding for clearing debris and other emergency relief efforts.

    Booher said declarations can be amended to include funding that is not initially included “as the impacts of the disaster become clear” through a damage assessment. That assessment has not yet taken place in Puerto Rico, Booher said.

    The Texas declaration, however, included funding for public infrastructure repairs on Aug. 30, during the immediate aftermath of the storm. Maria hit Puerto Rico more than a week ago, leaving the island without power and many people without drinking water.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/puerto-rico-crisis/trump-admin-has-not-promised-fix-puerto-rico-s-infrastructure-n805986

    Like

  5. rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Liza says:

    THE KEN BURNS VIETNAM WAR DOCUMENTARY GLOSSES OVER DEVASTATING CIVILIAN TOLL
    Nick Turse
    September 28 2017, 4:41 a.m.

    To deprive their Vietnamese enemies of food, recruits, intelligence, and other support, American command policy turned large swathes of those provinces into “free fire zones,” subject to intense bombing and artillery shelling, that was expressly designed to “generate” refugees, driving people from their homes in the name of “pacification.” Houses were set ablaze, whole villages were bulldozed, and people were forced into squalid refugee camps and filthy urban slums short of water, food, and shelter.

    I spoke with hundreds of Vietnamese from these rural areas. In hamlet after hamlet, they told me about being rousted from their homes and then being forced to drift back to the ruins, for deeply-held cultural and religious reasons, and often simply to survive. They explained what it was like to live, for years on end, under the threat of bombs and artillery shells and helicopter gunships. They talked about homes burned again and again and again, before they gave up rebuilding and began living a semi-subterranean existence in rough-hewn bomb shelters gouged into the earth. They told me about scrambling inside these bunkers when artillery fire began. And then they told me about the waiting game.

    They told me about waiting, crouched in the dark, trying to guess the possible reactions of the heavily-armed, often angry and scared, young Americans who had arrived on their doorsteps. Every second mattered immensely. It wasn’t just your life on the line; your whole family might be wiped out. And these calculations went on for years, shaping every decision to leave the confines of that shelter, day or night, to relieve oneself or fetch water or try to gather vegetables for a hungry family. Everyday existence became an endless series of life-or-death risk assessments.

    But civilian casualties absolutely dwarf those numbers. Though no one will ever know the true figure, a 2008 study by researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and a Vietnamese government estimate, suggest there were around two million civilian deaths, the vast majority in South Vietnam. A conservative killed-to-injured ratio yields a figure of 5.3 million civilians wounded. Add to these numbers 11 million civilians driven from their lands and made homeless at one time or another, and as many as 4.8 million sprayed with toxic defoliants like Agent Orange. “The Vietnam War” only weakly gestures at this civilian toll and what it means.

    https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/the-ken-burns-vietnam-war-documentary-glosses-over-devastating-civilian-toll/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liza says:

      Nick Turse is the author of “Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam”.

      I agree with what he is saying here about the glossing over civilian casualties and suffering. He’s talking here about the rural areas in what was South Vietnam. There was also the relentless bombing in the north. In watching this, you do find yourself trying to imagine what it was like for those people on the ground, living with this every day, year after year.

      I think that is a valid criticism. But one documentary can’t be all things to all people, and the Burn’s documentary is mostly, but not totally, focused on the American story.

      Overall, I think it is a good documentary and worth the time spent watching it. It is never boring, IMO.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Where Metia at?

    A little Red Bone to celebrate the weekend…..

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Breaking News! Tom Price resigns!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rikyrah says:

    Russian Ratf*cking: Why the Special Counsel Must Investigate Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders

    In the May 17, 2017 letter instituting the Special Counsel and appointing Robert Mueller in this position, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave Muller a mandate to investigate any links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and “any matter that arose or may arise directly” from the investigation of that Russian interference into the US presidential elections in 2016.

    One matter that should rise directly from the Trump-Russia investigation is the Russian manipulation of social media, news, and popular opinion. And as a matter of fact, the Special Counsel is already investigating this link, having asked and received detailed documents from Facebook on Russian ads purchases during the election under a search warrant.

    It is now being reported that some of those ads, which are now on their way to Congress, specifically endorsed Green Party candidate Jill Stein, while others targeted the Left’s resentment of Hillary Clinton. The 3,000 Russian-paid ads on Facebook perfectly align with Putin’s mission: to sow discord and chaos into the 2016 presidential campaigns, and do as much damage as possible to Hillary Clinton. Stein, Sanders and Trump were all beneficiaries of that effort. According to Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Mark Warner, these ads are only the tip of the iceberg in a coordinated, sophisticated Russian operation to use social media microtargeted by artificial intelligence to defeat Hillary Clinton.

    I am sure completely coincidentally, just as Russia was manipulating ads and other traffic on social media against Hillary Clinton, Putin’s puppets at Wikileaks concentrated on the same exact target.

    …………………………

    Being the direct beneficiaries of Russian ratf*cking, though, can reasonably raise questions whether Putin’s patronage came at a price. Already, we know that Jill Stein was present and accounted for at the same table as Michael Flynn and Vladimir Putin in an event honoring Russian propaganda network RT. We also know that RT lavished praise on and served as essentially a campaign mouthpiece for Jill Stein, and to a lesser degree, for Bernie Sanders in their zeal to take down Hillary Clinton. As if the dots weren’t already connecting themselves, in the middle of that very campaign – about seven months after the propaganda dinner – Stein openly offered to step aside if Sanders would agree to take the top spot on the Green Party ticket.

    Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee became interested in communications between Stein and Donald Trump Jr., the Trump spawn who met with a Russian lawyer salivating over promised Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton. If the Senate Judiciary Committee is looking into this, chances are Mueller is a few steps ahead already.

    Bernie Sanders is hardly even one step removed from Stein, given the aforementioned political love affair and Trump’s own crocodile tears for Bernie during the campaign. Bernie bears his own gifts for Putin, though, being one of a lone pair of Senators to have voted against sanctions on Russia. Sanders also hired as his chief strategist during the campaign Tad Devine, a close associate of Paul Manafort’s. Among Manafort’s numerous connections to the Kremlin is his work for corrupt and pro-Russian Ukrainian politician Victor Yanukovych in the immediate aftermath of Barack Obama’s election to the US presidency. None other than one Tad Devine was Manafort’s close confidant in that effort. Evidently the two pro-Kremlin American political consultants grew so close that Devine made direct contacts with Manafort during the 2016 campaign in an attempt to set up a Trump-Sanders debate. Yanukovych is currently exiled in Russia and wanted in Ukraine for high treason.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. rikyrah says:

    Trio of white Texas brothers accused of luring black teen to meeting and shooting him dead
    David Ferguson DAVID FERGUSON
    29 SEP 2017 AT 14:48 ET

    Thhree brothers from the town of White Settlement, TX are accused of luring a black 18-year-old to a meet-up and shooting him to death in an attempted robbery gone wrong, said The Root on Friday.

    WFAA TV reported that 23-year-old Sean Garrison, 18-year-old Tyee Garrison and 17-year-old Kyle Garrison are in custody and each being held at $20,000 bond for the murder of 18-year-old Xavier Olesko of Ft. Worth.

    The brothers are expected to be arraigned on charges of capital murder in Olesko’s death, which took place on Sep. 18 when he was fatally shot in the chest in front of a residence on Tumbleweed Trail in White Settlement.
    It is currently believed that the victim was acquainted with Sean Garrison, who reportedly contacted Olesko wanting to meet. Unbeknownst to Olesko, the brothers planned to rob him at the meeting. However, the robbery went wrong and 18-year-old Olesko was shot dead.

    “Witnesses told the police that the teen went to the front of the residence to meet with someone when they heard a gunshot. When Olesko’s friends ran out front, they found the 18-year-old lying on the ground not moving. One of the witnesses called 911,” wrote The Root’s Breanna Edwards.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Liza says:

    THE MUSIC IN KEN BURNS’ THE VIETNAM WAR IS REMARKABLE. HERE’S HOW IT WAS CHOSEN.
    “Once we had Bob Dylan and The Beatles on board, doors opened.”

    BY JEFF SLATE
    SEP 29, 2017

    When the first notes of The Beatles’ “Let It Be” ring out in the closing minutes of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s 10-part, 18-hour documentary The Vietnam War, you’d be forgiven for letting out a disappointed sigh. You’ve heard the song, which Paul McCartney plucked from a dream about his dead mother, countless times. The feelings it evokes in you are well-trod territory.

    And yet, within just a few seconds, despite however many times you’ve heard “Let It Be,” it is redefined—made new again—as the words take on new meaning in the aftermath of the moving passage read by writer Tim O’Brien, a military veteran whose story is one of those featured in Burns and Novick’s exhaustive film.

    “It felt as though it wouldn’t work, that it couldn’t work,” co-director Novick confesses. “But as soon as it was put in place, it was as though the film couldn’t end any other way. It was as powerful as the moment at the beginning of the film, when Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’ plays, which sets the whole story in motion, really.”

    http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/music/a12499159/the-vietnam-war-ken-burns-the-beatles/

    Like

    • Liza says:

      I have to disagree. I have been engrossed in the Ken Burn’s Vietnam documentary for the past two weeks. The music selections are good and reflective of the times.

      However, the choice of Dylan’s Hard Rain was especially powerful for the opening. The best possible choice, IMO. So, I’m looking forward to what the last song will be, to close out the documentary, and they come up with “Let it Be”. I couldn’t be more disappointed after ten episodes of that long and agonizing war. It just didn’t capture the moment or what it really meant in a historical sense.

      In a hundred years, assuming we still have a country, historians won’t be thinking, “let it be there will an answer blah blah blah…”

      The final song should somehow have reflected the enormity of this great tragedy, the Vietnam war, and it didn’t.

      Like

  12. rikyrah says:

    Congress fails to follow through on key children’s health program
    09/29/17 12:54 PM
    By Steve Benen

    When Congress returned from its summer break earlier this month, lawmakers faced a daunting to-do list for September. Among other things, the House and Senate had to prevent a government shutdown and increase the debt ceiling. They were also poised to take a variety of major legislative priorities, ranging from health care to tax policy, prompting lots of chatter about “the month from hell.”

    Now that legislating has wrapped up for the month – lawmakers left town yesterday – September wasn’t quite as dramatic as originally feared, largely because Democrats and Donald Trump struck a deal to punt questions over government funding and the debt ceiling a few months.

    But perhaps more interesting than what Congress did in September is what it didn’t do. One of the tasks members were supposed to tackle this month was reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and as TPM explained yesterday, that didn’t happen.

    ………………………………………..

    I’ll confess, when Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) struck a bipartisan deal on Sept. 12 to extend CHIP for five years, I more or less assumed everything would work out. After all, that’s usually what happens: Congress approaches a deadline, some bipartisan pairings work on an agreement, and it passes in the 11th hour.

    Except, this time, it didn’t work out at all. Senate Republicans focused their energies on yet another ACA repeal gambit, and reauthorizing CHIP was pushed to the back-burner.

    Now, my point is not that 9 million children will lose their coverage over the weekend. If that were poised to happen, you’d probably be hearing a lot more about this. There have been previous instances in which CHIP wasn’t reauthorized in time – if you’ve been reading me forever, you might recall George W. Bush twice vetoed a CHIP bill 10 years ago around this time – without triggering an immediate crisis.

    But The New Republic’s Clio Chang wrote a good piece explaining why this shouldn’t be dismissed, either.

    [M]ost states have enough funding to maintain the program for a few months. But ten states would run out of funding by the end of the year and Minnesota would run out by the end of October. According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “When their federal funding runs out, states with separate CHIP programs (rather than CHIP-funded Medicaid expansions for children) may be forced to impose enrollment caps or freezes, or shut their programs entirely.”

    Furthermore, there would be numerous adverse consequences that would begin immediately. States would have to start shifting costs to cover administrative tasks necessary for ending the program, such as sending parents notices in the mail. And the lack of assurance that the program will exist in the future makes it impossible for states to budget and plan. Basically, states would have to focus on a variety of things completely unrelated to the program’s intent of expanding access to and improving children’s health care.

    Like

  13. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s tax plan rollout burdened by familiar missteps
    09/29/17 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The Republican effort to overhaul the nation’s health care system obviously didn’t turn out well for the party. One of the key questions now is what lessons, if any, GOP leaders have learned from their most recent fiasco.

    Given the rollout of the Republicans’ tax “framework” this week, there’s reason to believe the party is repeating some of its more glaring mistakes.

    A familiar closed-door process

    The GOP health care proposals, in both chambers, were written in secret, with a small group of like-minded partisans crafting plans behind closed doors. This made bipartisanship practically impossible, and limited the ability of those affected by the legislation to buy into the proposed reforms.

    On tax policy, Republicans are doing … the exact same thing. In fact, just yesterday, Gary Cohn, the president’s top economic adviser, told reporters, “Our opening offer and our final offer are on the table.” Despite Donald Trump’s talk that the tax plan could receive bipartisan backing, Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs chief, was part of the secretive “Big Six” talks that was limited to Republicans.

    Like

  14. rikyrah says:

    PART OF THE FRIDAY NEWS DUMP.

    I’ll say it again…Race Bannon’s House of Cards fantasies are delusional.

    ……………………….

    Mike Pence sent his lawyer to meet with Robert Mueller over the Russia investigation

    Bryan Logan

    Vice President Mike Pence sent the lawyer representing him in the federal probe of Russia’s US-election meddling to meet with special counsel Robert Mueller this summer, Politico reported on Thursday.

    Pence’s attorney, Richard Cullen, signed on to represent the vice president in June, about a month after Mueller’s investigation got underway. A source cited by Politico said Pence wanted Cullen to meet with Mueller to assure the special counsel that Pence was ready to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Beyond the pale. People in Puerto Rico have no electricity, no water and are being charged for ICE. PREDATORS preying on the vulnerable.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lord Jesus! Folks in Puerto Rico are having to buy ice. Ppl have to stand in line 6 hrs to buy ice. What happens to ppl who DON’T have money? This ISH is beyond the fking pale.

    Like

  17. Liked by 1 person

  18. rikyrah says:

    Team Trump seems to have an aversion to commercial air travel
    09/29/17 10:42 AM
    By Steve Benen

    So many Trump-era political controversies are so unusual, we lack frames of reference and historical parallels. When a foreign adversary launches an espionage operation against our democracy to help elect its preferred presidential candidate, and they may have had American confederates colluding with the attackers, it’s the kind of scandal that defies easy comparison.

    On the other hand, cabinet secretaries avoiding commercial air travel is refreshingly simple. The Washington Post has the latest example for a growing list.

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke chartered a flight from Las Vegas to near his home in Montana this summer aboard a plane owned by oil-and-gas executives, internal documents show.

    The flight, along with private flights during a trip to the Virgin Islands, could propel Zinke into the growing debate over the costs of travel by Cabinet secretaries, some of whom have chosen expensive charter jets and military planes at high expense to taxpayers over the cheaper option of flying commercial.

    Like

  19. rikyrah says:

    The current occupant of the WH is trying to kill (or imprison, or surveil us all).https://t.co/b8mPrMZZeo
    — Arapaho415 (@arapaho415) September 28, 2017

    Like

  20. rikyrah says:

    Another day, more bumbling cruelty https://t.co/W4iopLS4CT pic.twitter.com/zQ3xcjTgs9
    — Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) September 29, 2017

    Like

  21. rikyrah says:

    Tom Price’s Truly Outrageous Behavior
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    September 29, 2017

    Over the last few days, headlines have been blaring about HHS Secretary Tom Price (as well as Mnuchin, Zinke and Pruitt) using private chartered jets to travel. A commitment to reimburse taxpayers misses the point here. In the scheme of things, the amount of money spent isn’t all that much. What is much more troubling is the sense of entitlement and the way that self-enrichment is assumed to be part of public service in this administration.

    But while that issue has been front and center, the truly outrageous actions of Sec. Price haven’t received as much attention. It has become obvious that he is doing everything humanly possible to stop people from purchasing health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.

    November 1st begins the open enrollment period and, absent a major life event, it marks the only time during the year that individuals can sign up for coverage on the exchanges. Here is what Price has done so far to make that more difficult:

    Shortened the open enrollment period by 1 1/2 months
    Eliminated 90 percent of funding for advertising the open enrollment period and cut funding for navigators (who assist people with enrollment) by 40 percent
    Announced a plan to shut down the federal exchange for maintenance 12 hours every Sunday through the open enrollment period.

    On this latest one about shutting down the exchange for maintenance, one anonymous official suggested that it was no different than what happened in previous years during the Obama administration. Surprise, surprise…that is a lie.

    A federal report to Congress said healthcare.gov was online 99.9 percent of the time in the 2015 and 2016 open enrollment seasons.

    The Trump administration plan will have the site operating 93 percent of the time — over an enrollment period that is half as long as it used to be. In effect, instead of a 90-day enrollment season, the Trump administration has cut it to 45. The maintenance shutdowns cut it to an equivalent of 42 days.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. rikyrah says:

    At this point it seems safest to assume everyone is using a private email and everyone is using a private jet https://t.co/gAI92QQ7x3
    — Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) September 29, 2017
    Reply

    Liked by 1 person

  23. rikyrah says:

    “Dammit, this is not a good news story”: San Juan mayor slams acting DHS Secretary Duke’s comments about Puerto Rico https://t.co/mWdPEsCSHn
    — CNN (@CNN) September 29, 2017

    Liked by 1 person

  24. rikyrah says:

    DOJ demands Facebook share info that could provide access to personal details of thousands of anti-Trump protesters.https://t.co/GkD0H8fi0X
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 29, 2017

    Like

  25. rikyrah says:

    Daily Beast: Roy Moore failed to disclose as much as $150,000 of income to federal ethics officials. https://t.co/AazbnubBGL
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 29, 2017

    Liked by 1 person

  26. rikyrah says:

    BWA HAHA HA HA AH AHA H AH

    You unsalted blocks of butter never ever care about Chicago until you can use it in a racist tweet https://t.co/yOqfRkfiaE
    — Ira Madison III (@ira) September 28, 2017

    Like

  27. rikyrah says:

    Civil Rights Icon Bree Newsome Rudely Disinvited From Visit to Middle School Class https://t.co/rIonUzDYcP via @Splinter_news
    — Pretty Foot (@PrettyFootWoman) September 29, 2017

    Like

  28. rikyrah says:

    Quick Takes: Never Send Out a Millionaire to Explain Tax Cuts
    A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

    by Nancy LeTourneau
    September 28, 2017

    Donald Trump hired a lot of millionaires to work in the White House – especially in positions where their task is to work on the economy and finance. But it is always a mistake to send out a millionaire to explain how your tax plans will help the middle class. Exhibit A: millionaire Gary Cohn.

    Uh, Gary Cohn (who is worth several hundred million dollars) thinks it costs $1000 to buy a new car (or renovate your kitchen) pic.twitter.com/6IwRDgGSCN

    — Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 28, 2017

    Round two goes to Cohn as well.

    Economic adv. Gary Cohn: Typical family with 2 children earning $100,000 “can expect a tax cut of $1000.” #TaxReform pic.twitter.com/hIOoYigVhS

    — Steve Herman (@W7VOA) September 28, 2017

    Median income in the U.S. is $59,000.

    Like

  29. rikyrah says:

    IS.WATER.WET?

    Is Neil Gorsuch Corrupt?
    The Supreme Court Justice gave a speech for an organization associated with the plaintiffs in an upcoming case.

    by John Stoehr
    September 29, 2017

    On Thursday, the most junior justice on the Supreme Court gave a speech at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., for an organization with the same benefactor as the group bringing a case that may end up knee-capping public-sector unions.

    From the LA Times:

    The justices will hear the case of Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee who objects to paying fees to the union, which represents 35,000 state workers.

    The decision, due by next June, could prove a costly setback for public-sector unions in 22 states, including California, where such fees are authorized by law. Labor experts have predicted a significant percentage of employees would stop supporting their union if given a choice. The other 28 states have “right to work” laws that forbid requiring workers to join or support a union.

    ……………………….

    Others have noted that Gorsuch, in agreeing to speak at the Trump International Hotel, appeared to approve tacitly of the president’s blatant disregard for ethical and legal boundaries. The president, in being the owner of the hotel, is literally the renter and rentee. At the moment, I can’t think of a better definition of corruption.

    Less attention is paid to Gorsuch’s apparent corruption. His speech follows another in Kentucky last week before which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in the words of the Lexington Herald-Leader‘s headline writer, “shows off prized accomplishment.”

    It’s enough to wonder if Gorsuch too has little serious regard for appearing to comport himself to certain boundaries. The Supreme Court is supposed to hold itself above the partisan fray as an independent check on the powers of Congress and the president.

    Yet Gorsuch, by appearing in public with McConnell and with associates of plaintiffs in an upcoming case, seems untroubled by his troubling breach of protocol. Indeed, he seems comfortable signaling to his friend and allies that they need not worry, not worry at all.

    Like

  30. rikyrah says:

    There Is No GOP Establishment or Base. Just Massive Resistance.
    By JOSH MARSHALL
    Published SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 12:35 PM

    In a new story at NBC News, Steve Kornacki says there is a new GOP uprising underway leading into the 2018 election. It is a replay or the next stage of similar eruptions in 2010 and 2012 and to a lesser extent in 2014. We know the pattern: establishment Republicans get picked off by increasingly radical or simply crazy ‘grassroots’ conservatives. Many end up losing races to Democrats which a more conventional Republican could have won. But some or most get through.

    That pattern allowed Democrats to hold on to the Senate through the first six years of President Obama’s presidency. And it was the GOP’s relative success at preventing primary-driven self-immolations in 2014 and again in 2016 that finally allowed them to claim the majority and hold it. Everyone who has observed US national politics in the last decade knows this pattern.

    ……………………………………….

    This is the crux of the issue. Last spring I said the Trump phenomenon was a product of what I termed ‘nonsense debt‘. Republicans had spent years pumping their voters up on increasingly extreme and nonsensical claims and promises. This worked very well for winning elections. But it had also built up a debt that eventually had to be repaid. Concretely, they were making claims and promises that were either factually ridiculous, politically unviable or unacceptable to a broad swath of the voting public. Eventually, you get elected and need to produce. By definition that’s never really possible: both because the claims and promises are nonsensical and unviable but also because a politics based on reclamation, revenge, and impulse is almost impossible to satisfy through normal legislative politics.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. rikyrah says:

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 9/28/17
    Extra Trump inauguration money shrouded in mystery
    Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, talks with Rachel Maddow about the opacity of Donald Trump’s inauguration fund and the mystery of the extra millions of dollars believed to be held by the fund.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. rikyrah says:

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 9/28/17
    Republicans to put Russian bank lawyer in coveted DoJ position
    Rachel Maddow reports on Brian Benczkowski being voted through the Senate Judiciary Committee to lead the Justice Department’s criminal division despite little relevant experience and having worked for a Russian bank tied to the Trump Russia investigation.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. rikyrah says:

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 9/28/17
    Hospitals struggle to help ailing Americans in Puerto Rico
    Pablo Venes, a San Juan-based journalist, talks with Rachel Maddow about how the lack of internet and means of communication is hindering the ability for hospitals to treat patients in Puerto Rico as bad ideas and impotent leadership continue to hinder relief efforts.

    Like

  34. rikyrah says:

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 9/28/17
    Trump pitches tax cuts for rich as Puerto Rico languishes
    Rachel Maddow points out the awkward juxtaposition of the Trump administration presenting a plan to cut taxes for the rich while suffering continues in Puerto Rico with leadership impotent to distribute ready aid.

    Like

  35. rikyrah says:

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 9/28/17
    Tom Price private plane scandal snowballs with new revelations
    Rachel Maddow reports on Donald Trump’s HHS Secretary Tom Price, already in a corruption scandal when he was confirmed, now on resignation watch as the public learns more outrageous details about his abuse of public funds for private planes and more.

    Like

  36. rikyrah says:

    Here’s how the Trump tax plan would raise taxes on many middle-income families
    Josh Barro

    Asked Thursday about whether the Republican tax plan would cut taxes on the wealthy, top White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said he didn’t think Americans would care what happened to other people’s taxes — they would care about getting a tax cut for themselves.

    Cohn said a “typical” American family making around $100,000 would get a tax break of about $1,000.

    “If we allow a family to keep another $1,000 of their income, what does that mean?” he asked. “They can renovate their kitchen, they can buy a new car, they can take a family vacation, they can increase their lifestyle.”

    So. About that.

    While there are still a lot of details to be filled in, the information we have available suggests the new Republican tax proposal would raise income taxes on many families who make just a bit more than the national average.

    I’m going to lay out below one such typical tax situation. Meet Ann and Bob Smith.

    Ann and Bob don’t have a weird, outlier financial situation. They own a home with a mortgage, they have two kids, they pay income tax in a state with moderate tax rates, they give to charity in an amount proportionate to their income. They take tax deductions accordingly. And Trump’s “massive tax cut” would actually appear to increase their tax burden by about $600.

    It’s hard enough to buy a car for $1,000. Ann and Bob definitely won’t be able to buy one for negative $600.

    Let’s do Ann and Bob’s taxes

    Go to the link and see how Ann and Bob will be paying more under the Trump plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. rikyrah says:

    Team Trump can’t ‘guarantee’ middle class won’t face tax increase
    09/29/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    House Speaker Paul Ryan appeared on CNBC yesterday, in part to help promote the Republicans’ new tax plan, and the Wisconsin Republican seemed eager to boast about the outline he helped write. He and his partners, Ryan said, “made sure we did the hard lifting and the tough work” before rolling out the proposal.

    I wish that were true. It’s not. Six like-minded allies met in secret for months, writing a partisan outline behind closed doors, and came up with a bunch of tax cuts. They didn’t make any of the difficult choices about how to pay for the “plan,” and at least at this point, they’ve left all kinds of questions unanswered about who’ll win and who’ll lose if their framework is implemented.

    NBC News’ Benjy Sarlin explained yesterday, for example, that while gains for ultra-wealthy Americans and businesses are “larger and more concrete” in the GOP proposal, the “net effects on lower- and middle-income Americans are hard to determine.” If Republicans had done “the hard lifting and the tough work” before unveiling the framework, there’d be far less ambiguity.

    Indeed, one of the architects of the plan, former Goldman Sachs chief Gary Cohn, Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, talked to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos yesterday about some of these ambiguities.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: …If I’m hearing you correctly, you can’t guarantee that no middle-class family will get a tax increase. There will be middle-class families who get a tax increase under your plan, correct?

    COHN: George, there’s an exception to every rule.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: So that’s a yes?

    COHN: Look, I can’t guarantee anything. You could always find a unique family somewhere.

    Like

  38. rikyrah says:

    These muthaphuckas here!!!

    Trump’s Treasury Department hides inconvenient economic report
    09/29/17 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    About five years ago, the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis completed a study that found workers end up paying roughly 18% of the existing corporate tax, while corporate owners pay 82%. This wasn’t exactly surprising: the results were in line not only with the assessments of most economists, but also data compiled by the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office.

    Up until recently, this analysis was publicly available through the Treasury. As the Wall Street Journal reported overnight, that analysis has now vanished – because it “contradicts Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s argument that workers would benefit the most from a corporate income tax cut.”

    The paper was available on the Treasury website during the summer, and it wasn’t clear when it was removed or whether Treasury intended to publish a new analysis. Other technical papers from 2008 through 2016 remain on its site, along with working papers dating back to 1974.

    For Mnuchin, it’s critical that people believe that a corporate tax break would benefit workers, which makes all of the evidence to the contrary quite inconvenient.

    Evidently, Donald Trump’s Treasury secretary believes the proper solution is to make that evidence disappear – even if it came from career officials at his own cabinet agency.

    Like

  39. rikyrah says:

    After spending most of the month on yet another failed bid to repeal the Affordable Care Act and block-grant Medicaid, Congress is set to leave town without reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or payments for hospitals that serve the uninsured – and without passing a bill to stabilize Obamacare’s individual market, leaving it vulnerable to President Trump’s whims.

    Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who sits on one of the key committees in charge of health care, confirmed to TPM that Congress will likely allow CHIP to lapse by Saturday’s deadline, putting the health insurance of millions of children in jeopardy.

    “I’m confident the money will come but obviously it’s not going to come on time,” she said wearily.

    Like

  40. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

    Like

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