This is when Democrats get to explain what they’re for — the people over the powerful
After the horrors of Harvey, Congress will soon return to Washington D.C. and the fate of Donald Trump’s presidency will be decided by his ability to keep the government open, raise the debt limit and — most importantly — cut taxes for the rich.
The promise of these tax breaks is the very air inside Wall Street’s bubble and the rubber in the rubber cement that fixes Paul Ryan to Trump’s hind quarters. And passing giant tax breaks, mostly for the rich, should be the easiest thing in the world for a Republican president with Republican majorities in both Houses that rigged the rules so you only need 50 votes in the Senate to pass said tax breaks.
Think about it: Which three GOP Senators are going to vote against tax breaks?
The great Andy Slavitt — who ran the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare under President Obama — suggests that Trump’s presidency depends on these tax breaks. Where did he get this idea? By talking to health care CEOs in touch with hedge fund managers who share Trump’s obsession with repealing the ACA.
We’ll get to that in a moment.
But first, two tweets.
— Conrad Hackett (@conradhackett) August 23, 2017
Which must be considered in terms of this:
My dogs live in this two-story doggy mansion that has air conditioning, heating, designer furniture, and a chandelier. Loves it pic.twitter.com/4dXAf5XPXV
— Paris Hilton (@ParisHilton) August 25, 2017
This is why Democrats’ “Not One Penny” campaign, which focuses on making sure that the wealthy and their corporations don’t get any tax breaks, is a smart strategy. We know Republicans feel vulnerable on this issue, which is why the tax breaks for the rich in the House Trumpcare bill never even got a real vote in the Senate.
We also know that Medicaid is newly popular thanks in large part to the work of activists, especially National ADAPT. Given that the GOP is still fixated on cutting Medicaid with the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal, we need to make sure that the importance of Medicaid isn’t buried in the flurry of legislation that’s about to sweep in on top of the gale force graft, incompetence and scandal of the Trump Administration.
I hope Democrats note that any tax breaks for the rich becoming law now is basically signing the death warrant for Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security as we know them, given that it’s no secret that the point of tax cuts we can’t afford is to justify the destruction the of our safety net.
But there’s an even larger opportunity to begin resurrecting the Democrats’ natural identity as the party that puts the “people over the powerful.”
Exploitation of the working class is the the through-line that connects Trump’s entire agenda, which is all about freeing polluters, bankers and bosses to exploit workers in ways only people who see the non-rich as disposable would tolerate.
Despite his standard GOP policies, Trump was elected by effectively stealing the pro-worker narrative from Democrats with his faux concerns about trade and immigration. These growls are proving to be dog whistles tied to no substantive policies except mass deportations, which is why the GOP’s billionaires are mostly thrilled with the meat of his presidency. But his record-low popularity and manifest unfitness for office poses real costs for the rich in terms of fusing their agenda to a madman who coddles white supremacists, comforts adversaries and seeks every opportunity to loot taxpayers.
At some point, he — despite his willingness to let the Federalist Society/Mike Pence pick his judges — becomes too much of a burden to bear.
When could that happen?
Here Andy Slavitt connects the dots:
And we also need to continually ask ourselves: What happens if Trump gets the tax breaks he needs?
Given the advantages the GOP has created for itself in 2018, the way “reluctant Trump voters” seem to behave and the billions of dollars these tax breaks would put in the pockets of donors who could then spend freely to save the House and expand their control in the Senate, passing tax breaks for the rich could be Trump’s “Get Away with Everything Free” card.
That’s when we realize there’s no waking up from this nightmare.