2018, Affordable Care Act, American Health Care Act, Donald Trump, Taxes — September 3, 2017 at 11:31 am

6 reasons Trump can still pull off tax breaks for the rich


If we can’t stop them

The New Republic’s Brian Beutler has presented eight reasons why the GOP may be “too incompetent to cut taxes,” which would be like arguing that flies are too dizzy to find any excrement. You’re supposed to be able to do the one thing you exist to do.

The piece is convincing. And here’s already evidence that the Freedom Caucus will slow down Harvey aid and along with it the most basic functioning of the House, making the yawning list of things Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell want to get done by September 30, which the current budget reconciliation bill that makes it possible to pass tax breaks with 50 votes in the Senate expires, impossible.

Still I’m not convinced the GOP will be denied satisfying its prime directive.

I pray I’m not being too cynical in hopes of being “pleasantly surprised.” Actually I think I’m being realistic about the amazing confluence of resistance and history that conspired to stop Trumpcare from becoming law. It took a massive outcry from activists and voters combined with the tremendous bad will Trump had built up in John McCain, the one Republican who has the least to fear from the president.

And let us remember that even Trumpcare isn’t truly dead for a single reason — rich people really want those Medicaid cuts to pay for their tax breaks.

Quickly, here are six reasons why I think tax cuts could easily become law soon.

1. Any tax cut will do.
Republicans have all but given up on any “reform” of taxes. If they come forward with a plan that kills popular deductions, like 401ks or capping the home mortgage deduction, the backlash could drown them out. So expect them just to push modest cuts that mostly go to the rich designed to “pay for themselves” with economic growth, Kansas-style. They could even reward rich donors by cutting all the rates except the top one then eliminating the estate tax and focusing on corporate tax giveaways. Basically, any tax cut is much better than no tax cut to a Republican.

2. A well-designed cut could get Democratic votes.
Tim Ryan in the House is already flirting with backing corporate tax breaks. Can you name me the three Republicans in the Senate who would oppose tax breaks? McCain backed all the Bush tax breaks, even as he complained about them. Who would be the Republican who’d be the key vote against Trump’s one hope for an accomplishment? I think it’s easier to name Democratic Senators who might back it. All that can stop Democrats from considering such collusion is massive resistance, but even that’s easier for Republicans to avoid now.

3. It might be easier to fragment the Resistance in fall.
There’s just so much going on in people’s lives beyond Trump’s constant mania. Add the likelihood of the end of DACA to the avalanche of legislation to suss out to the complexity of the arguments against cutting the corporate and estate taxes and Republicans may be able to substitute competency with obscurity.

4. Every Republican needs something to run on next year.
Gorsuch and Trump’s other massive wins in shaping the judiciary may be enough to get Republicans to the polls in November absent any legistlative wins, but it may not be enough to win you a GOP primary. The vast majority of Republican Members of Congress only have to fear a primary challenge and whiffing on Trump’s agenda completely will make them vulnerable to anyone from their right. And Trump knows that tax breaks will make or break his presidency. His willingness to threaten his own party will curdle some cowards.

5. Unlike Trumpcare, tax cuts are popular.
Tax breaks for the rich aren’t that popular, but they’re Taylor Swift compared to Trumpcare, the single most unpopular legislation I’ve ever seen. It was a law with tens of millions of victims and few winners. Tax cuts in general are very popular and this bill will likely cut everyone’s taxes, though the majority will go to the rich and they will set the stage for a massive assault on programs we love — like Medicaid and Medicare. Exposing the consequences of a payoff are much harder than promising people a check.

6. Republicans don’t vote against tax cuts.
And they control both houses of Congress and the presidency.

That said, I believed the GOP was going to be able to pull off ACA repeal by now. The Resistance proved me wrong by flooding our brains with the information we needed to fight a horrendous bill.

That can easily happen again, but we have to ready. Really, here’s all people need to know:

Yep, it’s time to rage again.