Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Republicans remind us of who they are: Bob Corker's votes are for sale

Sunday I posted America’s economic inequality is on track to become much worse because of GOPlin’s tax cuts. In that post I featured a report from John Cassidy (New Yorker): The Final Version of the G.O.P. Tax Bill Is a Corrupt, Cruel, Budget-Busting Hairball. In that report, Cassidy called our attention to the stunning political back-flip performed by Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker.

… Corker had been the only Republican to vote against the Senate version of the tax bill, but on Friday he announced that he’d changed his mind, and that “after great thought and consideration, I believe this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make U.S. businesses domestically more productive and internationally more competitive is one we should not miss.” Corker didn’t mention his personal interests, but [David Sirota and Josh Keefe, of the International Business Times] did. “Federal records reviewed by IBT show that Corker has millions of dollars of ownership stakes in real-estate-related LLCs that could also benefit” from the final bill, they reported.

In this morning’s edition of Blog for Arizona, the AZ Blue Meanie elaborates with this post: The D.C. Swamp: The ‘Corker Kickback’ in the GOP tax bill. He cites reporting by Jake Johnson at Common Dreams.

… Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research [reports that] “According to Corker’s disclosure forms, he makes between $1.2 million and $7.0 million annually in this sort of income….If we plug in the top end $7 million figure, Corker could be saving as much as $1,190,000 from this late addition to the tax bill.”

These savings serve as a marked contrast to the benefits that would be seen by low-income families as a result of the highly-touted child tax credit changes demanded by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in exchange for his vote, Baker goes on to observe. While Corker, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, could potentially see a million-dollar annual benefit from the GOP tax plan, a married couple with two children earning $30,000 a year would only get an extra $800 from Rubio’s tax credit efforts.

The Corker Kickback (h/t AZBlueMeanie)
The Corker Kickback (h/t AZBlueMeanie)

Baker used a simple chart to spotlight the vast disparity [between Corker and a married couple with two children]:

The outrage prompted by the real estate provision, which was not in previous versions of the tax bill, has not gone unnoticed by Corker. In response to the International Business Times‘ reporting on Saturday, Corker conceded that he has not read the tax bill in full—just a “a two-page summary”—and claimed that he was unaware of the addition that has drawn so much condemnation.

Late Sunday, Corker—the lone Republican to vote against the Senate version of the tax bill—sent a letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, highlighting “concerns” that the provision has raised and requesting “an explanation of the evolution of this provision and how it made it into the final conference report.”

“For Sure Not Tom” comments on Blue Meanie’s post: “That’s today’s GOP, every time you think you found a good Republican, they remind you of who they are.”

Perhaps if we keep the heat on Corker we can get him to do the flop and vote against the “budget-busting hairball.”

On the other hand, votes, like love, seem to be for sale. Here’s Billie Holiday, the great Lady Day, and her take on Cole Porter’s votes Love for Sale. Scriber’s version follows.

Votes for sale
G O P Senate votes for sale
Votes that’re fresh and still unspoiled
Votes that’re only slightly soiled
Votes for sale

Who will buy?
Will Bob Corker sample my supply?
He’s prepared to pay the price
For a tax cut paradise
He’s for sale

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