Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Fake tax cuts and more - for Trump reality is an opponent that must be defeated

Judd Legum (in his popular.info email) nails the master of fake news on the fake tax cut. I’ve reprinted it below but if you go to the site, https://popular.info/p/preexisting-deception you will find another interesting post on how Republicans portray themselves as the saviors of insurance coverage for preexisting conditions while simultaneously working to get rid of that coverage.

The fake tax cut for the middle class

Trump is promising the middle class a tax cut before the November election. He revealed his plans while answering questions from reporters on his way to a rally in Nevada this Saturday:

We are looking at putting in a very major tax cut for middle-income people. And if we do that it’ll be sometime just prior to November. We are studying very deeply right now round the clock a major tax cut for middle-income people.

There is just one problem: Congress won’t even be in session before Election Day.

Trump repeated his claim on Monday but acknowledged that the vote wouldn’t happen until after Election Day:

We’re putting in a resolution sometime in the next week-and-a-half or two weeks… This is not for business. This is for middle. That’s on top of the tax decrease that we’ve already given… I’m going through Congress. We won’t have time to do the vote. We’ll do the vote later. We’ll do the vote after the election.

What will Congress be voting on? Trump has not released any plan or even basic details of what he has in mind.

Trump’s sudden announcement of a middle-class tax cut that will, in all likelihood, never happen is an obvious political ploy. But what’s more interesting is what it says about Trump’s last tax cut, which was enacted just 10 months ago.

Trump is tacitly acknowledging something that is true: his 2017 tax cuts did little for the middle class. This year, the average family making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year receive a tax cut of $570, or $47.50 per month. The average millionaire, meanwhile, gets $69,660. Two-thirds of Americans say they haven’t noticed any increase in their paychecks.

The fact that most families haven’t seen a significant increase in take home pay has had political consequences. A recent Gallup poll found only 39% of Americans approve of the cuts. What was supposed to be a blockbuster issue for Republicans in the midterms has turned into a bust.

The bill’s popularity is not likely to improve. The 2017 tax cut’s benefits for the middle class peak in 2018. Because of the way the tax brackets are indexed to inflation, the benefits will shrink each year. In 2025, the individual tax cuts expire completely, leaving many in the middle class worse off.

Trump is betting on the idea that it’s more effective to talk about tax cuts that don’t exist than about the ones he signed into law.

Reality is an opponent to be defeated

Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog) also boils, broils, and blisters Trump for coming up with a huge lie in Trump’s tax cuts were a dud, so he’s made up new ones that don’t exist. And not only that, Trump is “making up” everything from riots through voter frauds to the Saudi arms deal.

… said over the weekend that he and congressional Republicans are working “around the clock” on a new tax cut, which he suggested we’d see no later than Nov. 1, despite the fact that Congress is effectively out of session. …

… the president repeated the vow at a rally in Texas last night, boasting that the chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee has been working on a new tax cut “for a few months,” and the proposal is “going to be put in next week.”

None of this makes a lick of sense. No one in Congress has any idea what this is about – even White House officials are reportedly “mystified” – and since Capitol Hill will be largely empty next week, there won’t be anyone around to unveil a new multi-billion-dollar tax proposal.

… while it may be tempting to simply point and laugh at Trump’s bizarre confusion, there are a couple of substantive angles to this.

The first is that there’s a growing realization, even inside the Oval Office, that Trump’s original tax cuts were a political dud, which has apparently led the president to believe it’s time to make up new ones before Election Day.

As the Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell explained overnight, “The Republican tax cut is a big, fat failure. It has achieved none of the things that Republicans promised it would. It didn’t reduce deficits. It didn’t target the middle class. And it didn’t win goodwill with voters.”

The second angle to keep in mind is that, with just two weeks remaining before the congressional midterm elections, Trump’s closing message is based almost entirely on brazen lies.

The president is making up tax cuts. He’s making up “riots.” He’s making up racist conspiracy theories. He’s making up health care policies. He’s making up voter fraud. He’s making up a $110 billion arms deal, which in his mind will create 500,000, 600,000, or a million jobs.

With the pressure on and early voting underway, Donald Trump has decided reality is an opponent that needs to be defeated.

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