Your new tax plan, courtesy the United States of Koch

UPDATED: Monday, August 7, 2017 23:51
PAGE 1 of 1

Monday, August 7, 2017 10:54 AM


... fully loaded, safety off...

Your tax plan will be written by Billionaires - what could go wrong with that?

Moving Past Health Care, White House Looks to Tax Reform

Aug 1st

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration insisted on Monday, in a show of unity with one of the Republican Party’s biggest financial backers, that its plan to rewrite the tax code would be a collaborative and ultimately successful process.

In a scene that demonstrated the pressure the administration is under to deliver on that promise, Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, appeared with representatives from the political network funded by Charles G. and David H. Koch to stress that there was little daylight separating the White House, Republicans in Congress and the well-financed conservative groups that are planning to devote tens of millions of dollars to the process.

“This is a pass/fail exercise, and we will pass tax reform,” Mr. Mnuchin said in a question-and-answer session with Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch group that funds grass-roots political activity across the country. More than once, Mr. Phillips mentioned that the group’s activists in 36 states were ready to be deployed, and that there was no higher priority for them this year. “We’re going all in,” Mr. Phillips said.

Ideally, the administration would like a bill on President Trump’s desk by Thanksgiving.

“That, I think, is an aggressive schedule, but that is our timetable,” said Marc Short, the Trump administration’s legislative affairs director and a former executive for the Koch political organization Freedom Partners, who was also on hand for the event.

The issue is so important to Mr. Trump, administration officials said, that he plans to travel the country holding campaign-style rallies to promote an overhaul.

While overhauling the tax code is generally considered to be one of the most challenging legislative lifts for lawmakers to pursue, Mr. Short predicted that the House and Senate tax-writing committees would begin marking up legislation shortly after Labor Day. The House and the Senate, he said, would then pass bills in succession in October and November, sending the tax legislation to Mr. Trump’s desk before December.

As lawmakers and the White House work toward a plan that can pass both houses of Congress, conservative political groups are trying to impress on them that failure is not an option after the collapse of Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In addition to the Koch efforts, groups like the American Action Network and the Business Roundtable are beginning multimillion-dollar television and radio campaigns meant to coincide with Congress’s August recess.

Corry Bliss, the executive director of the American Action Network, said the group was prepared to spend $5 million in August alone — and $20 million by Christmas — on a campaign that included rallying activists to lawmakers’ offices. “Every time a member has a town hall, Republican or Democrat, we’re going to be there with a presence, holding them accountable, urging them to keep their promise to cut taxes,” he said.

Although Republicans have worked through some of their divisions on how to revise the tax code — deciding to shelve, for example, a controversial tax on imports proposed by Speaker Paul D. Ryan — significant differences remain.

Mr. Short said that the White House was still pushing to cut the top corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent. House Republicans had proposed cutting it to 20 percent and many tax experts think that even that number is overly ambitious with the import tax gone and with the Affordable Care Act taxes still in place.

On Monday, Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told Reuters that even getting the corporate tax rate down to 25 percent would be a challenge.

And the administration is also forging ahead with a proposal to eliminate the deduction that Americans can take on their state and local taxes, which members of both parties are already raising objections to.

The deduction is a considerable source of financial relief for people who live in high-tax states along both coasts. Those states also tend to be dominated by Democrats and others who voted decisively against Mr. Trump. States that would be less affected tend to be those vast stretches of red that Mr. Trump swept last year, from Florida to Wyoming.

The state and local tax deduction was on the chopping block in the House Republican tax blueprint and in Mr. Trump’s tax outline, but like any significant change to the tax code, getting rid of it comes with political peril. Resistance to its repeal has already spurred bipartisan backlash.

Last month, a bipartisan group of 70 members of Congress sent a letter to Mr. Mnuchin warning that eliminating deductions for state and local taxes would be a tax hike on middle-income taxpayers in states such as California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. Seven House Republicans from blue states signed the letter, suggesting that if other Republicans feel the same way, then yet another big plan to raise tax revenues will have to be jettisoned.

Mr. Mnuchin said that the loss of such deductions was the price to pay for substantially lower tax rates that he said would mostly benefit middle-income families.

“As a matter of fact, I sometimes get complaints from my friends in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and California and Illinois that their taxes aren’t going down,” Mr. Mnuchin said. “So this is not about a tax cut for the rich.”

Thus far, Republicans are refusing to publicly scale back their ambitions on taxes, but many veterans of previous attempts to change the tax laws think that there is little chance that something of such magnitude will be enacted. As long as the Trump administration remains fixated on health care, a budget will not be easy to pass. Also confronting Congress: The debt ceiling must be lifted by the end of September.

“All of this is happy talk,” Steve Bell, a Republican staff director of the Senate Budget Committee in the 1980s, said of the chances that a tax bill would be signed this year. “I think there is a belief that if you say it often enough, it will become true.”


I love that last part, certainly a Trump Motto for success:
“All of this is happy talk. I think there is a belief that if you say it often enough, it will become true.”

How long before Steve Bell gets canned?


Monday, August 7, 2017 11:20 AM


Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the rest.


Monday, August 7, 2017 11:26 AM



Originally posted by reaverfan:
Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the rest.

That was very well put


Monday, August 7, 2017 11:35 AM


I am a job creator: A manifesto for the entitled

I am a corporate chief executive.

I am a business owner.

I am a private-equity fund manager.

I am the misunderstood superhero of American capitalism, single-handedly creating wealth and prosperity despite all the obstacles put in my way by employees, government and the media.

I am a job creator and I am entitled.

I am entitled to complain about the economy even when my stock price, my portfolio and my profits are at record levels.

I am entitled to a healthy and well-educated workforce, a modern and efficient transportation system and protection for my person and property, just as I am entitled to demonize the government workers who provide them.

I am entitled to complain bitterly about taxes that are always too high, even when they are at record lows.

I am entitled to a judicial system that efficiently enforces contracts and legal obligations on customers, suppliers and employees but does not afford them the same right in return.

I am entitled to complain about the poor quality of service provided by government agencies even as I leave my own customers on hold for 35 minutes while repeatedly telling them how important their call is.

I am entitled to a compensation package that is above average for my company’s size and industry, reflecting the company’s aspirations if not its performance.

I am entitled to have the company pay for breakfasts and lunches, a luxury car and private jet travel, my country club dues and home security systems, box seats to all major sporting events, a pension equal to my current salary and a full package of insurance — life, health, dental, disability and long-term care — through retirement.

I am entitled to have my earned income taxed as capital gains and my investment income taxed at the lowest rate anywhere in the world — or not at all.

I am entitled to inside information and favorable investment opportunities not available to ordinary investors. I am entitled to brag about my investment returns.

I am entitled to pass on my accumulated wealth tax-free to heirs, who in turn, are entitled to claim that they earned everything they have.

I am entitled to use unlimited amounts of my own or company funds to buy elections without disclosing such expenditures to shareholders or the public.

I am entitled to use company funds to burnish my own charitable reputation.

I am entitled to provide political support to radical, uncompromising politicians and then complain about how dysfunctional Washington has become.

Although I have no clue how government works, I am entitled to be consulted on public policy by politicians and bureaucrats who have no clue about how business works.

I am entitled to publicly criticize the president and members of Congress, who are not entitled to criticize me.

I am entitled to fire any worker who tries to organize a union. I am entitled to break any existing union by moving, or threatening to move, operations to a union-hostile environment.

I am entitled to a duty of care and loyalty from employees and investors who are owed no such duty in return.

I am entitled to operate my business free of all government regulations other than those written or approved by my industry.

I am entitled to load companies up with debt in order to pay myself and investors big dividends — and then blame any bankruptcy on over-compensated workers.

I am entitled to contracts, subsidies, tax breaks, loans and even bailouts from government, even as I complain about job-killing government budget deficits.

I am entitled to federal entitlement reform.

I am entitled to take credit for all the jobs I create while ignoring any jobs I destroy.

I am entitled to claim credit for all the profits made during a booming economy while blaming losses or setbacks on adverse market or economic conditions.

I am entitled to deny knowledge or responsibility for any controversial decisions made after my departure from the company, even while profiting from such decisions if they enhance shareholder value.

I am entitled to all the rights and privileges of running an American company, but owe no loyalty to American workers or taxpayers.

I am entitled to confidential information about my employees and customers while refusing even to list the company’s phone number on its Web site.

I am entitled to be treated with deference and respect by investors I mislead, customers I bamboozle, directors I manipulate and employees I view as expendable.

I am entitled to be lionized in the media without answering any questions from reporters.

I am entitled to the VIP entrance.

I am entitled to everything I have and more that I still deserve.


Monday, August 7, 2017 11:45 PM


Trump and the Koch brothers on the same page? That sounds new. Kochs have pledged to fund election campaigns for those Republicans who do not capitulate to the demands and whims of lifelong Democrat/liberal Trump.

Trump giving lip service to ideals of conservatives, now that is nothing new.

Which way things progress could prove interesting, or entertaining.


Monday, August 7, 2017 11:51 PM



Originally posted by G:
How long before Steve Bell gets canned?

I don't find any reference that Steve Bell holds current office. Do you know what he does now?






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