Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Coming Storm - Roy Moore, Reconciliation and Trump's Billionaire Tax Gift

Trump's "Tax Cut" for the Billionaires:
The Oligarchs' Plan to Snatch the Country
Catch Your Breath. We're Almost There.
Rats. The damned Russians only gave the GOP fifty-two Senators.
Mike Pence gets a "new lease on life" -- as long as he's obedient.

Now, fifty-two US GOP Senators should be enough to steal everything in the country which isn't "bolted down." Although during the Obama years the Republicans blocked every scrap of Democratic legislation possible with a "well polished threat" that they would filibuster it, a threat which would then require a 2/3 majority of currently seated Senators to pass it.

Tax cut trillions for the billionaires.
Where did that idea come from?
The "Swamp March"
However, even amid this blanket, partisan obstruction, there remained one, final option. In the Senate rules legislation which "theoretically" reduced the deficit or increased surpluses could be passed in reconciliation, and that type of legislation would require only a simple majority of at least fifty-one Senators. Further, if even that "lowered bar" remained "too high," the Vice President could step in -- as "President" of the Senate -- to "break the tie" and provide a "majority" to pass such a bill.

Since plenty of Americans are unfamiliar with the reconciliation process, MeanMesa provides the following, abbreviated explanation as found in WIKI. We can get into why this has become so desperately important later in this post.

[Excerpted. Visit the entire, original article here - Congressional Reconciliation/WIKI]

Although reconciliation was originally understood to be for the purpose of either reducing deficits or increasing surpluses, the language of the 1974 act refers only to "changes" in revenue and spending amounts, not specifically to increases or decreases. Per former Parliamentarian of the Senate Robert Dove:

  • [Reconciliation] was never used for that purpose. But in 1975, just a year after it had passed, a very canny Senate committee chairman, Russell Long of Louisiana, came into the Parliamentarian's Office, and he kept having trouble with his tax bills because of the Senate rules. People were offering amendments to them that he didn't like. They were debating them at length, and he didn't like that. And he saw in the Budget Act a way of getting around those pesky little problems. And he convinced the Parliamentarian at the time - I was the assistant - that the very first use of reconciliation should be to protect his tax cut bill.

The Byrd Rule (as described below) was adopted in 1985 and amended in 1990. Its main effect has been to prohibit the use of reconciliation for provisions that would increase the deficit beyond 10 years after the reconciliation measure. The removal of such provisions has been described as a "Byrd Bath."

The Painful Tale About Exactly How GOP
Molester, Judge Moore's Senate Campaign
 Has Turned the Trump Tax Cuts Into a 
Full On, Screaming, Senate Hair Burner
If this were fiction, it would be "over 18." Unhappily, it's not fiction.
MeanMesa suggests that we put Senate Leader,
 Mitch McConnell, on suicide watch.

The "high stakes" game presently being played out in the Senate, of course, is Trump's proposed tax
Why Republicans are already having trouble
 - even before Judge Moore -
with Trump's tax cuts. 
cut festival for billionaires. In its current form the tax cut plan would increase the national debt -- over a ten year period -- by $1.4 Trillion dollars [note: the estimate is far worse than this - see graphic]. To keep this monstrosity in the "reconciliation arena" the net effect of the giant debt increase has to be offset by a plethora of "cost reducing" measures such as cashing out current Medicaid expenditures, eliminating the current deduction for state and local taxes [the provision which targets blue states which 1. have higher taxes,and 2. didn't vote for Trump], eliminating deductions for child care, medical costs and a number of other benefits specifically benefiting middle class tax filers who itemize. 

Once all these middle class "deduction opportunities" have been removed, the Republicans will stumble along for a few months with both serious political problems and a Federal budget dilemma precipitated by the extreme economic stress resulting from the tax cuts. The traditional GOP "solution" for these pesky budgetary inconveniences will inevitably emerge as the "absolute necessity" of cutting Social Security and Medicaid expenditures.

However, the "flies get into the ointment" when one considers the current partisan split of the Senate.

Alabama Has Always Been
 a Delightfully Dependable,
Automatic Republican Elector Machine
The ultimate cracker, Beauregard Sessions, just simply has to be replaced by someone.
Happily, Alabama has a huge reserve of bigots and hillbillies,
 all waiting to become a Senator. Unhappily, the particular bigot the GOP has chosen
is, apparently, a self-confessed child molester so stinky that not even the
ridiculously self-righteous, GOP controlled Senate can "countenance the smell."

The terrifying result of all this is that Judge Roy Moore, the molester and candidate in the Alabama Senate run off election to replace Beauregard [now, Trump's bigoted AG], might -- possibly -- lose the election which was supposed to very dependably place another bigoted Republican in the Senate. At first this possibility was so remote that even the mention of it would send the incumbent, "battle hardened" Republican political hacks into a "knee slapping fit" of uncontrollable laughter.

However, only a few days after the public polling began to respond to the "molesting teen age girl" problem, the "outraged evangelical brain fever" started to take its effect of the Alabama poll numbers. What had been -- just before the "molestation" frenzy really grabbed a solid foot hold -- a predictably comfortable 48-42 [538]lead for Moore began to steadily evaporate. Today the Alabama Senate race is at a dead tie with Moore's numbers faltering further for every moment his "molestation habit" spends in the current news cycle.

The horrifying, gruesome reality of this is that Moore's opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, might become Alabama's Senatorial replacement for Sessions. When evaluating the "voting impact" in the Senate, such a victory would reduce the GOP grip on the body "twice." First, it would reduce the Number of Republican Senators by one, and second, it would increase the number of Democratic Senators by one.

The current fifty-two to forty-eight [46 Democrats and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats] partisan split would "mutate" to an even more precarious GOP majority of fifty-one to forty-nine. This -- counting the emergency appearance of Vice President Pence -- would leave a two vote "free board" for Senate leader McConnell to deliver the tax cuts his bosses are demanding.

If two Republican Senators "spit out the bridle," and the billionaires don't get their trillion dollar "present," then following such a disappointment, those billionaires will, very likely, fulfill their threat to cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in GOP "campaign contributions" for the 2018 midterm.

Now, as recently as five years ago the legislative -- or obstructive -- outcome of a 2 Senator majority among Republicans was as predictable as a new Swiss watch, but in these turbulent days that majority can disappear as quickly as old John McCain's "thumbs down" destroyed the last, and most vicious "repeal and replace" bill.

The "wishes" of the GOP "donors" might, possibly, be intimidating enough to keep all the elected Republicans "on the farm," but the growing possibility of an errant Congressman or Senator looms very large on the shadowy horizon in both Ryan's and McConnell's political fever dreams.

The question on the tax cut plan may be even less optimistic. The blue states the bill attacks so vehemently are not entirely Democratic -- there are plenty of "gated community" pockets strewn out among them, and those pockets have elected their own Republicans [Especially in the House of Representatives, but those "soon to be wounded by the tax cut bill, upper middle class wanna-be's" have been calling their House members and Senators, too. At the time of this post the bill's over all popularity was around 24%.]

Trump's tax giveaway can, actually, be passed with reconciliation. The scheme's final hurdle will focus on whether or not the GOP's traditionally unworkable proposition that revenues from the increased economic growth spurred by all the free money will off set such a huge debt explosion.

Finally, if the Republicans can successfully dump an additional $1.5 Tn atop the current $18 Tn national debt, the interest for the add on will amount to roughly $90 Bn. To see the relative size of this, the figure must be "expressed" in understandable terms. 

If a fully equipped high school could be built for about $3 Mn, that amount would build 30,000 of them.

Think about it.

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