Republicans try to sneak fetal personhood language into tax plan


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Republicans never stop trying to ban abortion—even, apparently, when drawing up plans on how to tax college savings. In the section on 529 college savings accounts, Republicans added a provision on “treatment of unborn children,” defined specifically as “a child in utero,” which “means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.” Emily Peck reports that:

Pro-abortion rights advocates were quick to call out the language. “This is a back-door attempt to establish personhood from the moment of conception,” Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, said in a statement. “The tax code is no place to define what constitutes an ‘unborn child.’ What’s next, giving a Social Security number to a zygote?” […]

Abortion foes believe that if fetuses were legally considered people, then abortion would

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Republican tax plan could slam graduate students earning less than $30,000


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The Republican tax plan is designed to be confusing. They don’t want us to know everything that’s in it ahead of time, because we’d notice how bad it is for us. So little bits of information trickle out, like this in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and they don’t necessarily get the attention they deserve:

The plan would also tax the tuition waivers that many graduate students receive when they work as teaching assistants or researchers.

Claus Wilke, an integrative biology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, explained on Twitter what this could mean to STEM education:

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The result? “At that point, a PhD would not be a viable choice anymore, except for the

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The Republican ‘tax plan’ is getting bad reviews from the public—and from Republican allies


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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The public is not buying the Republican spin on their new would-be “tax plan.” They’re not buying the spin at all.

But nearly 60 percent of people believe corporations won’t “use that money to create jobs,” according to the CBS poll. […]
The plurality of respondents — 39 percent — say they don’t have an opinion about whether the tax plan is good or bad, according to NBC/WSJ. Just over one-third said it’s a bad idea, and 25 percent said it’s a good idea. […]

CBS found that 58 percent of Americans believe taxes on the wealthy should be higher.

This is polling that took place before the details of the bill were even revealed. Now that Republicans have presented it, however, it’s not just voter opinion that Republicans will need to reckon with; the virulently anti-tax Club for Growth is furious it didn’t go far enough

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The Republican ‘tax plan’ is getting bad reviews from the public—and from Republican allies


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The public is not buying the Republican spin on their new would-be “tax plan.” They’re not buying the spin at all.

But nearly 60 percent of people believe corporations won’t “use that money to create jobs,” according to the CBS poll. […]
The plurality of respondents — 39 percent — say they don’t have an opinion about whether the tax plan is good or bad, according to NBC/WSJ. Just over one-third said it’s a bad idea, and 25 percent said it’s a good idea. […]

CBS found that 58 percent of Americans believe taxes on the wealthy should be higher.

This is polling that took place before the details of the bill were even revealed. Now that Republicans have presented it, however, it’s not just voter opinion that Republicans will need to reckon with; the virulently anti-tax Club for Growth is furious it didn’t go far enough

Continue reading “The Republican ‘tax plan’ is getting bad reviews from the public—and from Republican allies”

Republicans are selling their tax plan on a platform of lies


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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There are a few places where we can already see the gap between what Republicans are claiming their tax plan will do for you and what it will really do that should tell us all we need to know: if they need to lie and misdirect that much to sell the plan, voters definitely shouldn’t be buying. Take the claim that the plan would “lower the tax rate ‘for low– and middle-income Americans’ from 39.6 percent to 35 percent so ‘people can keep more of the money they earn’” … where the “low- and middle-income Americans” in question are earning $450,000 a year. Or take the $1,182 per year tax cut for a family making the median income of $59,000 a year. The reality behind that one gets complicated fast:

Under the current law, parents may claim personal exemptions on their tax forms for themselves, their spouses and their children. The

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Republicans refuse to believe polls showing most Americans don’t want corporate tax cuts


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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It’s not just Trump supporters who believe what they want to believe and everything else is “fake news,” it’s Republican lawmakers too. Three polls in the last couple months have come out showing most Americans and even many Republican aren’t all that jazzed about cutting the corporate tax rate—a central pillar of the GOP’s tax plan. Here’s the news from two separate September and October Politico/Morning Consult polls:

The GOP response? Vox writes:

“Who cares?” Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) said before I had a chance to say what the polls showed.

Others said they didn’t believe the numbers.

“I don’t believe that poll,” Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) said. “I don’t believe it. It’s in all of our best interest to have these tax

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Republicans either don’t know yet or are covering up what’s in their big tax plan


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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Republicans are planning a big package of tax cuts, they keep telling us. But what’s going to be in it? Possibly changes to your 401(k) retirement plan, despite Donald Trump’s promise to leave those untouched. And, uh, well, beyond that, it’s kind of a mystery. Here’s the Washington Post on what House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady is saying—or what he isn’t saying:

For example, he said he hasn’t decided what income levels would merit certain tax rates.

He said he hasn’t decided how many tax deductions to eliminate to partially offset the lower rates.

He said he hasn’t decided whether to impose a top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans.

He said he hasn’t decided whether the tax cuts would be retroactive to income earned in 2017.

He wouldn’t say how the tax bill would impact the type of taxes paid by hedge fund managers, even though

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Republicans again face defections on a top priority. This time, tax cuts.


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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Republicans are once again struggling to get the votes they need to pass one of their own top priorities—in this case, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. The House needs to pass the Senate’s budget resolution to allow Senate Republicans to use reconciliation to pass the tax cuts with 51 rather than 60 votes. But there’s a sticking point in the House: Republicans from higher-taxed states are worried about the elimination of a provision that currently allows people to deduct their state and local taxes from their federal taxes.

“I need to know what the endgame is going to look like if I’m going to vote on it,” said Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., a leader of the bloc of concerned Republicans. MacArthur attended a White House meeting on the issue Tuesday where he said he “didn’t make the progress I had hoped for.” […]

Three

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White House selling tax plan through use of lies, damned lies, and statistics


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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Sarah Huckabee Sanders is mostly known for spewing BS in person from behind the podium of the White House press room, but look! She can do it on Twitter, too:

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A couple of things:

Republicans push forward a bill to take away cheap phones and Internet from low-income families


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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Something called the “End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phone Act,” was announced Tuesday by 19 Republican representatives. Its author, Republican Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), and 18 other Republican shills hope to stop poor people from having any access to affordable broadband and mobile phones. The bill goes after the Lifeline program that began in 1985 providing subsidies for telephones, and in recent years, was expanded to include broadband Internet and mobile phones. The idea is to help low-income folks from falling completely off the grid of society without access to our technological advances in communications. The bill is very clear.

To prohibit universal service support of commercial mobile service and commercial mobile data service through the Lifeline program.

Why do we need to continue to attack the Lifeline program after new FCC chairman Ajit Pai already stymied its modest expansion? Taxpayer money! Fiscal waste! The big “waste” that Rep. Scott cites

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Republicans push forward a bill to take away cheap phones and Internet from low-income families


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Something called the “End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phone Act,” was announced Tuesday by 19 Republican representatives. Its author, Republican Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), and 18 other Republican shills hope to stop poor people from having any access to affordable broadband and mobile phones. The bill goes after the Lifeline program that began in 1985 providing subsidies for telephones, and in recent years, was expanded to include broadband Internet and mobile phones. The idea is to help low-income folks from falling completely off the grid of society without access to our technological advances in communications. The bill is very clear.

To prohibit universal service support of commercial mobile service and commercial mobile data service through the Lifeline program.

Why do we need to continue to attack the Lifeline program after new FCC chairman Ajit Pai already stymied its modest expansion? Taxpayer money! Fiscal waste! The big “waste” that Rep. Scott cites

Continue reading “Republicans push forward a bill to take away cheap phones and Internet from low-income families”

Republicans push forward a bill to take away cheap phones and Internet from low-income families


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Something called the “End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phone Act,” was announced Tuesday by 19 Republican representatives. Its author, Republican Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), and 18 other Republican shills hope to stop poor people from having any access to affordable broadband and mobile phones. The bill goes after the Lifeline program that began in 1985 providing subsidies for telephones, and in recent years, was expanded to include broadband Internet and mobile phones. The idea is to help low-income folks from falling completely off the grid of society without access to our technological advances in communications. The bill is very clear.

To prohibit universal service support of commercial mobile service and commercial mobile data service through the Lifeline program.

Why do we need to continue to attack the Lifeline program after new FCC chairman Ajit Pai already stymied its modest expansion? Taxpayer money! Fiscal waste! The big “waste” that Rep. Scott cites

Continue reading “Republicans push forward a bill to take away cheap phones and Internet from low-income families”

Lies, damn lies, and fake news


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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In his 2007 book The Assault on Reason, former Vice President Al Gore warned about what he saw as a dire threat to American democracy. “The ‘well-informed citizenry,’” Gore fretted, ”is in danger of becoming the ‘well-amused audience.’” In a presentation on Super Tuesday 2008 (“That’s Entertainment: Politics as Theater in Campaign ‘08”), I elaborated on Gore’s alert.

When politics is entertainment, the first thing that suffers is the truth.

More than nine years later, the American people have a professional entertainer in the Oval Office. And as recent headlines have shown, the truth is suffering indeed. Despite the unified assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that Vladimir Putin’s Russia interfered in the 2016 election, only one-third of Republicans polled believe it. Other surveys found that 72 percent of Trump voters said stories about Russia are “fake news,” with 32 percent even rejecting the claim that Donald

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No pressure, Trump, but if you don’t get tax reform, you’ve got nothing but jazz hands


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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Donald Trump, congressional Republicans and their conservative allies are now staring at a potential legislative goose egg and wondering how well that will play in 2018.

Turns out the “I alone can fix it” guy hasn’t fixed a thing. In fact, if anything, he’s both revealed and deepened the fissures within the Republican Party. But the one thing every Republican in Washington agrees on in the wake of their healthcare collapse is that completing an overhaul of the tax code looms larger than ever. Politico writes:

“If Republicans fail to repeal or at least substantially roll back Obamacare, it raises the stakes dramatically to pass into law a big, bold tax-reform plan,” said Tim Phillips, who leads Americans for Prosperity, the political group backed by the Koch brothers.

“On the political side, the biggest problem that Republicans could face in 2018 is not a partisan battle. It’s a sense of incompetence and

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Republicans eager to replicate their failed partisan strategy on health care for tax reform


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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You know what they say: If your fatally flawed ill-advised strategy crashes and burns repeatedly, try, try again. Republicans, fresh off their epic healthcare defeat, are now taking the lessons they didn’t learn and throwing them straight out the window, writes Roll Call’s Lindsey McPherson:

House Republicans at least appear ready to take the same approach to overhauling the tax code.

“I feel like it’s our only option,” Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker said.

That means Republicans are working to set up a scenario through which “reconciliation” can be used to bypass needing any Democratic votes for passage of their tax overhaul. In other words, let’s kick off the tax reform effort by flipping Democrats the bird.

And right on cue, Republicans are now baffled that Democrats aren’t begging to be let in on the GOP’s one-party negotiation.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said reconciliation gives Republicans a vehicle to get a tax overhaul

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Guess what’s in the GOP’s 2018 budget? Spending cuts for America’s most vulnerable


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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House Republicans unveiled their 2018 budget blueprint Tuesday which is intended to pave the way for their major rewrite of the tax code. But the only way for them to keep their tax overhaul dreams within reach for a simple party-line vote is by using the budget to slash the heck out of social safety net programs that help some of America’s neediest populations. Politico’s Sarah Ferris writes:

To unlock Congress’ power to expedite tax overhaul this year, GOP lawmakers would need to slash billions from politically sensitive programs like food stamps, student aid and federal pension funds. […]

The ambitious plan calls for $203 billion in mandatory cuts, which would mark the largest amount of deficit reduction through the budget process in two decades. And forcing Republicans to combine their already-complex push for tax reform with massive funding reductions would be a risky maneuver.

Some GOP lawmakers have

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Welcome back: Republicans return from recess to a field of legislative land mines


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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When Republican lawmakers left for their July 4 recess, they had produced no major legislative wins in the six months since taking over the government. Upon return, their predicament is way worse. The AP writes:

The GOP campaign to repeal Democrat Barack Obama’s health care law is bogged down in the Senate and flirting with collapse. Efforts to pass a budget are stuck, there’s no tax code overhaul package, spending bills are in limbo and it’s unclear how leaders will find the votes to avert a federal default.

That August recess can’t come soon enough! Which is exactly what some Republicans fear and are now angling to skip so they’re not caught vacationing while they torpedo the nation’s debt rating and shut down the government.

Really, folks, the next few weeks of legislating (if we can call it that) will be a total wonder. Nearly every bill the GOP needs or

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Republican agenda sucking wind with only 30-some work days left in fiscal year 2017


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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About a month—that’s how long is left on the Senate’s 2017 calendar to accomplish just a few teensy-weensy items Republicans have been salivating over for years: stripping tens of millions of Americans of health care, slashing taxes for millionaires and billionaires, overhauling the entire tax code. Man, how long they been promising to do all that if only voters would put them in the seat of power?

And then there’s the basic functions of government: providing a budget, keeping the government open for business, raising the debt ceiling so the U.S. doesn’t default and entirely trash our debt rating.

It all seemed so obvious just six months ago with Paul Ryan’s cheery can-do attitude alongside Mitch McConnell’s dour-but-steady guidance. But suddenly the walls are closing in—so much so that even members of McConnell’s own caucus are begging him to forego their August recess. The NYT writes:

“Our current Senate calendar shows only

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Donald Trump reacts to a Washington Post story saying he’s ‘confused’ by threatening Amazon


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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Upset by a morning Washington Post story which noted that Donald Trump was “confused” and “did not have a grasp of some basic elements of the Senate plan,” Trump struck back in the only way he knows … by threat.

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The problem with that threat? If Trump is talking about sales taxes, Amazon already pays them in every state …

[As of March] Amazon will start collecting sales taxes on purchases in the last four states where it wasn’t doing so: Hawaii, Idaho, Maine and New Mexico. Four other states — Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon — have no sales tax, while a fifth, Alaska, doesn’t have a statewide tax, but it does have municipal sales taxes.

But then,

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McConnell’s response to CBO Trumpcare score: Clap harder … and don’t say the number 22 million


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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It took Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a few minutes to release a statement after the Congressional Budget Office released its verdict on the Senate Republican healthcare bill, and no wonder. When your bill will leave 22 million people without health coverage within a decade, 15 million of them by next year, you have to be careful what you say. Here’s what McConnell came up with:

Americans need relief from the failed Obamacare law. The Senate will soon take action on a bill that the Congressional Budget Office just confirmed will reduce the growth in premiums under Obamacare, reduce taxes on the middle class, and reduce the deficit. The American people need better care now, and this legislation includes the necessary tools to provide it.

About that reduction in premium growth:

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