With the legislation to ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacare hidden in a basement in Washington, and not much more dripping out on Trump’s plan to give billionaires a huge tax cut, Republicans really are the dog who caught the car. Slogans that appeal to their base get ugly fast when they have to become actual laws.
Paul Krugman explained it this way in the New York Times:
It goes without saying that Donald Trump is the least qualified individual, temperamentally or intellectually, ever installed in the White House…
But the broader Republican quagmire — the party’s failure so far to make significant progress toward any of its policy promises — isn’t just about Mr. Trump’s inadequacies. The whole party, it turns out, has been faking it for years. Its leaders’ rhetoric was empty; they have no idea how to turn their slogans into actual legislation, because they’ve never bothered to understand how anything important works.
Republicans have mastered being the party of ‘No.’ However, now that they have bamboozled voters into giving them complete governing control, they seem genuinely afraid of the backlash that could hit them in the next election. As it turns out, even Republican voters want healthcare, Social Security, and the ability to turn on their faucet and not have poisoned water come pouring out.
‘Do no harm’ is part of the oath doctors take. But the pro-corporate slant embedded in the GOP agenda is now becoming impossible to hide.
Buried in the Republican motives for Obamacare repeal are tax cuts for the rich, which are currently funding insurance subsidies for low-income recipients. This egregious upper-class handout is partly why leaked drafts of the overhaul aren’t allowed to kick in before the next presidential election, according to Politico.
In place of the Obamacare subsidies, the House bill starting in 2020 would give tax credits — based on age instead of income…
The Republican plan would also eliminate Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in 2020…
The same could be said for the relative quiet on the GOP’s tax reform plan. What little scrutiny it has gotten so far, offers clues as to why it’s not getting much sunlight.
Under the GOP plan, middle-class taxpayers will get an annual tax break of $120 – $410, less than half of that offered by the President’s plan. Meanwhile, the richest 20% of the country will, on average, enjoy additional after-tax cash of nearly $12,000, with the richest 1% getting an average tax break of $212,000.
Trump’s version of the plan is not much better for working-class families, Forbes also points out.
The large reductions in ordinary tax rates and those imposed upon business income, when coupled with the elimination of the estate tax — results in truly massive cuts for the richest taxpayers in America: with annual savings of over $18,000 going to the top 5%.
Now you can see why the Republicans and Trump have slowed their ambitious first 100-days agenda. ‘Do no harm’ depends on how wealthy you are already, and how closely you’re paying attention to the actual policies behind the Distractor-in-Chief’s tweet storms.
Tell lawmakers what you think of their plans for your future by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
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