At the end of the week, Donald Trump has two big deadlines looming -- one real, and one imaginary. The real one is that the government will shut down unless Congress acts, and the imaginary one is the end of Trump's first 100 days as president. Not content with the fact that solving the budget problem is going to be hard enough, Trump is pushing for action on two other fronts as well: tax reform and healthcare reform. He wants a big win to brag about when he reaches 100 days, but he might just be setting himself up for failure across the board.
Archive of Articles in the "Taxes" Category
We'd like to boldly add a new disease's definition to the political lexicon. We feel this is necessary since Donald Trump seems to have caught a rather drastic case of "100 Days Envy." Symptoms are a tendency to flail around looking for a legislative win you can brag about, and an unnatural fear of being called a loser by the entire planet's media for not even coming close to fulfilling pretty much any of the grandiose promises you made for your first 100 days in office.
A bill has been introduced in California's state legislature which would prevent the state's law enforcement officers (and any other state resources) from being used to: "investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person for marijuana activity that is authorized by law in the State of California." The bill is based on a similar bill which would declare California a "sanctuary state" for undocumented immigrants. Either one would be the first of its kind on a statewide level. The marijuana sanctuary bill (AB 1578) would send a clear signal to both Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the state is not going to take part in any new federal War On Weed. It just passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee by a vote of 5 to 2.
During Easter weekend (appropriately), a groundswell seemed to appear among Republicans in Congress for what they're calling the "candy option" on tax reform. Like kids with chocolate-smeared faces on Easter morning, they are considering whether to propose a diet of all candy and nothing else. Which, to stretch the metaphor to its inevitable conclusion, is going to lead to a major tummyache in the end.
This week saw some history made in the Trump White House. For the first time (at least in our memory), a White House top aide actually apologized for saying something stupid. So far, being Donald Trump (or being a Trump spokesperson) has meant never having to say you're sorry over any idiocy that gets said or tweeted, but this week saw Sean Spicer being forced to apologize for apparently forgetting about that whole Holocaust thing. While defending Adolf Hitler, on the first day of Passover, no less.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently signaled that Senate Democrats might have a rather interesting bargaining chip if the Republicans are really serious about wanting a massive tax reform deal later this year. Schumer hasn't totally drawn a line in the sand over the issue yet, but I personally think this would be a good line to draw: force the public release of Donald Trump's tax returns, or Democrats will not deal on tax reform, period. In fact, this week would be the perfect week to make such a demand, since millions of Americans are currently struggling to fill out their own income tax returns before next week's deadline.
Last Monday, I wrote about how bad Donald Trump's poll numbers have been, pointing out that he got absolutely no honeymoon from the public. I never thought I'd be writing about Trump's poll numbers again so quickly, but then everything about the Trump presidency seems to operate at warp speed, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. Today, Donald Trump hit a milestone in job approval polling -- he is now at the lowest point Barack Obama ever had, in eight full years. Trump's average daily job approval at RealClearPolitics.com is now a dismal 39.8 percent. His disapproval rating stands at 53.3 percent. And he's not even through his first 100 days.
Will tomorrow be any different at the White House? Since we all seem to now be living in Bizarro World, wouldn't that tend to make you think that we'd get no foolishness from our president on April Fool's Day? I mean, in an April Fool's Year, shouldn't one day be set aside for nonfoolery? Maybe even that's too much to ask from this fool's paradise of a White House.
The Path to Marijuana Reform, introduced today by Senator Wyden and Congressman Blumenauer is a package of three bills that pave the way for responsible federal regulation of the legal marijuana industry, and provide certainty for state-legal marijuana businesses which operate in nearly every state in the U.S.
There's a meme running around inside the Beltway this week concerning the likelihood of Democrats in Congress working with Donald Trump to get some legislation passed. However, much of the gossiping ignores one key question, because so far the speculation has mostly been focused on: "Will they or won't they work together, and what will it mean politically for both?" That's a valid thing to ponder, but the essential part most of this speculation misses is that any collaboration between the two is going to heavily depend on the substance of the issue, and precisely what's being proposed. Substance matters, in other words, even if it is more fun to wonder what the political fallout may be.