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Archive of Articles in the "Taxes" Category

Friday Talking Points [448] -- Rogue Elephants!

[ Posted Friday, August 4th, 2017 – 17:39 PDT ]

As time goes by, more and more elephants in Washington seem to be going rogue. By this, we mean that resistance to Donald Trump is growing... within the Republican Party. Just last week, three GOP senators (Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and John McCain) denied Trump his sought-after "repeal and replace Obamacare" bill. Senator David Perdue from Georgia summed it up as: "We had three chairmen who went rogue on the Republican caucus and cost us this vote." Since then, other elephants have been going rogue at an increasing rate.

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Friday Talking Points [447] -- Donald Trump, Loser

[ Posted Friday, July 28th, 2017 – 17:17 PDT ]

It was just another week in Trumpland, folks. By that we mean more scandalous behavior and bumbling incompetence packed into one single week than most White House administrations show during an entire term of office. The week really began with the news last Friday that Sean Spicer had decided to quit, upon hearing that Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci was to be his new boss. The week ended (the news is breaking even as we write this) that Trump is sacking his chief of staff, Reince Priebus. During the week, Trump also tried his darndest to get Attorney General Jeff Sessions to quit in frustration, while rumors appeared that Rex Tillerson is planning his "Rexit" as well. For good measure, Mooch fired an underling of his, and then just threatened to fire his entire department if he couldn't figure out who was doing all the leaking. In other words, it's getting kind of crowded beneath the Trump bus, as more and more people are casually thrown under it (and as the wheels begin to come off entirely). Just another wacky week at the Trump White House, in other words. Maybe Reince got tired of all the winning?

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Why Is Everyone So Certain "Skinny Repeal" Will Go To Conference?

[ Posted Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 – 16:40 PDT ]

As the Senate's "vote-a-rama" continues, it's looking more and more likely that the only bill that has any chance of passing is what's now known as "skinny repeal." Who comes up with these labels, anyway? Nomenclature aside, though, there is a rather large assumption being made right now that may prove to be faulty -- that the skinny repeal bill will immediately move from passing the Senate into a House/Senate conference committee. This would serve to slow the process down and give Congress (at the very least) all of August to contemplate their next step. But this conference may not happen at all, which pretty much everyone in Washington is currently ignoring.

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John McCain's Blatant Hypocrisy

[ Posted Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 – 16:30 PDT ]

Senator John McCain traveled from his home in Arizona to Washington in order to cast the 50th vote to open debate in the Senate on the Republican healthcare bill. He was greeted by a round of applause and warm feelings by all, since he has just been diagnosed with brain cancer. I do not begrudge McCain his opportunity to vote, and I would further state that I (just like anyone with a shred of human decency and compassion) fully hope he wins his battle against cancer and send him fond wishes in his medical crisis. But that doesn't mean I can't also point out his naked hypocrisy today.

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Democrats Offer Up "A Better Deal"

[ Posted Monday, July 24th, 2017 – 16:15 PDT ]

It's really tough these days for Democrats to break into the news cycle. Today, for instance, we had the president's son-in-law testifying behind closed doors to a congressional committee, a new White House communications director staring his first full work week, and Senate Republicans desperately trying to figure out what particular bill they're going to bring up for a vote this week on healthcare (the one that kicks 23 million off their insurance, or the one that kicks 32 million off their insurance?). Plus, as always, there is Donald Trump's Twitter account -- which is always good for at least two or three distractions per day. So it's tough to get noticed, with everything else that's going on in Washington. But this maelstrom of Republican chaos isn't likely to get any better any time soon, so Democrats have to forge ahead in their efforts to gain some political attention.

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Friday Talking Points [446] -- Pardon Me?

[ Posted Friday, July 21st, 2017 – 15:51 PDT ]

We awoke to the breaking news that spinmeister Sean Spicer is out, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders is in as White House press secretary. Trump finally found a communications director as well, Anthony "Mooch" Scaramucci, whose main qualification for the job seems to be his world-class standing in the Olympic event entitled "kissing Trump's ass." We personally lost count, during his debut press conference, of how many times he used the phrase "I love Donald Trump" or some variation thereof. Trump, according to Mooch, is a demigod who strides the Earth and can do no wrong, ever, on anything.

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Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages

[ Posted Thursday, July 20th, 2017 – 16:44 PDT ]

Democrats seem to be almost ready to unveil their messaging for the 2018 election cycle. Ever since the disastrous 2016 election, they've been regrouping and trying to figure out a way forward. They did not launch a formal examination of what went wrong last year (unlike Republicans in 2013, there has been no "post-mortem" or "autopsy" document from the Democrats), instead they have focused on tightening up their message to move forward next year. The Washington Post just ran a preview of the Democratic strategizing, and reports that Democrats will be rolling out the whole thing next Monday.

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Giving Thanks For Republican Incompetence

[ Posted Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 – 16:56 PDT ]

Well, that was quick. In less than 24 hours, Mitch McConnell's "repeal and replace Obamacare" bill went down in flames, and then his hastily-constructed Plan C -- the "repeal and delay" idea -- also went down in flames, in spectacular fashion. Without an obvious Plan D on the horizon, this most likely means that the GOP push to repeal Obama's signature legislation is now completely dead in the water, hopefully from now all the way until after the 2018 midterm elections. The finger-pointing among Republicans has already begun, and will likely continue throughout the August congressional break. The real culprit here, though, is nothing short of Republican incompetence. They can spin it all they want, but they're still going to look like the gang who couldn't shoot straight to a significant portion of their own base.

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Is Resisting Trump Enough?

[ Posted Monday, July 17th, 2017 – 16:36 PDT ]

In the most recent Washington Post public opinion poll, only a little over a third of the respondents (36 percent) approve of the job President Donald Trump is doing. This is the lowest rating for any president, roughly six months into the job, since polling began. It's historically dismal, in other words. But while this is good news for the Democratic Party looking towards the midterm 2018 elections, there was one other poll question that should have them at least a little worried. When asked if Democrats "stand for something" or "just stand against Trump," only 37 percent responded that the Democratic Party stood for something. A whopping 52 percent said the party is now solely defined by their opposition to Trump.

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Friday Talking Points [445] -- It's Raining Shoes!

[ Posted Friday, July 14th, 2017 – 17:13 PDT ]

In normal political crises, everyone waits for "the other shoe to drop." The Russia/Trump scandal was upgraded earlier this year (by Senator John McCain) to "a centipede, because there are so many shoes left to drop." We thought that was rather clever, at the time. But we've now entered a whole new realm of scandal -- one where it is simply raining shoes down from the sky. Americans can barely go outside before they are clobbered by a falling workboot. Somebody needs to design a much stronger umbrella to protect public safety, and quick!

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