“The rich will pay their fair share,” Trump the populist promised his supporters during the campaign, when he often railed against upper-class greed and special-interest tax breaks.
.. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has repeatedly pledged that the administration would offer life-changing, economy-transforming tax cuts for the working class. Any tax-rate cuts for the wealthy, on the other hand, would be fully canceled out by closing deductions, credits and other loopholes. On net, the wealthy would pay the same amount they are now — hey, maybe more!
.. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) dubbed it the “Mnuchin rule.”
.. Trump’s plan would give rich people the biggest tax cuts of any income group.
That’s true however you slice it. The top 1 percent of taxpayers get the biggest cut in raw dollar terms, as a percentage of their incomes and as a percentage of total tax cuts. They’d receive nearly half the total tax cuts under Trump’s plan (and three-quarters of all the cuts under the House GOP plan).
.. owners of pass-through businesses (which include sole proprietorships, partnerships and S-corporations) to be taxed at a flat rate of 15 percent rather than the regular individual income-tax rates.
.. Just as all of Trump’s health-care promises proved impossible to square, so too will his tax populism collide with the plutocratic reality of his true priorities.
“Sounds like you’re applying the standards and the policy that the Obama administration put forward,” CBS News’s Major Garrett observed when Sessions finished his statement. “Are you taking any additional steps?”
“Well, that’s a good question,” Sessions replied. And the answer, apparently, is “no.”
Such policy anticlimaxes are becoming routine in Trump world. Tough rhetoric, big promises — and no substance. Trump looks more and more like a man without a plan.
.. During the campaign, he said he had a secret plan to defeat the Islamic State. He said he had a “foolproof” plan of “defeating them quickly and effectively and having total victory.” Now, it turns out, he has no plan. He has asked the Pentagon to create one. “We will figure something out,” he said last week.
.. During the campaign, Trump boldly vowed that he would eliminate the U.S. debt
.. He then said he would cut the debt in half. But when CNBC’s Eamon Javers asked about whether Trump would allow tax reform to add to the deficit (and therefore the debt), Spicer said it was “really early” to be raising such questions
.. How presumptuous to expect Trump, after campaigning on historic tax reform, actually to have a proposal!
And you, Donald, are getting a reputation as a sucker. And worse, a sucker who is a tool of the D.C. establishment.
Your whole campaign was mocking your rivals and the D.C. elite, jawing about how Americans had turned into losers, with our bad deals and open borders and the Obamacare “disaster.”
.. You knew the Republicans were full of hot air. They haven’t had to pass anything in a long time, and they have no aptitude for governing. To paraphrase an old Barney Frank line, asking the Republicans to govern is like asking Frank to judge the Miss America contest — “If your heart’s not in it, you don’t do a very good job.”
.. Instead, you sold the D.O.A. bill the Irish undertaker gave you as though it were a luxury condo, ignoring the fact that it was a cruel flimflam, a huge tax cut for the rich disguised as a health care bill. You were so concerned with the “win” that you forgot your “forgotten” Americans, the older, poorer people in rural areas who would be hurt by the bill.
.. You were humiliated right out of the chute by the establishment guys who hooked you into their agenda — a massive transfer of wealth to rich people — and drew you away from your own.
You sold yourself as the businessman who could shake things up and make Washington work again. Instead, you got worked over by the Republican leadership and the business community, who set you up to do their bidding.
.. That’s why they’re putting up with all your craziness about Russia and wiretapping and unending lies and rattling our allies.
They’re counting on you being a delusional dupe who didn’t even know what was in the bill because you’re sitting around in a bathrobe getting your information from wackadoodles on Fox News and then, as The Post reported, peppering aides with the query, “Is this really a good bill?”
You got played.
I wrote on Wednesday that Republicans forced themselves into a corner with seven years of lying and overpromising about healthcare. The fact that nothing they do now will live up to the promises they made before is a big political problem.
- Trump doesn’t really care what the bill does, exactly, so long as he can sign it and say that it “repeals and replaces” Obamacare.
.. You don’t walk into a negotiation and tell your counterparty that you’re desperate to make a deal fast and on any terms. But Trump did just that, which is why Freedom Caucus members knew the White House was bluffing when it claimed the bill was closed and wouldn’t be amended further.
.. Trump might be making such promises. But because he has a decades-long reputation for reneging on his promises to counterparties, members are unlikely to trust Trump when he does so.
.. Trump’s assurance that the bill’s limitations — for example, its limited impact on insurance regulations under Obamacare — will be addressed through executive action and future legislation do not seem to be convincing enough of his party’s own representatives to get this bill passed.
.. Trump seems to have been personally unprepared for the interconnected nature of healthcare policy. Moving the wrong piece can cause the healthcare market to crash down like a Jenga tower, and Trump has no idea how to determine which blocks are loose.
.. if you’re going to repeal EHB, you also need to repeal Obamacare’s rule that requires insurers to cover preexisting conditions, as otherwise insurance markets could collapse.
.. If Trump understood health-insurance policy (or asked someone who did), he would have known that EHB rules and preexisting-condition rules go together like peas and carrots, and he shouldn’t offer to repeal one if he’s dead set on keeping the other.
.. Trump shifted the focus of his professional endeavors away from businesses that were heavy on dealmaking and toward businesses that were heavy on marketing, particularly arrangements in which he would rent his name to somebody else who was actually in the business of developing real estate.