Dec 27, 2017

A General Debunking & Expose Of The GOP's Tax Bill Con

1. Trump's America: The GOP Sentences At Least 15,000 To 17,000 Americans To Death EVERY YEAR! (i.e. The Effects Of 13 Million Uninsured)

2. #CorkerKickback: A Perfect Example Of The GOP Openly Using Bribes To Get Votes On Their Sham Tax Bill
3. Height Of Hypocrisy 4: Republican Hypocrisy On The Deficit Is Epic!

4. Height Of Hypocrisy 6: GOP & Fox News Helps Trump In Obstruction Of Justice Showing They Don't Care About The Rule Of Law... And Now, The Nation Is in A Constitutional Crisis!

The Ultimate Economics Con by the GOP & Kochs (they are purposely being hypocritical in pushing for a deficit so they can cut medicare and social security to kill more - see background above)...

New Republican tax plan explodes the deficit for a purpose Bruce Bartlett, former Ronald Reagan domestic policy adviser, talks with Joy Reid about the expected fallout from the new tax plan and the Republican strategy to blow up the deficit with tax cuts for the rich so they can later argue a need to slash benefits to address the deficit. Duration: 7:41


Will you help Senator Sanders expose the Koch Echo Chamber?

EXPOSE THE KOCHS: The Koch brothers fund multiple think tanks and academic centers to promote their ideology and grow their profits, a Brave New Foundation investigation reveals. 

Lie after lie after lie after lie after lie after lie after lie... is the tactic used by the GOP. It's not even funny anymore.

Don't believe Republicans who say they care about debt After pushing fiscal austerity under President Obama, stalling the recovery, Republicans abandoned debt concerns to pass their tax bill. Duration: 5:39

In a nutshell, what the GOP seems to be doing is stealing from teh nation's future to build their own (link to econ post 3)...

Republicans Are Looting the Treasury While They Still Can They know a backlash is coming, and they’re making the most of their power while they have it.

The tax bill Senate Republicans rushed to pass in the dark of night, unread by most senators, was a Hail Mary pass by a party that expects to lose seats in the coming midterms, and knows that its historically unpopular president has a good chance of serving only one term. It was an act of legislative looting by a party that’s behind by an average of 8 points in generic congressional ballot polls, doesn’t think it will enjoy unified control of government again in the immediate future, and is grabbing whatever benefits it can for its donors while teeing up deep, damaging cuts to the safety net in the future.
The conventional wisdom holds that Republicans pursued a maximalist approach to the bill because they faced a donors’ revolt if they didn’t deliver something big after Obamacare repeal turned into a debacle, and because they’re insulated to a degree from the wrath of the voters.
This is true. As a result of a combination of gerrymandering and the inefficient distribution of Democratic voters, the GOP might be able to hold on to control of the House despite losing the popular vote by as much as 7 or 8 points. Next year, Republicans will defend only nine Senate seats, many of them in solidly red states, while their opponents try to hold 25. And conservative donors have threatened to close their wallets if they don’t get big cuts.
The process and product are inseparable: It isn’t a bad bill because it was crafted by a small group within the Republican leadership and passed without an opportunity for the public to digest its provisions. They jammed it through because they knew that if it went through anything resembling the Senate’s regular order, it would trigger significant public opposition.

Republicans Agree on Tax Bill “Of, By and For the Political Donor Class” with Tax Cuts for the Rich

All the time Fox News was acting like this swampy bill wasn't made for and by the swamp...

Fox & Friends claims GOP passed tax bill "against long odds and, ultimately, the swamp"Thousands of lobbyists helped draft the bill

This seems to have been Trump's strategy all the while. Keep lying and then finally admit the truth after the deed (making money off of thier political power, i.e. "conflict of interest") is done.

Watch This Republican Economist Squirm as He's Forced to Admit the Truth About the GOP Tax BillTrump adviser Stephen Moore finally concedes what we've known all along.

The #1 Reason the GOP Tax Plan Is an Economic Catastrophe: It Will Send Health Care Costs Through the RoofThe bill is poised to cause real pain and suffering to people who struggle to pay for health care.

Republican Senators Are Making Out Like Bandits with Special Real-Estate Tax Break The GOP isn't even masking its greed and corruption.

Tax Bill: Fossil Fuel Provision Would Personally Enrich Republican Lawmakers The rich get richer and the earth gets hurt

Cornyn’s amendment, which was introduced just hours before the Senate passed the tax bill on Dec. 2, provides a tax deduction for investors in energy-related master limited partnerships (MLPs) — investment entities primarily used by oil and gas pipeline corporations.
Federal lawmakers collectively own between $4.6 million and $10.6 million worth of energy-related MLPs, according to personal financial disclosures reviewed by International Business Times. Thirteen of the 16 lawmakers who own stakes in energy-related MLPs are Republicans. All 13 of those lawmakers voted for the tax bill in their respective chambers.
On MSNBC, an economist explains how GOP tax bill benefits real estate investors at the expense of the middle class Jared Bernstein: "A 'yes' vote for this bill today is a vote for higher inequality. It's that simple."

The conflicts of interest and corporate interests lurking behind op-eds in 2017
Media Matters has documented this year how op-ed pieces that have appeared in newspapers and online publications have frequently failed to inform readers about their authors’ financial conflicts of interest; and when corporate-backed entities have deceived editors and readers with cut-and-paste jobs supposedly by different writers.
Here are seven examples from this year:  

Senators live in an alternate reality created by thier "donors"...

Senator 'grateful' op-ed cited his 'lack of integrity' Sen. Orrin Hatch called it an "honor" to be named "Utahn of the Year." He may not have fully read why he was given that "honor."

More information....

Robert Reich: A Guide to Why the Trump-Republican Tax Plan Is a Disgrace—for When You Confront Your Republican Uncle Bob During the Holidays Shame on Trump and the Republicans who have lied to the public.

Here are the three main Republican arguments in favor of the Republican tax plan, followed by the truth.
1.It will make American corporations competitive with foreign corporations, which are taxed at a lower rate.
(1) American corporations now pay an effective rate (after taking deductions and tax credits) that’s just about the same as most foreign based corporations pay.
(2) Most of these other countries also impose a “Value Added Tax” on top of the corporate tax.
(3) When we cut our corporate rate from 35% to 20%, other nations will cut their corporate rates in order to be competitive with us – so we gain nothing anyway.

2.With the tax cut, big corporations and the rich will invest and create more jobs.
(1) Job creation doesn’t trickle down. After Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush cut taxes on the top, few jobs and little growth resulted. America cut taxes on corporations in 2004 in an attempt to get them to bring their profits home from abroad, and what happened? They didn’t invest. They just bought up more shares of their own stock, and increased executive pay.
(2) Companies expand and create jobs when there’s more demand for their goods and services. That demand comes from customers who have the money to buy what companies sell. Those customers are primarily the middle class and poor, who spend far more of their incomes than the rich. But this tax bill mostly benefits the rich.

3.It will give small businesses an incentive to invest and create more jobs.
(1) At least 85 percent of small businesses earn so little they already pay the lowest corporate tax rate, which this plan doesn’t change.
(2) In fact, because the tax plan bestows much larger rewards on big businesses, they’ll have more ability to use predatory tactics to squeeze small firms and force them out of business.
Click here to read the complete article by Robert Reich

The GOP Marketing Con Has Begun...

GOP leadership touted pro-tax plan op-eds that were deceptive cut-and-paste jobsLobbying group NFIB placed virtually identical op-eds about taxes from different authors in newspapers
The op-eds include:
  • A November 17 op-ed by NFIB Kansas state director Dan Murray in the Topeka Capital-Journal (KS).
  • A November 23 op-ed by NFIB Louisiana state director Dawn Starns in the Shreveport Times (LA).
  • A November 26 op-ed by NFIB West Virginia state director Gil White in The Intelligencer (Wheeling, WV).
  • A December 2 op-ed by NFIB Florida executive director Bill Herrle in The Palm Beach Post (FL).
Here, for example, is a composite image that compares the texts of the November 17 op-ed by Dan Murray and the Gil White op-ed from November 26 that was promoted by GOP leaders:
NFIB did not respond to requests for comment.

Procter & Gamble placed nearly identical op-eds pushing for corporate tax cuts from different authors in numerous papers The op-eds have been touted by the White House and a Republican congressman

Procter & Gamble has been placing virtually identical op-eds supposedly written by different authors arguing for corporate tax cuts in newspapers across the country. In comments to Media Matters, some of the editors of those newspapers criticized the company for their tactics, with one saying the company would be blacklisted from the paper.

Information on right wing/GOP economic con tactics:

A History Of Dishonest Fox Charts

Fox News was forced to address yet another dishonest chart last week, which it aired to paint a misleading picture of President Obama's handling of the economy. Fox has a habit of displaying error-laden and deceptive graphics to reinforce conservative attacks on the Obama administration.

Spurious Fox Graphic Accused Obama Of Exploding Government Spending 

Fox Graphic Claimed Government Spending Increased From 3.2 Percent Under Bush To An Average Of 23.8 Percent Under Obama. In a graphic labeled "Growth of Government Spending (As A Share Of GDP)," Fox & Friends suggested that government spending increased from 3.2 percent of the economy at the end of the Bush administration to an average of 23.8 percent under Obama.
[Fox News, Fox & Friends9/26/12, via Media Matters]
In Fact, Graphic Compared Two Completely Different Measures Of Government Spending. The figure for "government spending" during the Obama administration is in line with historical data for overall spending as a percentage of the economy, a figure that does not take into account federal revenue. By contrast, the 3.2 percent figure used to illustrate "government spending" under Bush and the figures for the 1940s are in line with historical data for deficits, which do take into account revenues. [Media Matters9/26/12
Government Spending Under Obama Increased Only Slightly Since 2008 And Dropped Since 2009. The actual figures for government spending ("outlays") as a percentage of the economy would indicate that the number has increased only slightly since 2008 and actually dropped since 2009. They were 20.8 percent in 2008 but 25.2 percent in 2009. In 2010 and 2011, they dropped to 24.1 percent and are expected to be 24.3 in 2012 and 23.3 percent in 2013. 
[Media Matters9/26/12
A Few Days Later, Fox & Friends Admitted: "We Mixed Up The Numbers." On September 28, Fox & Friends addressed the dishonest chart. Guest co-host Eric Bolling stated: "We mixed up the numbers on Wednesday, so we wanted to clear things up." But Bolling did not explain how Fox made such an error or note that government spending as a percentage of the economy has actually increased only slightly since 2008. [Media Matters9/26/12]

Fox Routinely Misleads Viewers By Airing Inaccurate Graphics

Fox & Friends revives debunked myths on the deficit, health care, and middle-class tax increases to push Senate GOP tax plan

In an attempt to defend the Republican tax bill, Fox & Friends hosts purported to debunk “myths” about the proposal, but actually just pushed a number of falsehoods and misleading statements themselves. For the segment, they hosted Rosemary Becchi, a tax attorney and lobbyist who previously worked as the Republican tax counsel on the Senate Finance Committee.
Claimed the plan won’t add $1 trillion to the deficit just one day after congressional committee found that it would. Becchi asserted that it was “completely false” that the bill would add $1 trillion to the deficit. Co-host Brian Kilmeade cited so-called “dynamic scoring” to allege that the bill could “actually reduce the deficit.” But, according to The New York Times, an estimate from Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) foundthat “the legislation would add $1 trillion to federal budget deficits over a decade, even after accounting for economic growth” through dynamic scoring.
Falsely claimed the plan won’t hike taxes on middle-income people. Becchi also insisted that the tax bill would cut taxes “at all levels. It cuts at the high-income earners, as well as middle- and low-class taxpayers, as well.” But, according to The Washington Post, the JCT estimated that the bill would “give large tax cuts to the rich while raising taxes on American families earning $10,000 to $75,000 over the next decade.” Additionally, The New York Times found that “two-thirds of middle-class households would get a tax increase in 2027, and none — zero percent — would get a tax cut.”
Whitewashed the harm the plan will do to Americans’ health care. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked Becchi whether a potential “health care tax hike” under the proposed law will happen, which Becchi dismissed. Becchi correctly noted that the proposal includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, which would not lead to a tax hike. But Becchi and the hosts did not explain that as a result of repealing the mandate, as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated, 13 million more people would lose their insurance and premiums would rise by about 10 percent in the ACA’s individual market.
Admitted that tax cuts will help the rich the most while claiming to be “debunking” the “myth” that tax cuts help the rich most. When asked about the impact the bill would have on the wealthiest Americans, Becchi noted that “these tax cuts will disproportionately help upper-income taxpayers,” but suggested that that was just because “most wealthy Americans pay the most taxes in this country.” This is a drastic understatement; based on the initial framework of the Republican tax bills, the Tax Policy Center found that “about 80 percent of the total benefit would accrue to taxpayers in the top 1 percent, whose after-tax income would increase 8.7 percent.”
From the December 1 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

Fox & Friends finally admits right-wing media's favorite economic statistic is misleading After years of hyping declining labor force participation rate, Fox & Friends points out that the statistic isn’t useful for measuring economic activity

This morning, Fox & Friends pointed out that the labor force participation rate, a favorite statistic cited by Fox News during the Obama administration to dismiss economic successes, can be a misleading indicator of the health of the job market. Fox spent years using a declining labor force participation rate to portray the job market in a negative light while hyping grossly exaggerated claims about the so-called “real unemployment rate.” And President Donald Trump also used the network’s purposeful distortion of the labor force statistic during the 2016 election campaign.
In 2010, the Pew Research Center reported that “10,000 Baby Boomers” will reach retirement age “every day for the next 19 years,” and, as The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler pointed out in 2014, “The composition of the labor force has been affected by the retirement of the leading edge of the Baby Boom generation.”
On the December 5 edition of Fox & Friends, when co-host Brian Kilmeade mentioned the lagging labor force participation rate during a discussion of the health of the economy under Trump, co-host Steve Doocy was quick to point out that the statistic was misleading because “a lot of those people are retired.” The about-face is yet another example since Trump's inauguration in which Fox has abandoned its conspiratorial portrayals of the labor market, often going out of its way to put a positive spin on numbers they would have trashed during the Obama administration:

Disastrous Republican Tax Plan Is Only the First Step in Long-Term Effort to Cut Social Security and Medicare, Exacerbating Inequality Great damage is being done, even as the Trump mob is targeted by Robert Mueller.

  The wheels of justice might be turning with the guilty plea from Trump campaign and White House aide Michael Flynn and the reality that the president's team is the real target, but that will not stop the GOP Congress and White House from gutting essential social safety nets.
The GOP tax plan, which passed the Senate 51-49 early Saturday with not a single Democratic yes-vote, now moves to the phase where differences in the House and Senate bills get ironed out. That will prompt fierce lobbying and protests, but a major bill transferring wealth from the middle class to the best-off Americans will be passed and signed by Trump.
If all that the Republicans were doing was lining the pockets of the rich, that would be bad enough—pick your adjective. But that’s not the endgame. Before the Senate voted, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a past presidential candidate, said the Republicans must make additional cuts to Social Security and Medicare, both federal programs for those over age 65 as well as people with disabilities and parentless children (such as Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan as a youth).
“We have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth, which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future,” Rubio told Politico.combefore the vote.
That statement omitted that the Senate’s $1.5 trillion tax plan would trigger a federal law, known as PayGo, which limits Medicare to 4 percent of the annual budget. It is projected to impose $400 billion in cuts to senior healthcare in the next decade The PayGo trigger will “undermine the delivery of care to the 57 million seniors and disabled Americans who depend on the program,” wrote Max Richtman, head of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
But even that attack on Medicare will not be enough for Republicans who want to return the size of the federal government—apart from the military—to what it was before the Great Depression of the late 1920s, which triggered Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, which created Social Security. The heir to that program was the 1960s creation of Medicare and Medicaid, state-run healthcare for the poor and those in nursing homes.
“The tax bill is one enormous attack on our health,” wrote Social Security Works’ Nancy Altman and Linda Benesch before the vote. “It takes away the ability of those with large health care costs to deduct those costs from their [annual] taxes. It repeals the part of the Affordable Care Act that seeks to make health insurance affordable. The consequence of that is $185 billion less in health insurance subsidies and $179 billion in Medicaid cuts. All so Republicans can shower huge tax giveaways to their wealthy donors. And those tax giveaways trigger automatic cuts to Medicare.

Cisco, Pfizer, Coca-Cola plan to turn over gains from proposed tax cuts to shareholders

Why Aren't Dems in Congress Raising More Hell to Oppose the Worst GOP Tax Bill Ever?Could congressional Democrats be showing their fealty to corporate America?

Let me offer a theory about why Democrats in Congress are not going after the Republicans' worst tax bill ever with the same visceral vehemence they used to oppose the GOP’s efforts earlier this year to gut Obamacare and Medicaid.
The House and Senate versions of the bill, while differing in some particulars, have been parsed by the country’s best fiscal analysts, and as longtime tax policy investigative reporter David Cay Johnston noted, “share the same basic feature: huge tax savings for big business and the rich, while more than half of Americans may see their income taxes rise between now and the end of 2027. You can read solid analyses by three organizations with track records for accuracy in their tax and spending estimates herehere and here.”
So why are the Democrats not making more noise about a giant reverse-Robinhood scheme, that at least on the Senate side, also includes moves to gut Obamacare by ending the tax penalty for not carrying health insurance. If passed, that provision would allow millions to drop their coverage, which in turn, would raise premiums for everyone else. Remember how last summer Dems rose in the House and Senate to remind Republicans that tens of thousands of voters in their districts would lose their healthcare?
The answer—and it’s a theory, but one honed from covering national politics—is too many Democrats across Congress are still beholden to wealthier constituents, whether individuals who contribute to their campaigns, corporate employers who threaten to leave if they don’t get more corporate welfare, or people in their social circles who get invitations to Kennedy Center galas.
Whatever is really going on in the minds of individual Democratic members of Congress—which might include shoehorning in giveaways for local constituents—there is a growing sense that the opposition in Washington is not being so loyal to mainstream America, which they like to think they are defending. The question is, why?

The Trump Tax Plan Wants to Create a Nation of Idiots - Republicans' newest legislation is an attack on the very institution of higher learning.

Paradise Papers Expose “Cleverest Ways of Exploiting” Offshore Tax Havens by GOP & Democratic Donors

Examining the Paradise Papers, The Guardian reports seven Republican super-donors mentioned in the papers stored some of their fortunes offshore, beyond the reach of public scrutiny and tax authorities. Together, the billionaires pumped more than $350 million into the 2016 election. Some are well-known backers of conservative causes, like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Charles and David Koch. Another investigation focuses on Democratic donor James Simons, who spent $11 million to back Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Simons is the founder of Renaissance Technologies, the world’s most profitable hedge fund. Leaked records show he kept much of his $8 billion fortune in an offshore private wealth fund in Bermuda in order to avoid “particularly severe” taxes that would be triggered if he tried to bring the funds onshore. We speak with Jon Swaine, senior reporter for The Guardian.

GOP gives 'middle finger' to Democratic process As Trump advisers predict a 2018 midterm "bloodbath," Republicans are now talking about bipartisanship. Congressional expert Norm Ornstein says it's an "absurd" suggestion after the tax bill "middle finger." Neera Tanden and Charlie Cook also join Ali Velshi. Duration: 12:56

Robert Reich: The Trump Tax Plan Is Downright Unpatriotic - Multinationals and the rich owe it to the country to pay their fair share.

Selling the Trump-Republican tax plan should be awkward for an administration that has made patriotism its central theme.
That’s because patriotism isn’t mostly about saluting the flag and standing during the national anthem. 
It’s about taking a fair share of the burden of keeping America going.
But the tax plan gives American corporations a $2 trillion tax break, at a time when they’re enjoying record profits and stashing unprecedented amounts of cash in offshore tax shelters.
And it gives America’s wealthiest citizens trillions more, when the richest 1 percent now hold a record 38.6 percent of the nation’s total wealth, up from 33.7 percent a decade ago.
The reason Republicans give for enacting the plan is “supply-side” trickle-down nonsense. The real reason is payback to the GOP’s mega-donors.
A few Republicans are starting to admit this. Last week, Gary Cohn, Trump’s lead economic adviser, conceded in an interview that “the most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan.”
Republican Rep. Chris Collins admitted that “my donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’”
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham warned that if Republicans failed to pass tax reform, “the financial contributions will stop.”
Republican mega-donors view the tax payback as they do any other investment. When they bankrolled Trump and the GOP, they expected a good return.
The biggest likely beneficiaries are busily investing an additional $43 million to pressure specific members of Congress to pass it, according to The Wall Street Journal.
They include the 45Committee, founded by billionaire casino oligarch Sheldon Adelson and Joe Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs; and the Koch Brothers’ groups, Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners.
They’re not doing this out of love of America. They’re doing it out of love of money.

More research;

GOP's "Height Of Hypocrisy" Series

GOP Economics

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