Monday, April 17, 2017

Progressive Breakfast: Trump's Five Worst Tax Secrets, Revealed


RIchard Eskow
Trump’s Five Worst Tax Secrets, Revealed
Donald Trump tweeted that “someone should look into who paid for” the “small” rallies demanding that he release his tax returns. The real question is, who pays for all the tax breaks that are given to people like Donald Trump? The answer is, we all do.

Bernie Fortifies His Position

Establishment Dems increasingly comfortable with Bernie. The Hill: “More than a dozen Democrats interviewed by The Hill say the Vermont Independent has become a powerful and welcome voice … While misgivings remain about giving too much leadership to a politician who technically isn’t a Democrat, a clear warming trend is on the rise … [Sanders and DNC Tom Perez] will hit the road in April for a unity tour dubbed ‘Come Together and Fight Back.’ They will appear at rallies in seven states over six days.”
Pro-charter school Democrats risk being tied to Betsy DeVos. Politico: “… publicity surrounding her controversial appointment has allowed a new line of attack on members of the party who … have embraced charter school expansion and other education policies opposed by unions and traditional public school advocates. Labor-backed Democrats are seizing on the DeVos issue as an opportunity ahead of the 2018 primary elections.

Cordray Out?

Politico explores whether CFPB chief will be fired or resign to run for OH governor: “Gary Cohn gave Richard Cordray, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an ultimatum over dinner a few weeks ago: Go the easy way, or go the hard way. Cohn … had heard the rumors that Cordray wanted to run for governor in Ohio. He left dinner that night thinking that they were true … So the White House decided to hold off on firing Cordray. Trump didn’t want to cause a sensation that could boost his candidacy and juice his fundraising.”
Barney Frank warns GOP against eliminating CFPB. The Hill: “[Frank] said that it would be ‘very unpopular’ [because] the CFPB has ‘saved consumers a lot of money.’ … Frank said he hopes that lawmakers can reach an agreement on ‘minor changes’ to Dodd-Frank ‘that make it easier for the smaller and middle-sized banks without weakening the rules against great losses that people can’t deal with.’ … such as changing some of the rules that apply to small banks and increasing the $50 billion threshold for systematically important financial institutions to about $100 billion to $125 billion.”
Trump to name Wall Street insider to key Fed post. Politico: “…Trump is expected to nominate former Treasury undersecretary Randy Quarles as the Federal Reserve’s top bank regulator … a clear signal that the administration is looking to take a pragmatic approach to paring back bank regulation, rather than choosing an ideologue who would seek to eviscerate the rules … [He] is a managing partner at equity investment firm The Cynosure Group … [The] Fed vice chairman of supervision [position] has never been formally filled since it was created [by Dodd-Frank.]”

Special Election Tests Trump

Georgia’s 6th gets ready to vote tomorrow. Atlanta’s 11Alive News: “…all [his] money and national attention caused some race watchers to wonder if Ossoff could win without a runoff. However, over the campaign’s last two weeks, his polling numbers have leveled off in the mid-40s; no poll has ever shown him higher than 45 percent. Also, his top Republican opponents, namely Karen Handel, are hitting Ossoff – hard – over his fundraising sources and his support from some of the nation’s top liberal leaders … Ossoff’s ground game is arguably the strongest in the race; his base seems to be the most energized…”
“Trump Voters in a Swing District Wonder When the ‘Winning’ Will Start” reports NYT from PA swing county “‘Just like any other damn president,’ sighed Theresa Remington, 44, a home-care worker … She wondered aloud how Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont might have fared … Many still trust him, but wonder why his deal-making instincts do not seem to be translating …”
“Appalachia Needs Big Government” argues TNR’s Laura Reston and Sarah Jones: “Like much of rural Appalachia, Hancock … relies on federal funding for even the most basic services. Almost a third of the population lives in poverty … Hancock … owes its sewage system, hospital, even its sidewalk maintenance to a little known federal agency called the Appalachian Regional Commission, or ARC. ARC is on the chopping block in the skinny budget President Trump released on March 16 [but] ARC is an example of big government at its best…”
Immigration could be Trump’s “undoing” says Prof. Philip Klinkner in LAT oped: “…did he win despite his aggressive rhetoric, or because of it? Data from the recently released American National Election Study has finally provided an answer … Trump won in 2016 by mobilizing the minority of Americans with anti-immigration views — but only because he avoided an offsetting counter-mobilization by the majority of Americans with pro-immigration views. Now that he is president and his immigration views can’t be dismissed as mere campaign rhetoric, that counter-mobilization may finally be manifesting itself.”

Breakfast Sides

Hesitation on health care complicates tax reform push. WSJ: “Republicans had planned to pass the health bill using a 2017 reconciliation bill and then use a 2018 reconciliation bill for taxes. When the first health care effort collapsed in March, they began exploring revising or repurposing the 2017 bill for tax policy. But Mr. Trump’s re-pivot to health care puts those plans on hold … the strategy and sequencing also leaves the tax overhaul waiting behind a messy health care bill and a 2018 budget resolution, which is necessary to trigger a reconciliation bill. Republicans on Capitol Hill worry that they may not be able to adopt a 2018 budget resolution because of intraparty disagreements on spending.”
Mansplaining rampant on Supreme Court, finds study of interruptions. NYT: “‘Even though female justices speak less often and use fewer words than male justices,’ the study found, ‘they are nonetheless interrupted during oral argument at a significantly higher rate.’ … The study considered 7,239 interruptions in arguments from 2004 to 2015. Of those, 32 percent were of women, and just 4 percent were by women … Male lawyers also interrupt female justices more often than male ones. (Female lawyers, it seems, never interrupt anyone.)”

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