The Trump trap

As gridlock rages on in Washington, we are discovering that the shared commitment by Moore County Republicans to pursuing security, opportunity, liberty and victory is not always embraced by lawmakers. This only has become magnified in the age of Trump as Republicans in Congress seem paralyzed by the power they wield as the majority party.

It seems inexplicable that Obamacare has not been dismantled or that meaningful tax cutting is proving to be an excruciating legislative chore (even though Republicans were elected by voters who name these as priorities). As it turns out, there is an obvious explanation. It is proffered by North Carolinian and veteran political analyst John Davis, keeper of The John Davis Report.

Congressional leaders take heed: Every despicable, incompetent, crude, insulting, immature, reckless, irresponsible and insensitive thing that (President) Trump has ever said or done COMBINED, is not as bad in the minds of his supporters as a do-nothing federal government rigged for the privileged few.

President Trump will continue to make fools of U.S. Senate and House leaders who continue to protect the swamp, who put the moral high ground of the way things have always been done ahead of getting things done. Those who value civility over outrage.

The mainstream media, Democrats and even some centrist Republicans remain in a constant state of despair about Trump, his candor and his Tweets. He is not “presidential” enough. Precisely, notes Davis. If we want to see “the swamp” drained, you don’t do it with a Jeb Bush or a John Kasich.

“Donald Trump,” Davis writes, “is what you get when there is no presidential way to drain the swamp.”

He further cites the recent showdown between Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican, and Trump. The President views Corker as just another entrenched swamp creature, even though Washington conventional wisdom would dictate that Trump avoid skirmishing with the chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.

Corker went after Trump in the aftermath of the Charlottesville (Va.) white supremacy march, joining a media chorus of feigned outrage directed at Trump because he did not adequately denounce the incident (though he did in no uncertain terms). Corker questioned Trump’s stability and competence, playing into the long held media narrative. Trump tweeted that he found Corker’s criticism odd in that Corker had begged for Trump’s endorsement before announcing he would not seek another Senate term. Observes Davis:

That’s it for Corker. He is now in the Trump trap. The latest Republican on a long list to fall prey to Trump’s ploy of needling his opponents into the tangled web of reactionary vindictiveness.

At their peril, DC swamp politicians continue to miscalculate the political consequences of demeaning Trump as an individual, or diminishing Trump’s presidency through inaction. Trump’s approval rating is below 40% but he remains a rock star in contrast to tepid Congressional approval numbers. Davis observes that they apparently fail to see what is coming in 2018, a tidal wave of dissatisfaction.

Unfortunately for establishment Republicans, the voter outrage that propelled unpresidential Donald Trump past their hand-picked candidates for president is now being redirected against US Senate and House Republican incumbents in next year’s GOP primaries. In today’s political environment, the establishment is the kiss of death.

 

 

 

 

Reform terrifies tax addicts

High profile individuals in American society when caught engaging in criminal, deviant or unethical activity disappear into rehab programs, hoping to recast themselves as victims. Addicts are sympathetic figures, the thinking goes.

But how are we to feel about addicts who won’t/can’t seek treatment? In the case of tax addicted Washington politicians on the left, they should be judged as scoundrels, at the very least. How else to characterize tax-and-spend zealots such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who says the Trump administration’s proposed tax cuts are “just plain immoral.”

Warren and her fellow tax revenue addicts break into sweats at the mention of tax cuts like alcoholics hearing suggestions of a return to Prohibition. They always fall back on the same tired rant. Tax cuts benefit only the richest Americans and give little relief to working class citizens (as if Warren, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, et al, actually know any such people). Corporate tax cuts only enrich the titans, not the factory workers. On and on they drone.

That’s why Republicans need to do a better job when it comes to promoting the actual effects of the tax cuts they propose under President Trump. They need to be very specific about the objectives of cutting taxes by drawing on jaw dropping data neatly summarized by columnist Walter E. Williams writing for DailySignal.com, “The Facts About Who Pays the Most in Taxes in America”.

Thirty-seven million tax filers have no tax obligation at all. (That’s 45.5% of American households). … These Americans become natural constituencies for big-spending (Democrat) politicians. After all, if you don’t pay federal taxes, what do you care about big spending?

But the average hard working American typically does not fixate on federal spending and national debt. That’s Washington insider stuff. Working class Americans want a path to higher wages and upward mobility within their chosen industry. The surest way to make that a realistic goal is to ease the tax burden on American corporations.

Williams deftly points out that the current 38.91% tax on U.S. corporate earnings, the fourth-highest in the world, is a tax on living, breathing people. A corporate tax cut potentially has more impact on a middle-class family than a tax cut on its take-home pay. Democrats refuse to acknowledge this because, of course, the narrative must always be that corporations are evil.

If a tax is levied on a corporation, it will have one of four responses or some combination thereof. It will raise the price of its product, lower dividends, cut salaries, or lay off workers. In each case, a flesh-and-blood person bears the tax burden.

The messaging is really simple. President Trump and fellow Republicans must not be trapped into using empty jargon when talking about tax reform.

More than 45% of American households pay zero federal income tax. Just say it. Less than 1% of the population, according to data Williams cites, pays 70.6% of federal income taxes. Just say it, while advocating for some relief for these folks, too. But most importantly, just say that a significant corporate tax rate cut from about 39% to 20% will open floodgates of higher wages and greater upward mobility for working class Americans.

If passing real tax cuts means that scores of Congressional Democrats disappear to enter fiscal rehab, just think of what that would do to ease gridlock in Washington.

Unaffiliated voter surge

Newly minted data confirms what many area citizens are experiencing anecdotally. Demographics are shifting across Pinehurst, Southern Pines and surrounding communities. This is evidenced by just released voter registration statistics.

The Raleigh-based Civitas Institute, a self-described nonprofit policy organization, examined State Board of Elections voter registration data, beginning in early February (just after the Trump inauguration) through September 9, and finds surging numbers of “unaffiliated” voters. The trend actually began in 2009, at the outset of the Obama presidency, and coincides with a stark decline in voters registered as Democrats statewide. Continue reading “Unaffiliated voter surge”

Ceiling and dealing

The most optimistic among Republicans are anxious for September’s arrival, believing their efforts to bring about tax reform and personal and business tax cuts will succeed where similar heavy lifting to repeal and replace Obamacare failed.

Obamacare had become an entrenched entitlement in very short order, leaving many Republicans talking out of both sides of their mouths. GOP lawmakers showed little to no spine when it came time to act. In the case of tax reform, they are likely to hear from throngs of constituents who feel strongly that swift and significant cuts and simplifications are long overdue. Repealing Obamacare carried the threat that some would “lose” healthcare coverage (albeit unaffordable coverage). Tax cuts are about meaningful gains for ordinary working Americans, not loss. Continue reading “Ceiling and dealing”