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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    03 Dec '17 09:11 / 1 edit
    The Republicans in the Senate passed their tax bill just before 2 am EST on Saturday.

    Here are a few tweets from Democrats about the bill:

    This Congress doesn’t work for working families. It works for corporate lobbyists & campaign donors in backroom deals & 1:30 AM votes. This corruption is hollowing out America’s middle class & tearing down our democracy.

    — Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 2, 2017


    Working families are already on the ropes – and this #GOPTaxScam is another punch in the gut. We must keep fighting back with everything we’ve got to stop them from delivering the knockout blow.

    — Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 2, 2017


    Let’s be clear: what just happened is a brazen move to rig our political system and our economy to work not for “We the People,” but for “We the Powerful.” If the #GOPTaxScam is allowed to become law, it will haunt America for decades to come.

    — Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) December 2, 2017


    Here’s what the GOP just voted for:
    - Raising taxes on millions of working Americans
    - Ripping health care away from 13 million
    - Showering massive giveaways on the richest and most powerful#GOPTaxScam is a disgrace.

    — Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) December 2, 2017


    The #GOPTaxScam promises relief for all, but massive permanent tax cuts go mostly to corporations and the wealthy, while the crumbs to the middle class are small and temporary. It imposes a mountain of debt on our children and grandchildren.

    — Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) December 2, 2017


    This bill drives deeper divisions – creating more income inequality and uncertainty, engendering increased anger and anxiety, and undermining democracy. The feeble claim that it will spur jobs and economic growth is magical thinking – delusion or deception at an enormous price.

    — Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) December 2, 2017


    The tax plan approved tonight by my Republican colleagues is shameful. This is a victory for corporations and the top 1% of Americans, not teachers, not seniors, and certainly not the middle class.

    — Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) December 2, 2017


    The American people deserve to know who’s on their side. Tonight, Senate Republicans gave them a shameful answer.

    We will be holding them accountable. This isn’t over—I’m not done fighting like hell. -SB

    — Sherrod Brown (@SherrodBrown) December 2, 2017


    In 1986, under President Reagan, accomplishing tax reform in Congress took years of public hearings and bipartisan negotiations. That open process and fastidious work reaped bipartisan agreement and long-lasting policy.

    It stands in stark contrast to what we've witnessed today.

    — Senator Tom Carper (@SenatorCarper) December 2, 2017


    I opposed Mitch McConnell’s bill because it is not tax reform, it’s a partisan tax hike on Indiana’s middle class and it does nothing to prevent outsourcing of US jobs to foreign countries. -Joehttps://t.co/k6UMhjeRLW

    — Senator Joe Donnelly (@SenDonnelly) December 2, 2017


    This disgraceful legislation will hurt working families in WA and across the country if it becomes law. But the truth is, it doesn’t have to.

    Republicans still have a chance to make this right. This fight isn’t over.https://t.co/pGuAffZEu6

    — Senator Patty Murray (@MurrayCampaign) December 2, 2017


    I urge Republicans to stand on the right side of history, stand up to President Trump, and step back from this shameful tax plan. They owe it to families across the nation who are counting on Congress to do the right thing.

    — Senator Patty Murray (@MurrayCampaign) December 2, 2017


    51 Senate Republicans voted to commit one of the biggest legislative heists in history. Robbed millions of middle class Americans to give giant tax cuts to corporations—and many foreign stockholders. Their donors will clink champagne glasses while others will pick up the tab.

    — Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) December 2, 2017


    I’m mad. And sad. We need to work together, compromise, and produce thoughtful results for frustrated families. Not a one-party-behind-closed-doors-no-time-to-debate-no-hearing-jam-it-through-in the-middle-of -the-night-mess.

    — Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) December 2, 2017


    I’m furious, but this fight is not over.

    In the days and weeks to come, I’ll do everything I possibly can to ensure this embarrassment of a tax bill never becomes law.

    — Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) December 2, 2017


    Ok, that was awful. But tomorrow we dust ourselves off and get back in the fight.

    — Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) December 2, 2017
  2. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    03 Dec '17 09:20
    Originally posted by @suzianne
    The Republicans in the Senate passed their tax bill just before 2 am EST on Saturday.

    Here are a few tweets from Democrats about the bill:

    This Congress doesn’t work for working families. It works for corporate lobbyists & campaign donors in backroom deals & 1:30 AM votes. This corruption is hollowing out America’s middle class & tearing down our ...[text shortened]... t ourselves off and get back in the fight.

    — Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) December 2, 2017
    That being said... who finances the democrats again?
  3. Standard member vivify
    rain
    03 Dec '17 13:53 / 1 edit
    Apart from tax hikes on the poor and cuts for the rich, there are two "hidden" goals of the bill.

    The first, is the removal of the individual mandate from the Affordable Care Act. This is a major step toward destroying healthcare bill that covers 28 million people, because doing so would benefit insurers.

    The second, is the removal of the ban on churches from endorsing political candidates. Previously, churches would lose their tax exempt status if they endorsed a political candidate. Now, churches (most of which obviously lean right) can openly endorse and support political candidates.

    Not only will this vastly benefit Republicans in getting support for elections, but it will greatly increase their campaign contributions. The tax-free income generated by churches is monstrous; just look up "mega-churches", a term for incredibly rich pastors who have churches the size of football stadiums, and attendees that eclipse many cities in number. A single pastor of a church can now vastly increase a Republican candidate's campaign contributions with their endorsement.

    This is a well-played, dirty and unscrupulous move. The religious right helped elect Trump, and with this bill, the religious right will keep Trump and corporate-owned Republicans in power.


    Removal of ban on churches from supporting political candidates:
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tax-church/republican-tax-plan-would-let-churches-enter-political-fray-idUSKBN1D22T7

    Removal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate:
    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/30/tax-reform-obamacare-individual-mandate-274230
  4. Standard member vivify
    rain
    03 Dec '17 14:06
    Honestly, this tax bill was a brilliant political move The GOP has increased their favor with Big Business even more, by giving them massive tax cuts, and dealing a major blow to the Affordable Care Act. And by allowing churches to openly endorse them, the GOP will be receiving campaign contributions the likes of which has never been seen before in the U.S.

    The time of this bill is also perfect. There's an Alabama Senate election two weeks from now. Since Roy Moore's approval rating has actually increased among evangelicals since his multiple accusations of sex crimes with minors, that will now greatly increase since churches can openly endorse Moore, and give Republicans even firmer control of Congress with another seat in the senate.

    Midterm elections are also next year, and Republicans can now openly campaign with the support of churches, and their vast amounts of un-taxed money.

    Well played, Republicans.
  5. Subscriber no1marauder
    Caustic/Disagreeable
    03 Dec '17 14:31
    Originally posted by @vivify
    Apart from tax hikes on the poor and cuts for the rich, there are two "hidden" goals of the bill.

    The first, is the removal of the individual mandate from the Affordable Care Act. This is a major step toward destroying healthcare bill that covers 28 million people, because doing so would benefit insurers.

    The second, is the removal of the ban on chu ...[text shortened]... ndate:
    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/30/tax-reform-obamacare-individual-mandate-274230
    Insurance companies don't support repeal of the Individual Mandate: America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade association which includes 1,300 companies which sell 200 million health insurance policies in the US (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America%27s_Health_Insurance_Plans) joined in a letter urging the Congress to maintain the mandate until and unless "Congress can enact a package of reforms to adequately assure a balanced risk pool and prevent extraordinary premium increases." https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/14/insurers-doctors-and-hospitals-oppose-repeal-of-obamacare-mandate.html
  6. Subscriber no1marauder
    Caustic/Disagreeable
    03 Dec '17 14:35
    Originally posted by @vivify
    Honestly, this tax bill was a brilliant political move The GOP has increased their favor with Big Business even more, by giving them massive tax cuts, and dealing a major blow to the Affordable Care Act. And by allowing churches to openly endorse them, the GOP will be receiving campaign contributions the likes of which has never been seen before in the U.S ...[text shortened]... he support of churches, and their vast amounts of un-taxed money.

    Well played, Republicans.
    It's highly unlikely the repeal of the Johnson Amendment can be accomplished by December 12, the date of the Alabama special election. The present House and Senate tax bills have to be reconciled by a joint committee and then the agreed upon bill must be passed by both Houses. Realistically, that's not going to happen for a few weeks at least.
  7. Standard member mchill
    Green Lantern
    03 Dec '17 14:53
    Originally posted by @suzianne
    The Republicans in the Senate passed their tax bill just before 2 am EST on Saturday.

    Here are a few tweets from Democrats about the bill:

    This Congress doesn’t work for working families. It works for corporate lobbyists & campaign donors in backroom deals & 1:30 AM votes. This corruption is hollowing out America’s middle class & tearing down our ...[text shortened]... t ourselves off and get back in the fight.

    — Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) December 2, 2017
    Your outrage is understandable, but the blame for this lies also on those millions of registered Democrats and former Obama supporters who either didn't bother to vote in 2016, or switched their votes to Donald Trump. These Republican lawmakers are simply doing what they were elected to do, and that is, represent the interests of the business community and the 1%. I don't agree with their agenda, or the direction they want this country go, but the voters share a measure of blame for this.
  8. Standard member vivify
    rain
    03 Dec '17 15:01 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Insurance companies don't support repeal of the Individual Mandate: America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade association which includes 1,300 companies which sell 200 million health insurance policies in the US (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America%27s_Health_Insurance_Plans) joined in a letter urging the Congress to maintain the mandate until and unl ...[text shortened]... //www.cnbc.com/2017/11/14/insurers-doctors-and-hospitals-oppose-repeal-of-obamacare-mandate.html
    Thanks for so much for this. One point:

    The Individual Mandate is the only part of the ACA that directly benefits insurance companies (forcing people to get coverage), so it makes sense that they'd want that to stay.

    However, the mandate is the single most important part of the ACA, since the Mandate essentially allows it to run. Insurance hate Obamacare due to the increased pool of higher-risk people that will have to cover (such as giving coverage for pre-existing conditions). This is more costly in the long run, and cutting the heart of Obamacare will benefit insurers in the long.

    However, as your link shows, insurers would rather keep the mandate, and find a way to eliminate the higher-risk aspect of the ACA, such as banning the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions. Republicans have already attempted this with their failed healthcare bill:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/06/ahca-senate-bill-preexisting-conditions/531375/

    So while insurance companies may be requesting that the GOP keep the mandate, Reps still have donors and lobbyists who want to see O-care killed, so they no longer have higher risks that will result in more payouts. Benefiting insurance companies is still the motivation behind chopping the Individual mandate.
  9. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    03 Dec '17 15:01 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @mchill
    Your outrage is understandable, but the blame for this lies also on those millions of registered Democrats and former Obama supporters who either didn't bother to vote in 2016, or switched their votes to Donald Trump. These Republican lawmakers are simply doing what they were elected to do, and that is, represent the interests of the business community and t ...[text shortened]... a, or the direction they want this country go, but the voters share a measure of blame for this.
    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    When will you STOP blaming Democrats for losing an election that the Republicans prevented millions of Democrat voters from voting in? Millions of voters of color across 26 states were denied their constitutional right to vote by Kris Kobach's committee and Republican elections officials. This is bad enough, but then you blame them for being unable to vote, claiming they "didn't bother". That is patently untrue. The Republicans stole the 2016 election and got away with it.

    You blaming voters who didn't even get a chance to vote is like blaming women for being raped. Victim-blaming is shameful no matter who does it.

    Here's a clue. Whenever you hear the Republicans talk about "voter fraud", replace this with "election fraud", and you'd be a lot closer to the truth.
  10. Standard member vivify
    rain
    03 Dec '17 15:04 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    It's highly unlikely the repeal of the Johnson Amendment can be accomplished by December 12, the date of the Alabama special election. The present House and Senate tax bills have to be reconciled by a joint committee and then the agreed upon bill must be passed by both Houses. Realistically, that's not going to happen for a few weeks at least.
    Good point. But I have no doubt that Reps are pushing to repeal the Johnson Amendment because they're looking at the 2018 elections (and all other subsequent ones).
  11. Standard member vivify
    rain
    03 Dec '17 15:16
    Originally posted by @suzianne
    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    When will you STOP blaming Democrats for losing an election that the Republicans prevented millions of Democrat voters from voting in? Millions of voters of color across 26 states were denied their constitutional right to vote by Kris Kobach's committee and Republican elections officials. This is bad enough, but then you blame the ...[text shortened]... about "voter fraud", replace this with "election fraud", and you'd be a lot closer to the truth.
    While you're correct in pointing out voter suppression by Republicans, it is true that there was a large gap in voter Democratic voter turnout compared to Republicans. Here's a NYT article that acknowledges voter suppression by Republicans took place, but makes a case that voter turnout was also quite low,and a major reason for Trump's victory:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/opinion/voter-turnout-democrats-republicans.html

    So you're both right in that regard.

    Also, keep in mind that many Democrats who did vote, refused to vote for Clinton. For example, No1Maurder voted for a third party. There were also many Bernie Sanders supporters who threatened to vote for Trump, if Sanders lost to Hillary. At least one in 10 Bernie supporters ended up voting for Trump:

    https://www.npr.org/2017/08/24/545812242/1-in-10-sanders-primary-voters-ended-up-supporting-trump-survey-finds
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    03 Dec '17 15:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @suzianne
    The Republicans in the Senate passed their tax bill just before 2 am EST on Saturday.

    Here are a few tweets from Democrats about the bill:

    This Congress doesn’t work for working families. It works for corporate lobbyists & campaign donors in backroom deals & 1:30 AM votes. This corruption is hollowing out America’s middle class & tearing down our ...[text shortened]... t ourselves off and get back in the fight.

    — Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) December 2, 2017
    LMAO!

    How quickly the Dems forget about their process in passing the ACA. Midnight meetings, pork distribution and parliamentary tricks were all liberally used in passing the ACA. Now that the shoe's on the other foot...

    As for single parties passing major legislation without bipartisanship, that practice also has a rich history on both sides. Examples include the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (Dems), the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (GOP - tough that one actually did get a few Dems) and, of course, the PPACA in 2010.

    Don't get me wrong. I don't like the tax bill and I hope against hope that it falls apart in the next few weeks (a Moore loss might cause this to happen). But the Dems' complaint about the process rings absurdly hollow.
  13. Subscriber no1marauder
    Caustic/Disagreeable
    03 Dec '17 15:40
    Originally posted by @vivify
    While you're correct in pointing out voter suppression by Republicans, it is true that there was a large gap in voter Democratic voter turnout compared to Republicans. Here's a NYT article that acknowledges voter suppression by Republicans took place, but makes a case that voter turnout was also quite low,and a major reason for Trump's victory:

    https://w ...[text shortened]... r.org/2017/08/24/545812242/1-in-10-sanders-primary-voters-ended-up-supporting-trump-survey-finds
    I haven't voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate since 1992. I hadn't been enrolled in that party for almost 20 years until a few years ago. I do not feel obligated to vote for whomever that party nominates and, in fact, rarely vote for Democrats besides my Congressman.
  14. Subscriber no1marauder
    Caustic/Disagreeable
    03 Dec '17 15:48
    Originally posted by @sh76
    LMAO!

    How quickly the Dems forget about their process in passing the ACA. Midnight meetings, pork distribution and parliamentary tricks were all liberally used in passing the ACA. Now that the shoe's on the other foot...

    As for single parties passing major legislation without bipartisanship, that practice also has a rich history on both sides. Examples i ...[text shortened]... ss might cause this to happen). But the Dems' complaint about the process rings absurdly hollow.
    Republican rewriting of history is always interesting. In fact, President Obama and the Democratic leadership tried to work for months with Republicans to craft a bipartisan health reform bill:

    Chairman Max Baucus, in the spring of 2009, signaled his desire to find a bipartisan compromise, working especially closely with Grassley, his dear friend and Republican counterpart, who had been deeply involved in crafting the Republican alternative to Clintoncare. Baucus and Grassley convened an informal group of three Democrats and three Republicans on the committee, which became known as the “Gang of Six.” They covered the parties’ ideological bases; the other GOPers were conservative Mike Enzi of Wyoming and moderate Olympia Snowe of Maine, and the Democrats were liberal Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and moderate Kent Conrad of North Dakota.


    Baucus very deliberately started the talks with a template that was the core of the 1993-4 Republican plan, built around an individual mandate and exchanges with private insurers—much to the chagrin of many Democrats and liberals who wanted, if not a single-payer system, at least one with a public insurance option. Through the summer, the Gang of Six engaged in detailed discussions and negotiations to turn a template into a plan. But as the summer wore along, it became clear that something had changed; both Grassley and Enzi began to signal that participation in the talks—and their demands for changes in the evolving plan—would not translate into a bipartisan agreement.

    What became clear before September, when the talks fell apart, is that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had warned both Grassley and Enzi that their futures in the Senate would be much dimmer if they moved toward a deal with the Democrats that would produce legislation to be signed by Barack Obama. They both listened to their leader. An early embrace by both of the framework turned to shrill anti-reform rhetoric by Grassley—talking, for example, about death panels that would kill grandma—and statements by Enzi that he was not going to sign on to a deal. The talks, nonetheless, continued into September, and the emerging plan was at least accepted in its first major test by the third Republican Gang member, Olympia Snowe (even if she later joined every one of her colleagues to vote against the plan on the floor of the Senate.)

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/07/the-real-story-of-obamacares-birth/397742/

    By contrast:

    Throughout the tax bill process, red-state Democrats like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, Missouri’s Claire McCaskill, and Indiana’s Joe Donnelly — who are all up for reelection next year in states Trump won in 2016 — have repeatedly tried to reach across the aisle to Republicans on common tax goals, including cutting middle-class and corporate tax rates (albeit at a lower rate than Republicans are proposing). And while the Trump White House has made overtures to these Democrats on taxes, they’ve been frozen out by their Republican colleagues.

    “I’ve had no visits in my office; I’ve had no calls from Republican senators,” McCaskill told Vox on Tuesday. “I’ve actually talked to Republican senators about working with them, and it’s very clear to me that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan decided they were going to do this the way they wanted to do it, which meant just with Republican votes.”

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/29/16712184/democrats-tax-reform-republicans-bipartisanship
  15. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    03 Dec '17 15:52 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Republican rewriting of history is always interesting. In fact, President Obama and the Democratic leadership tried to work for months with Republicans to craft a bipartisan health reform bill:

    Chairman Max Baucus, in the spring of 2009, signaled his desire to find a bipartisan compromise, working especially closely with Grassley, his dear friend and ...[text shortened]... .vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/29/16712184/democrats-tax-reform-republicans-bipartisanship
    Yeah, and then when they couldn't do it, they passed it anyway.

    No Democrat is going to vote for slashing the corporate income tax rate by 40% and no Democrat seems willing to do anything that would give Trump a win, especially now. The idea that it's possible to pass bipartisan tax reform in a manner that would be satisfactory to the vast majority of the Republican caucus is pure fantasy.