He has telegraphed what is next
Keep driving . . . the next stretch of the road will be even more fun.
We all knew what Trump’s Plan B was if the healthcare bill failed, even if he said there was no Plan B. I made this comment 12 days ago in one of the many posts on the healthcare bill:
If this bill fails, that is definitely where Trump wants to head — restart the lawsuit, and claim Obamacare is imploding, all the Democrats’ fault.
I bet if I searched comments I could find hundreds of you who said the same thing. If the bill failed Trump was going to blame Democrats and try to help Obamacare “implode.” We even knew the exact language he would use. How did we know this? Trump told us . . . repeatedly. We don’t need all the insider accounts now when he was saying this at rallies and to anyone who would listen. At the same time, he said a few other things to let us know exactly what’s next.
Trump wants tax reform.
Except the thing is, Trump doesn’t really want tax reform.
He wants tax cuts.
If there is anything we learned from the healthcare debacle, it’s that Trump is an even simpler guy than we realized. He couldn’t be bothered to learn anything about the policies behind the healthcare bill, and shocked even his own caucus with his ignorance and lack of patience with the process.
Trump likely doesn’t even know there is a difference between tax reform and tax cuts. But he’s going to learn very quickly that tax reform is hard work. The last successful reform was during the Reagan administration, and involved months of bipartisan negotiation.
After the past week, we know Trump will give up on the reform part quickly (maybe within days, definitely within a few weeks) given his attention span. He is already seething at the healthcare debacle, and desperate for a big win. In order for tax reform to go through, he would have to trust his team to work with Democrats, and allow Ryan a lead role. After what happened with healthcare, that will never happen. He will insist on a bill and vote on large tax cuts after quickly abandoning tax reform. Those tax cuts will overwhelmingly favor the wealthy. How do we know this? He told us.
On one of his only public outings during the transition, he greeted wealthy diners at the 21 Club. Not with hello or how are you, but with “Don’t worry — we’ll get your taxes down.” He is now telling everyone he wanted to do tax reform first anyway. Except he never wanted any of the hard work of tax reform — he just wants big tax cuts. He is deeply insecure, and thinks tax cuts are a winner with everyone. It doesn’t matter if Ryan doesn’t have the votes to pass the bill. This time, he will insist on a vote so he can have his enemies list.
This issue is more of a winner for Democrats than ever, especially after this week. We can show how the average American will get a tax cut of $150 or whatever, and the average millionaire will get a tax cut of $150,000 or whatever. The Republican priorities will be even more nakedly evident — their top priority (only priority?) is tax cuts to the wealthy. The healthcare bill was a nearly trillion dollar tax cut to the wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle class. The next fight will just feed that narrative. Republicans cannot agree upon anything except huge tax cuts to the rich. Has it ever been easier to brand the Republicans? They are paralyzed when they try to put through anything else on Trump’s agenda, such as it is.
Nancy and Chuck and other Democrats will probably be invited early on to a meeting with Trump in the White House on tax reform. They can have a pleasant chat, and then go immediately to the mics together to say that Trump is continuing his millionaires and billionaires giveaway agenda at the expense of the working middle class and poor. Chuck has a lot of friends on Wall Street, so his constituents will have to keep hounding him in public settings to promise to oppose any kind of bipartisan compromise. But with the path Trump is on now, that shouldn’t be hard. Trump will be furious, and push even harder for a quick vote on bit cuts.
The rest of us with Republican reps can just keep showing up and pushing our representatives to commit to no tax cuts to the wealthy before fixing problems with healthcare. Or any other priority. They are weak, and afraid of their own constituents at this point. We can peel off a couple dozen of them. Or use the vote against them in the midterms.
We know what’s next. Trump has told us. He’s a simple, lazy man.
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