Thursday, September 10, 2015

Trumping Populism in the GOP

Rather than roll the Next Day Updates up behind yesterday's roster I'll just work my way down this morning. 

Trump Taxing on Republicans

I must admit it is entertaining as hell to watch him roil the establishment field even if none of these plans have a chance of passing. It's all campaign rhetoric going nowhere. They know it, and we know it.

"Trump tax rhetoric stirs divide in GOP race" by Tracy Jan Globe Staff  September 10, 2015

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s rhetoric on raising taxes on Wall Street “paper pushers” to “save the middle class” has scrambled the usual tax debate among Republicans, with the real estate mogul’s surprisingly populist tax message starting to seep into the plans of his primary rivals.

Jeb Bush on Wednesday criticized Trump for promoting a tax policy so liberal that it won favor from Democrat Elizabeth Warren — a notion that Bush said almost made him “spit up his Diet Coke.”

But, at the same time, Bush unveiled his own plan that had some of the same elements, calling for raising some taxes for private equity and hedge fund managers. Bush’s proposal would tax the investment dividends earned by high-dollar financial managers as income instead of at the lower capital-gains rate. More predictably, he would also cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations.

That is not going to do it.

“This is a radical departure,” Bush said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” using his proposal to hit back against Trump’s charge that he is owned by the special interests of wealthy donors. “Right now, Wall Street’s had a pretty good ride here. . . . People are stuck in the middle.”

Sound familiar?

Conservatives bristled at such populist talking points from the top GOP candidates.

“It looks like Bush picked up a Trump idea that wasn’t a good idea,” said David McIntosh, president of Club for Growth, a conservative group that advocates for low taxes. “Trump’s playing into the liberal Democrats’ view that we should run on envy of people who have been successful.”

Trump, the Republican front-runner, has promised to unveil his full tax plan by the end of September. In the meantime, the billionaire has delighted in upending the Republican nominating contest as he flouts GOP convention even while vowing party loyalty and ruling out a third-party run.

In recent media interviews, he has accused hedge fund managers of “getting away with murder” on their taxes while the middle class is “getting absolutely destroyed.”

“The hedge fund people make a lot of money and they pay very little taxes,” Trump told Bloomberg. “I do very well. I don’t mind paying some tax. The middle class is getting clobbered in this country. The middle class built this country, not the hedge fund guys.”

His provocative, at times contradictory, statements — he’s said he opposes any net tax increase — have the GOP establishment scratching their heads as to how the man atop the Republican polls will affect the field of candidates. Wary that others will be tempted to ride the populist wave, they continue to hammer Trump for violating a core Republican orthodoxy: no new taxes.

“If he’s in favor of raising tax rates on the wealthy, then I think he’s running in the wrong primary,” said Stephen Moore, a conservative economist who cofounded the Committee to Unleash Prosperity this year to get politicians to lower taxes. “The Republican party is a pro-growth, pro-tax cut party. This would be contrary to what the GOP stands for.”

But there appears to be a schism between the party establishment and its Tea Party movement base. Some Tea Party movement leaders, who espouse limiting the size and role of government and paying down the national debt, have no problem with Trump wanting to raise taxes on the rich.

“People say it’s not very Republican but I want to decide each individual issue for myself and not allow the party to decide for me,” said Amy Kremer, former chairwoman of Tea Party Express and one of the founders of the movement.


Far from creating a backlash, Trump’s seeming willingness to spout off against the party machine is specifically what has endeared him to the average voter, said Tea Party movement leaders.

“The biggest draw for Trump within the Tea Party movement is that he’s a person who can’t be bought,” said Gregg Cummings, founder of We the People Tea Party of Southern Iowa.

Trump’s message drew tepid praise from an unusual ally on Tuesday: Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat and liberal icon, who frequently rails against bankers not paying their fair share of taxes.

“Donald Trump and I both agree that there ought to be more taxation on the billionaire, the people who are making the money,” Warren said in an interview on ABC’s “The View.”

Warren’s comments prompted Bush, in his CNBC interview, to marvel at the state of the Republican race, accusing Trump, a gambling, real estate, and reality TV titan, of “preying on [Americans’] angst and anger.” 

Like your brother's administration after 9/11?

“This is Alice in Wonderland time here,” Bush said. “So as the world gets turned upside down temporarily, I think there needs to be people with a steady hand.” 


As for the Alice in Wonderland quality of the ma$$ media matrix and state of the world, it sure is.

With its broad tax cuts, Bush’s fiscal message appears tailored to appeal to middle-class voters while not alienating the GOP establishment. He says he would pay for the lost revenues from tax cuts by closing loopholes and eliminating and reducing deductions, but not all of them are specified.

Pledging to close the tax break for hedge fund and private equity managers is a shift for a mainstream GOP candidate....

He's giving them all breaks on the other end. 

Among the reforms, Bush would cut the top income tax rate from 39.6 percent down to 28 percent, double the standard deduction, and cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to 20 percent.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and best known for the pledge to oppose all net tax increases that nearly all Republican candidates for office sign, said Bush’s elimination of the carried interest loophole is “just for show.”

The amount of money — $3 billion to $16 billion over 10 years — is so small as to be virtually meaningless, he said. “It’s a shiny thing that people get excited about but it’s completely meaningless in terms of the economy. It’s less than a fraction of a fraction. It’s a piece of an asterisk.”

But Norquist said it was a good strategy, on Bush’s part, to include it even though he does not agree with it: “By matching Trump on this, everyone in the country will have to compare apples to apples when Trump releases his plan.”

How nice that the pre$$ turns to a paid corporate lackey as an expert analyst.


Still beating the Bushes:

"Jeb Bush says he would quash hedge fund tax loophole" by Alan Rappeport and Matt Flegenheimer New York Times  September 10, 2015

WASHINGTON — Former Florida governor Jeb Bush challenged some long-held tenets of conservative tax policy Wednesday by proposing to curtail valuable deductions that benefit the wealthy and eliminate the tax loophole that has benefited hedge fund and private equity managers for years.

That an establishment Republican candidate has embraced such changes not only highlights how income inequality has altered the tenor of the presidential debate for the party, but also indicates the ideological pull Donald J. Trump’s candidacy is having on the Republican field after he made similar proposals.

We get this every two years, and then it is back to bu$ine$$ as usual as wealth inequality yawns wider.

Bush’s proposals nevertheless drew a harsh rebuke from Democrats who are unhappy that he is seeking to lower taxes across all income brackets and slash the corporate tax rate. But conservative antitax activists were worried by his suggestion that “carried interest” — the profits that fund managers get from investing other people’s money — should be taxed at a higher rate, like ordinary income.

“No Republican should be for higher taxes on capital gains,” said Ryan Ellis, tax policy director at Americans for Tax Reform. “This tax hike idea is supported by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. The Democratic left deeply wishes to tax all capital gains as ordinary income.”

The debate over how to tax carried interest has become central to a wider battle over income inequality, which Bush has been highlighting along with other Republican candidates like Trump and Mike Huckabee as they seek to undercut Democrats on an issue that polls show has increasing resonance with voters.

Related(?): Sanders Working Hard in New Hampshire 


Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential bid was dogged by the carried interest issue when he revealed that he paid an effective tax rate of about 15 percent, largely on his compensation from Bain Capital.



Also seeCarly Fiorina Dismisses Trump's Latest Insult

What did he say this time? 

Can anyone keep up with that guy?

Trump, Cruz lead protests to denounce Iran nuclear deal

Huckabee Wins Kentucky Primary

That was supposed to be Cruz state, and now he is taking a break.

As I've assembled these various campaign posts, I've noticed a stunning lack of coverage regarding one candidate that could be perceived as insult.


"Bush escalates Trump criticism on N.H. trip" by Jim O’Sullivan Globe Staff  September 10, 2015

EXETER, N.H. — Former governor Jeb Bush of Florida has emerged as the field’s dominant fund-raiser, drawing on his dynastic family’s connections and years spent as a well-regarded figure in the Republican establishment. But he has slipped in the polls. A nationwide CNN/ORC poll of Republican voters released Thursday put him in third place behind Trump and Carson, a retired surgeon.

That's why he is slipping in the polls, in addition to his plans and prospective policies. 

More wars, more tyranny, another Bush? No thanks.

In New Hampshire, an NBC/Marist poll released Sunday also found Bush in third, behind both Trump and Governor John Kasich of Ohio.

Yeah, the rigged polls keep him near the top and we will be told he accumulated delegates through volume even though he won't win anything.


Responding to a reporter’s question, Bush said the country should permit Syrian refugees to come here, saying, “There’s an ample process of making sure that people who come are truly refugees.

“We have been a country that has allowed refugees to come in, and over the long haul it’s been to our benefit,” Bush said, alluding to “the vibrant Vietnamese community.” 

These guys are incredible. 

Yup, bring on the war refugees created by Obummer and fork over billions to care for them elsewhere -- while American citizens are living under the lash of austerity.

Bush appeared to be in a playful mood. As the event started, he popped his head into a television reporter’s camera shot.

Oh, I'm so glad he is so friendly with the opposition, hold-their-feet-to-the-fire pre$$. 

Sadly, they are prone to drop to knees, undo belt, unzip fly, lower trousers, well, you can take it from there.

Later, walking away from the press question-and-answer scrum, he called it “one of the most civilized conversations we’ve had in a long while.” When another TV reporter chimed in with an affectionate remark, he gave her a hug.


Asked how his father, former president George H.W. Bush, is recovering from a recent fall, Bush said he was doing well, watching television, and “throwing shoes at the TV when his son gets attacked and insulted by our favorite candidate.”

Yeah, concerns and inquiries regarding Poppy War Criminal as Carter suffers from brain cancer and is invisible.


Worse yet, his murderous, war-criminal brother W is going to be on ESPN's "Mike and Mike" at 9:30 a.m. today (1 minute from now).

RelatedNew mission for Team Romney: Stop Trump

That's almost a reason to vote for him.

Did you see the candidates endorsed by Romney?

"Trump defends himself on his ‘look at her face!’ slam on Fiorina" September 11, 2015

WASHINGTON — In some ways, Thursday was a day no different from others in an unpredictable 2016 presidential primary campaign, a messy contest in which Trump has emerged as a dominant and divisive figure. But in an interview on ABC's "The View," Trump offered a message directly to women: "I want to say that I cherish women, and I will protect women, and I will take care of women, and I have great respect for women."

He said his wife and daughter have encouraged him to speak more about "women's health issues, because they know how strongly and committed I am to it."

Bush, who has emerged as a leading Trump critic in recent weeks, came to Fiorina's defense Thursday.

Why would the Globe cut that last printed part?


Oh, so "Trump insulted the physical appearance of Carly Fiorina and the chorus of anti-Trump Republicans also includes rivals Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former New York governor George Pataki, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who is running second to Trump in several early polls."

Also seeWalker aims to ‘wreak havoc’ on unions at federal level

The "fiery speech" came to a full stop.

W's on now so I should go. Maybe he will get arrested.