Democrats Try to Win Back Labor in Order to Win Back the House

By Salena Zito

WAYNESBURG, Pa. — When Democrat Conor Lamb stood in a sea of United Mine Workers of America here in early March, it was clear that Democrats had found a way to bring the blue-collar worker back into their camp.

Lamb would go on to win the special election in this southwest Pennsylvania district that President Donald Trump had carried by nearly 20 points.

The two questions now: First, will that union support materialize in other races and thus elect Democrats in swing districts across the country? Second, why had Democrats lost these blue-collar areas in the first place? What was missing from Democrats’ messages over the past 10 years that made blue-collar workers stay home or vote Republican?

The union voters I talked to said they didn’t feel that Democrats in Washington had their back, that they were too progressive, too strident and way out of touch with their lives and needs.

“I think there were two factors at play with how union members, many union members turned away from the Democratic Party,” said Mike Mikus, a Western Pennsylvania Democratic strategist who does campaign work for several unions. “One is that they didn’t feel their economic issues needed to be addressed and pretty frankly it was in the Democratic playbook to play to the center meant taking on organized labor rather than any other Democratic constituency.”

Democrats would try to appear moderate, Mikus says, by placing other interests on the left ahead of organized labor.

Unions can play a big role in the race to snag Pennsylvania congressional seats away from Republicans. They already have a head start thanks to the February decision by the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court to interfere in state redistricting — a blatant political maneuver that ultimately led to gerrymandering the seats heavily in favor Democrats.

Mikus says: “I think that organized labor could help in races in this state that may not be on the radar for a lot of people right now. Districts like the 16th in northwestern Pennsylvania, the 14th in southwestern Pennsylvania.”

Mikus doesn’t discount that Republican Rick Saccone was unique in the race. In contrast to Tim Murphy, the Republican congressman who held the seat until he resigned in scandal, Saccone had a history in the state Senate of not being a friend to labor. Murphy had always had good dialogue with local organized labor and worked with it on issues that were important to it.

Lamb wisely seized on this and reminded those voters he had their back on Social Security, Medicare and pension issues.

In a race decided by a handful of votes, it is clear they could have easily been the difference. The blue-collar voters haven’t left Trump, but they are up for grabs in a congressional election. They have proved themselves to be happy to vote for someone who inspires them to show up and vote, and isn’t tied to the establishment of either party.

California Commits Massive Medicaid Fraud

By David Catron

*(ABOUT TIME) – PAUL RYAN TO STEP ASIDE IN ’18, LEAVE DC

Spirits were high inside the House chamber on Thursday, November 16, when, in the early afternoon, the gavel fell and a measure to rewrite the American tax code passed on a partisan tally of 227 to 205. As the deciding votes were cast—recorded in green on the black digital scoreboard suspended above the floor—the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, threw his head back and slammed his hands together. Soon he was engulfed in a sea of dark suits, every Republican lawmaker wanting to slap him on the shoulder and be a part of his moment.

Ryan was the man of the hour. Having spent a quarter-century in Washington—as an intern, waiter, junior think-tanker, Hill staffer and, since 1999, as a member of Congress—he had never wavered in his obsession with fixing what he viewed as the nation’s two fundamental weaknesses: its Byzantine tax system and ballooning entitlement state. Now, with House Republicans celebrating the once-in-a-generation achievement of a tax overhaul, Ryan was feeling both jubilant and relieved—and a little bit greedy. Reveling in the afterglow, Ryan remarked to several colleagues how this day had proven they could accomplish difficult things—and that next year, they should set their sights on an even tougher challenge: entitlement reform. The speaker has since gone public with this aspiration, suggesting that 2018 should be the year Washington finally tackles what he sees as the systemic problems with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Tinkering with the social safety net is a bold undertaking, particularly in an election year. But Ryan has good reason for throwing caution to the wind: His time in Congress is running short.

Despite several landmark legislative wins this year, and a better-than-expected relationship with President Donald Trump, Ryan has made it known to some of his closest confidants that this will be his final term as speaker. He consults a small crew of family, friends and staff for career advice, and is always cautious not to telegraph his political maneuvers. But the expectation of his impending departure has escaped the hushed confines of Ryan’s inner circle and permeated the upper-most echelons of the GOP. In recent interviews with three dozen people who know the speaker—fellow lawmakers, congressional and administration aides, conservative intellectuals and Republican lobbyists—not a single person believed Ryan will stay in Congress past 2018.

Ryan was tiring of D.C. even before reluctantly accepting the speakership. He told his predecessor, John Boehner, that it would be his last job in politics—and that it wasn’t a long-term proposition. In the months following Trump’s victory, he began contemplating the scenarios of his departure. More recently, over closely held conversations with his kitchen cabinet, Ryan’s preference has become clear: He would like to serve through Election Day 2018 and retire ahead of the next Congress. This would give Ryan a final legislative year to chase his second white whale, entitlement reform, while using his unrivaled fundraising prowess to help protect the House majority—all with the benefit of averting an ugly internecine power struggle during election season. Ryan has never loved the job; he oozes aggravation when discussing intra-party debates over “micro-tactics,” and friends say he feels like he’s running a daycare center. On a personal level, going home at the end of next year would allow Ryan, who turns 48 next month, to keep promises to family; his three children are in or entering their teenage years, and Ryan, whose father died at 55, wants desperately to live at home with them full-time before they begin flying the nest. The best part of this scenario, people close to the speaker emphasize: He wouldn’t have to share the ballot with Trump again in 2020.

And yet speculation is building that, Ryan, even fresh off his tax-reform triumph, might not be able to leave on his own terms. He now faces a massive pileup of cannot-fail bills in January and February. It’s an outrageous legislative lift: Congress must, in the coming weeks, fund the government, raise the debt ceiling, modify spending caps, address the continuation of health-care subsidies, shell out additional funds for disaster relief and deal with the millions of undocumented young immigrants whose protected status has been thrown into limbo. It represents the most menacing stretch of Ryan’s speakership—one that will almost certainly require him to break promises made to his conference and give significant concessions to Democrats in exchange for their votes. To meet key deadlines, he’ll have to approve sizable spending increases and legal status for minors who came to the U.S. illegally—two things that could raise the ire of the GOP base and embolden his conservative rivals on Capitol Hill. There is no great outcome available, Ryan has conceded to some trusted associates—only survival. “Win the day. Win the next day. And then win the week,” Ryan has been preaching to his leadership team.

The speaker can’t afford to admit he’s a lame-duck—his fundraising capacity and dealmaking leverage would be vastly diminished, making the House all the more difficult to govern. When asked at the end of a Thursday morning press conference if he was leaving soon, Ryan shot a quick “no” over his shoulder as he walked out of the room.

Republican Tax Bill Cancels $23 Billion In Tax Credits For Illegal Aliens

According to its authors, the new GOP tax bill will strip illegal immigrants of their ability to claim and collect several major tax credits.

Doing so will save the federal government an estimated $23.1 billion over the next decade.

The bill will do this by closing IRS loopholes and requiring all taxpayers to submit work-eligible Social Security numbers in order to claim tax credits.

This may come as a shock to some who take for granted the assumption that illegal aliens don’t receive state benefits—especially tax credits.  However, it’s an open secret that the IRS has allowed illegal aliens who pay tax to collect a number of tax benefits, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Although previous governments have attempted to end the spending, the IRS has maintained that it has the authority to interpret tax law, given that direction from Congress is often bare-bones, and presidential direction (under Obama) was two-faced.

While this presumption is generally accepted, this cannot be used to shield the IRS from specific Congressional diktats.

Now that President Trump controls the White House, the IRS will have no latitude to interpret the law as it sees fit: Trump is cracking down on illegal immigrants and the administration will need to fall in line.

Finally, I feel compelled to remind our readers that tax credits are a paltry sum compared to government services consumed by illegal aliens.

For example, recent reports from the Federation for American Immigration Reform peg the cost of illegal immigration at some $135 billion annually.  This includes the cost of government services, healthcare, education, and judicial costs.  It does not include the value of remittances, which work out to nearly $40 billion annually, nor does it include the aforementioned tax credits.

At the state level illegal immigration also costs big money.  Illegal immigration costs the State of California $30 billion annually—17.7 percent of the state budget.  This is primary reason why California’s infrastructure is increasingly dilapidated, and its public schools are among the worst in the nation.

Even in red states, like Texas, illegal immigration costs taxpayers enormously.  Illegal immigration costs the State of Texas some $12 billion annually.

Immigration is milking the American people dry, and Congress is finally moving in the right direction.

 

GOP Tax Plan Ends $23 Billion In Lucrative Tax Credits Given To Illegal Aliens

By Rick Wells

The Republican tax plan puts an end to three of the most lucrative tax credits presently awarded to illegal aliens, people who shouldn’t be working in the United States…

The new Republican tax scheme has a provision that globalists, Democrats and those here illegally are going to have a real problem with. It stops treating illegals as if they were citizens in the matter of three important credits.

Those changes are expected to save the government $23.1 billion over the next ten years. The IRS presently allows illegal aliens, who should neither be in or be working in the United States, to collect the child tax credit, the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The House has been successful in their efforts to end the practice but their efforts have always died in the Senate. The new bill would require taxpayers to submit work-eligible social security numbers in order to claim the credits.

Organizations identifying themselves by the oxymoron of “Immigrant-rights” advocates have complained about those attempts in the past. They’ll surely be opposing this legislation. They argue that, in the case of  the child tax credit, the anchor babies are legal although their parents, the ones receiving the payment, are not.

That’s irrelevant. When they start working, they’ll have a return of their own to receive credits on. Those returns in question are for their parents, who are violating the law, not those of the anchor babies. Those parents, who pay their taxes through the use of an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and not a social security number, will now be unable to claim the credits.

TINs are issued to illegals to provide a means for them to pay their income tax as illegal workers. Billions of dollars in tax credits are paid out every year to illegals filing on an ITN. The IRS pays out billions of dollars a year in tax credits to people filing using ITINs each year, according to the agency’s inspector general.

The Inspector General has repeatedly recommended that the IRS discontinue the practice of making those payments but the leftists in control of the agency refuse. Their argument is that the tax credits apply to taxpayers, with no distinction made as to whether they are violating the law in the process of achieving that status.

 

 

Half of Americans currently pay no federal income tax at all!

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This tax cut isn’t for the middle class, which only pays 2.5% now

By
REX
NUTTING
COLUMNIST

Most American families don’t pay very much in federal income tax, so it’s no surprise that they aren’t clamoring for another tax cut.

Donald Trump and the Republican leaders in Washington have rolled out a plan for another big tax cut, but most Americans wonder why they are bothering with taxes when there are so many other more pressing problems.

There may have been a time, a generation ago, when cutting tax rates was the most popular thing a politician could do. But that day is long gone. I guess you might say Americans are tired of tax cuts, there have been so many.

Today, most Americans aren’t clamoring for lower taxes, probably because most of us don’t pay very much in federal income taxes. Our tax burden has rarely been lower. The latest data show that the 60% of families in the middle of the income distribution — those between about $32,000 and about $140,000 — pay an average of just 2.5% of their income in federal income taxes.

Nearly half of Americans owe no federal income tax at all, but they do pay taxes: payroll taxes to fund Social Security and Medicare, tariffs, excise taxes, corporate taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, state and local income taxes, and so on. If they have a problem with taxes, it’s not with the federal income tax.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/most-americans-dont-want-or-need-a-tax-cut-2017-09-27

A bill that cuts federal income taxes for middle-class families makes absolutely no sense, except as a sad way of camouflaging the real intent of the bill: Giving millions of dollars to the very wealthy, who happen to be the only people who are really benefiting from our uneven economic growth.

The pollsters at Gallup periodically ask people what they think is the most important problem in America. Taxes don’t make the top 10 list; only 2% of Americans mention taxes as a big problem.

In real America — outside the closed doors on Capitol Hill and at corporate boardrooms — the most pressing issues are distrust in the government, racism, immigration, national unity, tensions with North Korea, health care, the economy and jobs, disaster relief, the environment and crime. Even the media is mentioned more often as a major problem than taxes are.

But in Washington, cutting taxes is the most important thing on the agenda. Why? Because the Republican Party apparently is a wholly owned subsidiary of large multinational corporations and the richest 0.1% of Americans.

The people get it. In an NBC/ Wall Street Journal poll, 62% of those polled said taxes should go up on the wealthy, and 55% said taxes should rise for corporations. Meanwhile, 53% said their own taxes should stay where they are.

So, the American people don’t need a tax cut (they pay 2.5%) and they don’t want it, but perhaps a tax cut would be good for them? That’s the argument being pushed by Trump and his advisers: They say cutting taxes, especially on businesses, will unleash the economy, create jobs, and boost incomes.

The problem, they say, is that corporate taxes are too high in the U.S. Our companies can’t compete with foreign-based firms. It’s true that the statutory rate is very high —35% federal corporate tax rate (plus varying levels of state income taxes, plus individual income taxes paid by shareholders).

But nobody pays retail, and nobody pays the statutory rate. Corporations take advantage of lots of special provisions in the tax code to lower their taxes. The effective marginal tax rate on new investments is 19.7%, “very much line with our major trading partners,” according to a paper published by the Obama Treasury Department in January.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross say simplifying and lowering corporate taxes could add 1 percentage point or more to the nation’s sustainable growth rate. So, instead of 2% growth, we could have 3% or maybe even 4%.

Trump says we could get to 6% growth, but why not just say 100%? There is no support — empirical or theoretical — for such a statement. The best economic evidence shows that tax reform could add about 0.1% to 0.3% to annual growth rates. That’s only about one-tenth of the impact promised by the Trump administration.

And that’s if tax reform is revenue-neutral (meaning it won’t add to the deficit).

Unfortunately, the Republicans are relying on those implausible growth rates to argue that their $2.2 trillion tax cut will largely pay for itself. But if we don’t get the growth, then the deficits will climb.

Higher government deficits in a time of full employment can lead to slower economic growth, because they reduce national savings, forcing the nation to rely even more from foreigners for savings, increasing the current-account deficit and leading to a higher trade deficit. Which is exactly what these tax cuts are trying to prevent.

Trump says cutting taxes is all about creating jobs. But the tax cuts in 2001, 2003, and 2004 were designed to funnel money to the “job creators,” who would in turn hire millions of people. But, as it turned out, the rich got the money, but hiring didn’t accelerate.

Trickle down didn’t work.

The real constraint on the economy right now isn’t the number of jobs being created, but productivity. We need to invest much more in technology, equipment, buildings and workers. However, there’s little that cutting taxes can do about that problem, because companies have plenty of capital to invest, if they wanted to.

Profits are near record levels, while net investment is near record low levels. Giving corporations more cash won’t lead to more investment unless companies see a positive return.

The Trump-Ryan tax cuts don’t solve any of our problems, unless you believe that the wealthy don’t have quite enough money yet. But the latest figures from the Federal Reserve show that the top 1% is capturing a greater share of both national income and wealth.

House Speaker Paul Ryan calls tax cuts the “secret sauce” for a better economy. But that the secret sauce is just the same old ketchup and mayo.

Mitch McConnell Vows to Raise U.S. Debt Ceiling

By Breitbart News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says there is “zero chance” Congress will allow the country to default on its debts by voting to not increase the borrowing limit.

McConnell’s comments came Monday during a joint appearance in his home state of Kentucky with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. It was one of McConnell’s first public appearances since President Donald Trump publicly criticized him for failing to pass a repeal and replacement of former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

McConnell did not mention Trump in his remarks, and he did not take questions from reporters after the event. But in response to a question about where he gets his news, McConnell said he reads a variety of sources, including The New York Times.

“My view is most news is not fake,” McConnell said, which appeared to be a subtle rebuke of one of Trump’s favorite phrases. “I try not to fall in love with any particular source.”

The government has enough money to pay its bills until Sept. 29. After that, Congress would have to give permission for the government to borrow more money to meet its obligations, including Social Security and interest payments.

McConnell sought to calm a crowd of nervous business leaders by interjecting at the end of Mnuchin’s answer to a question about what would happen if lawmakers did not increase the borrowing limit.

“Let me just add, there is zero chance, no chance, we won’t raise the debt ceiling,” McConnell said. “America is not going to default.”

Addressing the country’s borrowing limit will be the most pressing issue when lawmakers return to Washington following their August recess. After that, Republicans will likely turn their attention to overhauling the nation’s tax code.

McConnell said Congress is unlikely to repeal a pair of Obama-era laws most hated by conservatives. While negotiations about health care are ongoing, McConnell said the path forward is “somewhat murky.” And he said it would be “challenging” to lift the restrictions placed on banks following the 2008 financial crisis, known as “Dodd-Frank.”

On tax reform, McConnell said the only thing lawmakers won’t consider eliminating are deductions on mortgage interest and charitable deductions.