Thanks to his “exquisite leadership,” Trump now has the deficit topping a trillion dollars and our National Debt growing faster than the economy, as Reagan, Bush and Bush did (it took Clinton and Obama to turn that around) . . . depriving the country of the resources to revitalize its crumbling infrastructure . . . wrecking the Affordable Care Act to the disadvantage and what in some cases will inevitably be the death of hard-working lower-income citizens (whose minimum wage Republicans refuse to raise with inflation) . . . preserving the egregious carried-interest tax break he claimed to be against . . . and greatly enriching himself and his wealthy cabinet members while lying directly into the TV cameras at every opportunity to claim it will “cost me a fortune.”

The autocrat tightens the noose, just as did the democratically-elected leader of Germany, whose book of speeches Trump famously kept by his bedside . . . seeing some “very fine people” among the torch-marchers at Charlottesville . . . joining arms with journalist-murdering autocrats Putin and Duterte . . . (Erdogan has thus far merely imprisoned 120) . . . and none of this seems to bother his fawning cabinet members or the fawning Republicans in Congress (though in private at least one calls him “a fucking moron” and before he was elected Senator Lindsey Graham called him “a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot . . . undercutting everything we stand for” and Senator Ted Cruz called him “a pathological liar” and Senator Marco Rubio called him “a dangerous con man.”)

But — because it’s now safe again to say Christmas again and I love Christmas — let me stop whining.

Ron S.: “All we get from Democrats is whining about process and dire warnings about the impending economic catastrophe that Republicans would inflict on the always struggling and oft-mentioned middle class.  Kind of reminds me of the Congress during the 8 years of the Obama administration — repeal and replace, but no realistic plan.  So I keep reading your blog but it is very repetitive and whiny with very little positive substance with realistic details.”

☞ In other words: okay, big shot.  You say you’d be for a fair, revenue-neutral tax reform — what is it?

A fair question.

Rising to this reasonable challenge, I would say this.

First, don’t borrow $1.5 trillion to cut taxes.  This is not a time to cut taxes.  Borrow it, instead, to revitalize infrastructure.  That would put far more to work in good jobs that can’t be out-sourced, and make America more productive, benefiting us all.  Let’s build infrastructure, not yachts and mansions.

As to the tax code itself, how about:

  1. Raising the estate tax rate on amounts above $100 million from 40% to 55% (where it used to be) — and using that extra revenue to lower co-pays and deductibles for health insurance?
  1. Raising the top rate on income of any kind in excess of $1 million by 2% — and using that extra revenue to lower co-pays and deductibles for health insurance?
  1. Eliminating the “carried interest” loophole, as Trump promised he would — and, yes, using that, too, to lower co-pays and deductibles for health insurance?
  1. Lowering the corporate rate as low as Republicans want — even to 21% — but only by closing whatever loopholes the Republicans want to close in order to keep the reform, as scored by the CBO, “revenue neutral.” Likewise: simplify it any way the Republicans and Chamber of Commerce want, so long as the simplifications are revenue neutral.  (Even then, it would be like a tax cut, because a simpler tax code would save corporations a fortune on accounting and legal fees.)

How’s that?



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