Saturday, March 11, 2017

Trump's Big CON: TrumpCareCon (© (AKA TrumpConCare or TrumpCon (© Is All About Future Tax Cuts

UPDATE:  "Given the sick joke of a health plan, you might ask what happened to all those proclamations that Obamacare was a terrible, no good system that Republicans would immediately replace with something far better — not to mention Donald Trump’s promises of “insurance for everybody” and “great health care.”

But the answer, of course, is that they were all lying, all along — and they still are. On this, at least, Republican unity remains impressively intact."

Read The New York Times, A Bill So Bad It’s Awesome.

"Let’s abandon the pretense.

Republicans’ 'health care' bill is not really about health care. It’s not about improving access to health insurance, or reducing premiums, or making sure you get to keep your doctor if you like your doctor. And it’s certainly not about preventing people from dying in the streets.

Instead, it’s about hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts — tax cuts that will quietly pave the way for more, and far larger, tax cuts. . .

For those keeping score, [the plan] means fewer people would have insurance, those who get insurance on the exchanges would pay a higher price for it and Medicare’s solvency would be jeopardized as a bonus.

Hard to see how this achieves any of President Trump’s stated goals to “lower costs, expand choices, increase competition and ensure health-care access for all Americans.”

On the other hand, it’s quite easy to see how another well-established Republican goal would be achieved: tax cuts. . .

Under normal circumstances, Democrats would almost certainly filibuster the coming tax overhaul, preventing it from ever getting to a vote. But Republicans can take the filibuster option away by using the 'reconciliation' process, which is an option if, and only if, the tax bill doesn’t increase government deficits in the long term, relative to existing law.

How do you keep tax cuts from increasing deficits relative to existing law? One useful tool is to change existing law — that is, to move the goalposts. Cutting taxes in the Obamacare repeal bill today lowers the revenue baseline against which a tax overhaul plan will be judged tomorrow."

Read the Washington Post, The Republican health-care plan isn’t about health care at all.

Trump's Big CON: I'll Get Tough With Iran

"Since former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn warned Iran that it was “on notice” for an illegal missile test and the administration issued exceptionally narrow sanctions, we have heard little — if anything — from the administration about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iranian aggression in the region, Iran’s human rights atrocities or much of anything else concerning the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. (The White House spokesman did issue one of the sort of empty platitudes — that it is “unwavering” in its determination to bring home American Robert Levinson, believed to be held in Iran for 10 years — that conservatives ridiculed during the Obama administration.)

Obviously unconcerned about being on 'notice,' Iran this week yet again conducted a ballistic missile test."

Read the Washington Post, Trump misses an opportunity to defang Iran.