As if watching reporters wading into ankle deep water for the sake of a hurricane wasn’t laughable enough, here’s what Speaker Paul Ryan has in store for the country should Donald Trump lay his hand on Art of the Deal and take the oath in January 2017: pass his budget using that wondrous parliamentary trick called reconciliation, last used by the Democrats in spring 2010 to pass the Affordable Care Act.
Trump and House Republicans have proposed different tax plans, but they are largely in sync on major principles. Both would cut the top tax rate for individuals to 33 percent from the current 39.6 percent. The corporate rate would drop to 15 percent under Trump’s plan and 20 percent under the House GOP plan, from 35 percent today. Both plans also would drain federal coffers of several trillion dollars and give the biggest boost to the wealthy. By the end of the decade, the richest 1 percent would have accumulated 99.6 percent of the benefits of the House GOP plan, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
Grover Norquist provides the most telling quote: “A 10-year tax cut is not a bad deal. Very few things in life are forever.” St. Ronnie once said that he wasn’t jumping a cliff for the sake of a hundred percent of a proposal if he could get sixty. An old pro, Norquist understands the magnitude of Ryan’s budget; passing or “reconciling” even a sliver of it would change the relationship of the federal taxing power and citizens.
Another reminder to my liberal colleagues of what’s at stake. There will be no Democratic resistance to Trump and a Republican House in January because, like Florida, they have no meaningful way to stop this shit.