“Swamp Thing”

John Hanno        December 25, 2017

               “Swamp Thing”

This Republi-con tax sham is what I call a “Dead skunk in the middle of the road,” one of my all time favorite song titles by Loudon Wainwright III. During my high school and Army days, friends and I would get together, drink beer and sing our favorite drinking songs at the top of our lungs…out in the woods, where no one could hear us…except the night critters.


Crossin the highway late last night

he shouda looked left and he shoulda looked right

He didn’t see the station….wagon…car…

the skunk got squashed….and there you are…


you got yer dead…skunk in the middle of the road

dead…skunk in the middle of the road

dead…skunk in the middle of the road

stinkin to high…..heaven


take a whiff on me…that ain’t no…rose

roll up your window… and hold…your nose

you don’t have to look and you don’t have to see

cus you can feel it in…your ol…factory


you got yer dead…skunk in the middle of the road

dead…skunk in the middle of the road

dead…skunk in the middle of the road

stinkin to high…..heaven

But trump’s congressional apparatchiks were so desperate to pass anything before year end, they were willing to vote for and attach their conservative bona fides and integrity onto what experts claim is the worst tax legislation ever; a bill that adds $1.44 trillion to the national debt or $1 trillion even after any increase in GDP. During the celebratory cabinet meeting and the photo op on the White House lawn yesterday, the fawnification by Mike “Glory Be” Pence and Republi-con congress folks, made for a queasy regurgitation.

Pence stated  “trump has been making history since the first day of this administration.” Well, you wouldn’t get any argument from the Democrats!

trump faithfully delivers daily historic and consequential levels of egocentric self dealing, flagrant dishonesty, institutional contempt and depraved indifference for what makes America relevant, its Democratic ethos!

The reason we expect our leaders to be forthcoming with their tax returns and financial disclosures is because our constitution has granted them the absolute power to tax individuals and businesses and control commerce.

But our income tax system relies heavily on voluntary compliance and honesty. If we’re to believe trump, that he’s been audited yearly for decades, its obvious the Internal Revenue Service routinely believes trump is neither compliant nor honest.

trump, championing this Republi-con tax scam and exuding extreme flim-flannery, claims this thing (his tax bill) will cost him a fortune, “believe me – belief…this is not good for me. I have rich friends who are not happy with me.”

I’m amazed; no one but trump could tell four lies in one short sentence.

Since he refuses to provide his tax returns, even those before 2008 and even after he repeatedly promised he would, experts must guess how much trump Inc. and family will benefit from the bill. Tax experts believe trump can expect to reap between $5 and 11 million or even more from this legislation each year. That’s a long way from “losing a fortune.”

trump and the Republi-cons continue to describe this tax cut as the largest in history, one that was designed primarily for the middle-class.

First of all, its only the seventh largest tax cut in history and by the end of the plan, those in the top 20% will receive 107% of the benefits and the bottom 80% of tax payers will actually be paying more. But most of us can see through the smoke; only 26% of America approves of the bill.

Why? Because, unlike the 1986 Reagan tax cuts, this trump-con is a 100% partisan bill with no input from the Democrats; its based on no expert testimony or critical analysis, is not revenue neutral, is clearly not tax reform, they held no public hearings and it doesn’t simplify the tax code, as trump and the Republi-cons still claim.

There are $1.6 trillion in tax breaks taken every year; this tax bill only attempted to eliminate $400 billion of those tax breaks. And one of the biggest tax break scams, the carried interest exemption – granted mostly to hedge fund managers, and roundly condemned by both Republicans and Democrats, survived this phony “Tax Reform.” And the goodies thrown into the bill in the dark of night to get the bill passed (like pass through business breaks and the Corkerkickback), added a whole new litany of tax dodges. That loophole alone will cost the treasury $414 billion.

Foreign investors will benefit more than all middle income Americans in the 30 states who voted for Trump combined. Everyone under $100,000 income will get a tax “increase” in the last 2 year of the plan.

But the most consequential element of this plan will cause America’s alarming and burgeoning income inequality to grow even worse.

As has been the record over the last 3 decades, those who benefit most from our rigged crony capitalist economy, are the military and prison industrial complexes, connected  millionaires, billionaires and multi-national corporations, and their executives, who will continue to get double digit annual increases, while those at the bottom will fall further and further behind.

Wells Fargo Bank just announced they will reap an 18% wind fall from this tax bill. Yes, that same bank who Trump owes $100’s of millions in real-estate loans to and who seems to be involved in monthly consumer scandals. Their ongoing litigation over the fake accounts scandal, the $100’s of millions in penalties and settlements, and the firing of 5,300 sacrificial low-level employees might have prodded them to raise their minimum wage for employees to $15 but that was supposedly already in the works before the tax bill was passed. The rest of America’s 7 largest banks will benefit on average 14% in additional profits from this tax bill.

trump and his departments of disinformation continue, with straight faces, to claim they are busy draining the swamp of miscreants and lobbyists, but its obvious they’re more entrenched than ever. K-Street wrote and then had to rewrite and then rewrite again this bill. The lobbyist’s fingerprints are all over the 1,000 or so pages.

The Republi-con sycophants in congress whooped and howled when trump admitted he pulled a fast one by not broadcasting to the fake media, that his slick plan to castrate the ACA by including repealing the individual mandate in the tax bill was a primary goal and a huge deal. Yes, taking healthcare away from 13 million hard working low income Americans was really a slick move. State treasuries will be tickled pink when they have to make up the difference. trump’s trumpery was almost as slick as holding hostage, to the self rewarding payments to his own family, his friends and his campaign donors, the 9 million children from low income families who depend on the Children’s Health Insurance Program for often serious health conditions.

trump incorrectly claims he “essentially repealed Obamacare” because more than 9 million Americans signed up for Obamacare this year in spite of the trump administration’s attempts to quell participation. The ACA is more popular than ever. The more trump and his cast of evildoers in congress try to cripple Obamacare, the more voters will turn against them. And if premiums grow by double-digits because of trump’s shenanigans, this administration will surely take the blame.

I wonder how the trump and Republi-con faithful, can continue to vote for toxic un-American representatives, so obviously engaged in self serving and morally and financially corrupt behavior; why are these uncritical voters standards and expectations so low?

Why can’t they see the American Democratic forest for the Republi-con trees?

Related: Article From DCReports follows…

Other Countries Have Already Launched a ‘Race to the Bottom’ to Undermine New U.S. Corporate Tax Cuts”

Unintended Consequences 101: Tax Scheme Ignites Global Tax War

The Bill Isn’t Signed Yet, But Other Countries Have Already Launched a ‘Race to the Bottom’ to Undermine New U.S. Corporate Tax Cuts

By James S. Henry, DCReport Senior Editor, Investigative Economics

Before Donald Trump has signed the new tax law, there are already troubling signs that it is the first shot in a global tax war that threatens working people and the public pensions plans that sustain them in old age.

The Trump bill, which reads like a wish list for Goldman Sachs and its clients, has already triggered an aggressive “race to the bottom” in international corporate tax rates, rules and regulations. It is the exact opposite of his campaign promise to help the middle class.

What the mainstream American news has failed to notice are the global responses, including:

South Korea, Mexico and Chile are also actively considering corporate tax cuts, in response to the US measure, my interviews with key global tax analysts around the planet reveal.

The Argentinean corporate tax cuts are especially troubling because they may well turn out to be an ominous precursor for what may happen to Social Security in America.

Macri, channeling how the American tax cuts were drafted in secret and then rammed through without hearings, “Trumped” deep cuts in pensions through Argentina’s Congress this week.

In Washington, Congressional Republicans have tried for years to weaken Social Security and undermine its finances in the hopes they can kill the most popular social support program in the country. They are expected to step up their efforts to weaken Social Security, arguing that with the tax cut legislation there just isn’t enough money to sustain the social safety net.

An indication of this approach emerged with regard to CHIP, the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program. It finances often life-saving medical care for more than nine million children and 300,000 pregnant women.

CHIP was enacted in 1997. One of its cosponsors was Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican.  On December 17 Hatch indicated that America cannot afford to continue the program, which will begin cutting children off in January unless funding is restored.

The cost of CHIP is about $15 billion annually, roughly a tenth of what the Trump/Goldman Sachs tax bill will add each year to the federal debt.

The complex and hastily drafted Trump/ Goldman tax bill makes at least 121 key tax changes that will impact more than $8 trillion of federal tax revenues over the next decade.

Trump and his sycophants claim that the corporate tax favors will more than pay for themselves. They assert that the big cuts in corporate tax rates and other favors for business will prompt much more U.S. economic growth, with many new jobs and higher wages. Wishful thinking is the response of numerous economists who are not on the Trump/Goldman Sachs payroll.


Donald Trump Falsely Claims Tax Bill Means ‘We Have Essentially Repealed Obamacare’

Marina Fang, HuffPost          December 20, 2017 

Donald Trump Falsely Claims Tax Bill Means 'We Have Essentially Repealed Obamacare'

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump on Wednesday heralded Republicans’ tax bill for its provision repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate by incorrectly asserting that the health care law as a whole had been repealed.

“When the individual mandate is being repealed, that means Obamacare is being repealed,” Trump said at a Cabinet meeting that seemed to double as his airing of grievances before the holidays. “We have essentially repealed Obamacare, and we will come up with something much better.”

This is demonstrably false. The law still remains, after Republicans’ failed efforts to repeal it earlier this year. Republicans have devised ways to fundamentally weaken Obamacare’s provisions because they have not yet figured out how to repeal it outright, as HuffPost’s Jonathan Cohn reported.

GOP lawmakers added the elimination of the individual mandate to the tax bill, partly as a concession to some Republicans who had held out supporting the bill and partly as a way to offset the economic costs of it.

Repealing the individual mandate will worsen insurance markets, but the tax bill does not affect other important structures of the Affordable Care Act, such as protections for people with pre-existing conditions, tax credits for people who buy their own insurance and the expansion of state Medicaid programs. And Obamacare enrollment continued this year, despite the Trump administration’s attempts to undermine the program.

The president said Wednesday that he did not want the media discussing his claim about the health care law.

“Obamacare has been repealed in this bill,” Trump said. “We didn’t want to bring it up. I told people specifically, ‘Be quiet with the fake news media,’ because I don’t want them talking too much about it.”

NowThis Politics

President Trump’s attacks on Obamacare aren’t just cruel – they’re grounds for impeachment

Robert Reich on Obamacare

President Trump’s attacks on Obamacare aren’t just cruel – they’re grounds for impeachment

Posted by NowThis Politics on Friday, December 22, 2017

Mother Jones

Wells Fargo Accidentally Admits the Truth: The Republican Tax Bill Has No Connection to its $15 Minimum Wage

Kevin Drum      December 22, 2017

Richard B. Levine/Levine Roberts/Newscom via ZUMA

Sucking up to Donald Trump is tricky business. On Wednesday Wells Fargo announced that it was raising its minimum wage thanks to the passage of the Republican tax bill:

Wells Fargo to Raise Minimum Hourly Pay Rate to $15, Target $400 Million in 2018 Philanthropic Contributions, Including Expanded Support for Small Businesses and Homeownership

Company announces initial actions to support economic growth with tax reform

“We believe tax reform is good for our U.S. economy and are pleased to take these immediate steps to invest in our team members, communities, small businesses, and homeowners,” said President and CEO Tim Sloan.

That press release is a little vague. Was Wells really doing all this because of the tax bill? A pair of LA Times reporters called the press office to find out:¹

Asked by the Times to clarify the connection Wednesday, Wells Fargo spokesman Peter Gilchrist said there was none….Asked directly to confirm that the pay raises were not a result of the tax bill, Gilchrist said, “That is correct.”

But wait:

On Thursday, Gilchrist backtracked. “We believe tax reform is good for our U.S. economy and are pleased to raise our minimum hourly pay to $15 as a result.” …He would not comment on the reason for the earlier statement.

Needless to say, Wells Fargo is in a heap of trouble these days over a series of scandals that never seems to stop, so flattering the president is just good business. Maybe it won’t help, but it can’t hurt.

In any case, I think we can take this as a case study in what’s really going on with all those companies announcing new initiatives thanks to the tax bill: they have nothing to do with the tax bill at all. It’s just business as usual. But they’re certainly eager to say it’s because of the tax bill. I suppose I would be too if I had a lot of business with the Justice Department or the SEC or the Pentagon.


It’s what you expect from MoJo, and this past year has made clear that the dangers for independent, critical reporting are at a record level because of a perfect storm of economic and political assaults.

That’s why we’re setting a stretch goal to raise $350,000 from readers like you by December 31. Please join us with a tax-deductible donation—or read why this moment, December 2017, feels so critical for the survival of investigative journalism.


Kevin is a political blogger for Mother Jones. Email Kevin calpundit@cox.net. For more of his stories, click here

Author: John Hanno

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Bogan High School. Worked in Alaska after the earthquake. Joined U.S. Army at 17. Sergeant, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 84th Artillery, 7th Army. Member of 12 different unions, including 4 different locals of the I.B.E.W. Worked for fortune 50, 100 and 200 companies as an industrial electrician, electrical/electronic technician.

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