America Is On Pace To Eclipse the Kansas Trickle Down Disaster

Republicans are not renowned for being truthful, or following through on their promises. In fact, it is safe to say that they lie and break solemn pledges at about the same rate normal human beings visit a toilet in a typical day; but at least one Republican broke that pattern and has kept his word.

At issue was the devastation Republicans wrought on Kansas’ economy and government during Sam “fetus” Brownback’s trickle down disaster that no sane politician would openly support or ever promise to repeat. But instead of pledging to avoid the “destroy Kansas” government and economy model, one high-ranking Republican promised a repeat at the national level when Republicans controlled Washington.

When then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised then-Kansas Governor Sam Brownback that Republicans would enact Kansas-style tax cuts for the rich and corporations, he fully intended to follow through on his pledge. It is particularly telling that when McConnell made his pledge, Kansas was already dying economically due to trickle down tax cuts, was hemorrhaging revenue, and smack in the midst credit downgrades.

McConnell’s pledge, and congressional Republicans subsequent tax reform, is not a case of what Albert Einstein called insanity; “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result;” there has always only been one result and expectation from the trickle down scam – abject failure and the rich getting richer. It is precisely the result Republicans, and probably dunce Don Trump, fully expect to see reach fruition like the one they saw during the Reagan and W. Bush administrations. They witnessed it again in Kansas over the past five years and still imposed it on America.

There is a handy timeline of the Kansas’ trickle down experiment courtesy of the Center for America Progress here with comparisons to what Republicans just rushed through Congress to enrich corporations and the rich under the guise of giving their hero Trump “victory.” They gave Trump some massive tax relief as well, but they sold it as a win for baldy.

Republicans knew their tax reform was another failure waiting to happen and in fact, that failure is an integral part of their crusade to dismantle the administrative state; or shrink the government to a size that can be drowned in a bathtub. “Cutting government down to size” was part and parcel of Kansas Republicans’ tax cuts for the rich and corporations and they did as significant damage to the state government as they did the state’s economy. That damage does not portend anything good for the economy nationally and the Congressional Budget Office issued a warning that comes from deliberately slashing the government’s only revenue source.

As 2018 began with new “Kansas-style” trickle down tax cuts for the rich and corporations, it is likely that McConnell et al were prepared for the news that the nation was rapidly heading for economic trouble. They all knew precisely what happened in Kansas due to tax cuts, although even Kansas’ woes did not begin within the first month of the ill-advised, and unpopular, tax reform. That current national trouble is the government facing a looming debt limit crisis much earlier than even Republicans imagined, and the near-desperation need to borrow a cool $1 trillion to keep the government operating and to meet the country’s debt obligations. The reason given for the dire warnings is the Republican trickle down tax reform driving the revenue shortfall.

It is noteworthy that the CBO’s warning about raising the debt limit earlier than expected, as well as the need to borrow $1 trillion, is after Republicans changed the way the CBO “scores” the cost of legislation to give the illusion that “trickle down” scams are good for the economy.  That trickle down friendly scoring informed the CBO that despite Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin  “exhausting extraordinary measures,”the debt limit will have to be increased in early March instead of late April.

The CBO was not hesitant in explaining that the reason for the change was due to the GOP tax cuts that began about a month ago. The CBO stated the obvious that those cuts translated exactly into what they were created to deliver; much less revenue to run the federal government. Early CBO estimates that the federal government would experience a $10 to $15 billion drop in revenue each month going forward was very generous according to “dynamic scoring.”  In fact, that estimate was extremely low because the CBO just reported that the federal government ran a deficit of $23 billion last month – the first month “trickle down” went into effect. It also demonstrates how fallacious trickle down “dynamic scoring” really is and why Republicans were desperate to use it.

It is difficult to imagine anyone with half a brain, much less so-called “business experts,” deliberately cutting their income source as a means of reducing debt, but that is precisely what Treasury Secretary Mnuchin promised would happen. However, the CBO and Treasury calls for borrowing $1 trillion after borrowing an additional $441 billion in “privately held debt” to keep a functioning government belies any claim the GOP tax reform was ever about reducing the deficit. Remember, Mnuchin promised the tax cuts will provide $1 trillion in deficit reduction in about 10 years.

All of these warnings from the Treasury and Congressional Budget Office about“needing to borrow” are occurring exactly a month into the GOP’s Kansas-style tax reform disaster. It is telling about how horrible of a mess Republicans have created at the national level when as disastrous as Kansas Republicans’ actions were, it took a couple of years before the economic shit hit the fan. In fact, in a warning message to Republicans in Congress, a Kansas Republican Senator, Dinah Sykes said that in the five years following her party’s ill-advised trickle down experiment:

Kansas experienced nine rounds of budget cuts, stress on state agencies and the inability to effectively provide the core functions of government for our citizens.”

Ms. Sykes failed to explain to Republicans in Congress that Kansas also suffered multiple credit downgrades from both major credit agencies with each citing the state’s lack of revenue as a result of trickle down tax cuts. That lack of revenue created a world of hurt for Kansas and its residents, and for a rough idea what kind of economic Hell Republicans have unleashed on Americans, a few of the Kansas atrocities are cited herehere, and here.

It is noteworthy that adding massive sums to the deficit serves another Republican purpose; justify massive cuts to Social Security even though the Social Security Trust is a self-sufficient entity and doesn’t technically add to the deficit.

The truth is Republicans could not care less about the deficit or they would not have passed tax reform the Tax Policy Center said would reduce revenue by at least $2.5 trillion  and substantially increase the deficit over ten years due to lost revenue. Remember that Trump’s Treasury Secretary promised that if all goes according to trickle down’s fantasy numbers, those tax cuts will reduce the deficit by about $1 trillion in ten years — in spite of adding trillions according to the CBO. It does not take a mathematician to comprehend there is at least a trillion dollar discrepancy in the GOP’s numbers, but they obviously aren’t concerned and why should they be? Brownback easily won re-election and Republicans kept control of the Kansas state legislature even while the state and its people were being raped and pillaged because Brownback brought out “the fetus” and the evangelical vote.

National Republicans have an easy-to-follow model in Kansas and Brownback because no matter what level of economic disaster they impose on Americans, or how much of the government they gift to corporations, or how many social programs they decimate to “reduce the deficit,”  all they have to do to maintain power is hoist an image of a fetus or an immigrant and the majority of Americans will reelect them out of abject fear. It worked in Kansas for six torturous years and Republicans knew it would work in 2016, which is why they control all three branches of the government they are crusading to demolish.

Two New Polls Show Major Disgust With Trump and Republicans  

According to two new surveys, a majority of Americans are distressed at the current state of the nation and its future; that distress coincides with a record level of support for impeaching Trump and ousting Republicans from power.

If one listens to Trump and his corporate Republicans running Congress, America is greater than at any time in its history and will only get “greater.” Of course they claim it is because they are in power and giving the people exactly what they’ve been demanding for the past eight years. Trump recently said again that he already accomplished more in 9 months than any other president in America’s 214 year history and that the people swoon when they hear his name. For their part, Republicans claim Americans desperately want the Affordable Care Act abolished, tax reform (cuts) for the rich and corporations passed tomorrow, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement scrapped with extreme prejudice.

Of course Republicans and Trump lie at the same rate most Americans use the toilet, and there are two new polls debunking every dirty lie Trump and Republicans have been spewing. The polls’ results should embolden “the resistance” because as it turns out, the majority of Americans oppose everything Trump and congressional Republicans are proposing.

Nearly half of the population are so opposed to Trump they want him impeached; congressional Republicans don’t fare any better and they are facing an existential crisis if they proceed on their present course.

First, a recent American Psychological Association (APA) poll reported that 59 percent of the population say this is the “lowest point in the nation’s history they can remember.” As if that wasn’t revealing enough, 63 percent of the people are rightfully stressed about the nation’s future and it is down to Trump and Republicans. It is noteworthy that 60 percent of respondents said they were seriously “stressed” about the social divisiveness in the country today and that too is down to dirty Don.

There is no way Trump can spin these two polls’ results to be about his predecessor or Democrats because according to a national Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey just released, 54 percent of the people wish that Barack Obama was still the President. Conversely, 56 percent of the population disapprove of everything Trump, and a record 49 percent of the people want Trump impeached and thrown out of office.

Republicans in Congress are as unpopular as Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is hanging on to an 11/44 approval rating with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-MN) at 22/60; Congress under Republican control stands at a noteworthy 9/77 approval rating.

The hateful attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act is only one of the reasons congressional Republicans’ political lives are in serious danger. Sixty-one percent of the people want the ACA left right where it is and for Congress to do what it takes to fix it where and when necessary.

The GOP tax reform proposals are equally opposed by the people for the same reason Democrats reject them; they favor the rich and corporations. The PPP survey showed that by a 15-point margin, voters say they are unlikely “to vote for a member of Congress next year who supported the Republicans’ tax reform plan.” The PPP poll revealed that barely 29 percent of voters support the Congressional Republicans’ tax reform plan, and even Trump voters oppose it by 39 percent. A majority of voters, 53 percent, know the tax plan only helps the rich and 28 percent think it might help middle class families; only 7 percent think it will help low income Americans who likely don’t pay income taxes because their income it too low.

Trump isn’t helping congressional Republicans by threatening to scrap the Iran Nuclear deal with the P5+1 nations. By a 19-point margin voters say they’d be “less likely to vote for any member of Congress who voted to take action that could cause the collapse of the deal.” Just last week Trump ignored the facts, the other P5 nations’ leaders, and his intelligence-military experts’ counsel and “decertified” Iran’s compliance with the deal. Every other P5 nation and American intelligence agency, including Trump’s Defense Secretary and Secretary of State assured him Iran is in “full compliance” with the agreement.

Overall, there isn’t much about Trump, like Republicans, that Americans accept as anything remotely normal or presidential. Well over half the population say he’s dishonest and a solid majority (52 percent) “come right out and say Trump is a liar.” That is particularly true when it comes to Trump’s bovine excrement mantra that only he tells the truth and the media are liars publishing “fake news.

The good news for journalism, and our struggling democracy, is that “Trump isn’t succeeding” with his “fake news” bullshit.

The “voters trust each of the 6 media outlets Trump has attacked the most by a 15 to 18 point margin.” According to the poll,  the people trust NBC, ABC, CBS, the New York Times, CNN and the Washington Post more than Trump “when pitted against each other.

In fact, “transparency,” or the lack thereof, is a major issue for Trump among the voters and who can blame them; they already know Trump is a liar. A solid majority of voters,  60 percent, say he needs to release his tax returns and 60 percent say he’s failed to deliver on any part of his “core campaign promise to Make America Great Again.

Even if a person doesn’t put much faith in polls and surveys, the APA and PPP results both reveal that contrary to prevailing opinion, Trump is not fooling the majority of the people; including a fair percentage of Republicans. His zealot religious and racist base believes everything he says because they are religious and racist zealots lusting for a man-god to make America white and Christian; there is no hope for them.

 

The results of the polls should embolden the resistance, and particularly the media, to press on because now it is relatively apparent that the majority of the population are “the resistance” and greater than Trump or his Republican allies can withstand. It is noteworthy that the PPP poll was conducted October 27-29 and the APA survey from August 2 to August 31, prior to recent revelations about Trump’s Russia problem. Trump and congressional Republicans should be just as terrified of the people as they are Special Counsel Robert Mueller.