Math

Today was a bit of a breakthrough day for Republicans speaking out against Donald Trump.  The latest defector is Jeff Flake from Arizona who announced he will not seek reelection in 2018, but also went on the record criticizing the president as a ‘divider’ of people and not a leader in any sense of the word.

This announcement followed Bob Corker’s recent story.  He also will not be seeking re-election and has denounced Trump as a serial liar.

Last weekend, John McCain made an appearance on The View and was asked if he was afraid of Trump.  Laughter ensued for an extended period after that question.  Of particular note though, was his comment about how the poor are at a disadvantage when it came to the draft in the 1960’s.  Poor people served.  Rich people got deferments for “bone spurs”.  Gee, I wonder who he meant by that comment.

The problem with all of this as I see it, is that Trump is terrible at math.  He’s got a 52 seat majority in the Senate and desperately wants a legislative ‘win’ he can hang his hat on (so far he has zero in 10 months).

I’m not sure why he’s so adamant about insulting the legislators in his own party when he needs their help to get his agenda moved along.  Let’s see, 52 – (Flake, McCain, Corker, Murkowski, Collins) == Oh crap, I don’t have enough votes to get this passed.

I’m thinking tax reform is doomed and it’s just as well.  The Ryan plan wants to eliminate the inheritance tax which affects earners who make over $5M a year, and pay for it off the backs of the middle class by eliminating the SALT (state and local income tax) deduction which, you guessed it, will be paid for by the middle class.

The trickle down effect of cutting the corporate rate from 35% to 20% or even 15% is a mirage in that corporations reward their officers with stock price gains.  So what do companies do with the savings from the tax cut?  They buy more stock.  I lived this nightmare at Xerox.  Every year Ursula Burns would announce more share buy-backs because it boosted her own personal compensation.  They didn’t hire more workers.  Quite the opposite.  They outsourced as much as they could, including my entire team of 6 engineers.  I’m not just making this stuff up, I lived through it.

Trump likes his war heroes to not be captured.  I like my presidents to be good at math.

 

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