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Team Trump Punts


With football season just around the corner, it is time to dust off some seasonal metaphors. And the way team Trump has taken a beating lately football seems like the appropriate sport. Concussion protocols may be necessary to apply.

The White House legislative agenda is pivoting away for health care reform toward the always-controversial topic of tax reform. If the Donald had no idea that healthcare could be so complicated, just wait for his next epiphany, it is coming soon.

Why Ditch Healthcare Reform?

Healthcare reform is a disaster. Polls done by Bloomberg showing that this is a huge issue but one where almost two-thirds of Americans don’t like the way the President is handling it. Presumably those people not only didn’t like Trumps first attempt or the one that is currently dancing around the halls of Congress.

The latest version was stalled by Senator John McCain’s eye surgery. Several democrats have suggested the surgery was made necessary by McCain excessive hood winks over the course of a long political career.

What an awful thing to say about a decorated Vietnam War hero.

Either way Republican support for the latest version appears tepid at best with as many as 10 Senators are getting cold feet. McCain’s eye surgery could turn out to be the best thing for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Now if McConnell can just talk Richard Lugar into getting a hip replaced or perhaps something simple like a face-lift, the Republicans could be off the hook well into the fall.

But proceeding without dealing with healthcare reform, the much-disliked Affordable Care Act will remain. Repealing it is a political joke. The ACA will be with us at least through the next election. We know how uncertain that is going to be.

Proceeding with Tax Reform otherwise makes for an even more complicated situation. Team Trump needs to do something to make the American public feel he has their back.

But it is football season, and team Trump is punting the ball. It is only the first quarter so, always remember, there is lots of football left to be played.

Time For A Field Goal?

If you can’t score a touchdown with healthcare reform, how about a least a field goal with tax reform? Chances are that both are going to fail. Sorry folks but here are some of the reasons why.

Tax reform is nothing more than a euphemism for tax reduction for corporations and the rich. This is the Republican legacy of trickle down economics of the Reagan era. Whether it works or not, it lowers tax revenues at the outset in hopes of stimulating business investment and eventually collecting more money from faster economic growth. That is the business philosophy.

As for helping rich individuals, lowering taxes is simply a payback for all of the political contributions made to get Trump and other Republicans elected.
After all, the top 10% of Americans already pay 93% of all taxes paid to the IRS.

But Healthcare Costs Remain A Big Unknown

No matter how tax reform proceeds, how is the Congressional Budget Office going to review and opine to anything related to lower tax revenues when the cost of healthcare is so uncertain. Remember next to Defense, Healthcare is the biggest item in the Federal Spending budget.

Will Trump Bend?

The Trump presidency may still be in the first quarter, but half time is coming up in 2018. Approval ratings for POTUS right now are awful. Support from his own party is shaky. As the 2018 Congressional elections approach, look for more Republicans to distance themselves from White House policies.

If The Affordable Care Act is repealed without a better plan in place and tax reform is viewed as benefitting only the rich, look out. This will give the Democrats a legitimate shot at regaining control of Congress in 2018 and the White House in 2020.

The Democrats may be disorganized, directionless and in need of a better quarterback. But Trump is making it difficult for Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to loose his starting job.