Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Looting The Till On The Way Out Of The Store

Number one reason why I'm convinced that the Democrats are going to obliterate the GOP in November: The Trump regime isn't even trying to hide their complete and utter contempt for the people anymore.

The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives
Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Argentina this month that his department was studying whether it could use its regulatory powers to allow Americans to account for inflation in determining capital gains tax liabilities. The Treasury Department could change the definition of “cost” for calculating capital gains, allowing taxpayers to adjust the initial value of an asset, such as a home or a share of stock, for inflation when it sells. 
“If it can’t get done through a legislation process, we will look at what tools at Treasury we have to do it on our own and we’ll consider that,” Mr. Mnuchin said, emphasizing that he had not concluded whether the Treasury Department had the authority to act alone. “We are studying that internally, and we are also studying the economic costs and the impact on growth.” 
Currently, capital gains taxes are determined by subtracting the original price of an asset from the price at which it was sold and taxing the difference, usually at 20 percent. If a high earner spent $100,000 on stock in 1980, then sold it for $1 million today, she would owe taxes on $900,000. But if her original purchase price was adjusted for inflation, it would be about $300,000, reducing her taxable “gain” to $700,000. That would save the investor $40,000. 
The move would face a near-certain court challenge. It could also reinforce a liberal critique of Republican tax policy at a time when Republicans are struggling to sell middle-class voters on the benefits of the tax cuts that President Trump signed into law late last year
“At a time when the deficit is out of control, wages are flat and the wealthiest are doing better than ever, to give the top 1 percent another advantage is an outrage and shows the Republicans’ true colors,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. “Furthermore, Mr. Mnuchin thinks he can do it on his own, but everyone knows this must be done by legislation.”

By the time this gets to SCOTUS, it'll be far too late to matter, and I guarantee you Mnuchin will have at least 5 votes when it does come around.   They're going to give one last gift to the one percent on the way out the door and cash in after the Democrats come in to try to clean up the damage.  It's how these things work, guys.

Best part is when Democrats finally do get around to fixing this, it'll be "Democrats are increasing taxes by billions on family farms and small businesses!" again and in a decade or so we'll be right back to an even worse Republican than Trump.

Freedom To Have Our Religion Or Else

Meanwhile, over in the section of the Justice Department not overlooking the Mueller probe, AG Jeff Sessions is preparing his move to make Christians the only protected class.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that the Department of Justice is creating a "religious liberty task force." 
Sessions said the task force, co-chaired by Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy, Beth Williams, will help the department fully implement the religious liberty guidance it issued last year. 
The guidance was a byproduct of President Trump’s executive order directing agencies to respect and protect religious liberty and political speech. 
Sessions said on Monday that the task force will “ensure all Justice Department components are upholding that guidance in the cases they bring and defend, the arguments they make in court, the policies and regulations they adopt, and how we conduct our operations.” 
The announcement came during the department’s religious liberty summit.
Sessions said the cultural climate in this country — and in the West more generally — has become less hospitable to people of faith in recent years, and as a result many Americans have felt their freedom to practice their faith has been under attack. 
“We’ve seen nuns ordered to buy contraceptives. We’ve seen U.S. senators ask judicial and executive branch nominees about dogma—even though the Constitution explicitly forbids a religious test for public office. We’ve all seen the ordeal faced so bravely by Jack Phillips,” he said, referring to the Colorado baker who took his case to the Supreme Court after he was found to have violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. 
Sessions said the guidance he issued in October lays out 20 fundamental principles for the executive branch to follow, including the principles that free exercise means a right to act — or to abstain from action — and that government shouldn’t impugn people’s motives or beliefs.

The hill Sessions will defend until he dies is that "sincerely-held Christian beliefs" trump (pun intended) civil rights.  "As a Christian, X offends me and my beliefs" will soon be grounds for the full weight of the government to be brought to bear in order to remove X from America.  Theocracies aren't fun, folks. Should Kavanaugh be confirmed on the Supreme Court, that's a very distinct possibility.

We're heading for one at breakneck speed right now.  Best part?  It's going to be a screamingly racist one too!

Regardless of the outcome of Kavanaugh's confirmation, don't be surprised when the Sessions DoJ signs on to the nearest case where anti-discrimination laws are pitted against religious beliefs with the intent of destroying the last 60 years of civil rights advancements.  Don't be surprised in fact when the Trump DoJ signs on to defend the free speech/religious liberty rights of white supremacist groups, especially online.  And don't be surprised when they sign on to overturn Obergfell and same-sex marriage.

That's coming.  I guarantee it.


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