Republicans Admit to Accepting Bribes, Why Aren't They In Jail?

The whole Roy Moore thing in a way really highlights in my mind how committed the Republicans are to sucking up to the very, very wealthy base. I've been referring to them for a long time as the owners of the Republican Party, but they're also the ones that keep the Republican Party in power. They're also the supporters of the Republican Party.

The real constituency for the Republican Party, as EJ Dionne writes in the Washington Post, the headline "Trump's real constituency isn't the white working class at all."

And then he says:

"His rise depended on support from rich conservatives."

And it did - particularly Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebecca and their company Cambridge Analytica and other billionaires...

"And his program serves the interests of those who have accumulated enormous wealth.

This explains why so few congressional Republicans denounce him, no matter how close he edges toward autocracy... panders to Vladimir Putin."

Sucks up to Duterte, loves Erdogan, you know, strongmen around the world.

"The GOP leadership knows Trump is tilting our economy toward people just like him."

And these are the people, of course, the billionaire class that Trump understands. Trump was born into this world that Trump wants to support. Trump has been part of this all his life and frankly, Trump himself gets a mind-boggling benefit from this thing.

If his actual net worth is anything close to what he has said it is repeatedly, then his children are going to make billions when he dies, but they will make additional billions if they don't have to pay any tax on the money that they didn't earn they that came to them because they were members of the lucky sperm Club. They just happened to be his children.

So E.J. Dionne lays it out.

Also Paul Blumenthal over at Huffington Post: "Republicans Admit That CEOs And Donors Really Need The Tax Cut Bill To Pass - Or Else".

Gary Cohn, who used to be the chief operating officer - the COO - of Goldman Sachs last week said...

"The most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan."

Chris Collins, the House Republican from New York, and himself a multi-millionaire or at least a millionaire, said...

"My donors are basically saying, 'Get it done or don't ever call me again'"

Lindsey Graham in the Senate said that if they didn't pass the Republican tax scam that there would be more right-wing primary challengers of course funded by the billionaires who want their damn taxes lowered. He also said that "the financial contributions will stop."

Paul Blumenthal ironically notes...

"They usually try to avoid an appearance that campaign contributions are linked to specific legislation."

Gee, why would that be?

Because you go to jail for bribery. Except that since the Citizens United you generally don't go to jail for bribery, and all the more the tragedy.

Even unelected officials in the Republican Party or the Senate Leadership Fund, this is Mitch McConnell's super PAC and the guy who runs at his name is Steven Law. He said...

"(Donors) would be mortified if we didn't live up to what we've committed to on tax reform"

Oh my god, we might have some billionaires who are mortified if they don't get the estate tax done away with and eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax - basically the only tax that Donald Trump paid in 2005 - $31 million.

I understand indexing the AMT to inflation and maybe raising the threshold at which the AMT kicks in, but for somebody like Donald Trump who in 2005 made hundreds of millions of dollars, paying a few million in the Alternative Minimum Tax because your bookkeepers are so brilliant at hiding your money all over the world in ways that eliminate your taxes is not an unreasonable thing.

But the donors will be mortified and 'to hell with the average Americans' say the Republicans. In fact, they're front-loading this thing, they've even added in a tax escalator into this legislation on people who are not making millions of dollars a year.

It is the good old-fashioned chained CPI. Now, the way the chained CPI works is you say, okay the Consumer Price Index, what's the cost-of-living? We're going to raise things like Social Security and whatnot based on the cost of living.

And so typically it would be, okay, the average person eats chicken thirty times a year or whatever and so we're just going say, okay, the cost of chicken used to be three dollars a pound and now it's five dollars a pound so you multiply that by the thirty times a year by the amount and you do the math, right?

Very simple, okay, here's how much we need to increase their income because chicken has gone up or beef or whatever it may be. That's how a normal consumer price index works.

But the chained CPI means chained to behavior and the assumption is that as you get poorer and poorer your behavior changes. So instead of measuring the cost of chicken we'll say, you know, the price of chickens gone up so much people are going to shift to just eating vegetables. Or the price of vegetables has gone up so much that people are going to shift to just eating dog food now.

I haven't seen a chained CPI that specifically mentions dog food but it's part of the logic of the program. So what this means is that over time the taxes on working people are going to go up radically faster than taxes on the super wealthy.

Stephen Dinan wrote a piece about this over at The Washington Times...

"Buried amid the deductions and credits, House Republicans have made a major shift in tax policy that will mean an escalating tax increase on every American taxpayer over the ensuing decades.

Republican tax-writers have decided to shift the tax code's inflation index from the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, to something known as chained CPI, which is a slower-growing method of calculating cost-of-living increases.

Using the lower rate of inflation to calculate future tax rates means taxpayers will more quickly fall into higher tax brackets, meaning they will pay more in taxes than if Republicans stuck with the traditional measuring stick."

The whole thing is a scam. This whole Republican tax scam.


Legend 5 years 28 weeks ago

In yesterdays post, Hotcoffee gave several references with lists of billionaires and how many billions that they have. Under the Republican tax plan none of their beneficiaries will have to pay any inheritance tax. So the government is cutting that much revenue. It has to either cut that much spending or get it from somewhere else. Care to donate?

Lisa from Seattle's picture
Lisa from Seattle 5 years 28 weeks ago

Hi Thom n Staff,
This blog is total truth. Tax scam for the rich to live off the people like fat ticks on dogs... The rich say some in society are living off their money, but in reality the rich are living off the working n middle class. If they are not paying taxes, yet live free and still get the benefits of American infrastructure, they are the ones living free.

Why don't they move to Europe where taxes maybe 50%. Remember when Italy imprisoned Sopia Loren for tax evasion???

Don't know why I can't talk on the radio program, did I do something wrong and got banned, I do make mistakes at times, but I ask that my voice be heard n I love ur show...

Lisa from Seattle's picture
Lisa from Seattle 5 years 28 weeks ago

Hi Thom n Staff,
This blog is total truth. Tax scam for the rich to live off the people like fat ticks on dogs... The rich say some in society are living off their money, but in reality the rich are living off the working n middle class. If they are not paying taxes, yet live free and still get the benefits of American infrastructure, they are the ones living free.

Why don't they move to Europe where taxes maybe 50%. Remember when Italy imprisoned Sopia Loren for tax evasion???

Don't know why I can't talk on the radio program, did I do something wrong and got banned, I do make mistakes at times, but I ask that my voice be heard n I love ur show...

Legend 5 years 28 weeks ago

Dianereynolds, How are you doing with your medicare? Want to lose it?'s picture
randolphgarriso... 5 years 28 weeks ago

American is dying! The life support is not helping. It should be all over by New Years eve I would think! All that is left is the funeral fires to be lite.

Irja Orav's picture
Irja Orav 5 years 28 weeks ago

Are the wealthiest so insecure that they have to have all the money in the world? Or is there a mindset that other people don't matter? I mean is it truly a blindness to the problems we have just in the U.S.? Homelessness, crumbling buildings and roads, losing insurance, drug addiction, hatred, not enough jobs, environmental problems, hypocracy, etc. There is so much more that is wrong, but apparently money speaks louder than people who would like a country that actually believes in equality and helping each other.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 28 weeks ago

Our illegit President has bragged about buying Kochpublicans. "When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do." Well I guess being king snake of the swamp, exempts Crooked Donny from purchasing fellow sidewinders...for the time being anyway.

Now that many Kochpublican servants are admitting to their willing participation in Fascism, with anti-americans like Trump even bragging about it, why isn't our corpse media sounding the alarm??? Yes, the part about the media, that's sarcasm!

Back in the 1930's, many German citizens let the creeping evil slither with silence too.

Legend 5 years 28 weeks ago

#6. The 1% does not care what you live in. They live in private communitues, behind closed secured gates. Travel is in private jets. Infrastructure to them is the tax paid airports that they land at. Then the road to their (1 of many) homes behind secured close gates. They belong to multible private clubs for golf, restaurants, skiing and socialization all with a tax write off. Everything that you talk about is completely off of their plate.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 28 weeks ago

"But when fascism comes it will not be in the form of an anti-American movement or pro-Hitler bund, practicing disloyalty. Nor will it come in the form of a crusade against war. It will appear rather in the luminous robes of flaming patriotism; it will take some genuinely indigenous shape and color, and it will spread only because its leaders, who are not yet visible, will know how to locate the great springs of public opinion and desire and the streams of thought that flow from them and will know how to attract to their banners leaders who can command the support of the controlling minorities in American public life. The danger lies not so much in the would-be Fuhrers who may arise, but in the presence in our midst of certainly deeply running currents of hope and appetite and opinion. The war upon fascism must be begun there." -- John Thomas Flynn in As We Go Marching, 1944.

The wealthy donors are always going to do what they always have done: line the pockets of corrupt politicians who will do their bidding. And corrupt politicians are always going to do what they always have done: do the bidding of wealthy donors who will line their pockets. This is the immutable law of what America has now become: a fascist oligarchy.

But understanding this fundamental dynamic of a society that has such a huge wealth disparity won't change a damn thing, because it is only one predictable symptom of a much deeper problem, a problem little understood on the right. Think about it. The super wealthy and their bought and paid for politicians are only a tiny minority of the population; so how is it that they wield such outsized power over the majority, which has almost no power? How did We the People allow our Founders' dream of a People's government to turn into a military-industrial-congressional-Wall Street, fascistic nightmare from which we can't seem to wake up?

It's the "mainstream," or rather, the right-wing corporate media with their flickering mindless big screens, little screens, blaring hate radios, and meaningless internet word salads firmly planted on every street corner in every pocket, in every gas-guzzling car, in every crumbling public building and gleaming private skyscraper, and even in the inner sanctums of our private homes, our last places of refuge from the greedy, violent rat race.

Our ubiquitous, hypnotizing devices have replaced Mao Tse-tung's Little Red Book as a means of corporate-sponsored political discourse. If you control their minds, you control the People. That's Chapter One in the playbook of every despot down through the ages. It's as old as dirt.

For-profit news and shallow infotainment have utterly failed their primary mission under the First Amendment: to inform voters of objective, relevant, and consequential reality -- so that the People can make, yes, informed decisions when they fill out their goddamn ballots! How fockin' hard is that supposed to be for chrissake in this high-tech world of advanced information technologies!? It should be as easy as it has ever been in all of human history to get at the simple truth of things. Then why has our most important and sacred civic duty turned into such a monumental problem and gut-wrenching experience for most people -- to the point where so many just curl into the fetal position and refuse to vote at all, election after election?

Is it by design? Fact: The fewer people who vote the more power millionaires and billionaires accrue for themselves in their zero-sum game, a deadly downward spiral to oblivion for everyone else, the little people who are nothing but gum on a Gucci. In less than twelve months, voters will once again be asked to step up and save their nation from the abyss. The climb is steep, the time is short ...and the People are still ignorant as fock!

It's a sad statement of how far we've devolved as a democratic republic when a comedian can tell more truth in 24 minutes than all of corporate media has in, what, a whole year, a whole decade ...or ever? John Oliver nailed it last week! (It's like he's talking directly to the delusional trolls who insist on shamelessly posting -- and linking to -- their far-right brainwashed nonsense all over this blog and virtually every other one, forever deflecting, diluting, and detracting from the absolutely critical conversations Americans need to have at this no-turning-back juncture of history.)

Informed ridicule is sometimes the most effective weapon against the abject insanity of publicly subsidizing and facilitating tax-dodging millionaires and billionaires and the idiocracy that is Trump Land. If you haven't seen this episode yet, ​it's worth a look:

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 28 weeks ago

I am a flat tax person. Two line tax form.

1. You made this

2. You pay this

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 28 weeks ago

Excellent deepspace!

BTW: It doesn't help that Sunday AM shows like Meet the Republicans, pretend to be bipartisan by asking questions based in truth, but then give a Republican most of that part of the show to lie with impunity and make it seem like Chuck Todd is the misinformed one. Rarely do you see the show allowing a Dem to counter the lies with facts to back up truth... actually never lately. It's like sly foxaganda.

I'm a little shocked about how relative little attention has been spent on the tax bill by even many media progressives, a bill that most certainly will speed up total collapse of the empire. Trillions on war for profit with simultaneous tax cuts for billionaires, this at a time of already record concentration of wealth, LOL...the Romans of the 5th century are also laughing loudly in their graves.

Sex scandals both sell and distract ..... the focus and timing isn't coincidental

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 28 weeks ago

2950-10k. Yup, corporate-sponsored political dialogue is a sick joke played on the lazy minds of American voters. I only pick up Sunday morning talk-show clips here and there on the internet in the course of chasing down other news stories (or at least what passes as "news" nowadays) -- before moving on to more credible sources. But it sure seems like the whole point of "Meet the Republicans" is for Chuck Todd to keep his millionaire job by being a patsy for Kochpublican idiotology, while trying mightily (and failing horribly) to appear bi-partisan and fair-minded.

Yellow-journalism "reporters" feverishly regurgitating the latest scandal du jour, avoiding like the plague the hard news of the more pertinent stories that really matter to the People, is yet another symptom of a dying military-economic empire in the final stages of collapse. For the sake of the environment and humanity, it can't happen soon enough...

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