Trump is in Asia this week, touring the continent in the longest trip taken to the area by any American president since the George H.W. Bush era. The main public focus of Trump’s time overseas will be addressing the threat from North Korea’s ever-growing nuclear arsenal, but just because he’s overseas, that doesn’t mean that he can escape the problems he’s facing here in the U.S.
NBC is now reporting that, with an ambitious legislative agenda that seems to be poised to fail, Trump called a meeting of Democratic Senators here in the U.S. on Tuesday to push for their support for the Senate GOP’s soon-to-be-revealed tax bill. He claimed to these senators that the tax bill would “kill” his finances, saying, “My accountant called me and said, ‘You’re going to get killed in this bill.'” He was trying to deflect criticism of the measure as nothing more than a gift to the wealthy.
It’s not as though the president’s call necessarily will make a difference — in the immediate aftermath of the president’s call, the gathering of those who had come together to receive it “turned into a sparring match between Democrats and White House officials over a politically broken Senate and who is to blame,” NBC reports. Democrats were upset with White House officials about getting shut out of the tax bill development process.
Trump has been pushing for a tax reform plan for months, but he still has nothing to show for his efforts.
He’s tweeted about the subject incessantly, but guess what? In a fact that’s lost on Trump, tweeting about something isn’t a way to get it done.
Trump has ample reason to worry about his tax bill failing. Earlier this fall, even though an ACA-repeal bill came up for a vote multiple times, eventually passing the House of Representatives, it failed in the Senate, putting the national GOP’s most ambitious plan on hold for now. Republicans have a majority in both houses of Congress, but that made no difference. At one point, it took the “No” vote of only one senator — John McCain — to kill the party’s health plan.
With nothing to show for what’s approaching a year with them in power, Republicans are desperate to get their tax cut bill passed. No matter what belligerent phone calls Trump wants to make from overseas, the fact remains that the tax cuts the GOP wants to enact would cut massive chunks from the nation’s revenue in the interest of saving money for upper-class American people.
That’s a good thing only for the upper-class people — for other Americans, they could face increased taxes and/or cuts to programs that they depend upon for survival. Under the GOP’s plan, pretty much the only segment of society that would still see a tax cut after 2023 is made up of those who are affected by the estate tax, which the GOP wants to repeal. Trump told the Democrats in his Tuesday call that he was pushing for the estate tax to be repealed because he “had to give something to rich people.”
There are more concerns than just how to save well-to-do people the most money — but that’s lost on Trump. He didn’t even try to defend his administration’s tax plan via claiming it would do something good for the average American; rather, he just stuck to defending it through explaining how it would affect him.
Indeed, he can make all the claims he wants about how any measure would affect his personal finances because there is no way for any of us to verify any of his claims because he has never released his tax returns. Every single other modern major party presidential candidate has done so, but Trump has refused.
Just like in the case of Democrats getting completely shut out of the development process for the GOP’s tax bill, Trump not releasing his tax returns indicates something important — the national GOP is looking out for its own interest and its own interest alone.
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