This segment from Velshi and Ruhle is longer than I generally like to post, but this one is for the ages. Absolute gold, beginning to end.
Morgan Griffith is a lying liar Tea Party congressman from Virginia who was apparently the Chosen One to pimp the Trump tax cuts on MSNBC this morning. I sort of doubt he'll come back to this show after Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle took every argument he made apart.
There were so many moments that I'll just highlight a few.
Q: How can a Tea Party deficit hawk justify adding $2 Trillion to the deficit?
A: Use funny bookkeeping!
"You have to understand if we use dynamic scoring that that we do not believe [2 trillion] will be the case. We think that maybe in the first year out you may see a lit bit of an increase. but over the long haul, you'll see more jobs, more people working. When you have that happen, you end up with more tax dollars flowing into the federal government and that will help reduce the debt."
"Just so viewers know, dynamic scoring means taking into account the effect of the growth policy, the pro-growth policies. right? The president just said that he wants to make these companies compete and grow. But you know, sir, that American companies generally speaking are not having any problems competing and growing. While we've been speaking the S&P 500 -- I don't know if we have a Dow board here -- just hit a record high. "
"The markets have never been so strong. Corporate profits are booming, and in the last eight years, corporations have been flush with cash and they're able to borrow."
Q: So what exactly -- what growth isn't happening that would be if we saw a tax cut?
A: They'd come home! Because 'Murica!
"Well, these companies are growing in lots of places, including the United States, but they're growing more so overseas, many of them are, and they're making a lot of investments over there because our tax policies encourage them to take their money overseas. You wouldn't have Burger King headquartered in Canada if our tax policy was competitive. Our tax policy is not currently competitive with the rest of the world and we are losing jobs, and that is a classic example of how we're losing jobs because of our policies."
There is nothing in this policy that would spark any of those companies to move that. For example, if you wanted them to hire more, you could leave the tax base where it is and double the deduction they get for employees. That's not in there. It's simply a tax cut.
COUNTERPOINT: Repatriate the overseas money!
"Every company is going to have to figure out how to do this differently, but if they're investing in the United States, and one of the big pieces of this framework for a tax reform is not just to help the middle class but it's to have companies repatriate their money back to the United States. We have trillions of dollars overseas and we tax them a huge amount to bring those jobs and bring that money back to the United States so they could reinvest in new factories here.
Why wouldn't they reinvest in new factories here right now? There are 2 trillion dollars of retained earnings in companies in America. If they were in the need of factories, what would stop them from building that company in it country right now?
Labor is always going to be significantly cheaper overseas and we're not saying we support a border adjustment tax, but that's not in here. You're still going to get much cheaper labor in places like Vietnam and Guam, and CEOs are not beholden to the American person, they're beholden to their customer and the shareholder.
Rep. Griffith bows before their formidable arguments at that point, returning to the repatriation talking point, but with lackluster enthusiasm. It's really the regulatory policies that are the problem!
Q: Why is the president lying about the tax plan not benefiting him?
"I'm asking you, does this help the rich, and if so, why is our president lying about that?"
A: This plan helps the middle class, not the president!
"I can't speak for the president on what his finances are and whether or not it would help him. i know that it helps all Americans and that we're focused on the middle class. that's what we're trying to do, we want to create jobs and focus on the middle class."
"This plan doesn't have a tax cut for the middle class."
COUNTERPOINT: "Sure, it does."
FURTHER DEBUNKING: No, it benefits wealthy folks but not the middle class, you idjut!
"No, sir. It has a clear tax cut for the absolute richest and it also gets rid of the estate tax, and for pass-throughs it lowers the tax basis, and 90% of those who hold LLCs and pass-throughs are in the top 20%. So I've heard no talk of the middle class.
"We're making it simpler. That helps the middle class."
CLAIM DEBUNKED: This one was served with a side of sarcasm.
"Sir, with all due respect, that just doesn't make sense. It doesn't help people get any more prosperous. It may help H & R Block, but it doesn't make anybody more prosperous."
COUNTERPOINT: Does too, does too!!!! Also, there are THINGS.
"Yes, it does. We're doubling those deductions. Child care increases are in there, we're doubling that. It doesn't have to be just a child who is dependent but maybe a parent or somebody else who is dependent and you're claiming them on your taxes. an extra deduction there. There are a lot of things in this plan that help lower income folks and middle income folks, and our focus is to make sure we're helping those middle income folks.
Q: So you're not bothered at all by the fact that your leader is a liar?
"So you're okay with the fact the president ran and continued to talk about the fact the rich would never get anything out of this?"
"Steve Mnuchin said the rich would not get a tax cut and that's proven to be a lie now."
"So you're okay with the fact that's a lie."
A: I didn't hear him say that but MIDDLE CLASS. Also...family farms.
"Again, I can't speak to the president. We're focused on the middle class and I think that's where our focus needs to be as a nation. We need to create jobs, help those folks working out there in the middle income brackets. This plan will do that by lowering the rates for everybody, and those it doesn't lower the rates at the high end, but it lowers the rates for everybody in the middle. there are some things. obviously the estate tax helps folks who are wealthier, but i also don't like to see family farms get sold.
Q: Please give us the name of a single family farm that has suffered.
"Do you have an example of a single family farm that suffered because of the estate tax? We're just looking for one. Republicans say it all the time but we have to actually find one."
A: No, I actually can't but look over here at the little garage!
"I can give you two businesses that could have suffered. In virginia, a little garage, they were very concerned. The rates can go up and down and people are very concerned while the rate may be up now, a future administration might bring it down. We would like to get rid of everything so you don't get taxed on it while you're alive and taxed on it again when you die."
Q: Why does the president lie about it?
Assuming that's the case, in your opinion, why doesn't the president say that and own that? Instead he's simply lying. If he is worth the $10 billion he says he is, getting rid of that estate tax would save his family $4 billion. Why wouldn't he, in your opinion, speaking for yourself, not him, why doesn't he say that?
A: Hedge, hedge, back and forth, hedge some more before bailing out entirely
"I haven't paid attention to everything the president said and I would have to see it in context before I make an allegation like that, sir."
So, in the span of about six minutes, all of the tax cut myths are dispelled, debunked, and otherwise disposed of.
Here's another one to save for when you hear the ridiculous "tax reform" talking points, because every one of them were destroyed in record time.