November 15, 2017

I don't always agree with MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle, but there's not a deceptive bone in her body. That's why it's so satisfying to hear her tell the world exactly what she thinks about the GOP tax bill:

"We do have to point out, increasing this child tax credit is window dressing," Ruhle said.

"You're going to increase that. even at the very least, you're going to see budget cuts so drastic that almost every program that impacts people who need that deduction are going to get whacked.

"But I have to share this, because my mind was blown yesterday. We all know at this table that carried interest was something that Gary Cohn, that Steve Mnuchin, that Donald Trump said we are getting rid of this," she said.

"If you talk to people in the financial industry, they kind of smirk and they're like, yeah, man, we've got to get rid of that. It's a complete freebie. I want to share what Republican Congresswoman Diane Black, who is a member of the Ways and Means committee, said about this yesterday. She was confused."

BLACK: "This is a more complicated situation than even I appreciated when we went into it."

"No. No, I'm sorry, this is not complicated at all," Ruhle said. "And this is a woman charged with writing this, and knowing this. There ain't nothing confusing about carried interest, it's a gift."

"What might be confusing is she got talked to by a bunch of private equity interests and others who love having this tax break and now it's somehow confusing, but it's not," Politico reporter Ben White said.

"These are gains that private equity managers make on their funds and they should be ordinary taxation, because they are there -- this is their salary. This is how they make this money but they get this capital gains treatment and it's a boondoggle for them. They're a powerful lobby and trying to stop it. I think they're more worried about interest deductibility in this thing and getting rid of the special tax treatment for corporate interest deductibility because they rely on huge amounts of debt to fund their leveraged buyouts."

"Ben, can we point out that in the last eight years, private equity firms because they have long-term locked up money, because they don't have to mark to market have become behemoths," Ruhle said. She cited some examples. "So spare me that you're going to keep carried interest there. For what?"

Another panelist pointed out there's "a powerful lobbying campaign going on by private equity, by real estate, and so far successful."

"Wait, do we know anybody in the real estate business? Oh, the president," Ruhle said.

"I also wouldn't underestimate your average lawmaker's lack of understanding of how the tax code might work or financial markets operate. it is confusing to a lot of lawmakers."

Ruhle wasn't sympathetic, pointing out that voters should support smart candidates who have the mental tools to protect their interests.

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