December 21, 2017

The Morning Joe crew discussed the implications of the Republican tax bill, pointing out it is nothing like what Trump promised voters.

"That's actually a great reminder of what this president and Steve Bannon promised American voters in the fall of 2016: that the world is run by multinational corporations, that hedge funders and Goldman Sachs and all of these huge corporatists across the globe dominate your life," Joe Scarborough said.

"They passed a tax bill that's being celebrated by the largest multinational corporation on the planet. It's being celebrated by hedge fund managers and being celebrated by billionaires that want to pass on as much of their money to the billionaires-in-waiting that are their children. This is -- this is the biggest corporation pro-hedge fund manager tax cut that's ever happened. Ronald Reagan's was an across-the-board middle class tax cut. How do they square that when they go home?"

"Two days ago, we had Kevin Brady on the show and we had a little debate on that. It wasn't picking on him about carried interest," Willie Geist said.

"I agree it's an arcane thing to get into, but the principle there was, why in this bill the president said something was evil, why was that left in the bill if it wasn't just a sop to the donors? Because that benefits only rich guys who work downtown here in New York on Wall Street. That's not draining the swamp. that's a question of fairness for Americans. They do understand fairness. And so look, when Jeremy [Peters] says there's nothing conservative in the bill, I think they would argue cutting the corporate tax rate to 41% is a conservative idea. and the companies will reinvest. some of the companies like AT&T came out yesterday, and they will invest, hire people. They believe that is a pro-growth strategy. They believe they'll grow the $1.5 trillion hole they blew in the deficit. They'll say that's pro growth and conservatism."

"While some Americans don't understand carried interest, they do understand billionaires paying 14% tax rates year in and year out. They will understand as they go to the polls next year, that what Donald Trump has done has made the rich even more comfortable, made the poor even more strapped. Has caused health care, the foundation of our healthcare system, to be shaken. I mean, they may not have to have a perfect definition for what carried interest is, but they will know this was a sop to the rich," Scarborough said.

The Demos Institutes's Heather McGhee agreed.

"That's right. and they'll understand that this bill rewards wealth over work. if you make your money because you inherited it from your wealthy parents or because you look at the newspaper and the stock market has gone up and that's what you've done today, great, I made another $10,000, this is a windfall.

"But if you make your money by pushing a broom or caring for people, you may get a less than 1% increase in your after-tax income in 2019, but your health insurance premiums will go up by about 10%, and good news, Paul Ryan says next year we're going to use the excuse of the $1.5 trillion deficit to come after your Social Security and Medicare.

"We have to decide. this is a moral issue. There are people who can't afford to go to the dentist or the doctor. They have to choose between keeping their light on or driving their kids to school. And this is a country where there are more billionaires than there have been in the history of time. The American people, including the majority of Republican voters, think that corporations actually large corporations should have tax increases. So I absolutely understand that Republicans see that they have to pay back their donors or they will not be able to fundraise from them next year, but that is just a way to get your message out.

"Ultimately, the American people are going to have the deciding vote about whether they get their jobs back. I don't think they will," McGhee said.

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