The nutjob “fair tax“ that would eliminate the IRS and impose a 30 percent tax on all retail sales has been introduced to the House before. This Wikipedia page says it’s been introduced “regularly” since 2005, but it’s never made it out of committee. This was true even when Republicans had a big majority in the House. Now it’s in committee again, What’s different is that in years past no one talked about it much. Now Democrats are talking about it, a lot.
“Democrats are seizing on a Republican proposal to impose a national sales tax and abolish the Internal Revenue Service as a cudgel against the GOP, even though the bill has few fans even among Republican lawmakers,” WaPo says. Even the patriarch of tax nutjobbery, Grover Norquist, is calling the fair tax bill a “gift to Democrats.”
Of course, even if the House passed the thing it would die in the Senate and would never be signed by President Biden. It doubt it has any better chance in the House now than it’s had in the past. The point is that the Dems are going on offense for a change. This is a good thing. More of this, please.
Trump’s Facebook and Twitter suspensions have ended. I don’t know if he’s written anything on those platforms yet. If he does, I question whether it will work for him as it has in the past. Charlie Cooke — yeah, I know, it’s Charlie Cooke — has a takedown of Trump on National Review that’s actually worth reading. You will laugh.
There was a point in time at which Trump’s unusual verbal affect and singular nose for underutilized wedge issues gave him a competitive edge. Now? Now, he’s morphing into one of the three witches from Macbeth. To peruse Trump’s account on Truth Social is to meet a cast of characters about whom nobody who lives beyond the Trump Extended Universe could possibly care one whit. … safely ensconced within his own macrocosm, Trump is busy mainlining Edward Lear. Day in, day out, he rambles about the adventures of Coco Chow and the Old Broken Crow; the dastardly Unselect Committee; the (presumably tasty) Stollen Presidential Election; the travails of that famous law-enforcement agency, the Gestopo; Joe Scarborough’s wife “Mike”; and other unusual characters from Coromandel. “Where the early pumpkins blow / In the middle of the woods / Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò / Who STOLLE THE ELECTION / Don’t you know?” …
… Throughout his public career, Trump has resembled nothing so much as a drunken talk-radio caller from Queens, and, on Truth Social, readers get the treat of watching him at the zenith of his rhetorical powers.
Recently Trump declared himself the winner of a golf tournament at his West Palm Beach golf club, even though he hadn’t played the entire tournament. Not that his head was ever screwed on all the way, but I wonder if he’s getting worse.
Now three good people have announced they are running for Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat in 2024. These are Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee, and Katie Porter. We need them all in Washington. I understand Feinstein has said she won’t decide about 2024 until 2024. She will be 91 years old in 2024. Someone close to her really needs to tell her to retire.
A letter writer to Talking Points Memo asks people not to throw money at the Senate primary candidates in California too soon. That seat will be won by a Democrat, no matter what. Unlike in 2022, Democrats are defending a lot of Senate seats next year. It’s going to be hard for them to keep the Senate. It doesn’t make sense to throw hundreds of millions of dollars into the California Senate race when those dollars are needed elsewhere.
Debt ceiling updates. Roll Call reports that the House GOP may be wanting to buy themselves more time on the debt ceiling.
House Republicans are mulling an attempt to buy time for further negotiations on federal spending and deficits by passing one or more short-term suspensions of the statutory debt ceiling this summer, including potentially lining up the deadline with the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30. …
… Any such short-term measure would likely be “clean” of any strings attached or specific spending cuts, and be designed as a suspension of the borrowing cap, which had been done repeatedly over the past decade until 2021, rather than a dollar increase in the debt limit. That would presumably make it easier for Republicans to swallow voting for it after pledging to only back a debt limit increase if paired with spending cuts.
However, as Steve Benen wrote yesterday, it’s apparent a lot of House Republicans still don’t understand what the debt ceiling is. Several of them recently have made public statements that linked the debt ceiling to government shutdowns. And, of course, shutdowns are what happens when Congress fails to pass budget legislation with the necessary appropriations. The debt ceiling is something else.
Also yesterday, WaPo reported that House GOP leadership is “embarking on an education campaign to make sure their members understand how the debt limit works, the consequences of failing to raise the ceiling, and the difference between a garden-variety government shutdown and a potential debt default.” Good luck with that, peeps.