MSNBC: Can Dems Stop ‘Zombie’ GOP From Passing ‘Bad Idea’ Tax Bill?

On her MSNBC show on Thursday, anchor Andrea Mitchell was desperate to stop Republicans from getting a major legislative win by passing tax reform. In a softball interview with Democratic Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen, she breathlessly worried: “Do Democrats see any way to stop this bill from passing given the fact that Republicans are in the majority....[and] it looks as though enough compromises have been made to bring people on board there?”

Van Hollen tried to reassure her: “Well, you know around here, it’s not over until it’s over....but they still do not have on-the-record support from a majority of their caucus yet, and so, we’re fighting to the very end to try and get more and more facts out. This bill is gonna be harmful to the United States for many, many years to come.”

 

 

Mitchell followed up by hoping that Republicans would pay a political “price” for the enacting the policy: “There’s big impact on homeowners, on college students, on a number of sectors, and certainly high-tax states, with the state and local taxes. So will Republicans actually see a price for this?” The liberal lawmaker jumped at the chance to blast the GOP yet again: “I do think voters are gonna hold Republicans accountable for this, because it has been a con job.”

During a panel discussion minutes later, Mitchell declared that the politics of one provision in the bill were “ludicrous,” teeing up Nick Confessore of The New York Times to launch into a recitation of all the attack lines against the legislation:

You know, corporate executives say it won’t create jobs, they won’t hire people because of it. You know, economists say it will not create long-term economic growth. It will explode the deficit. It’s going to be the greatest transfer of wealth in recent years from the middle class to the wealthy and corporations. Everything is screaming this is a bad idea on the facts, but they want to do something.

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He then ranted that Republicans were acting out a scene from Night of the Living Dead: “And it has all the appearances to me, Andrea, of like a zombie party that doesn’t know who it is anymore but knows it has to do something like cut taxes, and they’re kind of stumbling towards a tax cut as a result.”

That kind of nasty rhetoric from Confessore isn’t that surprising since the Times has declared that its mission in life is to defeat the tax bill.

Here are excerpts of the November 30 MSNBC coverage:

12:31 PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: And Senate Republicans could be hours away from taking a very big step toward delivering a signature win to President Trump on taxes. Their effort boosted by John McCain’s decision today to support the bill, which moved to the Senate floor with a test vote of  52 to 48 last night. Maryland Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen joins me now. Senator, thank you very much.

SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN [D-MD]: Good to be with you, Andrea.

MITCHELL: Do Democrats see any way to stop this bill from passing given the fact that Republicans are in the majority – narrow majorities in the Senate – but now that they’ve got McCain, it looks as though enough compromises have been made to bring people on board there?
                
VAN HOLLEN: Well, you know around here, it’s not over until it’s over. I was disappointed in Senator McCain’s announcement, but they still do not have on-the-record support from a majority of their caucus yet, and so, we’re fighting to the very end to try and get more and more facts out. This bill is gonna be harmful to the United States for many, many years to come. It is a huge corporate tax giveaway that’s paid for by millions of folks in the middle class, by increasing premiums for folks in the exchanges, and as you reported, adding $1.5 trillion dollars to the national debt. This is not the way to do tax reform. We should do bipartisan tax reform, but this takes us in the wrong direction, Andrea.

MITCHELL: Well, in the near term, people may do better, middle class people, but come the time ten years from now, when those tax cuts expire and the corporate taxes don’t, the deficit will balloon even farther. We’re hearing now $2.2 trillion might be the real big impact. There’s big impact on homeowners, on college students, on a number of sectors, and certainly high-tax states, with the state and local taxes. So will Republicans actually see a price for this? The President was out selling it to an audience in Missouri, which has, you know, a senator who is on the – potentially on the danger list, Claire McCaskill.

VAN HOLLEN: I do think voters are gonna hold Republicans accountable for this, because it has been a con job. The reality is that millions of middle class families will see an immediate increase in the taxes they pay. Many millions more will see virtually no change. And you’re going to see the folks at the very top get these windfall tax breaks.

(...)

12:41 PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: And the President last night was back on the stump on taxes in Missouri, a key state, and this is what he had to say about how he would fare with this tax bill.

DONALD TRUMP: In all fairness, this is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me. Believe me, this is not good for me. Me, I have some very wealthy friends not so happy with me, but that’s okay.

MITCHELL: Gillian, according to an NBC analysis, his family could benefit to $1 billion and he personally quite a bit as well, he and Melania Trump, from their joint return.

GILLIAN TETT [FINANCIAL TIMES, U.S. MANAGING EDITOR]: Absolutely.

MITCHELL: From what we know at least of the one 2005 return that we’ve got a couple of pages of, their 1040.

TETT: Absolutely, I don’t think there is a credible economist out there who thinks that Donald Trump is going to suffer enormously from this tax bill as he says. And what’s really striking in my mind is that if you look at some of the surveys from economists about the impact of this tax package, like one done by Chicago Booth [School of Business] recently which covered both economists on the right and the left. There’s barely an economist out there who thinks it’s going to significantly boost growth in the long term. They almost all agree, though, it’s going to raise debt. So in many ways, what’s happening with the economic reality and the political rhetoric is diverging further and further right now.

MITCHELL: So it seems as though [Senator Bob] Corker and some of these other, quote, “deficit hawks,” are accepting this trigger idea, which is that if the growth doesn’t come, which very economists – credible economists, Nick, agree will come, that then they’ll trigger it and take that money back. I mean, the politics of that are ludicrous.

NICK CONFESSORE [NEW YORK TIMES]: It’s terrible. Look, this is an effort to get themselves off the hook for a bill that is unpopular. You know, corporate executives say it won’t create jobs, they won’t hire people because of it. You know, economists say it will not create long-term economic growth. It will explode the deficit. It’s going to be the greatest transfer of wealth in recent years from the middle class to the wealthy and corporations. Everything is screaming this is a bad idea on the facts, but they want to do something. And it has all the appearances to me, Andrea, of like a zombie party that doesn’t know who it is anymore but knows it has to do something like cut taxes, and they’re kind of stumbling towards a tax cut as a result.

(...)    


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