ABC Goes All-In on Trying to Sink GOP’s ‘Nightmare’ Tax Reform

After making completely false claims about the GOP tax reform bill on ABC’s Good Morning America earlier on Sunday, Clinton lackey George Stephanopoulos spent most of This Week leading the discussion tearing it down.

After spending a couple minutes smearing the bill in his opening monologue, Stephanopoulos interviewed Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn and one of his first questions involved allegations GOP leaders bought off Tennessee Senator Bob Corker with a real estate provision:

There's a lot more scrutiny of the bill, which was just released on Friday in these final hours. Including an article in the International Business Times, that came out yesterday showing that a last-minute tax break, which was not included in the House or Senate provision, could bring millions of dollars to President Trump, and other Republicans, who get a lot of money from the real estate income through LLCs.

Instead of asking Cornyn to explain why the provision was there and what it was for, Stephanopoulos read a statement from Maryland Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen who called the GOP “unconscionable.” “Will you remove that provision,” the ABC host demanded to know. That’s not to mention how he thinks a bill released five days before a vote was somehow released “in these final hours.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are also warning this is going to trigger a mandatory cut in many government programs, including a $25 billion cut in Medicare,” Stephanopoulos said to Cornyn a short time later. He then highlighted Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-D) saying Dems would play games with the program. “She's essentially saying, you won't get any Democratic votes to waive those cut. So, $25 billion in Medicare cuts are coming. Can you prevent the cuts on your own?

 

 

Stephanopoulos then spoke with two economists: Former Chair of Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, Glenn Hubbard who supported the bill, and Paul Krugman from The New York Times who opposed the bill and whose economic predictions were about as accurate as an astrology chart.

Krugman actually argued against the bill because it was “un-leveling the playing field” to the benefit of small businesses. “What this is doing is, it tremendously privileging people who own businesses of a certain kind. Who are really basically just workers but happen to have the right kind of business that earns enough money,” he smeared.

It’s a crazy thing,” Krugman added, before getting one more punch before the commercial break. “I think this will be a wave of outrageous tax avoidance. And that there will be mass demands for people do something because this is a nightmare bill.

In the last 15 minutes of the program, ABC’s make-believe Republican Matthew Dowd was mouthing off about how the GOP was passing a bill that was only for the wealth and asserted that “to me when the Republicans do this, they have abdicated any responsibility on fiscal conservativism. They can’t run on that anymore.

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Former Bush Political Affairs Director Sara Fagen noted most economic analysis of the bill “fails to give any credit for growth in the economy and higher tax revenues off a broader base and people making more money.” But Dowd did not want the facts known, so he talked over her, shouting: “There is no evidence at that that will happen! In history. None.” As Fagen began to counter him, he falsely declared that “there was no growth after the Reagan 1986 tax bill. There was no growth.

This wasn’t the first time Dowd has tried to rewrite history. On the same program a few weeks prior, he claimed Republicans “empowered” Bill Clinton’s sexually predatory behavior by confirming Justice Clarence Thomas.

With all of the Republicans in the Senate and nearly all in the House supporting the reconciled tax reform proposal, passage and a presidential signature were all but assured. So it’s no wonder ABC was in crisis mode ahead of the pivotal vote on Tuesday that would have get a major win on the board.

Relevant portions of the transcript below:

ABC
This Week
December 17, 2017
9:05:29 AM Eastern

(…)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you [Senator John Cornyn] think you have the votes right now. There's a lot more scrutiny of the bill, which was just released on Friday in these final hours. Including an article in the International Business Times, that came out yesterday showing that a last-minute tax break, which was not included in the House or Senate provision, could bring millions of dollars to President Trump, and other Republicans, who get a lot of money from the real estate income through LLCs. Our next guest, Senator Chris Van Hollen, has responded to that saying: “Slipping in a last-minute provision that could give more of a windfall to people like President Trump and some Republicans in Congress is unconscionable. It’s not too late for my colleagues to do the right thing.” Will you remove that provision?

(…)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Meanwhile, the Democrats are also warning this is going to trigger a mandatory cut in many government programs, including a $25 billion cut in Medicare. Leader Pelosi has written a letter to the Senate and House leaders of the Republican party, saying: “Given the lack of bipartisanship to date in your effort to provide massive tax cuts to the wealthy at the expense of the middle-class while adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit. It will be your responsibility to deal with the consequences.” She's essentially saying, you won't get any Democratic votes to waive those cut. So, $25 billion in Medicare cuts are coming. Can you prevent the cuts on your own?

(…)

9:33:16 AM Eastern

PAUL KRUGMAN: By the way, this is un-leveling the playing field. Right now, anybody that wants to turn themselves into a C-corporation and pay normal corporate taxes can do that. What this is doing is, it tremendously privileging people who own businesses of a certain kind. Who are really basically just workers but happen to have the right kind of business that earns enough money. It's a crazy thing. It's creating a nightmare of loopholes. Possible exploitable things -- possible ways for certain people – there’s even a specific provision says that architects and engineers get a special tax break that other service providers don't get. So, this is insane tax policy.

(…)

KRUGMAN: I think this will be a wave of outrageous tax avoidance. And that there will be mass demands for people do something because this is a nightmare bill.

(…)

9:46:09 AM Eastern

MATTHEW DOWD: Besides the substantive serious problems, I think, with this, it doesn't simplify—it’s only going to primarily benefit the wealthy and all of that … To me, when the Republicans do this, they have abdicated any responsibility on fiscal conservativism. They can’t run on that anymore. After they pass a bill that raises the debt by $1.5 trillion and doesn't help the middle-class they no longer can run as the fiscal conservatives.

SARA FAGEN: In all this conversation though of the deficit, it fails to give any credit for growth in the economy and higher tax revenues off a broader base and people making more money. And so, I think that's just –

DOWD: There is no evidence at that that will happen! In history. None.

FAGEN: That’s not true.

DOWD: Yeah, it is.

FAGEN: There is evidence of it.

DOWD: There was no growth after the Reagan 1986 tax bill. There was no growth.

FAGEN: More people went to work and more people had higher wages.

(…)


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