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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com

Still searching for votes to pass a once-in-a-generation tax scam along entirely partisan party lines, some Republicans are belatedly conceding that the legislation does far more and far worse than reward millionaires, donors, and corporations.

It also sets America on a path toward massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare — in order to pay for the lopsided giveaways to the wealthiest among us.

On Thursday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told an audience that if and when the massive tax cuts for the rich produce a ballooning deficit, the next step would be to start dismantling Medicare and Social Security as we know it.

Basically, America’s safety net will need to be sacrificed — which has been a policy goal of the Republican Party for more than half a century.

“Many argue that you can’t cut taxes because it will drive up the deficit. But we have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending,” said Rubio. “That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future.”

The aim may not be new, but the public confession is.

“The only thing that’s new here is the explicit admission by a Republican officeholder that this is the GOP’s master plan to eviscerate the welfare and retirement of American workers,” notes Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hilzik. “His prescription involves two options — generating economic growth and cutting spending. Actually, there are three options — raising taxes is the third.”

The pending bill is already projected to cut Medicare by approximately $400 billion over the next decade. What Rubio is suggesting is even further dismantling of Medicare, as well as Social Security.

Politically, it would be extremely difficult for Republicans to propose and pass stand-alone legislation that called for such draconian cuts to such popular programs. Thus, they are instead doing it under the guise of their tax scam, and attempting to jam it through Congress without public debate.

It’s also why Republicans have loaded down the legislation with an abundance of radical wish-list items that have nothing to do with taxation, such as making college less affordable, allowing churches to endorse political candidates, green-lighting oil drilling on protected lands, and allowing fetuses to be named as beneficiaries for tax-free investments.

It’s essentially a Trojan horse power grab, concocted and carried out under the blanket of secrecy. But now that Rubio has admitted to it publicly, the GOP can’t hide the truth any longer.

 

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has been claiming that COVID-19 has been mostly defeated in the U.S. — which is laughable in light of how much infection rates have been surging, especially in Sun Belt states. But according to Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Josh Dawsey, Team Trump has found a new coronavirus talking point: claiming that Americans can learn to live with the pandemic and the ever-climbing death count.

According to Abutaleb and Dawsey, the "goal" of Trump's White House and campaign allies "is to convince Americans that they can live with the virus — that schools should reopen, professional sports should return, a vaccine is likely to arrive by the end of the year, and the economy will continue to improve. White House officials also hope Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day, according to three people familiar with the White House's thinking, who requested anonymity to reveal internal deliberations."

A Trump Administration senior official, quoted anonymously, told the Post that Americans will "live with the virus being a threat." And a former Trump official, according to the Post, said of Trump's allies, "They're of the belief that people will get over it, or if we stop highlighting it, the base will move on — and the public will learn to accept 50,000 to 100,000 new cases a day."



Figures from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore show that the coronavirus pandemic continues to be quite deadly — especially in the United States. As of Monday morning, July 6, Hopkins was reporting a worldwide COVID-19 death count of more than 534,800 — and almost 130,000 of those deaths were in the U.S.

Biden's campaign has been asserting that the former vice president has a much better track record than Trump when it comes to pandemics. Democratic strategist and Biden campaign adviser Ariana Berengaut told the Post, "From really January on, Vice President Biden has been laser focused on the rising risk to the American people presented by this pandemic. You can almost imagine them side by side — Trump's leadership and Biden's leadership…. Trump has no plan for tomorrow, no plan for a week from now; so, there is absolutely no plan for the fall, and that's what encapsulates the whole arc of that contrast."

Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, told the Post that Trump's coronavirus response has been and continues to be an abysmal failure.

Garin asserted, "Trump is increasingly defined in voters' minds by his failing response to the coronavirus crisis, and virtually every action and position he's taken have been wildly out of sync with where the public is at on what should be done. Biden now has a remarkable opportunity to contrast himself with this failure of leadership that a large majority of voters see so clearly."