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Attempt to make tax cuts permanent just more politics of distraction by GOP

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When Trump and the GOP passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the bill only provided temporary tax relief for individuals—they expire or “sunset” in 2025 in compliance with Senate rules—while making the corporate tax cuts permanent.

Putting Senate rules aside for a moment, the GOP intentionally structured their so-called tax-reform bill as they did to provide political cover for their otherwise unproductive job performance. Republicans were able to claim they kept at least one promise while using the Senate rules as a crutch to pass temporary tax relief for individuals with a promise to vote later on making it permanent.

According to GOP leadership, under Senate rules the tax cuts couldn’t be made permanent in the original bill because it added so much to the deficit that it would require sixty votes to avoid a filibuster—a fact that would still apply on any future votes to make the cuts permanent.

Why would the GOP promise to vote on making tax cuts permanent when getting sixty votes is still out of the question? As I said above, they need political cover.

Knowing they face an uphill slog as November approaches, Trump, McConnell, and Ryan planned to use a second vote to make individual tax cuts permanent not because it’s the right thing for taxpayers but because it allows them to use the politics of distraction to camouflage their ineptitude and hopefully avoid the Blue Tsunami.

By holding this vote, the GOP hopes to get Democrats on record as opposing the tax cuts, making it possible for Republicans to use that as a campaign issue in some of the tighter races. This is probably what motivated Sen. Ted Cruz to introduce a plan to make the cuts permanent. Cruz’s re-election race against Democrat Beto O’Rourke is essentially tied and within the margin of error, so he needs a distraction to avoid defeat.

Interestingly, many within the GOP are now having second thoughts about another vote on tax cuts because they are taking heat for recent projections that show how their tax cuts and budget treachery will add trillions of dollars to the deficit.

But don’t be fooled. This is simply another round of the GOP’s politics of distraction. By suddenly appearing like the deficit is now an issue, Trump and Company are hoping that their faux outrage will appease conservatives concerned about out-of-control spending. We witnessed an example of this strategy recently in the failed attempt by the House to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

Regardless of what the GOP decides on the tax cuts issue, know this . . . they’ll do only what’s best for party preservation, not what’s best for America.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Guns and Crime

Legislators tell Allen West: Next version of First Step Act will cut loopholes

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Legislators tell Allen West Next version of First Step Act will cut loopholes

Last week, a handful of conservatives, including Lt. Col. Allen West and Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz, went after the bipartisan First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill that has the backing of the President and many conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Our complaint: why would the GOP support a bill that releases violent criminals and illegal immigrants?

According to legislative proponents of the bill, protections and benefits for both of these groups of felons have been eliminated in the next version of the bill that will reach the Senate floor. They reached out to West over the weekend to let them know they heard the concerns and are addressing them.

First Step Act: Response and Reassurances

https://i0.wp.com/theoldschoolpatriot.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/prison-553836_640.jpg?w=200&ssl=1The First Step Act is supported by many conservatives and law enforcement groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National District Attorneys Association. There are other proposals offered by those on the far left under the same banner of “criminal justice reform” that would release people from prison without regard to the danger they pose, including illegal immigrants and serious violent offenders. We must remember that there are some folks who are, well, as the ol’ folks would say, “just bad.” Additionally, some left-wing professors even propose abolishing all prisons partly based on their notion that the system is racist in nature. Hmm, I tend to believe that skin color or race has nothing to do with a person deciding to break the law. I just do not want us to go down the path of having criminals believe that there are no consequences, ramifications, for their actions and behaviors.

The legislators echoed our concerns and said the version that is currently available doesn’t reflect the changes that cut the loopholes. They say it will be impossible for these two groups – serious violent offenders and criminal illegal immigrants – to get the benefits of the bill. Many felons will be released early. Future felons will be given lighter sentences. That makes sense for many, but by no means should anyone in either of the two most dangerous groups receive sentence reductions, according to the letter to West.

My Take

Call me cynical, but lately I’ve changed my general rules regarding promises of politicians. It used to echo President Reagan’s stance on nuclear disarmament: “Trust but verify.” I now have to go with a more adversarial stance on political promises: “Show me proof, then we’ll talk.”

When the legislation is made available to the public, many will take a close look at it. I’ll personally be checking to see if there are any loopholes that would put violent offenders or criminal illegal immigrants back on the street sooner. If so, it’s a no-go for me.

 

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Opinions

So-called conservatives are confusing compromise with capitulation

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So-called conservatives are confusing compromise with capitulation

If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m Always Right™, it would be easy to get discouraged by some of the reactions I get for taking so-called conservatives to task whenever they exchange their pusillanimous principles for their personal political purposes.

While not discouraging, it can be frustrating when members of various political factions put their so-called leaders on a pedestal to be lionized, almost worshiped, even when they break their promises or promote policies that are contrary to our conservative values.

An obvious example of what I’m talking about can be seen by the dwindling numbers of Trump’s cult-like sycophants who live not on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of their political god.

Lately, I’ve witnessed this same kind of unconditional loyalty for so-called conservative members of Congress who, despite their rhetoric to the contrary, are talking the conservative talk but not walking the conservative walk.

Last week I enshrined Senator Mike Lee in the Gutless On Principles (GOP) Hall of Shame after his repeated support of Ivanka Trump’s socialist feminist agenda. Even though he has developed a reputation of being 100% conservative, his political infatuation with Ivanka’s extremist agenda is a diametrically opposed to the conservative values he claims to hold.

Just as I’m often told by the Trump cult, Lee’s groupies have informed me that he is beyond reproach and that only a “George Soros-loving Hillary supporter” would dare call him out because “nobody’s perfect.” Check out a couple of the comments from my Facebook page:

Brady S. – “If you’re waiting for perfection, keep waiting, you’re never going to get it from any person. You can disagree with a person on an issue and policy, that doesn’t negate the rest of decisions they’ve made or who they are as a person. Basically, you’re virtue signaling, piggy backing off the backs of other conservatives to show how much more supposedly principled you are. One conservative once said “The person who agrees with you 80% of the time is a friend and an ally not a 20% traitor.” Ronald Reagan. Nobody is going to agree with you 100% of the time on everything, you’d be wise to learn that lesson.”

MaryAnn P. – “Well – no one is perfect.”

Ah, yes. The “nobody’s perfect” card. The classic defense of indefensible behavior.

While we are indeed imperfect beings, we aren’t supposed to use that as an excuse to settle for less than perfection. Instead, we are to press on toward the goal of perfection and continue reaching for those things that will bring it to pass. And we are also instructed to “judge righteously” the deeds (actions) of others.

Those who incorrectly believe that there is no place for judging the deeds of others are wrong and/or lazy. Such thinking is what inspired a recent Babylon Bee satirical story about how evangelicals would vote for Satan himself if he had an “R” after his name.

But let’s put voting for Republican Satan aside for a moment.

I also hear a lot about compromise — a word as equally misunderstood as the word judging — but compromise only applies to how we achieve the goal; it doesn’t apply to the goal itself. When you change the goal instead of the methodology, that’s capitulation, not compromise.

For example, so-called conservatives promised to defund Planned Parenthood and could have compromised on how to get it done in a myriad of ways. Instead, they capitulated by passing spending bills that fully funded the baby butchers in exchange for defense spending and keeping the government open.

To quote a well-known insurance commercial, “That’s not how this works. That’s now how any of this works.”

When their rhetoric fails to match their results, and when they capitulate on our goals and call it compromise, I will call out faux-conservatives regardless of what faction they belong to.

And despite accusations from supporters of Trump, Cruz, Lee, and other so-called conservatives, not every politician needs to measure up to my standards . . . but they should.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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News

Brenda Snipes resigns as Broward County elections supervisor

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Brenda Snipes resigns as Broward County elections supervisor

The nightmare is over. Brenda Snipes, the Broward County elections supervisor who we believe is either incompetent, corrupt, or both, has submitted her resignation.

I think I have served the purpose that I came here for, which was to provide a credible election product for our voters,” she said in her resignation press conference.

Florida finalized election tallies earlier today after a hand count confirmed the original results. Rick Scott was confirmed as the next Senator, unseating Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL).

It may be a bittersweet end to the 75-year-old’s tenure. She seemed more at ease during the press conference than she has since entering the spotlight once again the day after the midterm elections when Broward County failed to report ongoing results as required by Florida law.

Brenda Snipes submits her resignation as Broward elections supervisor

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-brenda-snipes-resigns-20181118-story.htmlDuring the final days of the recount, Snipes looked exhausted to people who have known her for years. And she foreshadowed an early departure as elections supervisor when she said last week “it is time to move on” but didn’t specify a timetable, saying she wanted to talk to her family.

Snipes was appointed supervisor of elections in 2003 by former Gov. Jeb Bush, after he removed a previous supervisor of elections for incompetence. Bush became one of her critics last week, writing on Twitter it was time for her to go.

Depending on when her official resignation is effective, either Governor Scott or governor-elect Ron DeSantis will appoint her replacement. The position is coming up for election in 2020.

My Take

It’s good that she’s leaving, but at least a part of me was hoping she’d stay and come under the scrutiny of governor-elect Ron DeSantis before the 2020 election. If there was corruption, then it’s important we learn about it sooner rather than later.

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