Is Trump Killing Democracy?

“Trump hasn’t staged a coup, and so far our institutions are holding up. But he’s doing more damage every day.”

By Heather Digby Parton | Salon | January 30, 2018

“There seems to be a consensus that over the course of the last few months Trump has shown an alarming propensity to abuse his power, but it’s still unclear whether there is a clear case that he broke the law. If it can be proven that he has abused his power or broken the law, the one remedy everyone can agree upon — as with any president — is impeachment.

Because the Republican majority in Congress is acting as Trump’s accomplices rather than a co-equal branch of government with oversight responsibility and an obligation to defend the Constitution, however, impeachment is highly unlikely. The GOP caucus in both houses is barely keeping up the pretense of investigating Russian interference in the election, and one group of powerful members is trying to create an alternative scandal, accusing top officials at the FBI and the Department of Justice of conspiring to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign and destroy the Trump administration.  Trump himself has been pushing this operation, telling Chief of Staff John Kelly and supposedly recused Attorney General Jeff Sessions to aid in the effort.

The FBI is under assault by a rogue group of powerful lawmakers and the power of the president of the United States. These elected officials are deeply authoritarian by instinct, ideology and temperament. They are clearly using their authority to undermine the rule of law and democratic norms and practices, not uphold them.

This president and his henchmen could create an authoritarian regime within the rough boundaries of the Constitution and the imprimatur of democratic legitimacy. It would hardly be unprecedented. It’s the way it happens in the modern world. Political scientists Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have written a new book, How Democracies Die,” which surveys how democratic nations can slide into authoritarianism when they lose their willingness to live by two specific norms: mutual toleration and forbearance.”

The first is the belief that the opposition is operating in good faith and with a common love of country. The other is the forbearance not to push the boundaries of power, something that all the players in our system have more of than the law can possibly constrain on its own. 

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Source: AlterNet.org

Tax Cuts Crash & Burn Kansas Economy

Just as President Trump is ramping up his push for a major tax cut that he believes will pay for itself through faster economic growth, the Kansas template for that approach has crashed and burned.

After four years of below-average growth, deepening budget deficits, and steep spending reductions, the GOP-dominated Kansas legislature has repealed many of the tax cuts at the heart of Governor Sam Brownback fiscal agenda.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2017/06/07/the-great-kansas-tax-cut-experiment-crashes-and-burns/#c8ab4825508f 

GOP release Massive Tax Reform – AKA Looting the United States Treasury

It was all smiles & good ol’ boy energy pouring out of the private Congressional conference room this morning as the GOP finally released the “contours” of their promised tax reform bill. Still elusive are the actual details of the plan, the CBO scoring & other financial analyses, expert testimonies, markups, hearings, etc.  Since President Trump has ordered the GOP majorities in the House & Senate to ram through the legislation & on the President’s desk for his public signing by the end of the year.

Kathy McMorris Rogers, who represents my WA district, stood shoulder to shoulder in promising the typical middle class family will get an extra $1182 a year in tax relief. ** 3 pairs of shoes, orthodontic pmt & one trip to CostCo.

or

brakes, tires, oil change.

Kristi Noem (SD-R) also insists that it is fair & just to repeal the “Death Tax” because it is a “tax on a tax”. **No mention is made that the Estate Tax kicks in only with estates worth more than $5 million.

Peter Roskam (IL-R) waxed on about the longing people feel for this great opportunity of a lifetime. **to transfer trillions of $  from the American people into the pockets of dictators, Russian oligarchs, corrupt bureaucrats, politicians and, of course,  Trump International Incorporated and Billionaire Cabinet, friends, partners, etc. **blackmailers, tea party & altRIGHT.

Repeal of the Adjusted Minimum Tax (AMT) is a gift for high-income earners. True Tax Reform would have set the dollar amount higher e.g. from $100K to $150K. **The GOP & ContCons (Contemporary Conservatives) are Looting the Treasury by completely wiping out this adjustment factor. Once it’s gone we cannot get it back


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