Robert Reich Reports

jzk

Super Anarchist
13,013
482
After Nixon and Agnew took bribes, the IRS is now mandated to audit the taxes every President.

The defeated ex-President and Mnuchin managed to do an end-around. The one safeguard built into that law is the power of the Ways and Means Committee to demand the tax returns.

Turns out the claims of "I am under audit" were just typical bullshit.
Are you saying that Trump withheld his tax returns from the IRS? What "end-around" are you talking about?
 

Bus Driver

Bacon Quality Control Specialist
Are you saying that Trump withheld his tax returns from the IRS? What "end-around" are you talking about?
The defeated ex-President was NOT audited for 2 years, by the IRS, as required by law.

You DO know the IRS is mandated to audit each President's annual tax returns, right?

I believe Mr. Mnuchin should answer some questions about how that came to be.
 
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jzk

Super Anarchist
13,013
482
The defeated ex-President was NOT audited for 2 years, by the IRS, as required by law.

You DO know the IRS is mandated to audit each President's annual tax returns, right?

I believe Mr. Mnuchin should answer some questions about how that came to be.
Are you saying that Trump did something to prevent the IRS from auditing him like they are supposed to?
 

Bus Driver

Bacon Quality Control Specialist
Are you saying that Trump did something to prevent the IRS from auditing him like they are supposed to?
I am saying "I believe Mr. Mnuchin should answer some questions about how that came to be."

It seems you missed it when I typed it in the post you quoted.

While he is at it, I'd like Mr. Mnuchin, along with Charles Rettig, to explain how the audits of people the defeated ex-President saw as "foes" came to be.

Trump Wanted I.R.S. Investigations of Foes, Top Aide Says

 

billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas

Office Hours: The 118th Congress is already a mess and it hasn't even begun​

Will the few Republican moderates now join with Democrats and elect a moderate Republican speaker?​

Robert Reich

6 hr ago
107
151




Friends,
Today Republicans began their second day in control of the House — without a leader, and deadlocked about how to move forward. Twenty extreme MAGAs refuse to budge.
Could this propel the few Republican “moderates” to join with Democrats to elect a Speaker who’s not beholden to the extreme MAGAs? If so, will this Congress fool us all and accomplish more than we had assumed?
After all, the 118th Congress is one of the most diverse in history. It includes a record number of 149 women, Maxwell Frost, the first Gen Z member of Congress, Hakeem Jeffries, the first Black party leader, and Robert Garcia, the first out LGBTQ+ immigrant in Congress.
But, of course, this Congress also includes more than 150 Republican election deniers, including several who have been implicated in the plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and George Santos, whose campaign appears to have been based almost completely on lies and is now under criminal investigation.
 

billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas


........."4. No major lawmaker has been barred from holding office because of involvement in the January 6 attack.

Despite specific language in Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution barring anyone from holding office who has previously sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution but has engaged in an “insurrection” against the United States, to date no one except a county commissioner in Arizona has been barred from holding office because of activities in connection with the attack on the Capitol.


Two years have passed, yet the top lawmakers in the US government who were most directly involved in the insurrection — including Trump and his co-conspirators in Congress — have not been held accountable. To the contrary, Trump is so far unopposed in seeking the Republican nomination for President, and his co-conspirators are wielding enormous influence ove"r the selection of the next Speaker of the House.

This is not the way to mark the second anniversary of the day American democracy almost died.
 
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billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas

.....The typical American worker’s wage has been stuck in the mud for four decades.

Most of the gains from a more productive economy have been going to the top — to executives and investors.
The richest 10 percent of Americans now own more than 90 percent of the value of shares of stock owned by Americans.......
 

billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas


"The two parts of the Republican Party — the MAGA cultural warriors and the economic oligarchs — need each other.

The oligarchy — billionaires, top CEOs, and moguls of Wall Street — wants lower taxes (which requires less government spending) and fewer regulations. Most basically, it wants to continue to siphon off more of the economy’s total gains.

To do so, it needs the MAGA cultural warriors to keep America divided over
non-economic issues (abortion, gay rights, immigration, voting rights, religious freedom) so most Americans won’t look up and see where all the money has gone.

And the MAGA warriors need the oligarchy’s money for their campaigns.


This was the coalition and the strategy Trump relied on. The oligarchy financed Trump Republicans. In return, the oligarchs got lower taxes and regulatory rollbacks, while Trump and his MAGAs distracted the public with culture wars and warriors.

Even though Trump is no longer president and Kevin McCarthy has been installed as Speaker, little has changed. The same MAGA-Oligarchic coalition is still aiming to siphon off the economy’s gains for the oligarchy while disguising its effort with culture wars that keep Americans angry and divided. The MAGAs, meanwhile, feed off oligarchic campaign money.

Yes, the congressional Republican Party is factious. But don’t mistake it for a civil war. In reality, as the MAGAs and oligarchs jockey for positions in the lead-up to the 2024 election, each is testing the other’s power — making small compromises and adaptations where necessary.

Look, for example, at the critical role played last week by two oligarchic SuperPACs bankrolled by billionaires — the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) and the Club for Growth. The Club for Growth describes itself as a "leading free-enterprise advocacy group" that promotes tax cuts and deregulation — pure oligarchy. CLF spent nearly $260 million during the 2022 election cycle, helping McCarthy and his allies win the House. Its top donors are billionaires — banking scion Timothy Mellon, Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, and Citadel CEO Kenneth Griffin, as well as the Koch network.

To win the House for Republicans in the midterms, these SuperPACs quietly swung primaries away from controversial candidates such as Madison Cawthorn in North Carolina and Joe Kent in Washington. This caused some anxiety among the MAGAs. So during negotiations for making McCarthy Speaker, the two SuperPACs agreed not to spend money in future open-seat primaries in safe Republican districts. A small concession.

To cinch the deal, McCarthy also promised to hold a vote on a budget that will balance the deficit in a decade and cap discretionary spending levels at fiscal 2022. This will require major spending cuts — thereby opening the way for more tax cuts and bigger tax loopholes. The oligarchs couldn’t be happier.

The fiscal deadlines looming this year over spending bills and an increase in the debt ceiling also favor the oligarch’s economic conservatism because they too may lead to reduced spending and create opportunities for tax cuts.

But they also pose a potential problem for the billionaires. If the deadlines result in government shutdowns or the serious threat of a default on the nation’s debt, the oligarchy could lose a boatload of money. So expect backroom negotiations between the oligarchs who don’t want economic chaos and the extreme MAGAs who would be happy with it. This bargaining will be a central drama inside the congressional Republican Party over the next nine months.

The House MAGAs will spend most of their energies on fiery culture war investigations — of Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, the FBI, the IRS, other Democrats, and alleged socialists and pedophiles. The fireworks will conveniently distract the public’s attention from the oligarch’s economic looting.

Trump continues to be the central force within this coalition of economic oligarchs and MAGA culture warriors.

Speaking to reporters after he became Speaker, McCarthy was effusive in thanking Trump, who backed him for Speaker (after McCarthy helped rescue Trump by visiting him at Mar-a-Lago soon after the attack on the Capitol). “I don’t think anybody should doubt his influence,” McCarthy said. “I was just talking to him tonight, helping get those final votes.”

The is the reality we’re in, folks. But it is not a cause for defeatism or cynicism. The Democratic Party under Joe Biden will continue to fight back. The rest of us must continue to try to get big money out of politics, make the electoral college irrelevant, and protect and expand voting rights. More on all this in future letters."
 
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