You know Republicans are intellectually confused when they send out press releases defending a top marginal income-tax rate of nearly 50%. Yet that's what they were up to this weekend as they tried to justify their bubble bracket tax rate of 45.6% after our criticism on Saturday.
We called it a stealth tax rate because it's buried in the fine print of the Ways and Means proposal. It also isn't part of the tax simplification story Republicans are selling by publicly claiming the House reform shrinks the individual code to four rates from seven. But caught out by our reporting, they are now denying that the fifth rate is stealthy while defending it as good policy.
The 45.6% is a bubble rate because it applies to tax-filing couples who make between $1.2 million and $1.6 million (above $1 million for single filers). read more
The longtime Democratic leader thinks the key to taking back the House in 2018 is avoiding the president's distractions.
Pelosi is eager to show her party can govern -- in contrast to the chaos surrounding Trump -- and believes that a reputation as the "No Drama Democrats" is key to taking back the House in 2018 and whisking her backing into the speaker's chair.
While not an official slogan, Pelosi has discussed the strategy broadly in recent leadership and caucus meetings, urging members to avoid talk of impeachment and resist taking Trump's bait on whatever topic is dominating his Twitter feed that day.
"There's nothing any of us can say in Congress that is going to change people's view of Donald Trump," said freshman Rep. Ro Khanna, a Silicon Valley progressive who agrees with Pelosi's strategy. "What they need is us to help them form their view of whether the Democratic Party is ready to lead." read more
On n the morning of October 5th, President Trump was on one of his Twitter rants from the White House, denying as "fake news" an NBC report that his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, had called him a "moron" and threatened to resign. Elsewhere in Washington, the drama over whether Tillerson was actually on his way out threatened to overwhelm other news stories for a second straight day. But, when I arrived at the townhouse of Stanley Greenberg, the veteran Democratic strategist, on Capitol Hill, later that morning, it was not the distractions of the Trump White House that had him worked up. Greenberg was still fuming about Hillary Clinton.
Clinton was guilty of "malpractice" in how she conducted her 2016 Presidential campaign, Greenberg told me. read more
In the early run-up to 2020, would-be candidates are skipping Iowa and New Hampshire for a new set of must-stop destinations: big battleground states like Florida, Ohio and Michigan. Wary of planting a Trump-sized target on their backs so far out from the election, many potential 2020 hopefuls are avoiding headline-drawing trips to traditional primary-season destinations like Des Moines, Manchester, Columbia and Las Vegas. Instead, at least half a dozen Democrats with the potential to become serious contenders -- including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey -- have been quietly visiting battleground states that will likely be front-and-center in the next presidential election. read more